The Clubhouse

Best golf courses in Dublin

A fantastic destination for a golf break, Dublin is packed with culture and plenty of golf courses! Check out which courses we would recommend playing on your next break.

Mark Jenkins
Mark Jenkins
8 mins read
UK & IrelandIrelandLinksGolf toursBucket list

Ireland is blessed with some truly phenomenal golf courses. Nowhere more so than the country’s dynamic capital, which is home to an array of great links and parkland layouts. Add in the abundance of historical sights and world-famous nightlife, and you are left with an irresistible destination for a golf break.

The Island Golf Club

Set amid tumultuous dunes, the Island bears little resemblance to the other links courses in the region. Steeped in tradition, this magical links could only be reached by boat across the Malahide estuary until the 1970s. A road has since been built at the far end of the peninsula, and the foundations of the original clubhouse now form part of the 14th tee. Surrounded by the sea on three sides the venue feels as remote as you could possibly find. Luckily despite the tranquil location, Dublin Airport is simply 15 minutes away.

Length: - Back tees: 7,045 - Front tees: 5,953 Par: 72 Architect: Tom MacKenzie & Martin Ebert Founded: 1890 Course type: Links

The K Club Kildare

This is Ireland’s big, glamorous parkland course and the home of the 2006 Ryder Cup. There are lakes, rivers, ancient trees and lots and lots of space. The Palmer course carries quite the reputation (designed by Arnold Palmer) and it delivers all the frills and thrills you’d expect.

The River Liffey flows lazily along one edge, threatening three holes, but despite this and the other water features, the Palmer is a relaxing round of golf with generous fairways and big greens. It is a course playable by every golfer but be sure to choose the right tees, as it can be long.

It's an exceptional resort, with a clubhouse and facilities to match, and a worthy second course, The Smurfit, that sits alongside its more famous sibling.

Length: - Back tees: 7,413 - Front tees: 5,467 Par: 72 Architect: Arnold Palmer & Ed Seay Founded: 1991 Course type: Parkland

Portmarnock Old Golf Club

Founded in 1894, Portmarnock is revered the world over as a phenomenal links course. Located on its own sandy peninsula, 12 miles from downtown Dublin, there is nothing man-made about this formidable test. Sweeping its way around the narrow duneland, the course has welcomed numerous distinguished players over the years, including Arnold Palmer and Sam Snead who would successfully negotiate the championship links on their way to victory in the 1960 Canada Cup.

Lightning fast and true, the links is perhaps best known for its sensational green complexes, which are subtle and notoriously hard to hold.

Length: - Back tees: 7,466 - Front tees: 5,851 Par: 72 Architect: Fred G. Hawtree & W. C. Pickermann Founded: 1894 Course type: Links

Druids Glen 8th hole

When it comes to beauty, variety and sheer colour no Irish parkland can come close to the spectacular offering at Druids Glen. The club is blessed with the finest collection of par-3’s in the country. Laced with water and bedecked with a kaleidoscope of colours, it’s little surprise that the formidable stretch from the 12th to the 14th has been coined ‘Ireland’s Amen Corner’. Located in County Wicklow, to the south of Dublin, the Pat Ruddy and Tom Craddock creation is one of the country’s finest layouts and a must-play on a visit to Ireland’s vibrant capital.

Length: - Back tees: 7,214 - Front tees: 5,386 Par: 72 Architect: Tom Craddock & Pat Ruddy Founded: 1995 Course type: Parkland

The European Club

This beguiling Pat Ruddy creation is widely considered to be the best modern links course in the world. The world-class designer is not only the mastermind behind The European Club but also the venue's owner and magnanimous host. His work at the course, some 30 miles south of Dublin, is nothing less than extraordinary and despite only opening in 1993 the layout already ranks among the very finest layouts in Ireland. There are actually 20-holes set amid the rugged dunes, and the two additional par-3’s (7a & 12a) are worth sticking around to play.

Length: - Back tees: 7,390 - Front tees: 5,569 Par: 71 Architect: Pat Ruddy Founded: 1987 Course type: Links

Carton House Montgomerie Course

There are two courses at the five star Carton House resort, 15 miles west of Dublin. The Montgomerie course opened in 2002 and was designed as an inland links. It certainly possesses links features with tumbling and deceptive fairways, deep bunkers and glorious greens. And a few trees.

This is one of Ireland’s toughest courses, especially when the golden rough is up… which also happens to be when the course looks its best, as it did when the Irish Open was hosted here.

Choose the right tee and try not to be heroic: the gentle doglegs can be deceptive and the bunkering is always punishing.

Length: - Back tees: 7,301 - Front tees: 5,655 Par: 72 Architect: Colin Montgomerie Founded: 2003 Course type: Links

Killeen Castle Golf

Killeen Castle flows over 600 acres of idyllic parkland, wrapped around a 12th-century castle. Today it is home to a Jack Nicklaus ‘Signature’ course, which hosted the Solheim Cup in 2011.

This is Ireland’s longest course (7,677 yards, back tees) but there are five tees to choose from and the fairways are always generous. It is approaching the heavily bunkered, shapely green complexes where the biggest challenges lie.

There is plenty of water and the majestic trees have been well employed, but Killeen Castle’s spaciousness is what impresses most… if you don’t count the castle which appears frequently and looms above the 18th green. There is also a Dave Pelz Golf School for those looking to improve their game.

Length: - Back tees: 7,677 - Front tees: 5,392 Par: 72 Architect: Jack Nicklaus & Troy Vincent Founded: 2009 Course type: Parkland

Royal Dublin Golf Club

This historic club is situated on Bull Island, a three-mile-long sand split and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve located just off the city shoreline. Founded in 1889, the course was granted its royal patronage by Queen Victoria shortly after. There are no dunes here, instead, the course makes the most of the natural twists and turns of the land. Given the flat nature of the links, the elements are almost a constant factor here, and with the prevailing wind in your face from the turn, you’re well advised to get your score in early.

Length: - Back tees: 7,297 - Front tees: 5,987 Par: 72 Architect: 1985 Founded: Harry Colt & Martin Hawtree Course type: Links

Portmarnock Resort & Jameson Golf Links

Designed in conjunction with Stan Eby, the Bernhard Langer designed links opened for play in 1996. Despite being a modern course Jameson Golf Links is a classic links course in every sense of the word. It is perhaps little surprise given that it borders the classic links gem at Portmarnock, the two courses are owned and managed separately, that the layout is out of the very top drawer and guests are guaranteed a warm welcome and immaculately maintained layout.

Length: - Back tees: 6,514 - Front tees: 5,152 Par: 71 Architect: Bernhard Langer & Jeff Lynch Founded: 1995 Course type: Links

Founded in 1892, Malahide Golf Club is more than just a golfing institution; it's a testament to the enduring passion for the sport. Nestled in North County Dublin, this club boasts a remarkable history and is home to a challenging championship parkland course.

One of Malahide Golf Club's distinctive features is its remarkable course layout. Spanning 180 acres of lush woodlands, the club offers a 27-hole championship course divided into three distinct loops of 9 holes each.

During the early 1900s to counteract the threat of erosion from the Irish Sea the course, the club made a pivotal decision to relocate the course inland. This move not only saved the club from the clutches of the sea but also set the stage for a new era of golfing excellence at Malahide in 1920.

Length: - Back tees: 6,303 - Front tees: 5,481 Par: 70 Architect: Eddie Hackett Founded: 1892 Course type: Parkland

Feeling inspired?
Dublin is home to some of the greatest links and parkland courses in Ireland. Have a look at our wide range of packages.


Mark Jenkins avatar
Mark Jenkins

Head of UK & Ireland Sales

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