Dublin has it all! The capital city of Ireland, it’s also the largest city in the country and is brimming with history, culture and an electric atmosphere that makes it one of the top destinations in Europe.
The city is also home to not only some of the best golf courses in Ireland, but some of the top rated golf courses on the planet!
If you’re coming from anywhere in the UK it’s either a very short flight, ferry or drive across to the Irish Capital. And if you’re coming from further afield, Dublin International Airport is close to the city centre and has hundreds of flights a day from all over the world. Altogether it adds up to the ideal ingredients for the perfect golf tip.
To help us pick out the best golf courses in and around Dublin, we enlisted the help from @opengolfireland
Open Golf Ireland was founded in 2015 by Aaron McAllorum and was developed to link Irish golf clubs to golfers through social media channels. Open Golf Ireland is a one stop shop for golf news, events, promotions, PGA Professional services and open golf competitions throughout the island of Ireland.
With that, let’s take a look at some of the best golf courses in Dublin.
1. Luttrellstown Castle Golf Club
Luttrellstown Castle Golf Club is not only one of the best in Dublin, but it’s one of the best in all of Ireland as well. This golf club is truly like none other with the fact that there’s a 600 year old castle that lies on its grounds in addition to the golf course.
The course itself is special too. Despite being a traditional naturally contoured parkland course, laid with water hazards, it features links-style bunkers which makes it quite unique.
From the tips it reaches a long 7,347 yards for a total par of 72. But don’t let it’s long distance discourage you from playing here though as there are different tees for all levels of golfers.
Luttrellstown Castle Golf Club really is a great introduction to Dublin. You get the best of both worlds with golf and history, which really connects you to the heritage of this unique place.
2. The Island Golf Club
The Island Golf Club is beautifully located on the coastline of Ireland and is only a fifteen minute drive from Dublin International airport. I even managed to get a quick afternoon round in here on a trip over to Dublin for a wedding! You can read my full review of the Island Golf Club here.
The course is a challenging links layout with high dunes layered with high fescue that punishes any shots that are offline. A unique location, the course is boarded by sea on three sides (and the reason it’s called The Island). If you’re not quite on your game, you may lose a ball or two, but the views of the ocean in the background will ensure you still have an enjoyable experience.
The Island recently remodelled the front 9, with some renovation of existing holes and the introduction of a Par 3 that rests in situ as if it has always been there.
The course has been honoured recently with hosting of the Amateur Championship in 2019 and Regional Open Qualifying from 2013 – 2017. The Island is also known to be a spot where some of the pros like to practice ahead of The Open Championship with players like Dustin Johnson having been spotted here.
3. Portmarnock Golf Club
Portmarnock Golf Club is another classic links golf course in Dublin that is right on the coastline. The course actually lies out on a peninsula with nothing on this land but the golf course itself, making for a pretty unique setting!
Portmarnock not only features in the top golf courses in Ireland, but it’s been consistently honoured as one of the best golf courses in the world. The course has played host to many prestigious championships including Irish Opens, The Walker Cup and The British Amaterur Championship. With the recent announcement that the club overwhelmingly voted to endorse the membership of women at Portmarnock, it is surely only a matter of time before an Irish Open returns to this world famous links.
As you would expect from a venue rated so highly, everything here oozes class from the practice facilities, the course itself, to the clubhouse. If you’re lucky enough to tee it up here, you’re in for a truly magical experience.
4. Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links
Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links is quite special for a few reasons with both the golf course and the hotel being top notch in Dublin. Many stay at the hotel just for the views of the coast let alone the golf course.
The links style golf course was designed by none other than Bernhard Langer, a three time winner of the Irish Open at other courses in the area. In fact, this was the very first time that Langer designed a links course, which makes it even more special.
If you’re looking for a night or two of relaxation outside of the hustle and bustle of Dublin centre, why not stay here and treat yourself to the spa and award winning restaurants after some top quality golf.
Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links as of 2021 boasts the honour of being a European Challenge Tour venue, hosting the ever popular and well contested Irish Challenge.
5. Royal Dublin Golf Club
Royal Dublin Golf Club is another course tucked into the coastline of Dublin and is classified as one of only 246 “true links courses” in the world. Featuring fairways lined with sand dunes, fescue grass and the course is a proud member of this exclusive group of courses.
It’s also one of the oldest golf courses in the area. It was first built in 1885 and has since hosted a number of championships including the Irish Open from 1983-1985. One of these tournaments was actually won by Bernhard Langer back in 1984, fitting since he designed the course above.
This golf course is also widely accepted as one of the greatest links courses in Ireland. With the history alone and the great views from the fairways, you should certainly try it out on your next outing.
A classic links design of nine out and nine in, the trip home can be a grind if the wind turns to greet you.
The best golf courses in and around Dublin
Whilst the above are our top picks within Dublin, the courses below are a little further out from the Irish Capital, but well worth grabbing the car for a 30 minute drive to reach!
6. Powerscourt Golf Club (Wicklow)
Going away from the coastline and back towards the countryside is Powerscourt Golf Club which gives a whole new feel to golf in Dublin. Out of the links style courses and into a traditional parkland option, this course is just as beautiful even without the extra sand.
Set at the heart of the Powerscourt Estate, the ever looming great Sugar Loaf mountain is in view from almost all 36 holes.
What also makes this venue great is the fact that there are two championship golf courses on offer, the East Course and the West Course. No matter which course you choose to play or if you end up playing both, you cannot go wrong playing at Powerscourt Golf Club.
7. Druids Glen Golf Club (Wicklow)
Another course set in the Wicklow countryside close by to the mountains, Druids Glen Hotel and Golf Resort offers a 5 star luxury hotel as well as one of the best golf courses in Ireland. Slightly different from the other courses nearer to Dublin, Druids Glen has a lot of elevation change from hole to hole and features a lot of water hazards which offers a different challenge to links golf.
The course is also one of the newest in the area relatively speaking as it was first opened back in 1995. And despite its short history, it’s already hosted the Irish Open for four years in a row emphasising the quality of the course!
So not only can you play here but you can think about all of the other great golfers that have played on this course as well. If you fancy another type of challenge there’s also another course (Druids Heath) on site too.
8. The European Club (Wicklow)
Pat Ruddy’s masterpiece. An hour’s drive away from Dublin City Centre, you’ll find The European Club. Situated in Wicklow coast, it’s different to the other courses we’ve recommended in the area in that it’s another traditional links course.
Despite there being plenty of other links options closer to Dublin, The European Club is well worth making the effort to visit as it has been a regular feature in both the top golf courses in the UK & Ireland as well as ranking as one of the best golf courses in the world!
Other than being one of the most picturesque links courses you’ll find on the planet, the course is pretty unique in that it offers 20 holes, with the traditional 18 hole course complimented with two additional par 3s! Five of the twenty holes run extremely close to the sea offering another unique experience for all golfers who make the trip. Watch out for the railway sleeper-faced bunkers!
9. The K Club (Kildare)
Tucked away in the Kildare countryside, just half an hour away from the centre of Dulin, The K Club is one of Ireland’s top golf clubs and one of the UK best golf resorts. Alongside a 5 star hotel, numerous restaurants and spa, you’ll find two amazing golf courses designed by Arnold Palmer.
The Palmer North course needs no introduction as one of the best in Europe having played host to the 2006 Ryder Cup alongside the 2016 Irish Open.
The Palmer South is a great track in its own right too, designed as an inland links course it features dramatic landscapes and dune style mouldings which make for a unique experience.
10. Carton House (Kildare)
Carton House is home to another two championship golf courses in the Kildare Countryside. Like the luxury on site resort, you can expect both the courses (Montgomerie and O’Meara) to be in pristine condition and of top quality.
Both courses offer excellent experiences, but the Montgomerie course, designed by Colin Montgomerie himself, just edges it for us. An inland links style course, it has all the features of some of the top links courses including strategically placed bunkers, fast greens and bouncing fairways lined with rough. The Montgomerie has hosted 3 Irish Opens which speaks volume for the quality on offer.
11. Headfort Golf Club (Meath)
Set near the picturesque town of Kells in Meath, Headfort Golf Club is one of the courses furthest away on our list at around a 50 minute drive from Dublin.
It’s well worth the drive over though as the club offers two championship golf courses for your pleasure. The New (Championship) course is regarded as the best of the two.
A classic parkland, it takes advantage of the incredible natural surroundings, dominated by the mature trees that protect the course and river that comes into play throughout the round.
12. Laytown and Bettystown Golf Links (Meath)
For over 100 years the Meath coast has been blessed with Laytown and Bettystown Golf Links. Set to the north of Dublin, you can reach the course in under 30 minutes from Dublin Airport, making it an excellent first stop in Ireland.
Like Royal Dublin, Laytown and Bettystown is regarded as one of the global 246 true links courses. A classic out and in layout, the design takes advantage of the spectacular setting, with natural dunes lined with high rough that protect the fairways that follow the natural contours of the land. The front 9 is a rollercoaster whereas the back 9 is all about keeping the ball under the wind as you make your way back home.
The course is a real Irish gem and a round can be picked up here much cheaper than some of the other nearby links options.
13. Rathcore Golf Club (Meath)
Set against the stunning backdrop of the rolling drumlins of Country Meath, Rathcore Golf & Country Club offers an excellent test of golf.
A fairly new course, having officially opened in 2004, the course is already regarded as one of the best in the area. A natural parkland in nature, the course makes the most of the setting where the wide tree lined fairways have been crafted around spectacular water features providing a challenge for all levels of golfers.
This is an exceptional course, lesser known than those in its proximity but unmissable.
No matter what course you select off of this list, you will truly be playing the best golf courses in Dublin.
Map of the best golf courses in and around Dublin
So there you have it. That rounds up our list of the best golf courses in Dublin (and within 1 hour of Dublin), with the help of Open Golf Ireland.
If you’re still not convinced and want to check out all the golf courses within reach of the city, then check out our Ireland golf course directory.
Otherwise here’s a summary of the courses.
- Luttrellstown Castle Golf Club
- The Island Golf Club
- Portmarnock Golf Club
- Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links
- Royal Dublin Golf Club
- Powerscourt Golf Club
- Druids Glen Golf Club
- The European Club
- The K Club
- Carton House
- Headfort Golf Club
- Laytown and Bettystown Golf Links
- Rathcore Golf Club