|View of Galgorm Castle's 3rd green.|
I've added the rankings from the last 3 and 4 years to show the major shifts! The top 10 have moved marginally in those years, but all have remained in the elite top 10.
County Sligo, Ballyliffin (Glashedy) and The Island are banging on the door, but for the past four years they haven't managed to break through. Adare remains the only parkland to make that elite Top 10.
On The Way Up
Those showing meteoric rises over the past five years include:
Ballybunion (Cashen), up 37 places to 56th.
Rosslare, up 29 places to 69th.
Narin & Portnoo, up 18 places to 33rd.
|Rosslare's 6th hole|
On The Way Down
On the other hand, courses like Dundalk, Grange, Ardglass and Westport are in a steady decline. So too is Killarney (Killeen), falling 17 places in five years from the lofty heights of 23rd to 40th. That's a surprising fall for a course that held the Irish Open so recently.
Down and Out
Meanwhile, five years ago, Bantry Bay (70) and Kilkenny (66) were going along nicely, but have since vanished from the top 100 altogether. Skellig Bay, too, has done an impressive disappearing act.
|Macreddin makes the cut... finally... at number 100.|
As always these rankings are going to get grief - no ranking is going to satisfy everybody - so take them with a pinch of salt and use them for 'discussion' purposes.
I'm sure you'll find plenty of surprises and omissions. Where's North West, Portarlington, Birr, Rathcore... the list goes on. Let's hear your thoughts as to what should go where, and why!!
Here's the Ranking for 2015:
|Royal County Down||1||2||1||1|
|The European Club||8||9||7||8|
|County Louth (Baltray)||10||8||9||9|
|County Sligo (Rosses Point)||11||12||11||11|
|The Old Head of Kinsale||14||18||22||24|
|Ballyliffin, Old Links||17||21||21||22|
|The K-Club, Palmer||21||23||19||20|
|Rosapenna, Sandy Hills||25||22||28||25||21|
|Fota Island, Deerpark||30||32||37||40|
|Carton House, Montgomerie||32||31||30||28|
|Narin And Portnoo||33||34||38||43||51|
|Rosapenna, Old Tom Morris||36||37||34||34|
|Carton House, O’Meara||45||46||46||49|
|Royal Portrush, Valley||48||48||55||58|
|The K-Club, Smurfit||49||49||42||41|
|Powerscourt, West Course||58||58||53||50||38|
|Powerscourt, East Course||66||68||68||75|
|Dingle, Ceann Sibeal||75||78||81||98|
|Laytown and Bettystown||80||82||77||77|
|Killarney, (Mahony’s Point)||95||97||95|
|The glories of County Sligo... views down the 17th.|
And, at the very least, let the rankings inspire you into trying out a new Irish golf course or two next year.
It's a shame Portarlington GC is not on this listReplyDelete
Well done Dunfanaghy for making the top 100. Cracking wee course with some classic links holes and always in great shape.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the book and the blog Kevin. I did a tour of the northern half of Ireland last year with two friends playing 13 courses in 14 days. Started at The island (fantastic), Co Louth, Portmarnock, RCD, Royal Belfast, then Portstewart, Royal Portrush, Ballyliffin, Rosapenna, Donegal, Enniscrone then Co Sligo. We loved them all and plan to return this Sept to play the south! If you'd like to join 3 Aussies please do! My comments - I thought Enniscrone, The Island and Co Sligo are all more enjoyable than Portmarnock. Cheers ScottReplyDelete
Greenore GC in Carlingford should be in the top 100! iv played many courses on the list, and I definitely think Greenore should be there. Currently me and a few friends are travelling around Ireland trying to play every course on the list. Baltray has been the pick of the bunch so far, amazing links course.ReplyDelete
Glad to see that Narin and Portnoo has moved up the lists to #33. Terrific course through the dunes and by the ocean with great views. Great fun to play.ReplyDelete
Can't believe Wicklow is not in there !!'ReplyDelete
I once had a chance to visit Waterville golf course. Its in amazing shape, i think it deserves even better score.ReplyDelete
Can you please tell us how you work out what makes a good course.
Is it condition of tees, fairways, bunkers greens ? Or is it length and does the pro shop or club house come into it.
There's a difference between what makes a good course and what makes a good golf experience... I'd include facilities (clubhouse, range, Pro shop etc), scenery/setting and green fees in the 'golf experience', but if you're asking what makes a good golf course then those factors don't matter (although scenery does to some extent). In my view, a 'good golf course' is one that thrills you one hole after another, that has a logical flow and makes full use of the space provided. I'd also say that a course shouldn't be made difficult just for the sake of it - I think Pat Ruddy's courses are very good but they're actually too tough for a lot of golfers. Conditioning is obviously important but you have to have a smart design that asks questions of the golfer. There are a couple of Dublin clubs in excellent condition but the holes/course lack interest. Essentially, what makes a good course for me is one that makes me want to go straight back to the 1st tee after I've played it and that makes me look forward to every shot and every hole.Delete
Was at Ballybunion this past April visiting a friend who lives near there. Very beautiful course. Truly something else.ReplyDelete