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Irish Golfer Magazine Top 100 Irish Course Ranking 2019

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Everyone loves rankings. That said they are the cause of much debate and argument across golf clubs as every golfer has their favourite. 

Irish Golfer Magazine are delighted to announce our 2019 Irish Golf Course Ranking….so what’s new for 2019? 

Well, having added two new members to the voting panel this has led inevitably to some changes in the list. More opinions means more discussion and more discussion leads to a better list – well in this case anyway!

We have some new entries too with the highest one being the newly re-opened Golf Course at Adare Manor and it now separates some of our best known and most famous links courses at the top end of the list.  Those that have been to the new incarnation of what was arguably already the best parkland course in the country will understand why we have it where we do and those that haven’t seen it….well you simply have to add it to your list.

Other new entries include Corballis, which we are delighted to see get recognition for all the hard work they have put in, as well as Faithlegg and Dundalk who have also come into the list for 2019.

There have been some big movers within the list too with the extensive work undertaken at Ardglass seeing it climb significantly while improvements at Dun Laoghaire, Tulfarris and Royal County Down (Annesley) also gave us cause to move them up the rankings.

In regards to the criteria, you will find them on them below and these have remained the same as last year, with each panel member ranking each course on the basis of these criteria.

Congratulations to the clubs included and commiserations to those that missed out. 

The Ups and Downs from 2018

1. Royal Portrush – Up 1

2. Portmarnock – Down 1

3. The Golf Course at Adare Manor – New Entry

4. Lahinch – Same

5. Royal County Down – Down 2

6. County Louth – Up 1

7. The Island – Up 1

8. Waterville – Down 2

9. Ballybunion (Old) – Down 4

10. The European – Same

11. Tralee – Down 2

12. County Sligo – Down 1

13. Ballyliffin (Glashedy) – Down 1

14. Enniscrone – Down 1

15. Trump International Doonbeg – Up 4

16. K Club (Palmer) – Down 1

17. Carne – Down 3

18. Portsalon – Down 2

19. Mount Juliet – Up 1

20. Royal Dublin – Down 2

21. Ballyliffin (Old) – Down 4

22. Killeen Castle – Same

23. Slieve Russell – Same

24. Donegal – Down 3

25. Portstewart (Strand) – Up 2

26. Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links – Down 1

27. Dooks – Down 1

28. Fota Island – Down 4

29. Lough Erne – Same

30. Narin & Portnoo – Down 2

31. Old Head – Down 1

32. Connemara – Up 1

33. Rosapenna (Sandy Hills) – Down 2

34. Carton House (Montgomerie) – Down 2

35. Carlow – Up 1

36. Luttrellstown Castle – Down 1

37. Cork – Same

38. Royal Portrush (Valley) – Same

39. Druids Glen – Down 5

40. Killarney (Killeen) – Down 1

41. Castlerock – Down 1

42. Headfort (New) – Down 1

43. Galway Bay – Up 9

44. Strandhill – Up 1

45. K Club (Smurfit) – Up 6

46. Rosapenna (Old Tom) – Down 3

47. Malone – Down 1

48. Belvoir Park – Down 6

49. Powerscourt (West) – Down 2

50. Portumna – Down 1

51. Ballybunion (Cashen) – Down 3

52. The Heritage – Down 8

53. Galgorm Castle – Up 6

54. Tullamore – Up 6

55. New Forest – Down 2

56. Hermitage – Same

57. Castle – Up 8

58. Carton House (O’Meara) – Down 4

59. Concra Wood – Down 4

60. Dromoland Castle – Down 10

61. Rathsallagh – Down 4

62. Ardglass – Up 15

63. Rosslare – Down 5

64. Grange – Up 7

65. Bunclody – Up 1

66. Dun Laoghaire – Up 18

67. Royal Belfast – Up 6

68. Castlemartyr – Up 1

69. Galway – Down 2

70. Palmerstown House Estate – Down 9

71. St. Margaret’s – Down 8

72. St. Anne’s – Down 10

73. Arklow – Down 5

74. Esker Hills – Down 2

75. Moyvalley – Down 11

76. Westport – Up 3

77. Farnham Estate – Up 1

78. Balbriggan – Up 9

79. Tulfarris – Up 12

80. Dingle – Up 10

81. Mount Wolseley – Down 11

82. Powerscourt (East) – Down 7

83. Killarney (Mahony’s Point) – Down 7

84. Headfort (Old) – Up 4

85. Macreddin – Down 11

86. Seapoint – Down 1

87. Laytown & Bettystown – Down 1

88. Royal County Down (Annesley) – Up 10

89. Mullingar – Down 6

90. Corballis – New Entry

91. North West – Down 9

92. Naas – Up 1

93. Tramore – Down 4

94. Hilton Templepatrick – Down 14

95. Royal Curragh – Down 3

96. Glasson – Down 2

97. Clandeboye (Dufferin) – Down 16

98. Faithlegg – New Entry

99. Castletroy – Down 2

100. Dundalk – New Entry

The Ranking Categories

  • Course design & layout (Weighting 35%)

Do the par 3’s play to different points of the compass: Is there variety in length and layout: Are there risk reward holes: Is there strategic use of bunkering / false fronts / depth perception etc: Are there multiple tee boxes for variety and player categories: Green sizing, shaping and contouring: Fairway shaping and slopes: Types of grass used: Use of natural contours in the land: Strategic routing for minimal space used (cost saving in long term)

  • Quality of test / playability (Weighting 25%)

Is the course fair (can it be fair) for most players: Does the course test every player: Does the course call for a variety of tee shots / iron shots throughout the round: Is the rough penal or are there various cuts: Are tee boxes rotated to affect different landing areas

  • Condition & presentation (Weighting 20%)

How is the course presented – Fairways / tee boxes / greens / rough / common areas: Are the club doing a good job on conditioning: Are there areas of obvious problems (such as a green or tee box in need of repair / bunker sanding issues / overgrown trees / rough being too dense or too long): Are there areas which need attention (such as divot infested tee boxes / lots of pitch marks on greens): Are there bins on the course – are they emptied

  • Club facilities & Visitor Experience (Weighting 10%) 

Clubhouse facilities (lockers / restaurant / bar / showers etc.): Pro Shop facilities (shop / clothing / refreshments / equipment): Practice facilities (putting green / chipping green / practice areas): On course facilities (caddies / buggies / halfway house / toilets): Easy and helpful booking procedure: Friendly staff: Welcomed on arrival: Value for money

  • Visual Appeal (Weighting 10%)

Is there a wow factor: Can you remember holes visually after playing the course: Would you come back to play just for the view / visual appeal

The Panel

John Shortt – Chairman – Editor of Irish Golfer Magazine

Peter Finnan – Digital Editor of Irish Golfer Magazine

Kevin Markham – Golf writer, photographer and author of two books on Irish golf

Ally McIntosh – Golf course architect, IGM golf course design columnist

John Kelly – Former Irish PGA Order of Merit Winner / Chairman of the Irish Branch of the PGA

Damien McGrane – Former Irish PGA Order of Merit holder / European Tour member

Liam Kelly – Golf & General Sports writer. IGM Columnist

Maria Dunne – Recently retired former Irish international & Curtis Cup player

Read the full article in the January 2019 Edition – CLICK COVER BELOW TO LAUNCH



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