Donegal Golf Club, more commonly referred to as ‘Murvagh’ in the golf community, is a masterful collaboration of Eddie Hackett and Pat Ruddy – two of Ireland’s finest links golf architects. This spectacular course sits on the Murvagh Peninsula against the beautiful backdrop of Donegal Bay and the Bluestock Mountains.
The outward nine loops anticlockwise with the inward nine playing clockwise, and it plays to an unusual par 73 for both men and women, with five par 5s, four par 3s, and nine par 4s. Both the stunning setting and monster championship layout of Donegal Golf Course make it an incredibly popular stop on our North West Ireland Golf Tour.
The original Hackett design opened in 1973 and then Pat Ruddy updated and modernized the course in 1992 and 2017. Ruddy lengthened the course to a stout 7,450 yards from the tips and bettered at least 11 of the original holes.
With the overall length and constant ever changing wind as a hazard on its own, the course now features 5 sets of tees. Plus a beginner tee to bring more people and juniors into the game and provide enjoyment for every skill level of golfer.
Despite its length it is an easy walk with no dramatic elevation changes. Even without large elevation changes the stunning views, especially on the outward loop, are enough to distract even the lowest handicappers.
The signature 5th hole, aptly named, ‘Valley of Tears’ having caused a few, even from the professionals. A 195-yard par 3, requiring a semi-blind tee shot to a narrow plateau green defended by bunkers in front and below.
Darren Clarke, a longtime member, admits Donegal Golf Club is ‘One of my favorite courses in the world.’ Be sure and allow some time on your North West Golf trip to also go shopping in the town of Donegal and bring home some of their famous tweed.
North West Ireland is a hidden gem of a golfing destination. In comparison to better know tours of Northern Ireland or the South West, unearth some of the finest links on the emerald Isle.
7 nights accommodation and 5 rounds of golf
Prices starting from $4,750
Donegal has one 18-hole championship links course, stretching over 7400 yards from the tips. Eddie Hackett designed the course, later revamped by Pat Ruddy, and has hosted many national and professional tournaments. It is widely regarded as one of the best courses in Ireland and is isolated by the Bluestack Mountains and a forest of evergreens.
The distance between Knock Airport and the Donegal Golf Club is just a little over 117 kilometers by road, translating to 1 hour and 30 minutes of driving.
You can also take an Expressway bus from Knock Airport to Donegal Town Center. The bus runs five times daily and takes 2 hours and 30 minutes. The fare is about €14 – €20, and from the Donegal Town Center, you can take a local bus or taxi to the golf club, which is about 10 kilometers away.
To book a tee time at Donegal Golf Club, you can conveniently arrange it through Premier Golf as part of a Northwest Ireland golf package.
At Donegal Golf Club, the green fees depend on the season and day of the week you play. From November to March, the fees are €50, €30, and €40 for 18 holes, students (with an ID and under 23), and societies (12+ golfers), respectively.
In April and October (the shoulder months of the high season), the fees are €120, €170, €40, and €75 for 18 holes, 36 holes, students (with ID, under 23), and societies (12+) respectively.
From May to September (the proper high season), those same fees break down as follows: €175, €240, €45, and €100 for 18 holes, 36 holes, students (with ID, under 23), and societies (12+) respectively.
In addition to the student, societies, and 36 holes discounts, golfers can also get husband and wife pairs discounts.