Lahinch Golf Club was originally laid out in 1892, before the most famous golf architect of the time, Old Tom Morris, designed a new links course that opened in 1894 – declaring it to be the finest natural course he had ever seen. Later, world-renowned golf architects Dr. Alister MacKenzie and Martin Hawtree also left their mark on the Old Course.
These days, Lahinch Golf Course is continually rated among the top 50 in the world in most prestigious rankings, and its collection of par 4s is considered the finest in Ireland. It also forms part of the South West Ireland Golf Tour, where enthusiasts have the opportunity to play the finest golf courses in the region.
Members of the Black Watch Regiment of the British Army set out in the early 1890s to identify a site among the great sand dunes of southwest Ireland that would be a suitable tract for a proper links golf course. Interesting to note that their first choice was the site where Doonbeg now sits, but at the time the railroad did not go close enough to make it feasible. Their second choice was the area where the famed Lahinch Golf Club is now situated.
While two other world renowned golf architects, Dr. Alister MacKenzie and Martin Hawtree have also left their mark on the Old Course, two of Morris’ original holes “Klondike,” the 4th a 475-yard par 5 and the world famous 3rd “Dell”, a 154-yard, basically blind par 3 remain relatively untouched since they were first played in 1894.
Dr. Mackenzie’s main contribution in 1927 was making many of the green complexes into triple-tiered masterpieces. Requiring an accurate approach shot to the correct level in order to score. MacKenzie took the lessons learned at Lahinch and went on to design equally highly regarded courses around the world including; Augusta National, Royal Melbourne, and Cypress Point.
In 1999, Martin Hawtree, the R&A’s ‘go-to man’ for Open Rota course tweaks and redesigns, was brought in to modernize the Old Course. He brilliantly rerouted four holes into the dunes closer to the Atlantic Ocean, rebuilt 16 tees, and completely reshaped 14 green complexes back to MacKenzie’s original intention, while leaving “Klondike” and “Dell” untouched.
Be sure and be on the lookout for the famous Lahinch goats who double as weather forecasters. If the forecast for the day is fair, they will be found on the course, if the day calls for Irish liquid sunshine, they tend to congregate close to the clubhouse.
For a great 36-hole day, play Lahinch Golf Club’s second course – The Castle, named after the ruins of the 14th century Dough Castle on the site. While not as challenging as its sister course it has all the attributes of a true links course with wonderful views and fabulous greens that won’t break the budget.
Lahinch is a private club with a large national and overseas membership that graciously allows limited visitor play. Interest over the years has grown tremendously and in order to avoid disappointment we suggest planning your visit at least a year ahead of your visit.
Play Lahinch Golf Course as part of a South West Ireland golf tour. Include Ballybunion, Waterville, Old Head and Tralee, on a golf package filled with the best coastline golf courses that South West Ireland has to offer.
6 nights accommodation and 5 rounds of golf
Prices starting from $4,100
Lahinch has two courses; the Old Course and the Castle Course. The Old Course is an 18-hole links course from 1892 designed by Old Tom Morris, Alister MacKenzie, and Martin Hawtree. It is known as one of the best links courses in the world and has hosted several international and national tournaments, including 2019’s Irish Open.
The Castle Course is an 18-hole parkland course built in 1975 and contrasts its older sibling with views of Lahinch Castle and River Inagh.
The closest airport to Lahinch Golf Club is Shannon Airport, which is 38 kilometers away by road, and will take about 45 minutes to drive. Though small, Shannon Airport is an international airport serving the west of Ireland and offers flights from North American and European destinations.
Some airlines operating at Shannon Airport include Delta Air, United Airlines, Ryanair, Aer Lingus, and American Airlines.
In 2023, from 17th April to 30th September, the green fees were €275 for the Old Course and €60 for the Castle Course. In October, the fees are €225 for the Old Course and €50 for the Castle Course.