If Joe Carr is synonymous with Portmarnock Golf Club, then Christy O’Connor, Sr., another beloved Irish golfer is equally associated with the Royal Dublin Golf Club. O’Connor, granted life membership in 1988, served Royal Dublin for over 57 years, starting as club pro in 1959. Perhaps one of the most successful Irish pros, he competed in 10 Ryder Cups, 15 World Cups. The first Irish golfer to earn a five-figure pay day, he was inducted into The World Golf Hall of Fame in 2009.
The Dublin Golf Club was formed in 1885 and moved to its current site on Bull Island, a UNESCO nature reserve, in 1889. It was granted its “Royal” charter by Queen Victoria just three years later in 1891. It is a perfect starting location for a Dublin golf trip as it is only 3 miles from the city center and 20 minutes from the airport.
The course and the clubhouse both suffered during WWI, when it was taken over as a military and musketry training facility. While the course was almost destroyed, members still managed to play throughout 1914-1919, as there was no firing on Bank Holidays.
Today’s course is a traditional ‘out and back’ routing, over fairly flat linksland. It owes its masterful layout to a redesign by Harry Colt in 1920. Among other changes, he constructed new tees on 5, 7, 8 and 9, for better views over Dublin Bay.
Martin Hawtree did a superb job when he was tasked in the 2000s to bring the course up to modern standards, but maintain the values and legacy of Colt’s brilliance. The course now stretches a very respectable 7,269 yards from the tips. While the narrow fairways and devilishly placed bunkers make accuracy rather than length the key to scoring well.
Considered to be the spiritual home of The Irish Amateur Open, having hosted it from 2007-2016 consecutively. It was a favorite spot of famous avid and amateur golfers Bob Hope and Bing Crosby in the 1960s.
The Club has also played host to the world’s best professional golfers. In the three years 1983-85 that it hosted the Carroll’s Irish Open, it was won twice by Seve Ballesteros and the middle year by Bernard Langer.
A private member’s club it has the reputation of being one of the friendliest “Royal” clubs. It extends a warm Irish welcome to visiting golfers on the course and in the clubhouse for storied Irish craic and hospitality after the round. Royal Dublin is a “must play” on any Dublin golf itinerary.
Near Dublin, golf courses including Portmarnock, K Club, Druids Glen and European Golf Club are must plays. These can be enjoyed alongside the vibrant culture of the Republic of Ireland’s iconic capital city.
6 nights accommodation and 6 rounds of golf
Prices starting from $3,700
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