Golf Digest Ireland Top 100 for 2009
 Portmarnock Golf Club. Picture via Portmarnock GC

Portmarnock Golf Club. Picture via Portmarnock GC

Portmarnock has replaced Royal County Down as Ireland’s top course in the 2009 Golf Digest Ireland poll.

Just two parkland courses made the top 10 with Adare Manor the top ranked course at No 7.

The European Club, which opened less than 17 years ago, is now third ahead of Royal Portrush and Ballybunion Old. Kilkenny is the top new entry at 57th with the biggest movers in terms of their ranking being Rosapenna (Sandy Hills) up 27 places to 17th and Seapoint, which leapt 23 spots to 27th. Tramore is up 37 places to 54th, the biggest leap of any club in the top 100.

Top-100 for 2008 and 2010

“Portmarnock’s promotion was based on key, course improvements, especially to run-off areas on several greens,” said Dermot Gilleece, editor of Golf Digest Ireland, and one of the eight-person selection panel.

This year’s panel was modified with the addition of Garth McGimpsey, winner of 14 championships in a glittering career, and Declan Branigan, who won six championships and is now acknowledged as a leading agronomist and course-designer.

The panel: Declan Branigan (agronomist and course-designer), Mark Gannon (Royal and Ancient selector), Michael McCumiskey (Secretary, PGA Irish Region), Garth McGimpsey (former Walker Cup captain), Ada O’Sullivan (former Curtis Cup captain), John Quigley (Association of Irish Golf Club Secretaries), Dermot Gilleece (Editor, Golf Digest Ireland). Chairman: Padraig O hUiginn.

Golf Digest Ireland Top 100 for 2009

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Portmarnock GC Aidan Bradley www.golfcoursephotography.com

1 Portmarnock

Position – Up 1

Where – Co. Dublin

Royal County Down2 Royal County Down

Position – Down 1

Where – Co. Down

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The European Club3 The European Club

Position – Up 2

Where – Co. Wicklow 

Royal Portrush4 Royal Portrush

Position – Up 5

Where – Co. Antrim

Ballybunion Golf Club5 Ballybunion (Old)

Position – Down 2

Where – Co. Kerry 

Waterville Golf Links6 Waterville

Position – Same

Where – Co. Kerry

Adare Golf Club7 Adare Manor

Position – Down 3 

Where – Co. Limerick

Lahinch Golf Club8 Lahinch

Position – Same

Where – Co. Clare

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County Louth Golf Club9 County Louth (Baltray)

Position –Down 2

Where – Co. Louth

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The K Club10 The K Club (Palmer Course)

Position – Same

Where – Co. Kildare

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Tralee

11 Tralee

Position – Up 2

Where – Co. Kerry

12 Mount Juliet

Position – Down 1

Where – Co. Kilkenny

13 Royal Dublin

Position – Up 1

Where – Co. Dublin

14 Killarney (Killeen Course)

Position – Down 2

Where – Co. Kerry

15 Ballyliffin (Glashedy Links)

Position – Up 2

Where – Co. Donegal

16 County Sligo (Rosses Point)

Position – Same

Where – Co. Sligo

17 Rosapenna (Sandy Hills)

Position – Up 27

Where – Co. Donegal

18 The Island

Position – Up 1

Where – Co. Dublin

19 The Heritage

Position – Down 4

Where – Co. Laois

20. Enniscrone

Position – Up 14

Where – Co. Sligo

21 Belmullet (Carne)

Position – Same

Where – Co. Mayo

22 Druids Glen

Position – Down 2

Where – Co. Wicklow

23 Fota Island

Position – Down 1

Where – Co. Cork

24 Portstewart (Strand)

Position – Down 1

Where – Derry

25 Portmarnock Links

Position – Same

Where – Co. Dublin 

26 Carton House (Montgomerie Course)

Position – Down 8

Where – Co. Kildare

27 Seapoint

Position – Up 23

Where – Co. Louth

28 Castlerock

Position – Up 3 

Where – Co. Londonderry

29 The Old Head of Kinsale

Position – Down 5

Where – Co. Cork

30. Headfort (New)

Position – Down 4

Where – Co. Meath

31 PGA National

Position – Down 4

Where – Co. Kildare

32 Carlow

Position – Down 2

Where – Co. Carlow

33 Malone

Position – Up 2

Where – Co Antrim

34 Doonbeg Links

Position – Down 5

Where – Co. Clare

35 Belvoir Park

Position – Up 1

Where – Co. Antrim

36 Slieve Russell

Position – Up 4

Where – Co. Cavan

37 Cork

Position – Same

Where – Co. Cork

38 Ballyliffin (Old Links)

Position – Up 7

Where – Co. Donegal

39 Dun Laoghaire

Position – Up 17

Where – Co. Wicklow

40 The K Club (Smurfit Course)

Position – Up 1

Where – Co. Kildare

41 Powerscourt (East Course)

Position – Up 2

Where – Co. Wicklow

42 Mount Wolseley

Position – Up 4

Where – Co. Carlow

43 Westport

Position – Up 5

Where – Co. Mayo

44 Knightsbrook

Position – Up 8

Where – Co. Meath

45 Portsalon

Position – Up 25

Where – Co. Donegal

46 Glasson

Position – Down 14

Where – Co. Westmeath

47 Carton House (O’Meara Course)

Position – Down 5

Where – Co. Kildare

48 Dundalk

Position – Down 10

Where – Co. Louth

49 Donegal (Murvagh Links)

Position – Down 10

Where – Co. Donegal

50 Rathsallagh

Position – Down 1

Where – Co. Wicklow

51 Dundrum House

Position – Up 4

Where – Co. Tipperary

52 Hermitage

Position – Down 1

Where – Co. Dublin

53 Dromoland Castle

Position – Same

Where – Co. Clare

54 Tramore

Position – Up 37

Where – Co. Waterford

55 Bantry Bay

Position – Up 20

Where – Co. Cork

56 Mullingar

Position – Down 23

Where – Co. Westmeath

57 Kilkenny

Position - NEW 

Where – Co. Kilkenny

58 Connemara

Position – Same 

Where – Co. Galway

59 Tullamore

Position – Down 12

Where – Co. Offaly

60 Hilton Templepatrick

Position – Down 3 

Where – Co. Down 

61 New Forest

Position – Up 1

Where – Co. Westmeath

62 Clandeboye

Position –Up 11

Where – Co. Down

63 Castleknock

Position – Up 11

Where – Dublin

64 St. Margaret’s

Position – Down 4

Where – Co. Dublin

65 Grange

Position – Up 4

Where – Dublin

66 Castle

Position – Up 12

Where – Dublin

67 Dooks

Position – Down 13

Where – Co. Kerry

68 Shannon

Position – Down 1

Where – Co. Clare

69 Woodbrook

Position – Down 1

Where – Co. Wicklow

70 South County

Position - NEW

Where - Dublin

71 Royal Belfast

Position – Up 5

Where – Co. Down

72 Killarney (Mahony’s Point)

Position – Down 9

Where – Co. Kerry

73 Roganstown

Position – Down 7

Where – Co. Dublin

74 Skellig Bay

Position – Down 3

Where – Co. Kerry

75 Esker Hills

Position – Down 10

Where – Co. Offaly

76 Athlone

Position – Down 12

Where – Co. Roscommon

77 Rosslare

Position – Down 16

Where – Co. Wexford

78 Gowran Park

Position – Up 6

Where – Co. Kilkenny

79 Ring of Kerry

Position – Down 7

Where – Co. Kerry

80 Narin and Portnoo

Position – Same

Where – Co. Donegal

81 Castle Dargan

Position - NEW

Where – Co. Sligo

82 Galway

Position – Up 7

Where – Galway

83 Arklow

Position – Up 16

Where – Co. Wicklow

84 Laytown and Bettystown

Position – Down 3

Where – Co. Meath

85 Ashbourne

Position - NEW

Where – Co. Meath

86 Moyvalley

Position – Down 7

Where – Co. Kildare

87 Ballybunion (Cashen)

Position – Down 10

Where – Co. Kerry

88 Castlecomer

Position - NEW

Where – Co. Kilkenny

89 Castletroy

Position - NEW

Where – Co. Limerick

90 Galgorm Castle

Position – Down 2

Where – Co. Antrim

91 Monkstown

Position – Down 6

Where – Co. Cork

92 Curragh

Position – Down 2

Where – Co. Kildare

93 Rathcore

Position – Down 10

Where – Co. Meath

94 Limerick County

Position - NEW

Where – Co. Limerick

95 Blainroe

Position – Up 1

Where – Co. Wicklow

96 Ballinrobe

Position – Up 1

Where – Co. Mayo

97 Malahide

Position – Up 3

Where – Co. Dublin

98 Portarlington

Position – NEW

Where – Co Laois

99 Lee Valley

Position – Down 4

Where – Co. Cork

100 Waterford

Position – Down 13

Where – Co. Waterford