A change at the top in the links category and four new entries in the top-30 in the parkland category are the highlights of the 2010 Irish Golf Courses Rankings results determined by a panel of 54 voters and announced in the Spring issue of Backspin Golf Magazine.
In the links category, Portmarnock Golf Club has reversed positions with Royal Co. Down, which topped Backspin's inaugural poll two years ago. Royal Portrush and The European Club have retained their third and fourth positions.
Portmarnock received 12 top votes (250 pts), 10 votes of 225pts and 9 votes of 200pts. Royal Co. Down received 13 top votes (250 pts), 11 votes of 225pts and 5 votes of 200pts.
In the parkland category there's no change in the top-4 with Mount Juliet topping the poll again while K Club Palmer, Adare and Druids Glen retain their positions. The top-6 courses in the parkland category have all staged international events, reflecting the quality of Ireland's parkland jewels.
Mount Juliet received 15 top votes (250 pts), 10 votes of 225pts and 5 votes of 200pts. K Club Palmer received 10 top votes (250 pts), 7 votes of 225pts and 7 votes of 200pts.
New entries in the parkland category are Killeen Castle (11th), Lough Erne (13th), Concra Wood (23rd) and Bunclody (27th).
The only club to receive votes from all 54 voters was Co. Louth (Baltray).
Two years ago, Backspin Golf Magazine broke fresh ground by becoming the first golf publication to treat Irish links and parkland courses separately.
Voters were asked to nominate their 15 favourite courses in both categories. Emphasis was placed on design, presentation, setting, challenge and the personal enjoyment factor.
Points were awarded in both categories as follows:
1st - 250; 2nd - 225; 3rd - 200; 4th - 175; 5th - 150; 6th - 140; 7th - 130; 8th - 120; 9th - 110; 10th - 100; 11th - 90; 12th - 80; 13th - 70; 14th - 60; 15th - 50.
2010 Voting Panellists
Irish professionals: Raymond Burns, Eamonn Darcy, Eddie Doyle, John Dwyer, Noel Fox, Peter Hanna, George Henry, David Higgins, Liam Higgins, Francis Howley, Ian Kerr, Graeme McDowell, Brendan McGovern, Harry McKinney, Christy O'Connor Jnr, Peter O'Hagan, Denis O'Sullivan, Des Smyth, Gordon Smyth, Paul Thompson, Simon Thornton and Philip Walton
Irish amateurs: Keith Bardon, Michael Burns, Barry Doyle, Eddie Dunne, Jody Fanagan, Mark Gannon, Loyal Goulding, Niall Goulding, Dougie Heather, Tony Heverin, Ken Kearney, Enda Lonergan, Mary McKenna, Adrian Morrow, Christy Moylan, Pat Murray, Sheena McElroy (O'Brien-Kenney), Paddy O'Looney, Eddie Power, Eileen Rose Power and Niall Quinn.
Golfing media: Pat Cashman, Cathal Dervan, Paul Gallagher, Brian Keogh, Dan Murphy, Ewen Murray, Declan O'Donoghue, Philip Quinn, John Redmond, Colm Smith and Liam Spratt
Top 25 Links/ Shoreline:
1st Portmarnock - 10,090 pts
2nd Royal County Down - 9665
3rd Royal Portrush (Dunluce) - 9460
4th The European Club - 7775
5th County Louth (Baltray) - 7480
6th Waterville -7385
7th Ballybunion (Old) - 7345
8th Lahinch (Old) - 6910
9th County Sligo (Rosses Point) - 4785
10th The Island - 3470
11th The Royal Dublin - 3205
12th Doonbeg - 3200
13th Tralee - 2865
14th Ballyliffin (Glashedy) - 2440
15th Enniscrone - 2330
16th Ballyliffin (Old) - 2255
17th Old Head Kinsale - 1720
18th Portstewart (Strand) - 1665
19th Connemara - 1510
20th Donegal (Murvagh) - 1215
21st Belmullet (Carne) - 960
22nd Portmarnock Hotel & Links - 910
23rd Rosapenna (Sandy Hills) - 900
24th Dooks - 690
25th Rosslare - 650
A total of 44 golf courses received votes in this category
Top 35 Parkland:
1st Mount Juliet - 9760 pts
2nd K Club (Palmer course) - 8295
3rd Adare - 7955
4th Druids Glen - 6115
5th Killarney (Killeen) - 5515
6th The Heritage - 4955
7th Palmerstown Stud - 4855 (formerly PGA National)
8th Headfort (New) - 4055
9th Carton (Montgomerie) - 3410
10th Carlow - 3250
11th Killeen Castle - 3245
12th Fota Island - 3230
13th Lough Erne - 2890
14th Cork (Little Island) - 2415
15th Malone - 2405
16th Slieve Russell - 2230
17th K Club (Smurfit) - 2115
18th Carton (O'Meara) - 1725
19th Hermitage - 1575
20th Westport - 1460
21st Belvoir Park - 1450
22nd Killarney (Mahony's Point) - 1345
23rd Concra Wood - 1325
24th Mullingar - 1160
25th Tullamore - 1130/Luttrellstown Castle - 1130
27th Bunclody - 1090
28th Mount Wolseley - 980
29th Rathsallagh - 920
30th Grange - 845
31st Tramore - 810
32nd Glasson - 735
33rd Knightsbrook - 730
34th Shannon - 670
35th Powerscourt (West) - 655