Golf Digest Ireland Top 100 Ranking 2014
 The 18th green at Portmarnock Golf Club. Picture  www.portmarnockgolfclub.ie

The 18th green at Portmarnock Golf Club. Picture www.portmarnockgolfclub.ie

Portmarnock has replaced Royal County Down as Ireland’s No 1 course in the annual Golf Digest Ireland Top 100 with Adare Manor retaining its status as the top parkland course.

According to publishers Walton Media, 2,300 golfers applied to the Golf Digest Readers Panel and 80 golfers of differing abilitied from all corners of Ireland were selected to contribute, review courses and submit their opinions, making up 30% of the total vote

At the start of this year, Golf Digest Ireland wrote to every Irish club with an 18-hole course and asked if any upgrade work has been undertaken over the previous 12 months. No fewer than 74 golf clubs wrote back this year, outlining details of various projects they had addressed.

That list, combined with the Top 100 from the previous year and the leading 20 golf clubs, which did not make last year’s rankings, were then scheduled for consideration and review. From this comprehensive list, the final ranking was made.

Pádraig O’hUiginn, the former Chairman of Fáilte Ireland, has continued in the role as chairman and for the latest rankings, he has been joined by Eddie Connaughton (Agronomist), Kate McCann (former Irish international), Valerie Hassett (Munster Interprovincial), Ally McIntosh (GDI course design columnist), John Kelly (PGA professional and current PGA Order of Merit winner), Dougie Heather (former chairman of International Sports Management and former Irish International golfer), Linton Walsh (Editor of Golf Digest Ireland), Alan McDonnell (Head Greenkeeper at Adare Manor) and Mark MaGowan (PGA Professional).

New additions this year were Michelle McGreevy (former Irish International), Kevin Morris (PGA Professional) and Rory Fitzgerald (Readers Panelist).

The readers panel undertook their briefing at Knightbook Hotel and Spa Resort on a beautiful March day. These golfers went on to generate over 1,200 reports and ranking scores on golf clubs around the country. These reports and scores were discussed with all panel members and gave a very valuable insight and added dimension to the process, through the eyes of every-day golfers.

In the final ranking there were small, but significant, moves this year inside the Top 10, but the biggest moves came higher up the list: Ballybunion Cashen Course (up 13 places), Esker Hills (up 10 places), and some notable new entries such as Headfort – Old Course (in at 93).

The top parkland course, Adare Manor, has maintained its position, but the top links course and overall top ranked course in Ireland has been awarded to Portmarnock, with Royal County Down slipping one place back to second place.

The scoring system employed to assess golf clubs was as follows:

  • Shot making/variety 20 points
  • Design variety 10 points
  • WOW factor 10 points
  • Memorability 10 points
  • Condition 10 points
  • Playability 10 points
  • Degree of difficulty/fairness 10 points

Golf Digest Volvo Top 100 Ranked Golf Courses In Ireland 2014

1 Portmarnock Position: up 1

2 Royal County Down Position: down 1

3 Royal Portrush (Dunluce) Position: same

4 Waterville Position: same

5 Lahinch (Old) Position: same

6 Ballybunion (Old) Position: same

7 Tralee Position: up 1

8 Co Louth (Baltray) Position: up 1

9 The European Club Position: down 2

10 Adare Manor Position: Same

11 Ballyliffin Glashedy Links Position: up 1

12 Co Sligo (Rosses Point) Position: down 1

13 Enniscrone Position: Same

14 The Island Position: Same

15 Mount Juliet Position: Up 1

16 Carne Golf Links (Belmullet) Position: Up 4

17 Portstewart (Strand) Position: Down 2

18 Old Head Golf Links Position: Up 4

19 Killeen Castle Position: Down 2

20 Donegal (Murvagh Links) Position: Down 2

21 Ballyliffin Old Links Position: Same

22 Rosapenna (Sandy Hills) Position: Up 6

23 K Club (Palmer) Position: Down 4

24 Doonbeg Links Position: Up 2

25 Portsalon Position: Same

26 Portmarnock Links Position: Down 3

27 The Royal Dublin Position: Down 3

28 Lough Erne Position: Up 1

29 Carlow Position: Down 2

30 Dooks Position: Up 2

31 Carton House (Montgomerie) Position: Down 1

32 Fota Island Position: Up 5

33 Cork Position: Down 2

34 Narin & Portnoo Position: Up 4

35 Headfort (New) Position: Up 1

36 Druids Glen Position: Up 3

37 Rosapenna (Old Tom Morris) Position: Down 3

38 Castlerock Position: Down 3

39 Killarney (Killeen) Position: Down 6

40 Slieve Russell Position: Up 1

41 Concra Wood Position: Down 1

42 Connemara Position: Up 2

43 Seapoint Position: Same

44 Malone Position: Up 8

45 Palmerstown House Position: Up 5

46 Carton House (O’Meara) Position: Same

47 The Heritage Position: Up 1

48 Royal Portrush (Valley) Position: Up 7

49 K Club (Smurfit) Position: Down 7

50 Belvoir Park Position: Up 1

51 Tramore Position: Down 4

52 Luttrellstown Castle Position: Down 7

53 Portumna Position: Up 1

54 Bunclody Position: Up 3

55 Hermitage Position: Up 3

56 Dun Laoghaire Position: Down 7

57 Arklow Position: Up 4

58 Powerscourt (West) Position: Down 5

59 Castletroy Position: Same

60 Dromoland Position: Up 5

61 Royal Belfast Position: Up 2

62 Clandeboye Position: Up 4

63 Westport Position: Up 1

64 Glasson Position: Down 8

65 Tullamore Position: Up 5

66 Ballybunion (Cashen) Position: Up 13

67 Farnham Position: Down 7

68 Powerscourt (East) Position: Same

69 Rosslare Position: Up 7

70 Mount Wolseley Position: Down 8

71 Rathsallagh Position: Down 2

72 Esker Hills Position: Up 10

73 Castlemartyr Position: Down 1

74 Shannon Position: Down 1

75 Druids Heath Position: Down 8

76 Strandhill Position: Down 2

77 Galgorm Castle Position: Up 9

78 Dingle Links Position: Up 3

79 Mullingar Position: Up 6

80 Dundalk Position: Down 9

81 Ballinrobe Down 1

82 Laytown & Bettystown Position: Down 5

83 Grange Position: Down 5

84 Galway Bay Position: Up 3

85 Galway Position: Up 3

86 Castle Position: Down 3

87 St. Annes Position: Down 3

88 Knightsbrook Position: up 4

89 Ardglass Position: Down 14

90 Balbriggan Position: Down 1

91 Woodenbridge Position: Up 9

92 Tulfarris Position: Down 1

93 Headfort (Old) Position: NEW

94 Kirkistown Castle Position: Same

95 Moyola Park Position: NEW

96 Athlone Position: Up3

97 Killarney (Mahony’s Point) Position: Down 2

98 Blainroe Position: NEW

99 Kilkenny Position: Down 2

100 Courtown Position: Down 10

Golf Digest Volvo Top 30 Ranked Links Courses In Ireland 2014

1 Portmarnock Position: up 1

2 Royal County Down Position: down 1

3 Royal Portrush (Dunluce) Position: same

4 Waterville Position: same

5 Lahinch (Old) Position: same

6 Ballybunion (Old) Position: same

7 Tralee Position: up 1

8 Co Louth (Baltray) Position: up 1

9 The European Club Position: down 2

10 Ballyliffin – Glashedy Links Position: up 1

11 Co Sligo (Rosses Point) Position: down 1

12 Enniscrone Position: Same

13 The Island Position: Same

14 Carne Golf Links (Belmullet) Position: Up 2

15 Portstewart (Strand) Position: Down 1

16 Donegal (Murvagh) Position: Down 1

17 Ballyliffin Old Links Position: Same

18 Rosapenna (Sandy Hills) Position: Up 4

19 Doonbeg Links Position: Up 2

20 Portsalon Position: Same

21 Portmarnock Links Position: Down 3

22 Royal Dublin Position: Down 3

23 Dooks Position: Same

24 Narin & Portnoo Position: Up 2

25 Rosapenna (Old Tom Morris) Position: Down 1

26 Castlerock Position: Down 1

27 Connemara Position: Up 1

28 Seapoint Position: Down 1

29 Royal Portrush (Valley) Position: Same

30 Arklow Position: Same

Golf Digest Volvo Top 30 Ranked Parkland Courses In Ireland 2014

1 Adare Manor Position: Same

2 Mount Juliet Position: Same

3 Old Head Golf Links Position: Up 2

4 Killeen Castle Position: Down 1

5 K Club (Palmer) Position: Down 1

6 Lough Erne Position: Up 1

7 Carlow Position: Down 1

8 Carton House (Montgomerie) Position: Same

9 Fota Island Position: Up 3

10 Cork Position: Down 1

11 Headfort (New) Position: Same

12 Druids Glen Position: Up 1

13 Killarney (Killeen) Position: Down 3

14 Slieve Russell Position: Up 1

15 Concra Wood Position: Down 1

16 Malone Position: Up 8

17 Palmerstown House Position: Up 5

18 Carton House (O’Meara) Position: Same

19 The Heritage Position: Up 1

20 K Club (Smurfit) Position: Down 4

21 Belvoir Park Position: Same

22 Tramore Position: Down 3

23 Luttrellstown Castle Position: Down 3

24 Portumna Position: Up 2

25 Bunclody Position: Up3

26 Hermitage Position: Up 3

27 Dun Laoghaire Position: Down 6

28 Powerscourt (West) Position: Down 3

29 Castletroy Position: Up 1

30 Dromoland Position: Up 4