Mount Juliet topped the list of parkland courses in the biennial Backspin Magazine poll. Picture via http://www.mountjuliet.ieMount Juliet is Ireland’s best parkland and Portmarnock the top links in Backspin magazine’s biennial rankings.

Designed by Jack Nickalus and the venue of the WGC American Express Championship in 2002 and 2004, Mount Juliet tops the parkland list for the four year in row with 32 top votes from Backspin’s panel of 75 voters.

The big movers in the top-10 in the parkland category are the New Course at Headfort, which moved up two spots to sixth, the Faldo Championship Course at Lough Erne (up two places from ninth to seventh) and Malone, which moves up five spots to joint 10th with Carlow.

Portmarnock topped the links category for a second time, narrowly edging out the Dunluce links at Royal Portrush with Royal County Down and The European Club remaining at third and fourth.

According to Backspin, the voting panel includes “players with Ryder Cup, Walker Cup and Curtis Cup experience, Irish PGA members, amateur champions, top lady golfers, Irish amateur team captains, prominent administrators, members of the golf media and other respected personalities who are, quite simply, passionate about golf.”

According to Backspin:

Voting Format

Vital elements of BACKSPIN’s biennial Irish Golf Course Rankings poll are fairness and transparency. In fairness to all clubs we provide our voting panellists with a complete directory of links and parkland courses in the 32 counties. The two lists are set-out in alphabetical order on a county by county basis for easy reference.

Voters are asked to nominate, in order of preference, the fifteen courses in both categories that impress and delight them most. Special emphasis is placed on design, presentation, setting, challenge and the personal enjoyment factor.

BACKSPIN’S voting system awards points to golf clubs 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 - 50pts.

BACKSPIN’S TOP-30 IRISH PARKLAND COURSES (previous ranking in brackets)

1st 15595 pts Mount Juliet (1st)

2nd 11660 pts Adare (3rd)

3rd 10225 pts K Club - Palmer Course (2nd)

4th 8475 pts Killarney - Killeen (4th)

5th 8025 pts Druids Glen (5th)

6th 6035 pts Headfort - New Course (8th)

7th 5805 pts Lough Erne - Faldo Course (9th)

8th 5735 pts Killeen Castle (6th)

9th 5695 pts The Heritage Resort (7th)

10th 4960 pts Carlow (10th) & 4960 pts Malone (15th)

12th 4635 pts Fota Island Resort (12th)

13th 4285 pts Carton - Montgomerie Course (13th)

14th 3970 pts Concra Wood (17th)

15th 3950 pts Cork - Little Island (14th)

16th 2940 pts Slieve Russell (16th)

17th 2695 pts Hermitage (18th)

18th 2525 pts Carton - O’Meara Course (20th)

19th 2405 pts Belvoir Park (19th)

20th 2210 pts Bunclody Golf & Fishing Club (21st)

21st 1765 pts K Club - Smurfit Course (23rd)

22nd 1730 pts Mullingar (31st)

23rd 1690 pts Luttrellstown Castle (26th)

24th 1665 pts Palmerstown Stud (11th)

25th 1345 pts Tullamore (30th)

26th 1315 pts Portumna

27th 1185 pts Powerscourt - East

28th 1050 pts Westport

29th 1040 pts Tramore

30th 975 pts Woodenbridge



1st 14730 pts Portmarnock (2nd)

2nd 14615 pts Royal Portrush - Dunluce (1st)

3rd 12165 pts Royal County Down (3rd)

4th 10450 pts The European Club (4th)

5th 10175 pts Lahinch - Old (6th)

6th 9965 pts Waterville (5th)

7th 9955 pts Co. Louth / Baltray (8th)

8th 9480 pts Ballybunion - Old (7th)

9th 7445 pts Co. Sligo / Rosses Point (9th)

10th 5255 pts The Island (10th)

11th 4795 pts Ballyliffin - Glashedy (11th)

12th 4405 pts Tralee (13th)

13th 3530 pts The Royal Dublin (12th)

14th 3180 pts Portstewart - Strand (17th)

15th 3165 pts Doonbeg (14th)

16th 3145 pts Enniscrone (15th)

17th 2435 pts Ballyliffin - Old (18th)

18th 2285 pts Old Head Golf Links (16th)

19th 2185 pts Carne Golf Links (24th)

20th 1940 pts The Links Portmarnock (22nd)

21st 1850 pts Rosapenna - Sandy Hills (20th)

22nd 1735 pts Donegal - Murvagh (21st)

23rd 1645 pts Connemara (19th)

24th 820 pts Dooks (26th)

25th 800 pts Seapoint (25th)

26th 670 pts Rosslare

27th 620 pts Castlerock

28th 490 pts Arklow

29th 460 pts Rosapenna Old

30th 390 pts Portsalon