Golf Digest Volvo Top 100 Ranked Golf Courses in Ireland 2016
 Royal County Down

Royal County Down

The selections will infuriate many but it's that time of the year again and the “Golf Digest Volvo Top 100 Ranked Golf Courses in Ireland" for 2016 is out. It will not leave you indifferent.

There is little change at the upper end of the scale with Royal County Down, Portmarnock, Royal Portrush and Lahinch occupying the top four places and the rest of the big guns remaining unchanged or moving no more than a place or two.

No doubt Co Louth will feel they deserve a place in the Top 10 and it would certainly be among my favourites. But with some many great courses to choose from, numbering the best ones from 1 to 100 is a thankless task, no doubt. Thankfully, I have nothing to do with the process and like every other reader, I wonder why this favourite or that hasn't been given a mention or why others appear to rise higher with each passing year.

Suffice to say that it's a good thing that clubs like  historic North West in Co Donegal is included this year and that St Margaret's in Co Dublin is making a comeback. 

With so many clubs working hard to improve their facilities, I'd predict major changes in the rankings over the coming years. At least, I'd like to see them.

Whatever you may think about the merit of some of the placings, debate is healthy. 

For what it's worth, here's Golf Digest Ireland's take on their list and how it was compiled:

Golf Digest Ireland have developed and refined the rankings process in recent years to be a very detailed and forensic undertaking.
The thorough nature of the rankings process can be gleaned from the fact that at the beginning of each year Golf Digest Ireland write to every Irish golf club across the island of Ireland, with an 18-hole course and ask if any upgrade work has been undertaken over the previous 12 months or if they felt their previous position in the previous Golf Digest Volvo rankings was not justified.
Golf Digest Ireland then collates all of the replies into a list, combined with the “Golf Digest Volvo Top 100 Ranked Golf Courses in Ireland” from the previous year.
Also included are the leading 30 Irish golf clubs, which did not make the previous year’s rankings so that they can be scheduled for detailed consideration and review.
 
Pádraig O’hUiginn, the former Secretary-General of the Department of An Taoiseach from 1982-1993, Chairman of Fáilte Ireland and the man who played an important part in securing the 2006 Ryder Cup for Ireland has continued in the role as Chairman of the Senior Panel for the “2016 Golf Digest Volvo Top 10 Ranked Golf Courses in Ireland”.

Voting Senior Panelists 2016

  • Linton Walsh. Editor of Golf Digest Ireland,
  • Christy O’Connor Jnr. Irish golfing legend, Ryder Cup player and golf course designer,
  • John Kelly. St. Margaret’s GC PGA Professional and Director of Golf,
  • Phil Collins. Galgorm Castle GC, PGA Professional,
  • Alan McDonnell., Head Greenkeeper at Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort,
  • Mark Magowan. PGA Professional and former professional tour caddie,
  • David O’Donovan. Secretary Manager, County Sligo Golf Club,
  • Veronica MacGreevy. Irish amateur golfer and member of Royal County Down Golf Club,
  • Lynn McCool. Former Ladies European Tour player, PGA professional at Lough Erne Resort.
  • Kyra Donworth. Golf Tour Operator and international amateur golfer,
  • Sean Coyne. Irish amateur International and Director at Killarney Golf & Fishing Club
  • Rory Fitzgerald. Irish amateur golfer and Golf Digest Readers Panel Representative.
This year over 2,427 golfers applied to the Golf Digest Readers’ Panel and Golf Digest Ireland selected 80 GUI and ILGU registered golfers of all handicaps and from across the island of Ireland to join the Golf Digest Ireland Readers Panel and submit their findings.
The selected 80 Readers Panel participants attended a 2016 Golf Digest Ireland Readers Panel briefing earlier this year in March where they were trained in the process ahead. The 2016 Readers Panel then went on to visit, play and assess multiple Irish golf courses.
The Readers Panel generated over 1,496 reports and Readers Panel ranking scores on Irish golf clubs across the country, which accounted for 25% per cent of the final vote.
The 2016 Readers Panel findings, reports and scores were analysed and discussed in detail providing valuable insight from the first-hand experience of Irish male and female golfers from all over the country.
 
Golf Digest Ireland would like to extend our thanks and gratitude to everyone who took part in the “Golf Digest Volvo Top 100 Ranked Golf Courses in Ireland 2016” rankings from the Senior Panel to the Readers Panel and to all the Irish golf courses, who extended their hospitality
to Golf Digest Ireland to visit and play their golf courses.

2016 GOLF DIGEST VOLVO TOP 100 RANKED GOLF COURSES IN IRELAND

2016 Rank. (Last year)

  1. (1) Royal County Down
  2. (2) Portmarnock Golf Club (Old)
  3. (3) Royal Portrush Golf Club
  4. (4) Lahinch Golf Club
  5. (5) Waterville Golf Links
  6. (6) Ballybunion Golf Club (The Old Course)
  7. (7) Tralee Golf Club
  8. (8) The European Club
  9. (9) Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort
  10. (11) County Sligo Golf Club
  11. (12) Ballyliffin Golf Club (Glashedy)
  12. (10) County Louth Golf Club (Baltray)
  13. (13) The Island Golf Club
  14. (14) Old Head Golf Links
  15. (15) Enniscrone Golf Club
  16. (18) Portstewart Golf Club (Strand Course)
  17. (16) Belmullet Golf Club (Carne Golf Links)
  18. ((17) Ballyliffin Golf Club (Old Links)
  19. (19) Mount Juliet Golf Club
  20. (21) The K Club (Palmer Course)
  21. (20) Donegal Golf Club (Murvagh Links)
  22. (23) Portsalon Golf Club
  23. (22) Killeen Castle Golf Club
  24. (28) Trump International Golf Links, Doonbeg
  25. (26) Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links
  26. (25) Rosapenna Hotel & Golf Resort (Sandy Hills)
  27. (31) Lough Erne Resort, Faldo Course
  28. (24) Dooks Golf Club
  29. (27) The Royal Dublin Golf Club
  30. (30) Fota Island Hotel & Golf Resort (Deerpark)
  31. (29) Carlow Golf Club
  32. (33) Narin And Portnoo Golf Club
  33. (34) Druids Glen Hotel & Golf Resort
  34. (32) Carton House Hotel & Golf Resort (Montgomerie Course)
  35. (37) Concra Wood Golf Club
  36. (36) Rosapenna Hotel & Golf Resort (Old Tom Morris Course)
  37. (40) Killarney Golf & Fishing Club (Killeen Course)
  38. (39) Slieve Russell Hotel & Country Club
  39. (35) Cork Golf Club
  40. (38) Connemara Golf Links
  41. (41) Castlerock Golf Club
  42. (42) Headfort Golf Club (New)
  43. (43) Palmerstown Stud
  44. (45) Carton House Hotel & Golf Resort (O’Meara Course)
  45. (47) Malone Golf Club
  46. (46) Seapoint Golf Club
  47. (49) The K Club (Smurfit Course)
  48. (50) Belvoir Park Golf Club
  49. (53) Dun Laoghaire Golf Club
  50. (48) Royal Portrush Golf Club (Valley Course)
  51. (55) Tramore Golf Club
  52. (51) Bunclody Golf Club
  53. (44) The Heritage Golf Club
  54. (56) Ballybunion Golf Club (Cashen Course)
  55. (52) Portumna Golf Club
  56. (54) Luttrellstown Castle Golf Club
  57. (59) Arklow Golf Links
  58. (57) Hermitage Golf Club
  59. (60) Royal Belfast Golf Club
  60. (61) Clandeboye Golf Club
  61. (58) Powerscourt Golf Club (West Course)
  62. (63) Dromoland Castle Golf Club
  63. (62) Castletroy Golf Club (New)
  64. (65) Mount Wolseley Hotel & Golf Resort
  65. (70) Strandhill Golf Club
  66. (66) Powerscourt Golf Club (East Course)
  67. (67) Tullamore Golfm Club
  68. (72) Galgorm Castle Golf Club
  69. (79) Galway Bay Golf Resort
  70. (64) Farnham Estate Hotel & Golf Resort
  71. (68) Westport Golf Club
  72. (69) Rosslare Golf Club
  73. (71) Esker Hills Golf Club
  74. (73) Glasson Country House Hotel & Golf Club
  75. (75) Dingle Golf Links (Ceann Sibheal)
  76. (78) Shannon Golf Club
  77. (81) Ballinrobe Golf Club
  78. (74) Druids Glen Hotel & Golf Resort (Druids Heath)
  79. (77) Castlemartyr Hotel & Golf Resort
  80. (83) Knightsbrook Hotel & Golf Resort
  81. (84) Tulfarris Hotel & Golf Resort
  82. (80) Laytown & Bettystown Golf Club
  83. (82) Mullingar Golf Club
  84. (85) Dundalk Golf Club
  85. (86) Grange Golf Club
  86. (88) Castle Golf Club
  87. (90) St. Anne’s Golf Links
  88. (87) Galway Golf Club
  89. (89) Ardglass Golf Links
  90. (91) Blainroe Golf Club
  91. (New) St. Margaret’s Golf Club
  92. (94) New Forest Golf Club
  93. (95) Killarney Golf & Fishing Club (Mahony’s Point)
  94. (96) Woodenbridge Golf Club
  95. (92) Headfort (Old Course)
  96. (93) Balbriggan Golf Club
  97. (97) Moyola Park Golf Club
  98. (New) Moyvalley Hotel & Golf Resort
  99. (New) North West Golf Club
  100. (100) Macreddin Golf Club

2016 GOLF DIGEST VOLVO TOP 30 LINKS GOLF COURSES IN IRELAND 

  1. (1) Royal County Down
  2. (2) Portmarnock Golf Club
  3. (3) Royal Portrush Golf Club
  4. (4) Lahinch Golf Club
  5. (5) Waterville Golf Links
  6. (6) Ballybunion Golf Club (Old Course)
  7. (7) Tralee Golf Club
  8. (8) The European Club
  9. (10) County Sligo Golf Club
  10. (11) Ballyliffin Golf Club (Glashedy Course)
  11. (9) County Louth Golf Club (Baltray)
  12. (12) The Island Golf Club
  13. (13) Enniscrone Golf Club
  14. (16) Portstewart Golf Club (Strand Course)
  15. (14) Belmullet Golf Club (Carne Golf Links)
  16. (15) Ballyliffin Golf Club (Old Links)
  17. (17) Donegal Golf Club (Murvagh Links)
  18. (18) Portsalon Golf Club
  19. (23) Trump International Golf Links Doonbeg
  20. (21) Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links
  21. (20) Rosapenna Hotel & Golf Resort (Sandy Hills)
  22. (19) Dooks Golf Club
  23. (22) The Royal Dublin Golf Club
  24. (23) Narin And Portnoo Golf Club
  25. (25) Rosapenna Hotel & Golf Resort (Old Tom Morris)
  26. (26) Connemara Golf Links
  27. (27) Castlerock Golf Club
  28. (28) Seapoint Golf Club
  29. (29) Royal Portrush Golf Club (Valley Course)
  30. (30) Ballybunion Golf Club (Cashen Course)

2016 GOLF DIGEST VOLVO TOP 30 PARKLAND GOLF COURSES IN IRELAND

  1. (1) Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort
  2. (2) Old Head Golf Links
  3. (3) Mount Juliet Golf Club
  4. (4) The K Club (Palmer Course)
  5. (5) Killeen Castle Golf Club
  6. (8) Lough Erne Resort – Faldo Course
  7. (7) Fota Island Hotel & Golf Resort (Deerpark)
  8. (6) Carlow Golf Club
  9. (10) Druids Glen Hotel & Golf Resort
  10. (9) Carton House (Montgomerie Course)
  11. (12) Concra Wood Golf Club
  12. (14) Killarney Golf & Fishing Club (Killeen Course)
  13. (13) Slieve Russell Hotel & Country Club
  14. (11) Cork Golf Club
  15. (15) Headfort Golf Club (New)
  16. (16) Palmerstown Stud
  17. (18) Carton House (O’Meara Course)
  18. (19) Malone Golf Club
  19. (20) The K Club (Smurfit Course)
  20. (21) Belvoir Park Golf Club
  21. (24) Dun Laoghaire Golf Club
  22. (26) Tramore Golf Club
  23. (22) Bunclody Golf Club
  24. (17) The Heritage Golf Club
  25. (23) Portumna Golf Club
  26. (25) Luttrellstown Castle Golf Club
  27. (27) Hermitage Golf Club
  28. (29) Royal Belfast Golf Club
  29. (30) Clandeboye Golf Club
  30. (28) Powerscourt Golf Club (West Course)

2016 GOLF DIGEST VOLVO HONOURABLE MENTIONS

  • Gowran Park Golf Club
  • CastleKnock Golf Club
  • Dunfanaghy Golf Club
  • Athlone Golf Club
  • Dundrum House Golf Club
  • Kilkeel Golf Club
  • Hilton Templepatrick Golf Club
  • Roe Park Resort
  • Naas Golf Club
  • Newlands Golf Club
  • Lee Valley Golf Club
  • Ring of Kerry Golf Club
  • Limerick Golf Club
  • Roganstown Golf & Country Club
  • Royal Curragh Golf Club
  • Kirkstown Castle Golf Club
  • Corballis Golf Club
  • Skellig Bay Golf Club
  • Bantry Bay Golf Club
  • Royal Tara Golf Club
  • Glen Of the Downs Golf Club
  • Dunmurry Springs Golf Club
  • Lucan Golf Club
  • Birr Golf Club