Golf Digest Ireland has announced its annual ranking of the top 100 courses in Ireland for 2018.
Royal County Down retained top spot ahead of Royal Portrush and Portmarnock with the Glashedy Links at Ballyliffin now ranked tenth following improvements made to the course for July's Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.
The biggest mover in the top 20 is Enniscrone, which has risen two places to 12th.
Outside the Top 20, the notable climbers were Luttrellstown Castle Golf Club (Up 3), Galway Bay Golf Resort (Up 5), Mount Wolseley Hotel & Golf Resort (Up 3), Rosslare Golf Club (Up 3), St Margarets Golf Club (Up 3) and Ardglass Golf Links (Up 5).
On the downward slide were Lough Erne Resort (Down 4), Carlow Golf Club (Down 3), Clandeboye Golf Club (Down 3), Castletroy Golf Club (Down 3), Powerscourt Golf Club (East Course) (Down 3), Druids Heath (Down 4), Mullingar Golf Club (Down 3), and Moyvalley Hotel & Golf Resort (Down 3).
Balbriggan Golf Club and Royal Tara dropped out of the Top 100, while Roe Park, Dundrum House and Rathsallagh are new entrants.
The Volvo-sponsored list was drawn up by "a panel of industry experts and a second panel of 80 readers" who "spent months visiting golf courses throughout the island of Ireland," the magazine said in a press release.
"All 18-hole golf clubs across the country were contacted to see if any upgrade work has been undertaken over the previous 12 months or to see if they felt their previous position in the rankings was not justified.
"All replies were put onto a list, combined with last year’s Top 100 golf courses along with the top 40 golf courses which did not make it into last year’s rankings. This list became our definitive assessment list and each golf course was assessed numerous times throughout the year.
"The reader’s panel was based on gender, handicap and geographical location. Our aim was to find a female golfer and three male golfers, who had a low, mid and high handicap in each geographical location across Ireland.
"This would enable us to send a team of at least four golfers to assess each of the 140 golf clubs on our assessment list throughout the year.
"This year over 2,400 golfers applied to the Golf Digest Readers’ Panel and we selected 80 golfers of all handicaps and from all corners of Ireland to contribute and review courses, then submit their views.
"Once selected a team of 80 readers undertook their briefing to generate over 1,600 reports and ranking scores, which accounted for 25 percent of the final vote."
Golf Digest Volvo Top 100 Ranked Golf Courses In Ireland 2018
- Royal County Down
- Royal Portrush - Dunluce Links
- Waterville Golf Links
- Ballybunion — Old Course
- The European Club
- County Louth
- Ballyliffin — Glashedy Links
- County Sligo
- The Island
- Old Head Golf Links
- Portstewart — Strand Course
- Belmullet Golf Club (Carne Golf Links)
- Mount Juliet
- Ballyliffin — Old Links
- The K Club — Palmer Course
- Trump International Golf Links - Doonbeg
- Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links
- Dooks Golf Club
- Rosapenna Hotel & Golf Resort — Sandy Hills
- The Royal Dublin
- Narin And Portnoo
- Killeen Castle
- Druids Glen Hotel & Golf Resort
- Fota Island Hotel & Golf Resort — Deerpark Course
- Lough Erne Resort
- Killarney Golf & Fishing Club — Killeen Course
- Rosapenna Hotel & Golf Resort — Old Tom Morris Course
- Concra Wood
- Carton House Hotel & Golf Resort — Montgomerie Course
- Connemara Golf Links
- Slieve Russell Hotel & Country Club
- Headfort — New
- Palmerstown Stud
- Dun Laoghaire
- Carton House Hotel & Golf Resort — O'Meara Course
- The K Club — Smurfit Course
- Seapoint Golf Links
- Belvoir Park
- Royal Portrush — Valley Course
- The Heritage Golf Club
- Luttrellstown Castle
- Royal Belfast
- Ballybunion — Cashen Course
- Galway Bay Golf Resort
- Dromoland Castle
- Arklow Golf Links
- Mount Wolseley Hotel & Golf Resort
- Powerscourt — West Course
- Galgorm Castle
- Glasson Country House Hotel & Golf Club
- Powerscourt — East Course
- Esker Hills
- Dingle Golf Links (Ceann Sibeal)
- Knightsbrook Hotel & Golf Resort
- Farnham Estate Hotel & Golf Resort
- Castlemartyr Hotel & Golf Resort
- Tulfarris Hotel & Golf Resort
- Druids Heath
- St Margaret's
- Laytown & Bettystown
- New Forest
- Killarney Golf & Fishing Club — Mahony's Point
- St Anne's
- Headfort — Old Course
- Moyvalley Hotel & Golf Resort
- Dundrum House
- Roe Park