Doonbeg in West Clare, is by far the ‘youngest’ of nine Irish courses to feature in the first ever world rankings of golf courses to be carried out by Golf World, one of golf’s most respected magazines.
The magazine has just published its first ever ranking of The World’s Best Golf Courses or as they describe it “The Very Best Golf Courses on Earth.” Previously the magazine had published similar rankings for both Europe and the UK/Ireland. Doonbeg which opened for play in 2002 is the third newest course to feature on the list which includes courses from all over the world.
The rankings were put together by a panel described by the magazine as the “biggest and most geographically spread panel ever assembled to judge the merits of golf courses.” The panel, all experts in their own fields, were asked to consider design, conditioning, history, memorability and reputation.
In terms of spread the US led the way with 38 entries whilst Ireland came in a highly credible fourth with 9 entries – all of which were links courses.
Doonbeg made the list at number 99 – a huge achievement given its relative newcomer status. The judges noted that “the first is one of the best first holes anywhere in the world and there are a number of others (the signature 14th and the brilliant 15th) which are wonderfully memorable.”
The other Irish courses to be ranked were Lahinch (73), Baltray (68), European Club (43), Old Portmarnock (42), Ballybunion (37), Royal Portrush (18) and Royal County Down (6).
Speaking of the ranking Joe Russell, general manager at Doonbeg, said that it should be seen as a remarkable achievement given the relative “youth” of the course. “It is a high honour to be ranked, given both the number of superb courses there are worldwide today and the extraordinary quality of those on the list.”
In first place on the list is Augusta which is followed by Cypress Point and Turnberry, Ailsa.
European Club www.theeuropeanclub.com
Old Portmarnock www.portmarnockgolfclub.ie
Royal Portrush www.royalportrushgolfclub.com
Royal County Down www.royalcountydown.org