Being an avid golf fan, I decided 3 years ago that it might be fun to play the top 100 courses in Ireland. Like most people I had played 40 or 50 of the 100 already and thought it won’t take long to play the other courses. I was wrong there because it did take a long time to get round the rest as there is a huge amount of driving involved.

The thing that surprised me was how much I loved playing these new courses. It was a labour of love. My pals Peter (13 h’cap) and Mick (17) have now between played most of the top 100 too. The standard of the best courses in Ireland is super and after 3 years and after playing all the best courses, I am a total believer in Links golf. For me now, a good links course is better than a good inland or parkland course.

Along the way, courses like Royal County Down and The Old Head of Kinsale are absolutely world class courses that can be jaw dropping on occasions. However, after a while you get as much of a thrill finding a really good course that you didn’t realise was that – a really good course. For example, courses such as Port Salon, Narin & Portnoo, Carlow, Portumna and Ballinrobe were all gems in their own right. There were many more nice surprises besides those I have mentioned.

A thank you to Peter and Mick for all the effort that it takes to get round them all. We had some great laughs along the way. Their golfing ability is only surpassed by their sense of humour. They enjoyed it as much as I did. It’s a great thing to do you if you get a chance. Also, a thank you to other pals namely my cousin Sean, my cousin Gary, Seanie and Gareth who played some of the courses too. A thank you to my better half also as she kept encouraging me to finish the list.

This list I believe is the most unbiased list that has been created for the top courses in Ireland. Sometimes if you host a small tournament some lists put a course into the top 100 and then the following year they take it out, which seems an odd thing to do. Sometimes a courses ranking can depend on how many advertisements a course takes out. Some lists are voted upon by people who has a vested interest in a course such as a designer or owner.

We deliberately paid a green fee at every course so we would remain impartial in our thoughts. Sometimes people who write about courses get the green fee for free but that wouldn’t seem right.

I couldn’t recommend playing new courses highly enough, especially in Ireland where the general standard is so high. I have to say we enjoyed every round even when we played badly or when the weather got the better of us, which wasn’t too often thankfully.

There is brilliant value for money to be had right round the country. There is an email address at the bottom of the website and I would be delighted to read your thoughts on the website, courses etc.

I am a club golfer that currently plays off 7. This site is not commercial and is more of a diary than anything else. Enjoy your golf and go play some new courses.

Thanks.

Gavin

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