Sign up for our daily newsletter

Want latest news, reviews, analysis, deals, and events, and offers from our commercial partners? We’ve got you.

Ireland is famous for not just its strong contingent of golfers, but also its historic golf courses.

For an island with such a small population, it boasts plenty of exceptional golfers. Rory McIlroy, Shane Lowry, Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell are all major winners and all come from the Emerald Isle. A large part of their success stems from the golf courses they grew up playing.

But, which of the courses on the island of Ireland is the oldest? Golf was first played at Royal Curragh Golf Club in 1852, making it the oldest in Ireland. Royal Curragh Golf Club are rightly very proud of their history, and have gone to great lengths to prove that they are in fact the oldest golf venue in the country.

They have letters and equipment from that year which proves that golf was played there that year, and it’s still going strong today.

GOLF COURSE REVIEW – Cruden Bay

Here’s a list of some famous golf courses in Ireland, and when golf was first played on them:

Royal Curragh Golf Club – 1852

Royal Dublin Golf Club – 1885

Royal Portrush Golf Club – 1888

Royal County Down Golf Club – 1889

Lahinch Golf Club – 1892


author headshot

Lewis Fraser As bunkered’s Performance Editor, Lewis oversees the content that’s designed to make you a better player. From the latest gear to tuition, nutrition, strategy and more, he’s the man. A graduate of the University of Stirling, Lewis joined bunkered in 2021. Formerly a caddie at Castle Stuart Golf Links, he is a member of Bathgate Golf Club where he plays off four.

Performance Editor

More Reads

Image Turnberry green

The bunkered Golf Course Guide - Scotland

Now, with bunkered, you can discover the golf courses Scotland has to offer. Trust us, you will not be disappointed.

Find Courses

Latest podcast

Rory McIlroy's resignation and making sense of the WHS