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Paul McGinley’s fruitful foray into golf course design continues to gather momentum with news that the Ryder Cup legend is to lead the redevelopment of the historic links at Donegal Golf Club.

McGinley, who captained Europe to glory in the biennial clash in 2014, 12 years after holing the winning putt in the same contest, will oversee changes to the course, situated on the scenic Murvagh Peninsula near historic Donegal Town on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.

Originally designed by Eddie Hackett and later remodelled by Pat Ruddy, Donegal is fondly regarded as the ‘Muirfield of Ireland’.

The outside loop plays along the sand dunes, providing stunning views overlooking Donegal Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, whilst the inner loop is more protected, with picturesque views of the Bluestack Mountains.

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“It is with great pride that I have been approved as the new design consultant for the magnificent links at Donegal Golf Club, following in the footsteps of Eddie Hackett and Pat Ruddy,” said McGinley.

“My core principle for the links is it needs to be more playable for the membership and all standards of player.

“At the same time, it should be seamlessly prepared for major events to create optionality on tees and a challenge on green designs that allows pins to be tucked when needed.

“The links is one of the very best canvasses of any club in the country and that is what both excites and motivates me to best utilise the terrain while also honouring the history, routing, and flow of the course.”

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McGinley’s alterations will be rolled out in three phases, with the expectation that seven of the reworked holes will be ready in time for the Open Championship returning to Northern Ireland, courtesy of Royal Portrush, in the summer of 2025.

“Paul McGinley’s stature in the world of golf combined with his love of County Donegal has created the perfect partnership to successfully deliver our next phase of development,” said club president Brian Boyle.

“I have every confidence that Paul and his team will enhance the previous work of Eddie Hackett and Pat Ruddy, two legends of Irish golf architecture. The Donegal Golf Club canvas, together with Paul’s expertise, will enable the club to develop into one of the world’s top links courses in the coming years.”


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