Royal Dublin Golf Club
The island where the course is located in a UNESCO biosphere site.
Royal Dublin Golf Club is believed to be the only championship golf club within a city boundary.
Golf Course Review
Royal Dublin Golf Club is Ireland’s second oldest golf club and links course and the Republic’s oldest. The club was founded at Phoenix Park on May 15, 1885. The club moved four years later to North Bull Island in 1889.
Royal Dublin Golf Club History
The site of Royal Dublin Golf Club itself is a naturally occurring sandbank that was enhanced by a seawall built to prevent sand from blocking the port. A bridge was built and opened in 1907 that greatly enhanced access to the golf course.
During 1914-1918 the British Army used the land as a rifle range and to practice trench construction. Off the 6th fairway is a bunker formerly used for these purposes.
Golf Architecture at Royal Dublin Golf Club
After WW1, the club invited Harry Colt to lay out the links anew. The original Harry Colt course opened for play in 1920. Following WW2, John Morrison advised on the links.
In 2003, Martin Hawtree lengthened the course to keep pace with the modern game. Recently, the trio of Mike Clayton, Mike DeVries, and Frank Pont of CDP were recently appointed to develop the club further.
The 5th hole requires an accurate tee shot as the fairway narrows and is flanked by sandhills. Following two holes later, the 8th is a deceptively tough, risk and reward hole to a raised green complex. The often drivable par-4 16th at Royal Dublin Golf Club is guarded by seven pot bunkers! The 18th hole, known as ‘The Garden’, is a challenging dogleg par 4 that threatens wayward drives and aggressive approach shots. Although only four have been chosen, all 18 holes are strong. You’d expect nothing less from the club where Christy O’Connor Sr spent 57 years as a professional.
Royal Dublin Golf Club’s Heritage
Further information on the club and its history can be found in Scott Macpherson‘s book, Golf’s Royal Clubs.
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Featured Architect: Alister MacKenzie
As taken from his book, Golf Architecture, Alister MacKenzie felt the following were essential: The course, where possible, should be arranged in two loops of nine holes. There should be a large proportion of good two-shot holes and at least four one-shot holes. There should be little walking between...