Royal Dublin Golf Course - An Irish Golf Adventure

By Alan B. Nichols

Royal County Down Near the city of Dublin is North Bull Island, actually a sand bank in Dublin Bay that was created by Capt. William Bligh of Bounty fame.

An engineer, Bligh built a sea wall along the north side of the bay as part of an engineering project to scour the bay's bottom and ensure deep water vessels could get in and out of the port. The continuous outflow of the Liffey River (that runs through the heart of the city and empties into the bay), combined with the scouring effect of the tides, pushed sand along the Image: Royal Dublin Golf Clubnorth end of the bay. Over time, land began forming behind the wall becoming North Bull Island. Today, the island includes a national bird sanctuary.

North Bull Island is also the location of Ireland's most venerable golf clubs, The Royal Dublin Golf Club. Opened in 1894 and later moved to its current site, Royal Dublin has hosted great championships including the Irish Open. It is where the legendary Christy O'Connor Sr. frequently practices and plays, and I am told that if he doesn't have a game, he might well ask you to join him for 18.

During World War I, the clubhouse and course were taken over by the British Army, virtually destroying the clubhouse and course. After the war, the English designer E.S. Colt redesigned the course and today much of Colt's original look has been preserved. Royal Dublin is a classic out and back links course of nearly 6,600 yards. It plays to a par 72 and features very solid if scenically unspectacular holes. The course features some of the truest greens you will ever play. Some monster par 4's are interspersed with a couple of very short par 4's, one of which is drivable.

I played with two members and club secretary John Lambe, a delightful, voluble man who explained that the flat building off the 3rd fairway was used by the British Army as an ordnance depot. North Bull Island in Dublin Bay, Home of Royal Dublin Golf ClubToday, the building houses the most advanced irrigation and maintenance systems and equipment in the industry, a major reason for the course's exceptional conditioning. And he explained that the island is still growing. As we were walking down the 5th fairway, Lambe stopped and pointed to a sign that was stuck in solid ground at least 100 yards from the bay. I couldn't read it, but he told me it says, 'No wading beyond this point'. *

An Irish Golf Adventure

Subscribe Today

Get our best training tips, videos, and tee times deals -- straight to your inbox

Tee Times Deals to your inbox
Join our mailing list today!


Christie F.  uploaded a photo of Myrtle Beach National, Kings North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Tom P.  just went PRO!

Maurice T.  just went PRO!

James P.  just went PRO!

Anne T.  just went PRO!

View Activity Feed

Video of the Day
Mid-Range Putting Drill Watch Video>>

Tee Time Deals

Thursday, Mar 22 to Tuesday, Mar 27

Impact Position Practice what a proper impact position should be lin the mirror and then go to the range and take small swings starting at your impact position
Fairway Wood From Bunker If you have a big trap with not much lip then taking a fairway wood from a fairway bunker is possible, just grip down on the club, play the ball back in your stance and make an arm swing
Line Up the Putter Head Draw a line on your ball so you can set the ball down with the line pointing at the hole or lined up with your putter head