My Favorite Dublin-Area Courses
by Padraig Harrington
Dublin makes the perfect base for a trip to the Ryder Cup. All of the golf courses in the area are good. You won't get a chance to play the K Club that week—if you do, then you're a pretty good golfer—so here's where I recommend playing:
Portmarnock Golf Club (011-353/1846-2968, portmarnockgolfclub.ie) can't be missed. In my mind, it's earned the accolade of being the fairest links course in the world. Links golf was never meant to be fair, but Portmarnock is a course that the pros all love because it doesn't throw up too many weird and wonderful bounces. It is a course that doesn't beat you up too much. It's just a really, really fine test of golf.
The lesser-known Island Golf Club (011-353/1843-6205, theislandgolfclub.com) in Donabate is a more traditional links. It is a tough golf course and a really spectacular layout set in the sand dunes of a peninsula.
A little beyond the Dublin area lies the European Club (011-353/4044-7415, theeuropeanclub.com), an absolutely majestic modern links to the south in Brittas Bay. It has scenery that is second to none. Be sure to bring plenty of golf balls. You'll need them!
About a forty-five-minute drive north of Dublin is Baltray (011-353/4198-81530, countylouthgolf club.com), a really good course that has played host to the Irish Open.
The Royal Dublin Golf Club (011-353/1833-6346, theroyaldublingolfclub.com), also known as Dollymount, is a great links with a lot of history. It is located very close to the city on Bull Island.
Finally, there's my home course, Stackstown Golf Club (011-353/1494-1993, stackstowngolfclub.ie), in the foothills of the Dublin Mountains in Rathfarnham. Its views of the city are some of the best you'll ever find.