Revealed: Top 100 Golf Courses in Ireland - how many are in Donegal?

Top course in Ireland is Royal Co. Down, while Donald Trump's Doonbeg links course is at number 23

Revealed: Top 100 Golf Courses in Ireland - how many are in Donegal?

The Golf Digest Top 100 courses list has been published

The Golf Digest Top 100 Ranked Golf Courses in Ireland has just been published.

Seven Donegal Golf Courses are in the top 100.

The highest ranking course in Donegal is the Ballyliffin (Glashedy) course which comes in at number 11.

The top five courses in the list are: 1, Royal Co. Down; 2, Royal Portrush; 3, Portmarnock; 4, Lahinch; 5, Tralee Golf Club.

The other Donegal courses to make it into the top 100 are: Rosapenna (Old Tom Morris course) at number 31 (up two on last year), Narin and Portnoo remains at number 30, while the Rosapenna Sandhills course is also static at 27.

Murvagh is ranked at number 26 (down three) while Portsalon is at 25, the same as last year.

The Ballyliffin old links course is listed at number 20.

Other north-west courses that feature include Strandhill (63), Lough Erne Resort, Enniskillen (39), Castlerock, Co. Derry (34), Portstewart (15), and Co. Sligo Golf Club, Rosses Point (12).

Incidentally, the Trump International Links Course in Doonbeg, Co. Clare, is down one place from last year at 23.

To see the full list see HERE

The Golf Digest Top 100 Ranked Golf Courses in Ireland has been established since 2006 and is the industry standard for all Irish golf courses on the island of Ireland.

In terms of the process, each year Golf Digest Ireland writes to all Irish golf clubs to see if they have completed any upgrade work or if they would like a member of the panel to visit their golf club.

The replies are added to last year’s Golf Digest Ireland Top 100 ranked golf courses and the top 20 golf courses who did not make it into last year’s rankings. 

This list of circa. 140 golf clubs then becomes the list of golf courses to be accessed during the upcoming year.

The panel is made up of professionals from different sectors within the Irish golf industry: greenkeepers, general managers, PGA professionals, elite amateur golfers, tour operators, media and readers. 

Golf Digest Senior Ranking Panel 2020
Linton Walsh; Golf Digest Ireland, Mark Traynor; Golf Digest Ireland, Cid Harmon; Amateur Golfer, Readers Panel, Matt Sands; General Manager, Joe Whelan; Amateur Golfer, Readers Panel, David Power; PGA Professional, Fintan Brennan; Head Greenkeeper, Con O’Connor; Amateur Golfer, Readers Panel, John Eggleston; General Manager and John Dwyer; PGA Professional

At the end of the golfing season, the panel meets up for two days of discussion and debate. The rankings begin with the Top 10 golf courses from last year and the possible courses that could make it into the Top 10 positions. 

These are usually golf courses which were ranked 11-15 in last year list, but not always. Any letter received from any golf club in this bracket is read out.

Then, the golf courses in the Top 10 which could possibly slip out of the Top 10 are discussed. These are usually golf courses which were ranked 6-10 in last year list, but not always. 

Again, any letter received from any golf club in this bracket is read out. 

Following lively discussion and debate, a list of the top 15 golf courses is made and individually voted on. The result of this vote determines the golf clubs who will be in the Top 10 set (not in their actual position).

Then the clubs which could move out of the Top 5 and the clubs which could enter the Top 5 are discussed. These two sets (not final positions) are verbally agreed around the table. The clubs in the Top 5 set are then individually discussed. Once this is completed, a secret vote is made. 

The scores are added up and the result identifies the actual individual positions of the Top 5. This is repeated for the second set, places 6-10 and the results again identify the individual positions 6-10. This process is repeated for positions 11- 20 and then repeated again until The Top 100 rankings is completed. 

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