Sleepered bunkers abound, there are sea views on almost every hole of this new classic links

The European Club Course Review

Green Fee Range: €100-€225

Medal Tee: Par 71 – 6,720 Yards

Visitor Times: Any day but not before 10:30 on Sundays


The European Club Course Review

The County Wicklow links that Pat Ruddy built 30 years ago after scouting the coast in a helicopter goes from strength to strength.

Related: Top 100 golf courses UK and Ireland

Having pinpointed this spot in 1987, Ruddy went on to see his dream become reality when the links opened for play in 1993.

The leap from golf writer to fabled golf course designer may seem a big one, but few who have played The European Club at Brittas Bay on the Wicklow coast would dispute that Irishman Pat Ruddy has made that transition in style.

The European Club Course Review

Glorious views and distinctive sleepered bunker faces abound, and there are even two extra par 3s you can play most days.

Five splendid holes hug the beach, and the 12th green will live long in the memory for it’s a full 9-iron from front to back.

Recent widenings of fairways and green surrounds have gone down well, as has the now-larger 15th green up on the cliff.

The European Club Course Review

This is classic linksland, complete with towering dunes, spectacular sea views and more than a healthy smattering of pot bunkers with sleepered faces, which make them stand out from the links crowd.

There are more quirky touches, too, that just make things a little bit different. For example, the two ‘bonus’ par 3s at 7a and 12a, which you’re more than welcome to incorporate into any round, or the extraordinary 12th green, which at over 125 yards long takes the scope for misclubbing into a whole new realm.

The European Club Course Review

Pat Ruddy’s European Club is the finest modern links in Ireland

The long, testing 7th, flanked by reeds and imposing dunes, has achieved worldwide renown, while the par-3 14th, with its well-bunkered plateau green sheltering in the dunes, is another head-turner.

Ruddy’s original aims may have been to build his own links playground, but golfers everywhere should be eternally grateful that the project turned into so much more than that.

Course changes since previous ranking

A widening of the fairways and surrounds of the greens to encourage enjoyment by all – enlarged green on 15.

Proposed course changes

Slight but significant reshaping and relocation of fairway bunkers on holes 1, 10 and 18

The European Club Course Review – Golf Monthly Verdict

A wonderfully mature and appealing course that will ask many questions. A superb experience that is the ideal blend of fun and challenge.