Trump International in Ireland features one of golf’s best opening holes. Designed by Greg Norman, he described it as the best piece of golfing property he had ever seen

Trump International Golf Links Ireland Course Review

Green Fee Range: €165-€230 (Low season rates are up to €65).

Medal Tee: Par 72 – 6,427 Yards

Visitor Times: Every day, subject to members’ tee times.


Trump International Golf Links Ireland Course Review

Set amidst the incredible dunes overlooking Doughmore Bay in County Clare, Greg Norman’s brilliant layout at Doonbeg has been further enhanced by Martin Hawtree since the Trump Organization took over in 2014. A wonderful modern links, the course begins with, arguably, the greatest opening hole in golf – a fabulous par-5 leading into the dunes to an amphitheatre green. It raises the expectation of what is to come, and that expectation is met with a tremendous selection of strikingly memorable holes that are supremely enjoyable simply to behold, let alone to play.

Related: Top 100 Courses UK and Ireland

The magnificent dunes at Doonbeg were originally considered as the site for a golf course more than 120 years ago, but the Scottish Black Watch Regiment chose a site a few miles up the coast at Lahinch.

Instead, it was to be another century or more until Greg Norman was offered the opportunity to build on what he described as the best piece of golfing property he had ever seen.

Norman was selected for his preference of designing and routing courses to fit the existing terrain, and despite having to heed some environmental needs, his resulting layout meant that 14 of the greens and 12 of the fairways required no changes other than to the type and conditioning of the grass.

Trump International Golf Links Ireland Course Review

Everything about the place is stylish, and as you look out from the hotel and lodges over the rugged sand hills, the view of the 1st hole heading off into the dunes is one of the most alluring and compelling in golf.

The course does have one or two eccentricities, such as the bunker in the middle of the green at the 12th, but far more importantly it boasts a great number of excellent and hugely enjoyable holes.

The long, sweeping, uphill 13th counterpoints perfectly with the tiny 14th, and there are sea views from almost every hole.

Course changes since previous ranking

Nothing significant

Proposed course changes

6th green to be relocated winter 2018/19.

Golf Monthly Verdict

Great modern design set in extraordinary dune land