Arklow Golf Club Course Review

Arklow Golf Club to the south of Dublin is a cracking links that has moved with the times

Arklow Golf Club - Feature
Remarkable green complexes are one of the many great features at Arklow
(Image credit: Kevin Markham)

Arklow Golf Club Course Review

GF
€45-€55; Weekly Open Events: €25-€35
Par 70, 6,157 yards
Slope 123
GM Verdict A punchy smart links with superb greens
Favourite Hole The short par-4 8th presents perfectly from the high tee, rolling over low dunes with the sea beyond 

Situated just a few miles down the coast from The European, one of the favourites in the Golf Monthly Top 100, there are few car parks that offer such a perfect and inspiring view of a golf links on first arrival. The bumpy and jostling landscape lies below you with the sea stretching out to a headland and the Arklow Bank (windfarm). A quarry to the south and a large warehouse to the north border the links and amplify the shapes of a golf course that stretches to 6,157 yards.

Arklow Golf Club - Hole 1

The opening hole, a strong par 4, heads due east

(Image credit: Kevin Markham)

Take a moment - take more - and check out the creased fairway of the 1st hole, the shapely 6th and 7th greens, the picture perfect 8th, and then the flurry of flags that flutter in the dunes, between gorse bushes and beyond pine trees across the back nine. It sets the tone and it whets the appetite and the clubhouse sits above it all.

Arklow Golf Club - Hole 2

The second at Arklow is a well-protected par 5

(Image credit: Kevin Markham)

The links dates back to 1927 and it has evolved steadily in recent years, with pristine conditioning and remarkable green complexes boasting exuberant slopes. This is particularly true of the course’s five terrific par-3s with three of these neatly nestled together among crumpled dunes close to the sea. If you can manage a two-putt on all five you should celebrate. Those five par-3s measure between 127 and 179 yards, and four of them fall within seven holes in the middle of the round. It makes for a highly entertaining stretch of holes when your iron play will be well tested.

Arklow Golf Club - Hole 3

Looking back down the third, the first of five short holes

(Image credit: Kevin Markham)

A large rebunkering and steady investment programme have upped the presentation and definition, too, and Arklow’s reputation is growing as a result. The terrain is of the subtle kind with bumpy mischievous fairways, those perfect lilting greens and some spectacularly aggressive bunkering, especially in the middle of the course where the dunes are biggest.

Arklow Golf Club - Hole 12

The par-4 twelfth runs down to the furthest point from the clubhouse

(Image credit: Kevin Markham)

Combine that with some fabulous driving holes - be sure to play the 1st from the high back tee - and Arklow’s par 70 becomes nothing more than a number. But remember this: a strong short game is more important than length off the tee (only four par 4s are over 400 yards). If you miss greens with your approach shots the sharp fall-offs and swales will cause you headaches. Getting up and down is a serious challenge.

Kevin Markham
Kevin Markham

Kevin Markham stepped into a campervan in 2007, and spent the next 14 months playing every 18-hole golf course in Ireland… 360 of them. He wrote two books on the back of those travels and has been working in the golf industry ever since, both as a freelance writer and a photographer. His love of golf courses has seen him playing extensively in Scotland, as well as across Europe. In total, he has played over 550 courses including most of Scotland’s top 100, and over half of Portugal’s growing number. He writes for the Irish Examiner newspaper, Irish Golfer magazine, and Destination Golf, and is a regular contributor to Golf Monthly. He has his own photography website – kevinmarkhamphotography.com – and spends hours on golf courses waiting to capture the perfect sunrise or sunset.

Kevin can be contacted via Twitter - @kevinmarkham