Royal Dublin


Course Status

Links is open for play today, Buggies are permitted and the range is open. Updated: 18th Apr 2024

Seve Ballesteros

(April 9, 1957- May 7, 2011)

By any standard, the mercurial Seve Ballesteros deserves to be hailed as a genuine golfing legend.

Taken from life far too soon after a long battle with brain cancer at just 54, his memory and achievements in the game will last as long as golf is played.

Among those privileged to see him first hand in the heat of competitive fire were the many thousands of fans from home and abroad who flocked to The Royal Dublin Golf Club where the Carrolls Irish Open was staged in 1983, 1984, and 1985, the club’s Centenary Year.

Great Championships, great players, and the great Seve in his prime.

He fully lived up to his reputation for his first visit in 1983.

Despite feeling tired from jet lag after his Monday trip from Los Angeles to Dublin following the conclusion of the US PGA Championship, Seve took to the Dollymount links with aplomb, scoring 67, to lie three shots behind round one joint leader Bernhard Langer.

He went on to win the Irish title with a 17-under par total of 271.

It was love at first sight between the European Tour’s most charismatic golfer and the venerable links of Royal Dublin.

“I like this course, it suits my game. The greens are very fast and like those in America,” he said after his first 18 holes.

A year later, Seve arrived for the Carrolls Irish Open as the recently-crowned Open Champion which he had won in a dramatic finish at St Andrews.

This time he had to surrender his Irish Open crown to Bernhard Langer whose 21-under par 267 gave him a four shot margin ahead of nearest challenger Mark James of England.

Seve came out fighting in the final round with five birdies in his first eight holes, but ultimately had to settle for tied- third on 15-under par alongside Australians Greg Norman and Graham Marsh.

Royal Dublin hosted the Irish Open again in 1985, an auspicious year in which the club celebrated 100 years of existence.

How fitting that the tournament should end in a dramatic climax with the two previous Royal Dublin winners deciding the outcome in a playoff.

Langer looked certain to retain his title as he signed for a superb 63 in the fourth round and six-under par 278 total.

Ballesteros was still on the course and three shots behind with four to play.

He needed a miracle to get back in contention, and typical of him, Seve delivered in spectacular style.

Birdies on the 15th 16th and 17th holes and a good par at the 18th brought roars that could be heard the length of the Bull Island.

A tie at the top of the leaderboard meant that Langer, the 1985 Masters Champion and Ballesteros, The Open Champion, were set for sudden death.

They halved the 17th in par fours, and came up the 18th with everything on the line.

Both men were on the green in two, with Langer a shade closer to the hole than Ballesteros’ 35 feet.

The Masters Champion putted first, and his ball came up just short.

Then it was the turn of The Champion Golfer of the Year, and

Seve made no mistake, drilling the ball into the hole for a winning birdie.

His dance of delight, reminiscent of his exuberant celebration on the 18th at St Andrews showed how much the title and the victory meant to him.


The Greats


The Royal Dublin Golf Club

North Bull Island Nature Reserve , Dollymount, Dublin 3 , Ireland

Phone: +353 1 833 6346 | Fax: +353 1 833 6504


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