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Did you know that not all coastal golf courses are true links courses? Characteristics of a true links golf course are sand dunes, fescue grasses and few, if any, trees or water hazards. Though common in Ireland, there are only 246 authentic links courses in the world.
Since 1889, the Royal Dublin Golf Club has been located on Bull Island, a sand bank formed when the Bull Wall was completed in 1825 by Captain William Bligh of 'Mutiny on the Bounty' fame. Bull Island is a protected nature reserve, linked to Dublin city by a one-lane wooden bridge. The links is 20 minutes’ drive from Dublin city centre and 20 minutes’ drive from Dublin Airport.
Original Course Design
From 1914 to 1919, during the First World War, the course was taken over by the military and used as a rifle and artillery range, which left it all but ruined and the clubhouse, which had been an officers’ mess, in a very dilapidated condition. In 1920, with £10,000 compensation, the clubhouse was reconstructed and the links redesigned by H.S. (Harry) Colt, the world-famous golf course architect from Sunningdale, England. Among the many changes made was the decision to build up new tees at the 5th, 7th, 8th and 9th holes, offering a fine view of Dublin Bay, which had previously been hidden as the tees were below the level of the sand dunes.
The Course Today
In the early 2000s, Martin Hawtree, the specialist links architect, was engaged to bring the course up to the standard demanded by the modern game, whilst respecting the legacy of Colt. Hawtree’s work, completed in 2006, has resulted in a 7,269-yard, par-72 golf links of outstanding quality. The Royal Dublin course was ranked 13th out of 58 true Irish links courses in a recent survey.
Given its quality and location, the Royal Dublin Golf Club is perfect for anyone staying in the city and looking to play a great links golf course.