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The European Club

County Wicklow, Ireland

At a Glance

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The European Club is a fantastic links golf courses set in the dunes of southern Dublin. It’s a private golf course that welcomes members every day, but not before 10.00 AM on Sunday mornings. It’s a course that’s rated in the World’s Top 100 Golf Courses by many different organisations including Golf Magazine USA, Golf World UK, World’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses and The Golf Monthly. The course is a complex but enjoyable examination for every golfer to utilise their brains to the utmost. Those who can flight the ball on a medium to low trajectory will enjoy the fast running fairways and the fact that provision has been made for punch-and-run shots on fifteen of the greens epitomises links golf. Nearby golf destinations include Mount Wolseley Resort, Druids Glen Resort, Mount Juliet and The K Club. If travelling from Northern Ireland, be sure to stop off at County Louth and The Island before reaching Dublin and The European Club, the coastal links courses are some of the best golf destinations in Ireland.

Golf Course Location

Golf Course Information

The European Club links golf course was designed by Pat Ruddy in the 1980s and he has remained at the club to recalibrate the links according to modern demands. Few architects pay so much loving attention to the courses they design, so it’s a testament to Ruddy’s dedication to The European Club that it’s such a highly regarded course and consistently ranks among the world’s best links golf courses. Pat scoured the Irish coastline by helicopter to find the ideal place for this course and found prime land at Brittas Bay just 30-miles south of the capital city, Dublin. Ruddy has designed other fantastic courses such as Druid’s Glen and Druid’s Heath, Rosapenna Sandy Hills and Ballyliffen, to name a few.


The site of the course is set right next to the beach in sandy deposits, blown up by the wind or dropped by the receding tides that are links to the beach through soil and coarse turf. It is on this same turf that the primary elements of the sea, sky and earth collide with mighty force and golfers are bound by the historic dimension that is Irish Golf Links. The course brings an unusual dimension to the game by featuring twenty holes: two of which are extra par-3’s that are in play most days and afford golfers a twenty-hole round. Five of those holes run very close to the sea, so close that it’s quite common to find players searching for their balls on the beach, provided that the tide is low.


Being a relatively new club, opening in the 1980s, Pat Ruddy had the opportunity to see what had come before in terms of links courses and playing the game, so that his design was geared to meet the challenge of the modern player with modern equipment. It’s one of the longest links at 6,849 Metres / 7,490 Yards from the back tees. It’s also accessible to golfers of every calibre with a variation in tee boxes that allows for a lot of fun, year-round.


The bunkers are mostly lined with railway sleepers that are quite unique and give a brilliantly stark definition to the fairways and give ample warning to players regarding hazard locations, but also offer some respite for those who struggle getting out of overhanging lips or long-grass bunkers. The railway sleepers also offer a history of Irish golf because they serve as a reminder of the days when golfers went to their clubs by train and the railways often donated their old sleepers to the golfers.


Tiger Woods holds the links record at 67, whilst Rory McIlroy won the Irish Amateur Title at The European Club. Padraig Harrington played there as a boy and prepared for his British Open wins by playing in and wining the Irish PGA at The European Club in the week before both.

Venue Information

Rentals at The European Club include golf clubs, push trollies, 2-person golf carts, and range balls. The Club does not have caddies and do not allow visiting caddies, though a guide to the links can be purchased for €5. The first games are at 08.00, and gates close at dark. Visitors are welcome everyday but not before 10a.m. on Sundays when the members play their weekly competition early. The Clubhouse offers changing facilities and a fantastic little restaurant.

Course Gallery

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