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Golf Monthly
Golf Monthly
Jeremy Ellwood

The Island Golf Club: Course Review, Green Fees, Tee Times and Key Info

(Image credit: Future)

The Island Golf Club Key Information

Golf Monthly Verdict
(Image credit: Steve Carr Golf)

The Island is a good test of golf demanding a variety of shot-making skills. The new holes on the front nine have elevated the course further, adding greater balance to an outward loop that used to comprise eight consecutive par 4s and a short par 3 back to the clubhouse.

For many, though, the par-4 14th coming home remains the standout hole with its narrow fairway and wasteland estuary edge waiting on the right to catch any errant tee shots.


- It plays through some of the most dramatic dunes of any older links course

- Recent work by Martin Ebert has given the whole links greater balance

- One of the most visually stirring opening holes you'll play anywhere


UK & Ireland Top 100 Golf Courses 2023/24 - 71

For some reason, The Island is perhaps less well-known than it deserves to be given its location just ten miles from the centre of Dublin and its idyllic setting, surrounded on three sides by water and marshland with holes that weave through some of the tallest and most awe-inspiring dunes of any older links course. It continues to make progress in our Top 100 Courses in the UK and Ireland rankings.

Word of its quality is spreading rapidly, though, and that looks set to continue apace following extensive recent work to remodel the opening half to take fuller advantage of the terrain. This work has added greater balance to a front nine that used to comprise eight consecutive par 4s and a short par 3 back to the clubhouse, and therefore greater balance to the overall course as well.

The club was born in 1890 out of the desire of certain Royal Dublin members to have somewhere they were allowed to play golf on the Sabbath. They would take a ferry over the estuary to a links that was originally routed from the seaward end of the promontory.

The ferry was still in use for arriving golfers until the clubhouse was re-sited in 1973, and the latest course revisions follow a number of other substantial improvements to what is one of the best golf courses in Ireland through the years at the hands of Martin Hawtree and others.

After that newly rebalanced front nine, the back nine features two further par 5s, the intimidating par-4 14th, with its fearsomely narrow fairway, and a stirring approach on 15, where the spectacular amphitheatre green is reminiscent of Doonbeg’s 1st or Carne’s 10th.

The 13th is one of two great par 3s coming home, a classic one-shotter at the southern end of the promontory that could require literally any club in the bag depending on wind strength and direction, and is devoid of sand, with a cavernous pit and OOB all the way along the right-hand side deemed testing enough.

The Island is surrounded by water on three sides (Image credit: Steve Carr Golf)

What The Top 100 Panel Said

it is essential to build a score on the front nine as the run for home really bares its teeth. Even on the rare calm day that I enjoyed, it's seriously tough. The variety of holes on offer is simply outstanding and I could never consider feeling bored with the challenge presented. A vintage classic that has sympathetically added in the best of modern design to strengthen its credentials.

As soon as I set eyes on the big white pillars on arrival it was visually stimulating all the way. The aesthetics throughout are sublime - the dunes, the sandy waste areas, the natural bunkers, the rumpled fairways, the pristine greens... it simply is golfing perfection. Very rarely do you get something that feels like a hidden gem in the Top 100 but this must be one.

The Island Golf Club location

The Island Golf Club Green Fees

Book tee-times at The Island Golf Club direct

The Island Golf Club scorecard

(Image credit: The Island Golf Club)

Best Courses Near The Island

Best Places To Stay Near The Island

Grand Hotel, Malahide -  Book now at
The Grand Hotel is located in Malahide just 2.5 miles from The Island. Boasting a 20-yard swimming pool, a spa bath and a steam room, this four-star hotel with satellite TV in the rooms is just a ten-minute drive from Dublin Airport. The Coast Restaurant serves fine cuisine with views of Malahide estuary.

Shoreline Hotel, Donabate - Book now at
The Shoreline Hotel is situated on the beach in Donabate just a mile and a half from The Island and close to other fine courses. Dublin city centre is just 25 minutes away. The newly refurbished bedrooms offer balcony views of Lambay Island and Howth Head, or the Corballis golf links.

The Island Gallery

The links at The Island is surrounded by water on three sides (Image credit: Kevin Murray)
You play through some of the tallest dunes of any older links course (Image credit: Kevin Murray)
The approach to the glorious amphitheatre green on the 15th (Image credit: Steve Carr Golf)
The 1st hole gets the links away to a cracking start (Image credit: Steve Carr Golf)
Members crossed on a ferry to get to the original clubhouse (Image credit: Steve Carr Golf)


  • 2023/24 - 71
  • 2021/22 - 72
  • 2019/20 - 75
  • 2017/18 - 72
  • 2015/16 - 75
  • 2013/14 - 79
  • 2011/12 - 92
  • 2009/10 - 95

Frequently Asked Questions

Is The Island the best golf course around Dublin?

It's certainly one of the best, but it's up against some pretty stiff competition in Portmarnock, which ranks highly in many course ranking lists, including Golf Monthly's UK&I Top 100. But The Island, with its towering dunes, impressive setting and fine recent improvements works, is the only other course in the Dublin area in our Top 100, so for us - and others - it's the second-best course in the region.

Why is it called The Island Golf Club?

A good question as it's not situated on an island, unless you're talking about the whole of Ireland being an island! The reality is that Sunday golf was forbidden at Royal Dublin Golf Club, so in 1887, a group of men keen to find somewhere to play on a Sunday rowed across the channel separating Malahide from a spur of land to the north known locally as the Island (even though it isn't an island) to find somewhere suitable for a new golf links.

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