Donegal Golf Club, located on the Murvagh peninsula in South Donegal, welcomes you to a unique golfing experience. The course was originally designed by Eddie Hackett, a legend of Irish golf course architecture, and is often called the Muirfield of Ireland. Over the years the course has been re-molded by the "Master of Links design" Pat Ruddy, with Pat still dropping by to lend his expertise to the club and help us continuously evolve. Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, Donegal Bay and a designated Special Area of Conservation, it is one of the longest golf courses in Europe, measuring a massive 7,453 yards from the championship tees. Yet, it is an easy walk and a welcome break from the roller coaster dunes found on other links courses. The panoramic views of Donegal Bay and the surrounding countryside are sensational and the peninsula itself is steeped in local and ancient history. Come and engage with the golfing spirits of the past, while you enjoy a truly memorable golfing experience on one of Darren Clarke’s “favourite courses in the world”.
In the middle of the last century, a group of local men met at the Donegal Courthouse, and thus began the discussion and design of the first golf course near Donegal Town. Land in the Tullycullion townland was donated by the Temple family, owners of the world famous Magee & Co. , and on completion of design and construction, the course opened in May 1960. The Club remained in that location for just over a decade - a community effort where much of the club maintenance was performed by members. However, as membership and popularity grew, there was new incentive to construct a larger course, more in line with links golf that is known in this part of the world.
The 180 acres of the Murvagh peninsula juts out into the Atlantic, accessed only by an avenue through forestry lands. Unusable for either forestry or farming, the land was perfect for the design and construction of a links course. The Temple family, once again, was instrumental in procuring this land, and in 1973, a 99 year lease on the land was obtained. Eddie Hackett, one of the best known course designers in Ireland, was commissioned and the course was designed using Muirfield, with its two circuits of golf, as its model. By 1973, the newly designed course had 18 holes open for play. The original clubhouse was a caravan, to be replaced some months later, by a railway carriage.
By 1974, Pat Ruddy, who came on board in later years as the architect of new design features of the course, wrote "here is one of Ireland's finest golf courses in the making and must be visited". By 1976, a new clubhouse was built, and the club had 80 members, including Eamonn O'Connor, an Ulster Council representative, and Maire O'Donnell, a former Curtis Cup Captain.
The club has continued to evolve over the years - with a number of holes redesigned by Pat Ruddy, and a new Clubhouse, which opened in 1998. Through its ongoing evolution and continued development, the course continues to attain national recognition, and is consistently listed in the upper 20% of the top 100 courses in the British Isles.