Looking for a new golfing destination? South Wicklow is home to some gems - from links to parkland and all with stunning views and top quality courses. We give you the low down on where you can play golf within swinging distance of Arklow Town.
The Arklow district covers an area from Brittas Bay South to Glenmalure, so the variety of courses available, within short driving distance of one another, is phenomenal.
Arklow itself is a vibrant seaside town that sits just inside the south Wicklow border, but with a definite Sunny-South-East vibe! County Wexford is just a couple of kilometres away and Dublin can be reached by train, bus or motorway in under an hour. Perfect for a society weekend away or to base yourself to take in some of the best courses in Ireland.
1. Arklow Golf Links
First established in 1927, Arklow Golf Club is an 18-hole seaside links course, renowned for being warm and inviting to all visitors from home and overseas. This course is nestled to the South of the town, between the Arklow Rock, the Irish Sea and mountains to the west, affording wonderful scenery all around.
A traditional links, Arklow Golf Course was formed by Hawtree & Taylor in 1927 and evolved with input from Eddie Hackett, in the 1970’s and more recently, Eddie Connaughton. The course has been described as a ‘Hidden Jewel’ and the Southern Region of the Irish PGA held their 2001 and 2002 Championships on this links. Arklow is ranked in Golf Digest Magazine Top 100 Irish Golf Courses in 2020.
This Par 69 golf course is laid out over 6,516 yards and offers the golfer a challenging round – plenty of hollows, sand hills, marram grass and bunkers to be negotiated.
There is a lively Clubhouse Bar and Restaurant with capacity for 100 people, pro-shop and practice green with 9 holes and putting green all onsite. Visitors can avail of lockers, changing area and showers, and buggies, electric trollies and caddy carts are all available to hire.
You’re sure to enjoy this wonderfully unique course, as well as the tranquil and panoramic views over the links with its meandering fairways and rugged sand dunes, all set against a backdrop of the Irish Sea.
2. Woodenbridge Golf Course
Woodenbridge is the second oldest golf course in Ireland - the first officially documented game of golf here took place way back in 1884 before the club was opened to all who wished to play in 1894. For 100 years, 9 holes were played here until 1994 when Paddy Merrigan was commissioned to design the additional nine-hole layout and extend Woodenbridge to a Par 71, 18-hole course.
Woodenbridge Golf Club is situated just 7km from Arklow, where the Avoca and Aughrim rivers meet and today is considered one of Ireland’s top parkland courses, spanning 6,341 yards and surrounded by rivers and mature forests. Woodenbridge was described by the legendary Joe Carr as “Ireland’s Augusta” and “The most scenic golf course in Ireland, a hidden gem” and in the 2012 Golfer's Guide to Ireland Woodenbridge was nominated as ‘Leinster's Hidden Gem’.
The Woodenbridge Clubhouse offers all the facilities that the visiting golfer would expect including a large changing area with shower facilities and golf buggy and trolly hire. There is a fully stocked golf shop offering a wide range of equipment and attire. Upstairs, The Pheasantry Restaurant and bar area provide great views over the course, with most of the course's holes in eyeshot, and food is served from 10:00am to 9:30pm daily with seating for up to 70 people.
3. The European Club
The European Club has been a popular choice with Champions from all over the world - Tiger Woods currently holds the course record of 67 here! Just 10km from Arklow, the course lies amongst the tumbling dunes of Brittas Bay South, where you will enjoy sweeping sea views from nineteen of the twenty holes. Yes, there are two extra par-3s here and they are in play most days affording the golfer a 20-hole round which includes five holes running very close to the sea.
It is one of the longest links at 7,490-yards from the tips, featuring many unique designs and not least the longest green in the world at hole 12, which measures 127-yards from front to back.
The clubhouse offers changing facilities and a restaurant, with golf clubs, push trollies and ride-on golf cars available for hire.
Open: From 8a.m. Gates close at dark. Visitors are welcome everyday but not before 10a.m. on Sundays when the members play their weekly competition early.
Find out more here.
4. Macreddin Golf Course
Heading inland to the Macreddin Valley is an area of outstanding natural beauty, tucked away at the southern reaches of the Wicklow Mountains, just 16km from Arklow Town. In the heart of the valley lies Macreddin Golf Course, a magnificent 18-hole, Par 72 golf course set within 160 acres of tranquil woodland splendour, spanning 7,173 yards.
Macreddin is the first course ever designed by Irish professional golfer and Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley. After years of competing at the peak of the game, playing against the world’s elite golfers and across the most acclaimed golf courses, Paul brought all his experience to bear in creating a course that oozes class and quality.
Macreddin Golf Course is described by Golf World Magazine as “Outstanding and Truly Spectacular” and was crowned ‘Best Hidden Gem Leinster’ in the Golfers Guide to Ireland Awards 2015. Golf Journalist Kevin Markham’s rates Macreddin in his Top 10 Golf Courses in Ireland, and he has played all 340!
Facilities include a 300m long driving range, open to the public for summer and winter use. The USGA specification dedicated short-game practice area is designed to cater for those all-important short-range shots around the green and from greenside bunkers. 50 Golf Buggies are available for hire with a network of buggy paths stretching along every hole which allows for all year-round buggy usage.
A small clubhouse is complemented by the wonderful facilities of Macreddin Village and the Brooklodge Hotel, which is located directly across the road. This fabulous 4-star hotel boasts two restaurants, The Orchard Café and Acton’s Traditional Irish Pub, which brews its own beer.