This challenging Championship Links golf course occupies magnificent Murvagh peninsula in Donegal Bay, hence it is known locally as Murvagh. The course is isolated from the outside world by a forest of evergreens washed on one side by the great Atlantic Ocean and by Donegal Bay on the others. It has a panoramic view of the Bluestack Mountains and the beach that runs along the Atlantic border is one of the finest in Ireland. It has been described as the Muirfield of Ireland, similar in terrain with two loops of nine holes, the first nine an outer loop and the second nine an inner loop running in the opposite direction. At nearly 7,300 yards (championship) or 7,000 yards (medal) this course is long. The serious golfer needs to be at his or her best, while those less serious will still enjoy the course as it offers a chance on each hole to win a battle, if not the overall war. Donegal Golf Club was founded in 1959 when the first golf course and clubhouse were built at Tullycullion on the edge of Donegal Town. The land for the course was granted to the club by the Temple family, owners of Magee & Co. In the early 70’s some far-sighted members identified the links land of the Murvagh Penninsula as being more than suitable for a golf course. The land was leased from the Department of Lands and Ireland ’s leading golf course designer at the time, Eddie Hackett (pictured right), was hired to design an 18-hole championship course. The course and new clubhouse were officially opened in 1976. Since then, the course has undergone quite a bit of remodeling. Most of these changes have been carried out under the direction of Pat Ruddy, another famous Irish golf course designer. Donegal Golf Club was the venue for the Irish Ladies Close Championship in 1979, and again in 2003. In 2004, the Club hosted the Men’s Irish Close Championship; the winner was Brian McElhinney, the 2004 European Amateur Champion, who came out on top of a strong field that included Rory McIlroy, then 14 years old and playing in his first Irish Close Championship.
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