Cork Golf: Plenty of choice for golfers in West Cork

Niall O'Shea looks at the membership options down west, from nine to 18-hole courses
Cork Golf: Plenty of choice for golfers in West Cork

The view from the second green at Glengarriff Golf Club

WEST Cork has always been a popular destination or golf, and in 2023 there are some great membership options available for anyone looking to join. 

From smaller nine-hole clubs to 18-hole championship courses, there’s a wide choice available. 

And with some clubs offering distance membership, country membership and summer membership options, the prices start from just €100.

There are a dozen golf clubs to choose from in West Cork, stretching from the city limits all the way to the Beara Penninsula. 

Berehaven and Glengarriff are two popular nine-hole courses at the far end of the county. 

Berehaven is the furthest west, and is a very scenic seaside links on the shores of Bantry Bay. 

Water is visible all around and comes into play on three of the nine holes. Berehaven has a very attractive membership offer for new members, paying just €100 in the first year and €200 in the second year. 

Full membership is €350 and the club have several distance membership options available.

Although the current Berehaven club dates from 1985, golf on the Beara peninsula dates back to the 1890s when Royal Berehaven Golf Club was laid out by British forces. 

Like many places in Cork, there are reports of many old courses in West Cork including Coosheen, Schull, Barleycove and even ones on Bere Island and Chapel Island. The course in Glengarriff dates back almost 90 years and was originally part of the picturesque Lugdine Estate. 

New members in Glengarriff will only pay €125 in their first year. After that the full adult membership rate is €380 with reductions available for country, five-day and summer membership. 

Juniors can also join from as little as €40 and there is also a special rate available for those returning to golf for their first year.

The 8th hole in Clonakilty Golf Club. Picture: Niall O'Shea
The 8th hole in Clonakilty Golf Club. Picture: Niall O'Shea

Bantry Bay is an 18-hole championship course and bears the names of Eddie Hackett and Christy O’Connor. 

It was founded in 1975 by members of Glengarriff who had the aim of building a course for the town, and while they started with nine holes over 65 acres, the current layout extends to 170 acres with great views over the Bay. 

Membership in Bantry Bay is available for €400 in the first year and €550 for the second year and the full annual subscription is €750. The club has a great reputation as a venue for choice for many Cork golf societies and green fee visitors.

Skibbereen & West Carbery is another 18-hole course that has proved popular among locals and holidaymakers. Located just outside the town, it’s another Eddie Hackett design and stretches to just over 6,000 yards. 

As well as offering attractive new joiner rates, Skibbereen launched a new scheme two years ago, offering new members a pay-as-you golf option. This was seen as a very positive development and was a hybrid between green fees and full membership. 

A base membership rate of €195 was charged and under this scheme members would pay a reduced green fee of €10. 

The scheme had the advantage of providing the member with a Golf Ireland handicap index.

Closer to Cork, Macroom will celebrate their centenary next year. The club is almost unique in that it’s accessed right in the middle of the town and the course is part of the historic Macroom Castle Demense. 

Originally a nine-hole course, it was extended to 18 holes in the 1908s and since then has attracted a large number of golfers from the city. Macroom has a range of competitive membership rates and with the opening of the new Macroom bypass, accessing the club should be much quicker for locals and those travelling from the city and western suburbs.

Clonakilty Golf Club is now a nine-hole course, having originally started as a six-hole Christy O’Connor Snr design. 

Located on the Lisselan Estate and gardens, the club is moving towards the long-term plan for an 18-hole course, but membership is open and full membership is €653 for 2023.


Membership is also open in Kinsale, Bandon, Lee Valley, Blarney and Muskerry which are all popular courses within easy reach of the city suburbs. Joining a golf club also means you become a Golf Ireland member, giving you access to a handicap index and the opportunity to play in open competitions at other clubs. 

Details, including terms and conditions are available from each club.

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