Wicklow Golf Club was founded in 1904. The course was laid out on a farm once owned by the O’Connor family whose son, Peter, held the Irish long jump record until 1990. From humble beginnings it developed as a challenging nine-hole course renowned for its tight holes requiring accuracy with almost every shot and tricky greens. Although not long it challenged every class of golfer. The old course was a demanding par 70 with 2 par 5’s and four par 3’s.
In 1991 the land to the south of Dunbur Glen was acquired. In 1994 the present course was officially opened with eleven new greens and alterations to several other holes. Craddock & Ruddy the course architects for the new layout retained the difficulty factor in their design, in so far as the dependency on accuracy of shot is still required. The course is now a par 71 with 3 par 5’s and 4 par 3’s.
The course is set on circa 90 acres and is sandwiched between the Irish Sea and Dunbur Road. In many cases these two form the course boundary. Dunbur Glen is the feature for three of the Par 3’s that traverse the valley. The 17th, the signature hole, is played from a high tee into the neck of the valley with water hazards in front and trouble in the form of rough and shrubbery on the other three sides. An accurate tee shot is required to find the green.
Players wishing to score well in Wicklow must make their score on the front nine and eliminate the errors coming home. Course management is the name of the game in Wicklow.
The new clubhouse was opened in 2002 and is a fitting testament to the go ahead attitude of the members of Wicklow Golf Club.
Wicklow Golf Club broke ranks with the rest of the county Clubs by having Ladies as full members from the very beginning. Ladies also attended and voted at the meeting of the 14th October 1904, at which Wicklow Golf Club was formally constituted. In 1906 the Dublin, Wicklow, and Wexford Railway Company sponsored the first Open Mixed Foursomes Competition to be run by the Club.
Today the Course is among the most scenic in the country, and boasts great views along the east coast, with rugged cliffs and rolling fairways.
Wicklow celebrated its Centenary year in 2004 by twinning with the Welsh Golf Club – Haverfordwest. The book “A History of Wicklow Golf Club” was written by Brendan Flynn, a member of the club.
Three Films have been shot on and around Wicklow Golf Course, namely John Boorman’s “Excalibur”, Pierce Brosnan’s “Taffin”, and more recently “Reign of Fire” which starred Matthew McConaughey.