Dooks - Kerry - Ireland

Dooks Golf Links,
Glenbeigh,
Co. Kerry,
Ireland.


  • +353 (0) 66 9768205

  • Maurice O’Meara

  • Eddie Hackett, Donald Steel, Marc Westenborg of Hawtree Limited (2005)

  • Not known


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Dooks

Environmentally, Dooks Golf Club has to be one of the most natural golf courses in the world. Everything is in harmony with its surroundings – it’s a beautiful place for golf. The course is enchantingly located on a promontory on the southern side of Dingle Bay. The MacGillycuddy’s Reeks Mountains stand guard to the southeast and stretched out in the foreground to the north and west are the sandy peninsulas of Rossbehy and Inch Point. The vista is simply breathtaking.

Officers from the Royal Horse Artillery laid out a short nine-hole course in 1889 and they introduced the local gentry to the game of golf. This establishes Dooks as Kerry’s oldest golf course. It was clearly a challenge to settle on a name - initially the club was known as Caragh and Dooks, then Glenbeigh, then Dooks and Caragh and finally, they settled on plain and simple – Dooks. Around 1900, the course was extended to 18 holes, but due to escalating costs, the club soon reverted back to nine holes.

In 1963, a shockwave arrived through the Dooks letterbox. The letter was from the land agent, serving notice to hand back possession of the golf course and club. The course was laid out on leased land, but unfortunately the original lease wasn’t signed. Immediately, a “Save Dooks” campaign was launched and for the next two years the golf club was front-page news. £7000 was eventually raised and in 1965, the members became the proud owners of Dooks Golf Club.

After all the publicity, Dooks grew in popularity and soon became overwhelmed with golfers wanting to play the now famous links. Clearly, the course needed extending to 18 holes, but funds were tight. Lateral thinking was needed. After much debate, nine members volunteered to form and lead teams to construct nine new holes. In September 1970, against all odds, and inside a meagre £3000 budget, a newly extended 18-hole Dooks opened for play – designed and built by the members. The outcome is fantastic, the new holes blend perfectly with the old.

The Dooks emblem - the Natterjack ToadDooks Golf Club is a tranquil, engaging and fun golf course. It also provides a true and traditional links experience. The course is not of championship length, measuring just over 6,000 yards, but don’t let this put you off. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable challenge. Beware of the toads though – the warm, sandy linksland at Dooks is home to the Natterjack, and is one of the amphibians' last remaining habitats. The club has adopted the Natterjack toad as their emblem. Don’t worry if you’re squeamish, though. These little creatures are nocturnal, emerging only when the golfers have gone home.

There are numerous memorable holes, but the 13th will remain etched in the mind for a very long time. Many of the greens are undulating, but the green of the par three 13th is the big dipper in roller-coaster terms. Dooks is certainly an inspirational golf course, a very special place. Additionally, it is also one of the most sociable and friendly golf clubs on the planet and visitors can certainly be assured of a warm and friendly Irish welcome at Dooks.

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Reviews for Dooks

Av. Reviewers Score:
Description: Dooks Golf Club is a tranquil, engaging and fun golf course. It also provides a true and traditional links experience. Rating: 5 out of 6

What this web site summary here shared about Dooks is worth repeating and expanding upon. Yes, it is probably one of the most natural links golf courses in the world, certainly in Ireland -- the play is warm, fun, easy-going and enjoyable, like spending company with an old friend that you haven't seen in years. Yes, it's a beautiful place for golf, too -- not only the course itself (the land, the hole designs, the routing) -- but the views across Dingle Bay to the towns, fields, shores and mountains on the other side are simply breathtaking and heavenly. And yes, even the Dooks logo and mascot (a natterjack toad) are unique and memorable -- enough, that after a friendly and sincere greeting from the staff upon arrival, a round that balances the challenging with the manageable (a great course for match play, too, by the way), and a cold pint with a delicious meal in their warm clubhouse restaurant after the round -- I bought a LOT of trinkets in the pro shop, wanting to remember the amazing day for a long, long time to come. In summary, Dooks is twice the experience for half the price -- compared to most of the tracks in southwest/west Ireland. If we have the privilege and pleasure of returning to Ireland someday, Dooks will be the first reservation we make. Don D

December 06, 2017


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Also on the Ring of Kerry, but much closer to Killarney, sits this previously hidden gem, which has been affected by a healthy infusion of tourist play. While still a very scenic course with a number of good holes, its charming idiosyncrasies have to stand up to a different kind of scrutiny today. The conditioning is rustic and the green surrounds often a bit too rough for putting. And the heathland holes towards the end of the round look a bit out of sorts on this seaside property. All of that is perfectly acceptable for a quirky village track, but perhaps less fitting for what Dooks is trying to represent today. Click the link to read more… Ireland – any decent golf on the West Coast?

October 12, 2016


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Far and away the most scenic course I've ever played (including RCD, Turnberry, Pebble Beach, Nefyn). A simply amazing location.The course is good but not great. In the glow of the location we tend to become less objective about the individual quality of the holes. The par 3s are all the same length. The greens sites are individually good but are very similar. There are no really outstanding individual holes. I think the 10th running along the bay is superb but a lot of that is due to the location. The "neutering" of the old 13th green is a great shame. Please don't let the architect loose on the likes of Lahinch or North Berwick.That said, an enjoyable experience even if the price differential between Dooks and the likes of Tralee, Waterville and Ballybunion is not what it was. Well worth a visit.
August 20, 2015


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I played Dooks (along with Tralee, Waterville and Ballybunnion) in mid April this year. It was a fantastic trip, but Dooks was such a pleasant surprise. I knew the other three would be something special, but I wasn't expecting Dooks to wow me like it did. I can hands down say that this is the most spectacular setting for a golf course I have ever played. Every bad shot hit paled into insignificance when simply looking out to sea or over the mountains. Amazing. The course itself was great- perhaps not in the world class of the others, but if I was to play just this course for the rest of my life I would be a happy man.
May 14, 2015


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I played Dooks in June for the first time since 2003. The changes to the course are spectacular. It now ranks just a cut below Ballybunion, Waterville, and Tralee. Course conditions were quite good even though it is obvious that the property has serious financial issues. The barman was doubling as the pro shop attendant and the course was a bit frayed around the edges. I played on a Monday and there were few other golfers. That's too bad because Dooks deserves a better fate. Give Dooks a chance. You won't be disappointed.
August 18, 2010


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Relax, swing slowly and enjoy the finest backdrop of any golf course in the world! Dooks is a real gem, and a good test of golf - the problem is that it's hard to concentrate on golf with such amazing views. It is fairly short and very beautiful but is a very good test. The staff are extremely friendly. If you are ever in the Kingdom on Kerry, don't miss Dooks.
September 08, 2009


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The whole place exudes what is great about links golf. It may be on the shorter side of some of the local monsters, but play Dooks in a three club wind -that felt like a four or five club wind at times - my son and I did - and it represents as sporty a round as you can get. Unsurpassed views - you just have to stop and take it all in from time to time. Friendly and welcoming, the locals are justly proud of Dooks. If golf is an education then mine is more complete now!
August 21, 2007


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Played Dooks in afternoon of July 31st after Killarney (Killeen) earlier. It's a delightful course in very good condition and with fantastic views all around. Yes, it's short, but the rough is something else with gorse and heather everywhere. Deserves to rank along with the best links courses.
August 12, 2007


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Yes it is 80 euros. However, I am told that a lot of work has recently gone into the course and I certainly wasn't complaining about a lack of value for money. The course was in magnificent condition and the greens were as true as any I played in Ireland this year (including Ballybunnion). Every hole presented a different challenge and I enjoyed every minute. The views are superb and the clubhouse was welcoming. I would certainly recommend this as an essential course to include on any golf tour of Kerry.
August 09, 2007


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Absolutely charming. Challenging but not overly so - a welcome respite from some of the monster courses in the area. By some distance the best scenery of any course I've played (including Pebble Beach, Turnberry, RCD). Great value too.
December 12, 2005


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Response
Cedric
December 27, 2006
You mentionn "great value" in your review...I read somewhere that they now charge 80 euros,even though I couldn't find it on their website.Is that so?Played 3 years ago and the green fee was around 40 euros.Nice little course,but not worth 80 euros(it that is true)...All the north west Irish links are cheaper and much better!!
Ronan O Driscoll
September 08, 2009
As at September 2009, the green fee in Dooks is €65 midweek. A very fair price for a great experience.
John
June 26, 2015
80 is well below the 180 of all other links in the area. Best value for money in Kerry by a mile