Review of Monkstown Golf Club, Co. Cork


Monkstown Golf Club rejoices in its distinguished history and its unique setting overlooking Cork’s glorious harbour.

Our Irish Editor, Kevin Markham describes this unique course:
A fine, mature and peaceful parkland awaits at Monkstown, just south-east of Cork city. Trees define holes from the start and as a short course you’ll find those trees prove over-protective time and again. Careful judgement is required off the tee and the best hole on the course – the par four 10th – calls for two razor sharp shots, first through a tricky dogleg in the trees and then to a perched green sitting above water. But this is a gentle, embracing affair and its length makes it fun and accessible for everyone. The front nine deliver a steep and unexpected drop down to a green (the 3rd) before rising sharply back up (the 5th). There’s a modern and plush clubhouse, too, but keep an eye on your left as you play the 7th, for this is Monkstown Castle (1636) which was once the clubhouse.

The Club, which was founded in 1908, has evolved into a mature parkland layout with a challenging course and excellent clubhouse facilities. The facilities are much sought after by both members and visitors alike. It has a strong and vibrant membership and for visitors planning a golfing trip to the Cork area, a visit to Monkstown is a must.

The original nine holes of the course draw the golfer to the crest of the hill and offer marvellous panoramic views of the broad sweep of the River Lee and Cork’s busy lower harbour. It is worthwhile taking a moment, while your partners play, to savour the unique overview of the historic port of Cobh as well as the islands of Haulbowline, which is the Irish Naval base and Spike Island which is today a stunning visitor centre managed by Cork County Council.

The grandeur of the site is emphasised by the many stately old trees that help to define the fairways and enrich the sylvan setting while also, of course, offering the keen golfer a reason to proceed with a degree of caution.

The Club celebrated its centenary in 2008 and has hosted many Golfing Union of Ireland and Irish Ladies Golf Union events throughout its history.

The antiquity of the site is evoked by the old Castle which dates back to 1636 and was the Clubhouse until 1971. It is fitting that the outline should form the crest of the Club since its inception in 1908. The Castle has recently been tastefully restored to its former glory.

The course was extended in 1971 and the back nine, where several water features provide a nice contrasting challenge, help to complete a layout that demands subtlety and courage in equal measure. It offers golfers of all levels a challenge that is stimulating and interesting and one that demands the use of every club in the bag.

Monkstown Golf Club is conveniently situated just ten minutes drive from both Cork Airport and Cork’s city-centre. See our location map for directions. The old garrison town of Cobh, formerly Queenstown, with its colourful past is also but a short drive away and is reached via a river-ferry crossing.

Just as adjacent to the south-west is the distinctive town of Kinsale, the gourmet capital of Ireland with its generous quota of distinguished restaurants, its quaint narrow streets and many hints of its military and Spanish connections.