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Fota Island – Deerpark Course

Founded: 1993
Designer: Christy O’Connor Jr., P. McEvoy, J. Howes
Championship Length: 6,927 yards
PAR: 71
Type: Parkland
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Who this course is best for:

A golfer who would like to play a former Irish Open Course, who enjoys a rolling parkland course, who is staying not far from the town or Cork, Kinsale, or playing Old Head.


There is an argument that Fota Island Golf Club is the site of the second oldest golf club in Ireland, as records suggest that golf was played here as far back as 1886. Regrettably, the original nine hole course fell into disrepair following the First World War and golf at Fota Island was abandoned. It was not until 1993 that a new championship course was developed at Fota Island; it hosted a number of major tournaments in its early years. Following an extensive redesign in 1999, Fota is now rated as one of the finest parkland courses in the country and was host to the Murphy’s Irish Open Golf Championships in 2001 and 2002.

Fota Island sits tranquilly in Cork Harbour, just a short drive from Cork City, which is Ireland’s second largest city. Ideally located in Ireland’s southwest, Fota Island’s great golfing neighbors include the likes of Ballybunion, Killarney and Waterville to name just a few. A traditional parkland golf course, Fota Island is a sister course to the highly regarded Mount Juliet Resort in Kilkenny and is kept in immaculate condition year round. The club is located within a 780 acre estate, which also houses the Fota Island Wildlife Park and is included in the “Inventory of Outstanding Landscapes of Ireland,” while the splendid woodland and water features combine to create a challenging layout.

Following its redesign, Fota Island has won universal praise from many quarters. It has joined the list of great golf courses that have hosted Murphy’s Irish Open Golf Championship, a list that includes Ballybunion, Portmarnock, Druids Glen, the Killeen Course at Killarney and Mount Juliet. According to Golf Monthly, “It’s a mark of imaginative design when a new course appears old before the paint has dried. Purists will delight at the old fashioned features; you’ll stand in wide eyed admiration.” Golf Digest wrote of Fota Island: “Fota eschews the Schwarzenegger like brutality in favor of guile and subtlety. Depending on how you see the shot in your mind, you could be playing any of three different clubs. It makes you think. It’s real golf.”

Course review content courtesy of Golf Publisher Syndications

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“The various hotels we stayed at were all first class, as was the service and the food.  Everything went off without a hitch which made the trip very enjoyable.”

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Tours that include this Course

Ballybunion Old Golf

Ballybunion-Old Course

Southwest Splendor

Play the finest and most beautiful southwest Ireland courses from Ballybunion to Kinsale with these five rounds of golf:

  • Waterville
  • Ballybunion-Old Course
  • Tralee
  • Fota Island
  • Old Head