Ireland is a land where histories are buried within histories and whose heritage is shaped upon stories of myth, legend, and lore that echo across thousands of years of traditional storytelling.
Nobody knows where Doonbeg’s story begins, save for the dunes upon which its scene is set – but two men from South Carolina - Buddy Darby and Leonard Long recognised its singular magnificence and set about realising their vision, where others had left it behind:
“When we stepped out on that site we realised that it might be the only time in our lives that we could be involved in something as rare as that. It was a magnificent piece of links land and it was remarkable for such a site to be available anywhere in the world.” -Buddy Darby
Considered originally as an ideal setting for links golf from as early as 1892 by the Scottish Black Watch Regiment, more accessible areas were favoured over Doonbeg on account of its remote location leaving the site lying fallow for another two centuries.
Today, Doonbeg is one of the most dramatic and exclusive golf resorts in the world – a hidden retreat set amongst rolling sand dunes on one of the most breathtaking coastal sites in Ireland.
Built in harmony with its surroundings, the development is extremely environmentally sensitive taking great measures to preserve particular areas of sand dunes and local flora and fauna. Two significant elements that have been meticulously protected are the Grey Dunes* (term applied to the oldest ones intact) and an endangered snail known as the Vertigo Angustior*.
*The Grey Dunes at Doonbeg are designated as a candidate for a Special Area of Conservation by Dúchas, the Irish Heritage Service. Under a management agreement between Doonbeg Golf Club and Dúchas 51 acres of grey dunes are fenced off permanently for preservation and are not in play. The remainder of the site (including the course) is designated as a proposed Natural Heritage Area.
*The Vertigo Angustior, a microscopic snail measuring just 2 mm high and 1 mm wide was discovered on the site during the developers environmental impact assessment. As with the grey dunes, it is listed for protection under the European Union Habitats directive. Subsequent to analysis by the leading Irish expert on Vertigo Angustior it was concluded that the snail can coexist both in the dunes and on the course.