Nine Irish Courses Rated in World's Top 100

Royal County Down, near Newcastle, County Down, topped the rankings, edging out American courses Bandon Dunes and Pebble Beach; Scotland's Turnberry; and England's Royal Lytham and St. Annes, venue for the 2012 Open Championship won by Ernie Els.

Royal Portrush's Dunluce course - which recently hosted the Irish Open - ensured Northern Ireland made up 20 percent of the top-10 courses with a seventh-placed ranking.

Dublin and the east coast of Ireland are well-represented with Portmarnock Old (33), The European Club (36) and County Louth (71). The nation's links-rich southwest has Waterville at 18th, followed by Ballybunion Old (40), Lahinch (56) and Doonbeg (64).

Golf World's rankings match those by Golf Digest, which ranked eight of Ireland's courses in the top 100 in the world outside America, with Royal County Down taking first place.

David Boyce, Tourism Ireland's head of business and sports tourism, said of the accolades: "In the past few weeks we have received glowing endorsements for our golf product on both sides of the Atlantic, via the Golf World and Golf Digest rankings.

"The Golf World poll also demonstrates how accessible our top courses are to visitors who want to come and experience playing world-class golf in a great environment."

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