Rosapenna named Irish Golf Resort of the Year for 2013 at

Prestigious IGTOA Award Ceremony in Killarney


Press release | Tuesday 22nd October 2013

 Rosapenna Hotel & Golf Resort, Co Donegal one of Ireland’s leading golf resorts scooped the prestigious title of 2013 Golf Resort of the Year awarded by the Ireland Golf Tour Operator Association (IGTOA). The award ceremony took place last night at the Gala Irish Golf Awards in The Europe Hotel, Killarney where a panel of highly respected industry peers carefully selected Rosapenna to receive the prestigious accolade for the unrivalled golfing amenities available at the Co. Donegal luxury resort.   

 John Casey, Director at Rosapenna “ The Ireland Golf Tour Operator Association is the most prestigious organization for the recognition of Irish golf at home and internationally. Receiving the accolade of Irish Golf Resort of the Year 2013 is a tremendous honour for all at Rosapenna as we pride ourselves on providing the highest standard in championship links golf & accommodation to rival anywhere in the world for everyone that visits our resort.”

Rosapenna - which features the Old Tom Morris Links, the Sandy Hills Links, the No. 3 Links, No. 4 Links and the Coastguard Nine - has a long illustrious golfing history dating to 1891 when Lord Leitrim brought Old Tom Morris of St Andrews to design the first links.


The Old Links opened for play in 1893 and a timber structured hotel was also built soon afterwards, accommodating golfers from all over Europe and making Rosapenna the oldest golf resort in the country. 

In 1906 professional golfers Harry Vardon and James Braid both travelled to play at Rosapenna and they made some alterations to the course, adding length and more detailed bunkering.

The three golfers have 16 Major Championship titles between them with Old Tom winning four Open Championships), Braid five Opens  and Vardon six Opens and one US Open. 

The back nine of the original layout crossed the main road on a number of occasions and on September 1st 2009 the Strand Nine opened as the new front nine to link in with the original holes 2-10 (Valley Nine) which are now played as the back nine of the Old Tom Morris Links finishing at the new Golf Pavilion (clubhouse) which opened on May 1st 2005.  This pure links layout is now ranked No. 34 in Golf Digest Ireland’s Top 100 Course List.


Rosapenna’s newer championship course, the Sandy Hills Links was designed by Pat Ruddy and opened for play on the 25th of June 2003. It has steadily risen up the many ranking polls since and was ranked No. 42 in Great Britain & Ireland’s Top 100 List by Golf Monthly Magazine 2012, with only nine Irish courses above Rosapenna’s Sandy Hills Links in Golf Monthly’s Top 100 in GB&I it is effectively ranked 10th in Ireland.

Rosapenna has been owned and operated by the Casey family since 1981 and has seen the resort grow from one 18 hole golf course with a 40-bedroom hotel to the resort as it is today, boasting a four-star, 62-bedroom hotel, a leisure centre, Golf Pavilion and now 81 links holes with the successful acquisition of the neighbouring St Patrick’s Golf Links (No.3 Links & No.4 Links) in November 2012 as well as the practice facility with its own 12-hole, Par-3 course. 

“We are very excited that we can now extend golf at Rosapenna beyond what we know as ‘the top of the Valley’ along the shores of Tramore Beach,” said Frank Casey Snr on the St Patrick’s purchase, resort owner and operator for the last 31 years. “The dunescape is some of the finest in the world and very similar to what we already have. It is essentially one piece of dune land that is ideally suited to championship links golf and the views of Sheephaven Bay are spectacular.”

Rosapenna’s continued investment in links golf in Ireland is welcomed at a difficult time for the golf industry and represents a continued commitment to the local area by the Casey Family.


C  Donegal