About the Club and Course

Welcome to Berehaven Golf Club!

The Club is set in the most picturesque surroundings with Hungry Hill on the North side and Berehaven Harbour and Bere Island on the South side.

The 65-acre seaside site is ideally suited for a golf course, with streams, hillocks, estuaries, rambling turf and natural hazards.

The course is seldom closed in winter owing to good drainage.

A round of golf on this historic course for anyone passing through West Cork will be a challenge but will not disappoint.


The club has a fascinating history. The Royal Berehaven Golf Club, as it was originally known, was laid out by the British Admiralty in the late 1890s. It was completed in 1902 and subsequently used by the officers of the Royal Navy´s Atlantic Fleet when stationed in Berehaven up to and during the First World War.

Admiral Beatty and General Montgomery were both reputed to have played here. It remained in the hands of the British until the handover of the port and military barracks on Bere Island in 1938 to the Department of Defence. The course was subsequently sold and was in various hands before gradually falling into disuse and eventually becoming overgrown with furze and bracken.

In the late 1960s there was a renewal of interest in the site and in its potential as a golf club. Members of this new club cut the furze, cleared the drains, mowed the fairways and rebuilt the greens. The club entered the Junior West Cork Shield in 1969 and to the amazement of other well established Cork clubs, succeeded in winning the trophy. They won it again in 1971. Interest in golf in Castletownbere was renewed.

However, the momentum briefly came to a halt when the property fell into the hands of developers who attempted to build a holiday complex on the site. After much wrangling with the Council and the developer the property was offered to the club. An enterprising committee obtained a grant of £100,000 from the Chevron/Whiddy Disaster fund. The rest of the purchase price, £15,000, was raised locally in one week by donations from well wishers and interested members of the community. As of today, the site remains the property of the members.

The First Ladies Golf Club was formed in 1986 and from the beginning the ladies had equal membership and representation on all committees within the club. The first president of the renewed club was a Mrs Harrington. From the beginning the ladies took part in the ILGU leagues and in the West Cork Shield which they won in 1996 and 1997.

The Course

The 1st hole is played from a high tee down into a wide valley that sweeps across in front of you. The green sits on top of a knoll and slopes from front to back, away from the approaching player. When the ground is dry, firm and lively it is a job to make the ball hold on the green.

The 2nd hole is a par-5 running parallel with the road. A long drive will enable a 2nd shot to be aimed over the stream but a lot of players will want to layup their 2nd before taking on the green with the 3rd. The green, partially or completely hidden on approach, is eventually found in a basin.

The 3rd requires a strong tee shot and the green is perched on a knoll surrounded by deep swales, rocky outcroppings and thorny bushes. Take an extra club for your second shot.

The 4th is a straightaway par-4 in excess of 400 yards. The second shot must carry a wide stream that foreshortens the dry land between the watery grave and the front edge of another small green. For most handicap golfers, it plays like a par-5 with the stream being negotiated with the 3rd shot.

The 5th hole features a narrow, sharply down and then uphill fairway to a blind green in a bowl surrounded by bushes and gorse. 

The 6th is a medium length par-3 across a valley to a slanting green framed by trees and bushes. Don't get sidetracked by the stunning views to the South.

The 7th is a classic, risk and reward hole where any looseness will be severely punished. Success depends on biting off as much of the shoreline as possible. Bailing out on the left has disadvantages as you are left with a long blind shot off a side hill lie that has to carry over an inlet of the sea that runs deep into the golf course.

The 8th is a par-3 with an island green sitting above the rocky beach that is, as often as not, exposed to the vagaries of temperamental elements.

The long carry over the water and up and over the cliff face makes the 9th a tough proposition for the handicap golfer. The green is semi-blind from the tee and positioned well back from the water´s edge and surrounded by trees and bushes.