As early as 1892, officers of the Scottish Black Watch Regiment considered Doonbeg an ideal setting for links golf. In the early 1990s, the Doonbeg Community Development Company began promoting the concept of a golf course at Doonbeg. With urging from that group, Shannon Development obtained purchase options for 377 acres of links-land from four local farming families. Doonbeg Golf Club Ltd., an Irish entity created by the partners of Kiawah Development Partners, acquired the options from Shannon Development and closed the sale in December 1999. Construction of the golf course commenced in December 1999.
The course opened on July 9, 2002, when Greg Norman defeated Irish Ryder Cup star Padraig Harrington by 2 to 1 in an exhibition match, but much interest and activity predated the event.
In February 2014, the course was purchased by The Trump Organization and has since been renamed to Trump International Golf Links Doonbeg.
Since then Trump Doonbeg has been transformed by Dr. Hawtree to one of the 'must play' golf courses on the international circuit. He has allowed the character and soul of the land flourish while enhancing the playability tenfold. Every hole has its own identity which will both reward and challenge each golfer.