Greenore Golf Club was built by the London & North Western Railway Company which at this time co-owned the railway and the hotel. The golf course was first opened with 12 holes in October 1896 and the following year was extended to 18 holes. Its purpose was for recreation for the hotel guests and to generate passenger travel on the railway for people to play golf from both Dundalk and Newry.
The original idea came from a Mr. George L. Bailie from Musselborough in Scotland. Travelling to Greenore by train, he thought the company’s land beside the railway would make an excellent golf course. It seems Mr. Bailie made a profession of constructing golf courses and may have been on a retainer for some of the old rail companies.
The original Clubhouse had no facilites for ladies, so in 1898 a small room was added to one end of the clubhouse for the ladies.
In 1900 Greenore was one of the 10 clubs in Ireland deemed suitable for G.U.I interclub competition, the others being Athlone, Lahinch, Royal Portrush, Royal Co. Down, North West, Royal Dublin, Portmarnock, Co. Louth and Foxrock.
In 1902 the Railway Company organised a Pro Tournament with top pro golfers in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland invited. Amongst those playing were Harry Vardon, James Braid, J.H. Taylor, J. Herd & J White who between them had won 18 British Open Titles. Braid was the eventual winner of the competition.
In 1954, the members bought the course at public auction in Dublin when the railway company was pulling out of Ireland, paying £2,000 for 120 acres.
In 1973, Eddie Hackett, course architect, was called in to upgrade and improve the course. Later in 1984, when the club bought some 14 acres of the land at the end of the course, Eddie Hackett was again called upon to design new holes and resize some of the old ones.