Ireland is very popular with golfers, they will tell you that a visit to the ‘The Emerald Isle’ is like finding a friend for life and the golf is brilliant. The land is beautiful; the turbulent history stretches back 6000 years and is rich in myths and legends. The traditions are fascinating, fairs, festivals, music including some odd instruments, fiercely competitive dancing and joke-telling, particularly one-liners. The Irish also love a good excuse for a party and the pubs are at the heart of Irish cultural, social and musical life. They are not places just to drink, but to talk, listen to poetry, traditional music, eat delicious food and of course not forgetting the Guinness. There is something for everyone, spectacular coastline with great beaches, horse racing, fishing, water sports, gastronomic dining opportunities, historic sites, social history, and traditional crafts such as the world-famous Waterford Crystal. The cities are vibrant and cosmopolitan, not too big but plenty to see and do.
South West Ireland highlights
The beautiful South West is a favourite area for tourists and golfers and Killarney is often the base town of choice.
There are 3 World ranked golf courses Ballybunion Old, Waterville and Lahinch.
It has a full supporting cast of famous golf links including Tralee, Ballybunion Cashen and Doonbeg, Killarney Golf Club has two wonderful lakeside golf courses.
You can also visit Kinsale and play Old Head Golf Links, one of the most remarkable golfing developments ever conceived. It is on an Atlantic promontory two miles long that will never be rivalled in terms of drama and beauty. You are unlikely to play a more dramatic golf course than Old Head anywhere. Kinsale is a small town that has a great concentration of restaurants and has long been known as the ‘Gourmet Capital’ of Ireland. The Good Food Circle has 11 member restaurants. They take pride in serving delicious, top quality food with a great atmosphere. Kinsale is proud to be considered a ‘Foodie Town’ and celebrates its annual Gourmet Festival in October.
Northern Ireland highlights
Northern Ireland has two golf courses that feature high in the World Rankings Royal County Down normally in the top 10 of world rankings and often voted #1 in the UK and Ireland and Royal Portrush, the only Irish course to stage the British Open.
Castlerock, Portstewart and Royal Portrush are all excellent golf courses located close together on the Causeway Coast near Portrush. It is close to the ‘Giants Causeway’ an extraordinary natural phenomenon and a World Heritage site.
West of Ireland Highlights
The West of Ireland is popular for its Links golf courses that are excellent value for money.
County Sligo is the highest-ranked golf course, and Enniscrone, Carne, Connemara and Donegal Golf Courses are very good value also.
Connemara Isles and Strandhill are hidden gems.
Westport is the best parkland golf course in the West, it features in Ireland’s Top 50 Golf Courses.
Enniscrone, Westport and Ballinrobe (another inland golf course) are long, all over 7000 yards and Par 73. Connemara is 7230 yards Par 72.
North West Ireland highlights
Although it is remote, North West Ireland, is one of our favourite areas for golf in Ireland. If you travel from Shannon or North-East from Dublin you can first enjoy the golf links at Sligo and Donegal.
Approaching from Belfast or north from Dublin, you can start on Northern Ireland’s famous Causeway Coast (Royal Portrush and Portstewart).
Rosapenna is a wonderful golf resort with two highly ranked links golf courses Sandy Hills and ‘The Old Course’.
Ballyliffen has a splendid hotel alongside two excellent links golf courses, Glashedy and ‘The Old Course’.
Some of Ireland’s best-hidden gems are to be found in the North West at Cruit Island, Narin and Portnoo and Portsalon.
Dublin Area highlights
There are two world-ranked golf links courses, Portmarnock close to Dublin City and The European, a day trip to the South.
Dublin is unique having two quality links golf courses; Royal Dublin and St Anne’s, just 3 miles from the city centre. To the North of the city, Portmarnock Links and The Island are just 30 minutes and 45 minutes from the city centre. Excellent inland courses are the “K” Club to the West and Druids Glen to the South.
Dublin is a major city for entertainment, sightseeing and shopping.