Golf in Ireland enjoys an excellent reputation for challenging courses, spectacular scenery and a golfing history that dates back to the eighteen hundreds. The country is home to a quarter of the world’s links courses and boasts a number of the world’s best golfers including Rory McIlroy, Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell, Paul McGinley and Darren Clarke In addition, many of it’s courses regularly make the top 100 lists in Golf Digest, Planet Golf and others, and is a preferred golfing destination for a number of golfing greats and celebrities.
It’s no surprise, therefore, that Ireland ranks as one of the top destinations worldwide for a golfing holiday.
5 Reasons Ireland is Heaven for Golfers
There are many reasons that make a golfing holiday in Ireland the trip of a lifetime; we’ve narrowed down the top five.
1. Spectacular Scenery and Challenging Courses
Starting with Royal County Down, the course was established in 1889 and lies along the rugged coastline of the Irish Sea. Everyone who plays here, including the golfing greats, agree that each hole is distinctive on this top quality course. Then there’s the lush, spacious K Club that has hosted the Ryder Cup and closely resembles a typical American parkland course. And not forgetting Dooks Golf Club with stunning sea views due to its location between Macgillycuddy’s Reeks and Dingle Peninsula. Waterville a stunning links and now most recently Hogs Head both in the beautiful County Kerry.
Other noteworthy courses (of which there are many) include Royal Portstewart that is considered one of the toughest courses in the world and Royal Portrush that has some of the country’s best views as it overlooks limestone cliffs and white rocks. Ballybunion Golf Club with its steep slopes, challenging grass and narrow fairways make it one of the top-rated courses in the world. Consider Lahinch home of many professional and amateur events, well worth the visit.
2. Play Different Courses in Different Regions
A golfing holiday presents the perfect opportunity to play at a number of different courses to get an idea of the different options that a country has to offer. In this respect, Ireland offers more options than most with spectacular courses throughout the country. The areas can be broadly split into Dublin and the East, the South East, the South West, Northern Ireland, the Shannon Region and Galway area, and the North West.
Druids Glen Golf Course
Tralee Golf Course
Montgomerie Golf Course
3. Ireland’s Top-Rated Courses
With four hundred and forty golf clubs to choose from, there’s always something new to discover. Perhaps the best know is Royal County Down which regularly tops the Gold Digest’s World’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses. But there are at least eight other courses around the country that are in Golf Digest’s and Planet Golf’s Top 100 lists.
Royal County Down aside, other top courses that shouldn’t be missed include Ballybunion, Royal Portrush, Mount Juliet, Rosapenna, Lough Erne, Portstewart Golf Club, Baltray, Waterville, and Tralee The European Club. Ireland has such a great choice of golf courses and while it has some of the finest links course the choice of tree lined parkland courses are second to none.
4. The Country’s Proud Golfing History and Heritage
An important part of a memorable golf tour is understanding a sense of the history of the game in a country. Golf in Ireland dates back to the mid-eighteen hundreds and what makes Ireland so unique is that many of its oldest courses are still in action today. Currently, Ireland has the highest number of golf courses by capita.
And Ireland is currently building on their heritage with a string of recent victories by Irish golfing greats Padraig Harrington, Darren Clarke, Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry who have all gone on to win major titles in recent years. Also, in 2014, Paul McGinley captained the European Ryder Cup and was the first Irishman ever to do so. His close friend, Padraig Harrington, will follow in his footsteps, captaining the European Ryder Cup team in 2020.
Baltray Golf Course
Druids Glen Golf Course
Ballyliffin Golf Course
5. A Unique Golfing Destination
There are many reasons to plan your next golfing holiday in Ireland, here are some of the best ones:
- Worldwide there are fewer than two hundred links golf courses, and a quarter of them (58 to be precise) are in Ireland.
- You don’t need a licence or membership to play golf in Ireland
- Summer days in Ireland are long; it’s light from 6:30 in the morning until after ten in the evening
- The Irish are famous for their 19th hole hospitality, so the fun doesn’t stop once you’ve finished your round
- It’s rated by many as the best country to play, including golfers Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods as well as celebrities such as Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd and Bill Murray
Planning Your Dream Golf Holiday in Ireland
If you’re thinking about a golfing holiday in Ireland, there are a couple of things that you can do to ensure that it is the trip of a lifetime.
Book Ahead of Time
Many of the top courses are in high demand, especially in the summer months. If you are able to plan in advance you can ensure that you are able to book tee times at world-famous courses such as Royal County Down, Portmarnock, Royal Portrush and Ballybunion.
Get Professional Advice
If this is a dream holiday for you, you want to make the most of it. This is why booking a tour or having an itinerary designed specifically for you might be the best option. You’ll be able to get advice on which courses to play at, must-see attractions, where to eat in the evenings, which areas are best suited to your needs and what you need to pack.
Think About Your Partner and Family
If you’re travelling with a partner or family the best way to ensure that you have a good experience is to make sure that those travelling with you are having fun too. A customised itinerary for non-golfers that is tailored to their interests is a good place to start so that while you’re playing golf, they are also entertained.
The Palmer Golf Course, K Club
Tralee Golf Course
Trump International Hotel
Ireland is in a league of its own when it comes to offering the complete package for golf enthusiasts. From challenging courses to spectacular scenery, along with many top-rated courses brimming with history, there is something for everyone. If you’re looking for a once in a lifetime golf holiday, please get in touch – we’d love to share the magic of golf in Ireland with you.