Golf Courses in Ireland

Adare

Adare

Set on 230 lush acres of the Adare Manor Estate, Adare Golf Club was designed by legendary golf course architect, Robert Trent Jones Sr. and offers a magnificent parkland layout. From his first perception of Adare Manor as having all the flavour of Augusta National, he has created a true masterpiece and one of the leading parkland courses in Ireland. The Adare Manor Estate has a long history but was purchased in 1987 by the Kane family of Palm Beach Gardens in Florida. Major work on the Manor ensued and the golf course opened for play in August 1995. Measuring over 7,000 yards from the championship tees, Adare Golf Club is an American styled course, with rock walled streams, subtly undulating greens and Jones' signature cloverleaf bunkers. A 14 acre lake dominates the outward nin...read more

Ballybunion Cashen

Ballybunion Cashen

Many consider that Ballybunion Golf Club is all about the Old Course. However nothing could be further from the truth. Designed by legendary course architect, Robert Trent Jones Sr. and opened in 1980, the Cashen Course at Ballybunion is more than entitled to share the same hallowed turf as the Old Course and is a superb test of links golf in every respect. That some consider that the Cashen Course presents a stiffer challenge than the Old Course, speaks volumes for its quality. The Cashen Course at Ballybunion is set on the same majestic links land as its elder sister. Upon observing the terrain for the first time, Trent Jones commented that this was "the finest piece of links land I have ever seen and perhaps the finest piece of links land in the world". With the Atlantic Ocean...read more

Ballybunion Old Course

Ballybunion Old Course

The very name Ballybunion Golf Club, strikes a chord with golfing enthusiasts around the globe. Rated one of the ten best golf courses in the world, standing on the first tee at Ballybunion is every bit as awe inspiring as one could imagine in many respects, it's like standing on the first at the Old Course in St. Andrews. This is an experience long since yearned for don't duff it, don't slice it, don't hook it and whatever you do, don't put it into the graveyard! On August 19th 1893, both the Limerick Chronicle and Kerry Sentinel (in it's gossip column of all places) carried news of the opening meeting of Ballybunion Golf Club. The club though was not yet financially equipped to survive and there followed an eight year period of golfing oblivion, which lasted until the formation...read more

Ballyliffin Glashedy Links

Ballyliffin Glashedy Links

Adjoining the Old Course at Ballyliffin, the newer Glashedy Links provides a roller coaster tour of this remarkable lunar like landscape. At many 36 hole complexes, the newer golf course is often perceived as inferior. Nothing could be further from the truth at Ballyliffin as Glashedy Links is recognized as the championship course and probably the better of the two though this is purely a matter of personal choice. Given the incredible piece of golfing land on hand at Ballyliffin, the Glashedy Links was always destined for greatness. The end result however surpassed all expectation and Glashedy Links stands today as a supremely testing and stunningly beautiful links course. Glashedy is destined for recognition as one of the world's finest links. From the championship tees, the Gla...read more

Ballyliffin Old Links

Ballyliffin Old Links

Known in some circles as the "Dornoch of Ireland", the Old Course at Ballyliffin has long been regarded by those in the know, as the ultimate hidden gem. Boasting an unsurpassable setting and with terrain so perfect for golf, it seems that those who did stumble across Ballyliffin felt compelled to speak about it in whispers. Upon visiting the course in 1993, Nick Faldo immediately fell under Ballyliffin's spell. With its amazingly contoured fairways, this was a course that added new meaning to the phrase "a natural golf links". 1995 saw the addition of the Glashedy Links, a more than worthy sibling to its elder brother. And even today, despite their growing reputations, the courses of Ballyliffin, nestled beneath towering mountains and overlooking Pollan Bay remain two of the wor...read more

Baltray Co. Louth

Baltray Co. Louth

County Louth Golf Club, or Baltray as it's known locally, is one of those golf courses that contradict the commonly held belief that Ireland's eastern coast is far inferior to the southwestern region in terms of quality links courses. Though the volume of links may not be quite the same on the east coast, when you consider courses such as Baltray, The Island, Royal Dublin, Portmarnock, Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links, Royal County Down and the European Club, it is clear that the quality of links golf courses on the eastern side of the island is in no way inferior. The original layout at Baltray was modified to a large extent when Tom Simpson and his assistant, Molly Gourlay, redesigned the course in 1938 but so successful were the alterations made at this time, the course rem...read more

Beaufort

Beaufort

Beaufort Golf Club, though only founded in 1995 is fast becoming a must play venue for those visiting the Killarney region and playing the established golf courses such as Killeen and Mahony's Point at Killarney Golf Club. Set amongst 200 year old trees, 12th century castle ruins and the lush, rolling hills of Killarney, Beaufort Golf Course has been carved from natural terrain and is suited to all standards of golfer. The course presents magnificent views of the McGillycuddy Reeks mountain range, while each hole asks serious questions of a golfers' ability, with lakes, mature trees and bunkers all lurking to punish the unwary. Some features of Beaufort Golf Course are the generous fairways, bunkering pattern and large contoured greens, with the putting surface at the par 4, 16th...read more

Carlow Golf Club

Carlow Golf Club

Founded: 1899 (Present Course 1922)Designer: Cecil Barcroft, Tom SimpsonChampionship Length: 6,571 yards Like Cork Golf Club, Carlow Golf Club is one of those rare parkland species with roots in the 19th century. And like almost all golf courses of a mature age, Carlow is a really superb test of golfing prowess and certainly rates as one of the finest parkland courses in Ireland. Founded as a nine hole course in 1899 as the Leinster Golf Club, the name was changed to Carlow Golf Club in 1901. Following the First World War, the club prospered and membership grew rapidly, resulting in a transfer to a 164 acre portion of the Bruen family estate in 1922. Cecil Barcroft designed an excellent 18 hole layout over a magnificent piece of wooded terrain and so successful were his efforts that it was...read more

Carne Belmullet

Carne Belmullet

Carne Golf Links, also known as Belmullet Golf Links, is one of those courses that people don't appreciate just how good it is until they have played it. Hidden on one of the most westerly points in Ireland, right on the Atlantic Ocean, the links at Carne was the last course designed by the late Eddie Hackett, who commented of Carne "if ever the Lord intended land for a golf course, Carne has it". The last instructions given by Hackett, who regarded Carne and Waterville as his greatest architectural achievements was this plea "It took nature thousands of years to create this and I don't want bulldozers to destroy it. Don't change anything after I've gone or I will turn in my grave." He can rest easy. His legacy to the game is one of the most awesome golf courses ever constructed,...read more

Castlerock

Castlerock

Situated within minutes of Portstewart and Royal Portrush, Castlerock Golf Club is a classic links course set amid towering dunes and is a more than worthy neighbour to both these great Irish links. Founded in April 1901, the original course comprised nine holes and was laid out on the western part of the present course. Additional land was leased in 1908 and Ben Sayers, the professional from North Berwick in Scotland, was commissioned to design an eighteen hole layout. Though better known as a club maker, Sayers produced a superb layout and insisted that the links of Castlerock would equal those at Troon, North Berwick and Sandwich. The formal opening of the new eighteen holes took place in July 1909 and the club prospered until activities declined with the outbreak of the Firs...read more

Connemara

Connemara

Connemara, or Ballyconneely Golf Club, as it is also known, is located between the Twelve Bens Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean, in one of the most splendid settings imaginable. According to renowned golf writer, James W. Finnegan, the golf links of Connemara is "a perfect reflection of the austere beauty that is the world of Connemara". Originally opened as an 18 hole venue, Connemara Golf Links has offered 27 holes of sublime links golf since 2001. The course was designed by renowned Irish course architect, Eddie Hackett and completed by Tom Craddock. And while Connemara Golf Club may be located on one of Ireland most westerly tips, make no mistake that it is worth the trip. Like the many other great links of the west and northwest, Connemara remains a largely underplayed (if n...read more

Cork Golf Club

Cork Golf Club

Cork Golf Club, or Little Island as it is known locally, is one of Ireland's oldest parkland golf courses, founded in 1888 and certainly one of the best. One of the club's many claims to fame is that it is among an elite group of courses worldwide to have been designed by the celebrated course architect, Alister Mackenzie, of Augusta National fame. Known for its large tiered greens, which are a Mackenzie trademark, Cork Golf Club will not fail to impress and is a worthy inclusion on any itinerary. This championship parkland golf course is as graceful and mature as its age would suggest. Situated in the scenic Cork Harbour, the course has played host to many major amateur and professional events over the years. The array of classic golf holes at Cork opens with several parkland g...read more

Dingle Ceann Sibeal

Dingle Ceann Sibeal

Located on the Dingle Peninsula, Ceann Sibeal, or Dingle Golf Club as it's also known, is the most westerly golf course in Ireland and for that matter, Europe. The course is certainly the best kept golfing secret in Kerry but at 6,690 yards in length, Ceann Sibeal is one of Ireland's truly traditional championship links courses and is a real test of golf. If Christy O' Connor Jr. was misguided in commenting "This course has everything that St. Andrews has to offer and more", then it wasn't by much. Every hole on the magnificent links at Ceann Sibeal has been carved from the natural landscape of one of the most remote and unspoiled parts of Ireland. The hand of Mother Nature laid down its many hazards, including a winding burn that twists and turns throughout the entire course, l...read more

Donegal Golf Club

Donegal Golf Club

Lying in the bosom of beautiful Donegal Bay and backed by the magnificent Blue Stack Mountains, Donegal Golf Links (or Murvagh Golf Club as it is also known) was designed by the master of Irish golf course architecture, Eddie Hackett. Following his designs at Connemara and Waterville Golf Links, the links at Donegal was his third such project and it was destined to be on a similarly grand scale as his two previous creations. It will always be a matter of dispute whether golf originated in Scotland or Holland but in Donegal, similar to Lahinch, it was the Scottish influence that brought it to our shores. While on overseas service in Ireland, the Scottish army regiments saw beautiful links land, similar to the lands upon which the great Scottish links were built, and they encourag...read more

Dooks

Dooks

Dooks Golf Club represents traditional Irish links golf at its best. Though not renowned the world over like its near neighbour Ballybunion, Dooks offers the visitor a unique links experience in a majestic environment. Golf Course architect Donald Steele aptly assessed the course as follows "Dooks is a rare gem it has a special place in the annals of links golf and must be preserved at all costs. Its character typifies the true meaning of what this form of the game should represent." The golf course is laid out on one of three stretches of sand dunes at the head of Dingle Bay. In the immediate foreground are the dune peninsulas of Rossbeigh and Inch, while just a few short miles away, the whitewashed houses of Cromane fishing village provide another eye catching distraction. To ...read more

Trump International Golf Links

Trump International Golf Links

Within the parish of Doonbeg in County Clare, the Trump golf links  land that remains untouched by time sits astride a rugged piece of Atlantic coastline and ranks with Ballybunion and Lahinch as one of the finest golf courses in Ireland. The rolling seaside dunes of Doonbeg were first identified by the founding fathers of Lahinch as having potential for a golf course, as early as 1892. The officers of the Scottish Black Watch Regiment had searched far and wide for the perfect coastal site and as legend has it, the dramatic links land of Doonbeg was their first choice. Lahinch was chosen due to transportation issues and rail services of the time and so was born Lahinch. Due to 19th century economics, Doonbeg would have to wait for another 100 years for its potential to be tap...read more

Dromoland

Dromoland

Dromoland Golf & Country Club is set within the 410 acre estate of Dromoland Castle. Much more than just a golf club, hotel residents and golfers are free to avail of the many leisure facilities including gymnasium, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. The castle and estate date back to the 16th century, while the parkland golf course has developed a fine reputation as a top venue over the past few decades. The golf course is set within an estate of rich woodland around a huge natural lake and offers extensive views of the beautifully restored Dromoland Castle. Over the latter holes, expansive landscape views of the River Shannon complement the challenge offered by the golf course, while the River Rine also gently meanders its way through the estate. Though a relativ...read more

Druids Glen

Druids Glen

Druids Glen features prominently alongside the likes of the K Club, Mount Juliet, Carlow and Fota Island in every discussion of great inland golf courses. And while it's purely a matter of opinion as to which is best, the important thing to remember is that there's much more to Irish golf than its links courses. Druids Glen played host to the Irish Open Golf Championship from 1996 to 1999 and was voted European Golf Course of the year in 2000 at the prestigious Hertz International Travel Awards. It's said that every great course produces great champions and Druids Glen is no different, having produced winners of the calibre of Montgomery and Garcia. Steeped in history, Druids Glen owes its name to the pagan high priests, or druids, who worshipped in the forested Wicklow countrysi...read more

Enniscrone

Enniscrone

The golf links of Enniscrone is another of the great, relatively little known and underplayed golf links of Ireland's northwest. It is one of those rare links from which no player comes away disappointed however badly they may have played. Make no mistake that Enniscrone deserves to be rated alongside the likes of Lahinch, Rosses Point, Connemara, Waterville and Ballybunion. It is a classic links with dramatic dune land, superb greens and breathtaking views. This is an experience that once savoured, should be repeated and will never be forgotten. While golf began at Enniscrone as far back as 1918, it was not until 1974 that the course was extended to 18 holes. And when Eddie Hackett was invited to design an extension to the original nine hole course, the terrain prompted him to ...read more

Esker Hills

Esker Hills

Esker Hills Golf & Country Club is one of those recently developed parkland golf courses that have put the Irish midlands firmly on the map in golfing terms. For a long time, it seemed the midlands were often overlooked as a place to enjoy great golf but with the addition of recent courses like Glasson Golf & Country Club and Esker Hills to established mature golf courses like Birr and Mullingar, the midlands of Ireland is beginning to get the recognition it richly deserves. Esker Hills' links like landscape is somewhat confusing given it is located nowhere near the ocean but can be traced back over 10,000 years, when the unique landscape of County Offaly was powerfully sculpted by the awesome natural forces of the retreating Ice Age. As the great glaciers melted, they l...read more

European Golf Club

European Golf Club

The links of the European Club has developed into one of Ireland's finest links golf courses in a relatively short period of time. There is usually one reason and one reason only for this rapid progression to "must play" status and that reason is quality, a trait that is inherent at the European Club. The combination of rugged dunes, deep bunkers, sea breezes and large undulating greens, calls on the golfer to display strength of character, an ability to think and shot making skills. The design of the European Club has attempted to modernize the traditional values of links golf and this has been achieved with magnificent results. Blind shots, deemed by many as an archaic feature of links golf, have largely been banished from the agenda at the European Club, with 14 holes offering...read more

Faithlegg

Faithlegg

Boasting a superb setting on the banks of the River Suir, Faithlegg Golf Course, designed by renowned architect, Patrick Merrigan has been cleverly moulded into a wonderful landscape of mature trees, flowing parkland and some five lakes. Situated on a 200 acre in the heart of Ireland's sunny South East, Faithlegg is the perfect inclusion as part of any golfing itinerary in the region. The superb parkland layout, with tricky doglegs, blind shots and strategically positioned sand traps, represents a stiff challenge for even the most accomplished golfers. At a championship yardage of 6,674, distance is rarely the main problem in negotiating a good score at Faithlegg. The perils of the course lie more so in its clever layout and slick contoured greens. Be assured that any round at Fa...read more

Fota Island

Fota Island

There is an argument that Fota Island Golf Club is the site of the second oldest golf club in Ireland as records suggest that the golf was played there as far back as 1886. Regrettably though, the original nine hole course fell into disrepair following the First World War and golf at Fota Island was abandoned. It was not until 1993 that a new championship course was developed at Fota Island and it hosted a number of major tournaments in its early years. Following an extensive redesign in 1999, Fota is now rated as one of the finest parkland course in the country and was host to the Murphy's Irish Open Golf Championships in 2001 and 2002. Fota Island sits tranquilly in Cork Harbour, just a short drive from Cork City, which is Ireland's second largest city. Ideally located in Irel...read more

Galgorm Castle

Galgorm Castle

This spacious 18 hole, Par 72 Championship course is set in 220 acres of mature parkland in the grounds of one of Ireland's historic demesnes including remnants of the ancient Irish fort of the MacQuillan clan. The course is bordered by the rivers Maine and Braid which come into play and include a magnificient oxbow lake feature and five impressive landscaped lakes. This is truly an exciting course and offers both the novice and low handicapped golfer a stimulating challenge and a memorable round. Within the area of the golf course are two historic monuments; Rory Oge MacQuillan Castle which overlooks and dominates the tenth green and a network of souterrains at the fifth and eighth greens. This course represents an exciting mix of the new with the old located in the heart of County Antrim...read more

Glasson

Glasson

Often labeled the "Killarney of the Midlands", Glasson Golf & Country Club was designed by Ryder Cup player, Christy O' Connor Jr. It would be difficult to imagine a more arresting setting than Glasson, situated on a peninsula bordering Lough Ree, with the Lough and the River Shannon visible from most parts of the course. According to O' Connor, Glasson is "one of the most scenic pieces of land I've ever seen in my life, with the front nine overlooking Lough Ree and the second nine in Killinure Bay, there is nothing I've seen that comes close to that". American visitors often insist that Ireland's major attraction is its links courses and that parkland stretches must be particularly special to command their attention well Glasson is such a course. The two opening holes at Gla...read more

Island Golf Club

Island Golf Club

The Island Golf Club, to put it quite simply, is one of the finest links golf courses in the world. Just why it is generally not spoken about in the same breath as Ballybunion, Royal County Down and Waterville is a mystery but make no mistake that The Island is in that league. The course will tantalize, tempt, satisfy and infuriate but at the end of the round you will be well aware that you have just played a very special golf course. It is that good. Having played in the Irish PGA Championship at The Island in 1999, Darren Clark proclaimed the course "a fantastic links which tests every club in the bag". This is no understatement. Like most great links courses, The Island has a long history attached to it. It was back in the 1880's when four well to do bachelors rowed across th...read more

Killarney

Killarney

Situated in area known as "Heaven's Reflex", due to its outstanding beauty, Killarney Golf Club comprises three top class parkland layouts the Killeen Course, Mahony's Point and most recently, Lackabane. It is the Killeen Course however (closely followed by Mahony's Point) that is perceived to be the jewel in the Killarney golfing crown. Nestled amidst the splendour of the Lakes of Killarney in the shadow of the majestic Macgillycuddy's Reeks mountain range, the Killeen Course is consistently rated amongst the world's top courses and has hosted many major championships including the 1991 & 1992 Irish Open Golf Championship, won on both occasions by Nick Faldo; and also the 1996 Curtis Cup. While golf has been played in Killarney since 1891 (originally on a nine hole layout k...read more

Killarney Mahonys Point

Killarney Mahonys Point

Situated in area known as "Heaven's Reflex", due to its outstanding beauty, Killarney Golf Club comprises three top class parkland layouts the Killeen Course, Mahony's Point and most recently, Lackabane. It is the Killeen Course however (closely followed by Mahony's Point) that is perceived to be the jewel in the Killarney golfing crown. Nestled amidst the splendour of the Lakes of Killarney in the shadow of the majestic Macgillycuddy's Reeks mountain range, the Killeen Course is consistently rated amongst the world's top courses and has hosted many major championships including the 1991 & 1992 Irish Open Golf Championship, won on both occasions by Nick Faldo; and also the 1996 Curtis Cup. While golf has been played in Killarney since 1891 (originally on a nine hole layout k...read more

Lahinch Golf Club

Lahinch Golf Club

One of the oldest golf clubs in Ireland, Lahinch Golf Club is also one of the most respected links courses in the world. Set right on the Atlantic coastline, Lahinch is exposed to the ocean through all her moods and has been moulded and shaped over the centuries by nature's harsh elements and an occasional touch of human genius. Lahinch, with its towering sand dunes, undulating fairways, rolling greens and fair share of blind shots, is the perfect natural golfing terrain a true links in the traditional meaning of the word. As with most links with roots in the 19th century, Lahinch boasts an interesting history. In March 1892, two prominent members of Limerick Golf Club travelled to the west coast of Clare following a rumour that somewhere between Ennistymon and Miltown Malbay, th...read more

Letterkenny

Letterkenny

Letterkenny Golf Club is set in the beautiful natural woodland habitat of Barnhill Estate, County Donegal. The course is the ideal parkland supplement to any exploration of the excellent array of Donegal links courses which are all within an hours drive. Approaching the elevated first tee box, the visitor is greeted by views of Lough Swilly and environs, through a corridor of natural hard wood trees including beech, native Irish oak, sycamore and birch. The next four holes hug the banks of Lough Swilly, providing panoramic views across a natural wildlife habitat, where wild geese, swans, seals, buzzards, owls, kingfishers and curlews can regularly be spotted. But do not be distracted by Mother Nature for there is more to ‘Barnhill’ than meets the eye. This is an excit...read more

Mount Juliet

Mount Juliet

The opening of Mount Juliet paved the way, alongside the K Club, for the development of many top class parkland golf resorts in Ireland. Glasson, Mount Wolseley, Faithlegg, Adare and Esker Hills to name but a few, all followed shortly afterwards. In the summer of 1986, the reigning US Masters champion, Jack Nicklaus, was playing an exhibition match at Royal Dublin against Seve Ballesteros, when after the round Nicklaus was approached by Tim Mahony, chairman of the sponsoring company, Toyota Ireland, with regard to the design of a new course in Kilkenny. So it was that Mount Juliet was born. Five years later in July 1991, Nicklaus played another exhibition against Ireland's Christy O' Connor Sr. at the official opening of what was destined to become one of Ireland's finest parklan...read more

Mount Wolselly

Mount Wolselly

Already a superb golf course having opened in the mid 90's, Mount Wolseley will eventually be recognised as one of Europe's finest inland courses. Once owned by the Butler Dynasty, Mount Aaron as it was known, came into the possession of the Wolseley family in 1725. Having been torched during the 1798 Rebellion, the house was rebuilt in 1864. The 200 acre property was sold in 1925 to the Patrician Brothers and was purchased by the Morrissey family in 1994, whose decision to develop a championship golf course here, heralds a new era in the history of the property. Quite apart from the magnificent golf course at Mount Wolseley, the visual delights of the setting are something to behold. Set just a few hundred yards from the meandering River Slaney, its rich population of trees and lakes are ...read more

Old Head of Kinsale

Old Head of Kinsale

Designed by a combination of Ireland's golfing heroes and design experts, the Old Head Golf Links is quite simply one of the most remarkable developments ever conceived in the history of golf; an Atlantic promontory that will never be rivaled in terms of drama and beauty. The course rises hundreds of feet above dramatic cliffs, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on all sides and commanding the most spectacular views from almost every part. The Old Head of Kinsale is an area rich in historical, archaeological and scientific interest. It is a national monument and an ancient royal site, fortified by a castle at the narrowest part of the promontory, with history traceable back to several centuries before Christ. Scenically awesome and rugged, it is the only place known by historians ...read more

Portmarnock

Portmarnock

Portmarnock Golf Club is universally acknowledged as one of the world's truly great links courses and having played it, you will understand why. Located on a small peninsula, which extends into the Irish Sea, Portmarnock is surrounded by water on three sides and laid out in serpentine fashion, with no two successive holes playing in the same direction. Unlike many courses in this respect, Portmarnock demands a continual discernment of wind direction. As one can expect, Portmarnock Golf Club has an interesting history attached. Like The Island, in the early days Portmarnock could only be reached by boat and the bell, which signaled the last boat of the day still hangs at the caddie master's pavilion near the first tee. It was on one such boat trip that W.C. Pickeman, a Scottish in...read more

Portmarnock Hotel

Portmarnock Hotel

Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links shares a similar name as its more illustrious neighbour but the similarity certainly does not end there. Like Portmarnock Golf Club, Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links is a superb links course, essentially fashioned from the same dune land as Portmarnock and deserves its growing international reputation. If anything in fact, the Links at Portmarnock (as it's also known) is an even tighter layout, distinguished by some wickedly difficult pot bunkers. As the name suggests, there is also a renowned hotel on site at the Links and the original building was once the home of the Jameson family, famous for their Irish whiskey. Set in splendid surroundings overlooking the islands of Lambay and Ireland's Eye, you can hear the waves crashing on the nearby...read more

Portsalon

Portsalon

Portsalon Golf Club is set on one of the most northern reaching parts of Donegal on the shores of Ballymastocker Bay, alongside a beach recently voted the "second most beautiful beach in the world". Like Rosapenna and Narin & Portnoo, Portsalon is not an internationally renowned golf course. What Portsalon is however, is a seriously good golf links with roots in the 19th century, located in some of the most beautiful terrain imaginable and offering stunning views. This is what Irish golf is all about. Portsalon represents a throwback to what the great courses such as Ballybunion and Lahinch were like before they became recognised the world over and before demand for tee times grew beyond their wildest dreams. The course simply exudes character and charm, does not suffer from ...read more

Portstewart

Portstewart

Situated on Ulster's magnificent Causeway Coast, Portstewart Golf Club is one of the very few 45 hole complexes in Europe. And while the jewel in the Portstewart crown is undoubtedly the Strand Course, visitors may also choose from the par 64 Old Course and the nine hole Riverside Course. Going back to 1951, when the course was used as a qualifying venue for the Open Championship at Royal Portrush, it seemed that Portstewart was destined to be forever cast in the shadow of its more illustrious neighbour. Not any more. Everything changed when the new championship layout of the Strand Course hosted the Irish Close Championship in 1992. As with many Irish links courses, Portstewart boasts a long history. While the origins of golf in the area date from 1889, the club was not founded...read more

Powerscourt

Powerscourt

Located in an area aptly called the Garden of Ireland, Powerscourt Golf Club is blessed with an abundance of mature trees and natural features, while it's stunning views are dominated by the majestic Sugarloaf Mountain. Built on free draining soil, which gives the golf course a heathland texture with links characteristics, Powerscourt Golf Club is part of the 1,000 acre Powerscourt Estate, which dates back to the 14th century and has been in the possession of the Slazenger family since 1961. The quality of the course is such that by 1998, Powerscourt played host to the Irish Professional Championship, which was won by Padraig Harrington. Using the picturesque natural landscape and a generous amount of land, the Peter McEvoy designed course offers a varied and testing examination...read more

Rathsallagh

Rathsallagh

Set amid mature parkland and woodland, Rathsallagh Golf Club has rapidly established itself as one of the leading parkland golf courses in Ireland. The land upon which Rathsallagh is built was in fact a 570 acre farm up until 1988 when Rathsallagh House began to take guests. The design team of Christy O'Connor Jr. and Peter McEvoy began work on the course in early 1993 and it is fair to say that tremendous results have been achieved. The 252 acre lush parkland layout follows the lie of the natural rolling terrain while many fine trees were preserved and are integral to the course today. The result is a classic parkland stretch, which rises and falls among the shadows of giant oak, beech and lime trees. Water, which first comes into play at the short fourth hole, plays an importan...read more

Ring of Kerry G&CC

Ring of Kerry G&CC

One of the late Eddie Hackett's last design projects, the Ring of Kerry Golf & Country Club is without doubt the most spectacular parkland golf course in Ireland and is acclaimed by many as the finest new course in the country. The Killarney courses are beautiful but Ring of Kerry is simply majestic. Overlooking beautiful Kenmare Bay, the golf course nestles between the towering MacGillycuddy Reeks and the Caha Mountains. Majesty alone of course does not make a great golf course. The scenery helps but it's the layout, stiff challenge and excellent greens that make Ring of Kerry Golf Club one of the finest new golf courses in Ireland. Given the strength in depth of the golf courses of Ireland's southwest, it takes a special development to ensure inclusion in any list of top courses. The...read more

Royal Portrush

Royal Portrush

Simply put, the Dunluce course at Royal Portrush is one of the world's finest links courses. Known as the County Club when first formed in May 1888, it became the Royal County Club in 1892 and finally, Royal Portrush Golf Club in 1895, with the Prince of Wales as patron. The links has undergone many changes during the course of its existence. The initial nine holes were extended to eighteen by 1889, while the renowned golf architect, Harry Colt, designed the present course. Upon completion of his work at Portrush, Colt remarked that it represented his best ever layout. As befits a golf course of such quality, Royal Portrush has hosted many major events over the years. The Irish Amateur Championships were inaugurated here in 1892, while the first professional event on Irish soil was also ho...read more

Rosapenna

Rosapenna

Rosapenna Golf Links is located where the water meets the wilds of northern Donegal, a place where the Bays of Sheephaven and Mulroy converge. The wild Atlantic waves have chiselled the rugged features of Rosapenna over thousands of years and the resulting beauty is spectacular. The air is fresh and invigorating and the welcome warm and sincere in the typical Donegal way. Aided by the genius of nature, Rosapenna has been shaped and moulded by the hands of golfing greats. In 1891, while a guest of Lord Leitrim at his nearby estate, Old Tom Morris of St. Andrews was out enjoying the spectacular Donegal scenery. Morris was quick to see the amazing golfing potential of this fine stretch of coastline and before returning home, had staked out the first Rosapenna links, incorporating wi...read more

Rosses Point Co. Sligo

Rosses Point Co. Sligo

The unfortunate thing about golf in Ireland's northwest is that so few people in international circles appear to recognise its true worth as a destination. Rosses Point however, is just one of the great links of the northwest region and when you consider that its neighbours include the likes of Enniscrone, Donegal and Carne, it's impossible to deny the quality of the Irish northwest as a golfing destination. Situated on the Rosses Point peninsula, rest assured that this golf course, also known as County Sligo Golf Club, is one of Ireland's great championship links and one that more visitors should include on their itineraries. Established in 1894, the original nine hole layout at Rosses Point was laid out by George Combe, the founding secretary of the Golfing Union of Ireland. A...read more

Rosslare

Rosslare

Rosslare Golf Club is the only real championship links in southeastern Ireland and what a course it is. It could be argued that St. Helens Bay also falls into this category but in truth, St. Helens Bay is more a mixture between links and parkland. In 1928, the renowned architects, Hawtree and Taylor redesigned the links while a new 12 hole course, designed by Christy O'Connor Jr. was officially opened in 2000. Situated in an area known as the "Sunny South East", the links at Rosslare is of traditional style championship layout. The greens, fairways and tees are all watered regularly, thus providing excellent and consistent conditions for golf even in a drought. Playing alongside one of the most breathtaking beaches in Ireland, Rosslare provides an excellent test of links golf. Si...read more

Royal County Down

Royal County Down

Royal County Down the very words are enough to send a shiver up your spine. Laid out beneath the imperious gaze of the Mountains of Mourne and enjoying a magnificent setting along the shores of Dundrum Bay, Royal County Down is truly one of the world's finest links golf courses. Designed by Old Tom Morris for the princely sum of four guineas back in 1889, Royal County Down, as well as being one of the most beautiful courses in the world, is also one of the most challenging. And those who argue that there are too many blind shots should note Tommy Armour's observation that "there is no such thing as a blind shot to any player with a memory". It may be a well worn cliché, but if ever there existed a natural piece of land upon which to build a golf course, then the links turf...read more

Royal Dublin

Royal Dublin

A definite inclusion in the list of great Irish links courses, Royal Dublin is Ireland's second oldest golf club and possesses a history to match. A Scottish banker named John Lumsden pioneered the formation of the club and having been founded in 1885, the Dublin Golf Club as it was then known, was first based in the Phoenix Park but as membership grew, a new home was sought. Following a brief sojourn at Sutton, the club moved to its present home at Bull Island in 1889 and became known as the Royal Dublin Golf Club when it received its Royal designation in 1891. The land of Bull Island would merit a footnote in history even without its association with a famous golf club. The terrain is not in fact an island but rather a sandbank, formed as a by product of maritime necessity. As ...read more

Skellig Bay

Skellig Bay

Situated on the beautiful Ring of Kerry, Waterville has long been a Mecca for discerning golfers. Skellig Bay Golf Club which opened for play in Spring 2006 ensures that Waterville is now a “must play” for Golf enthusiasts the world over. Waterville is well known for its fine hotels, top-class restaurants and local pubs where Irish music and song are always “on the menu”. The surrounding area is of outstanding beauty and is dotted with quiet sandy beaches with many other outdoor pursuits well catered for. Situated overlooking the magistic Ballinskelligs Bay and set among natural magalithic stonework and indigenous bog deal, there can be few more visually stunning locations for a golf couse than Skellig Bay in Waterville. The course opened for play in Sprin...read more

St. Margaret's

St. Margaret's

St. Margaret's Golf & Country Club is acknowledged as one of Ireland's finest new parkland golf courses. The course designers took a couple of hundred acres of farmland and moulded it into a magnificent expanse of parkland with rolling hills and huge undulating greens. The modern design makes wide use of water hazards and this adds to the picturesque rural setting. Given the quality of St. Margaret's, it is no surprise that the course has already hosted three international golfing events. The Ladies Irish Open was played here in 1994 and '95 and was a favourite haunt of then world number one, Laura Davies, who won on both occasions. The Irish Seniors Open has also been hosted here and it has drawn high praise from many quarters, with Sam Torrance indicating: "That eighteenth...read more

The K Club

The K Club

Set amongst 330 acres of lush Kildare countryside, the K Club is arguably the finest parkland golf course in Ireland. Designed by Arnold Palmer, the K Club has hosted the prestigious European Open since 1995 and the Ryder Cup in 2006, the first time the event was staged in Ireland. And though there are many who insist that the Ryder Cup should have been played on one of the great Irish links courses, anyone who has played the K Club will know that the course is a worthy venue for an event of the magnitude of the Ryder Cup. If ever a golf course reflected the personality of its designer, then surely the K Club is it. And while it may seem odd to describe a golf course as charismatic and cavalier, from the moment you arrive at the first tee here, a unique atmosphere envelops you. T...read more

Tralee

Tralee

Representing the first European design of Arnold Palmer, Tralee Golf Club in southwestern Ireland is one of the most spectacularly beautiful golf courses you will ever encounter. And while beauty often masks certain deficiencies in a golf course, that is certainly not the case with Tralee. Having completed his masterpiece, Palmer commented: "I have never come across a piece of land so ideally suited for the building of a golf course. I am happy that we have one of the world's great links here". While it always boasted a magnificent setting, with the course settling down and the greens thriving over time, Tralee has now joined the elite group of Irish links. With views of the Atlantic and white sandy beaches from almost every hole, Tralee earns rave reviews from all who play it. ...read more

Waterford Castle

Waterford Castle

Situated on a beautiful 310 acre island in the estuary of the River Suir, Waterford Castle Golf & Country Club lies just downstream from Waterford City. The island itself boasts a long and colourful history and was a monastic settlement from the 6th to 8th centuries. During the Norman invasion of 1160, the island came under the ownership of Maurice Fitzgerald, a cousin of Strongbow and it remained the property of the Fitzgerald family until 1958. The original castle was enlarged in the 19th century and today stands as a world class hotel, while the championship golf course was opened for play in September 1992. Being an island course, Waterford Castle is certainly unique and the course is laid out on gently undulating land and offers stunning views from all parts of the cours...read more

Waterville

Waterville

Founded: 1897 (1973 present course) Designer: Eddie Hackett, John A. Mulcahy Championship Length: 7,225 yards Make no mistake about it; Waterville Golf Links in Kerry is one of the finest links golf courses in the world, never mind Ireland. Located on the Ring of Kerry, the surrounding scenery and quality of golf holes is breathtaking to say the least. The Waterville area and Ballinskelligs Bay also play an important role in the mythology and history of ancient Ireland. The granddaughter of Noah (of Ark fame) is reported to have landed in Ballinskelligs Bay, while the last of the mythical invaders, the Milesians, settled here in 1700 BC, leaving behind many archeological reminders. These rich legends combine with a serene location to form a mystical aura that visitors to Watervill...read more

Westport

Westport

Situated on the shores of Clew Bay in the shadow of Croagh Patrick, Ireland's famous holy mountain, Westport Golf Club is the finest parkland golf course in the west and northwest of Ireland. The club itself was instituted in 1908 and had three separate locations prior to moving to its present site at Carrowholly in 1973. During the 1960's, Lord Sligo of Westport House Estate presented a proposal to the members of the golf club, to build a championship course on his estate. The offer was accepted and with financial assistance from the Irish Tourist Board, the dream became reality. Renowned architect Fred Hawtree, who also designed the New Course at St. Andrews, designed the golf course at Westport. Upon first viewing the site, Hawtree commented: "the nature of the terrain part in...read more