Golf Breaks in Ireland
Ireland is justly famous for its many internationally renowned golf courses such as Ballybunion, the K Club, Mount Juliet, Portmarnock, and Waterville. But golfing visitors needn’t restrict themselves to these star names. Ireland has more than 400 other golf courses, many of them hidden gems offering great value. Indeed, it is said that no matter where you are on the island you are never more than ten miles from a golf course.
Among the more interesting and enjoyable ways of uncovering these hidden gems is by taking a car and simply setting off around the coast. Just south of Dublin one of your first ports of call, literally as well as metaphorically, should by Arklow Golf Club. This beautiful links offers wonderful views of the Irish Sea as well as a challenging round of golf.
Situated just outside the fishing port of Arklow the course is in easy reach of excellent accommodation and some fine restaurants and pubs.
A little more than an hour away is another fine links, Rosslare Golf Club. This course lies on the south east tip of the island in the resort village of Rosslare and is just 20 minutes outside of the historic Wexford Town with all of its range of visitor amenities.
A further 90 minutes away is the West Waterford Golf & Country Club in Dungarvan, County Waterford. This superb championship golf course is built on 150 acres of rolling parkland on the banks of the Brickey River and is just one hour from Cork City and 30 minutes from Waterford City.
Moving into County Cork the choice of courses is simply vast. In the east of the country there is Youghal Golf Club which was established in 1898, with the Earl of Shannon elected president. The club has played host to various national championships over the years, recognition of the fact that it offers a good test of golf.
And to the west there is Berehaven Golf & Amenity Park. Located in one of the most scenic areas in west Cork, on the shores of Bantry Bay with the Caha mountains in the background, it is a very testing 9 hole course with different tee positions for the back nine. Water is a dominant feature and comes into play at every hole. And for hungry travellers food is served all day in the beautifully located family run bar and restaurant.
Kerry is probably the most famous of all Ireland’s golfing counties with well over its fair share of internationally renowned courses. However, for those looking for something a little off the beaten track the Ballyheigue Castle Golf Course is well worth a visit. Situated on mature woodland, surrounding the 18th century castle at Ballyheigue and overlooking the magnificent white sands of Ballyheigue beach with the Brandon Mountains in the distant background, the nine hole course is laid out on a hundred acres if beautiful rolling parkland. Challenging holes, ranging from 185 to 534 yards, will satisfy the demands of the best golfers.
The Shannon Region is another area replete with famous courses but it also has its share of hidden treasures. Among them is Ennis Golf Club in county Clare. Founded in 1907 it is an immaculately manicured 18 hole Par 71 parkland course. The club is noted for its hospitality and the clubhouse offers a warm welcome with excellent bar and catering facilities.
For those that want to play golf almost surrounded by the ocean, Achill Golf Club in County Mayo is a must. The course is a 9 hole links and is situated in the picturesque countryside typical of Achill Island, on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. It is deceptively simple on first contact but it is in fact demanding, but very welcoming as well.
Letterkenny Golf Club in County Donegal has a beautiful 18 hole, 6239 yards, par 70 parkland championship course. The course takes advantage of natural variances of elevation with four holes wrapped around the banks of Lough Swilly and top seven other holes affording the golfer a panoramic view of the Lough-side and the picturesque garland hills and wooded countryside. Nestled within 147 acres of tranquil bliss the golfer's game will be shared with no one but nature and its splendid beauty.
Ireland’s northern coast offers one of the world’s top ranked courses in Royal Portrush but Portstewart is just a few miles from Portrush and its links test is regarded by many golfers as being at least the equal of its royal neighbour. A world of sand dunes flanked by an impressive water hazard – the Atlantic Ocean – is also to be found in the area at the Castlerock Club.
And this is not even to mention many of the fine courses such as Moate, Athy, Abbeyleix and Edenderry to be found in Ireland’s picturesque Midlands Region – all of which are within a 90 minute drive of Dublin.
For further details of these and golf breaks in Ireland, see: Discover Ireland/Golf