Golf Vacations in Ireland
Ireland enjoys a rich history when it comes to golf and is home to approximately 35% of the world’s links courses, many of which are internationally renowned. Royal Co Down, Royal Portrush, Portmarnock, Ballybunion, Lahinch, Waterville, to name just a few.
While Scotland may enjoy the label ‘Home of Golf’ it’s more than fair to say that Ireland is the ‘Home of Champions’ especially with 4 recent Major winners; Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell, Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy all of whom will have enjoyed competitive golf as amateurs and learned their skills on the country’s famous links courses over the years.
The South West of Ireland is a very popular trip for first time visitors looking to play some of the great courses the country has to offer. It is home to several of the finest links courses in the world and makes for a terrific first trip. With Lahinch, Doonbeg, Ballybunion, Tralee, Waterville and the Old Head Golf Links all within easy reach, this is a ‘bucket list’ trip that all visiting golfers will aspire to. Needless to say, there is the odd 19th hole to be enjoyed along the way as well which only adds to the fun and at Travelling the Fairways we have a few scratch players in that department to point you in the right direction...!
In recent years both Royal Co Down (Walker Cup venue back in 2007) and Royal Portrush, the only course outside the British mainland to stage the British Open back in 1951, have become hugely popular. If there is a pilgrimage to be made to play golf in Ireland, then both of these wonderful championship courses should be included. The Dublin area is noted for Portmarnock, Royal Dublin and The Island with the K Club venue to the 2006 Ryder Cup matches just 20 miles west of the city. Within an hour’s drive north and south of Dublin is Co Louth and the European Club respectively; both marvellous links courses and worthy of inclusion to any trip based around the Dublin area.
The North West of Ireland offers not only terrific golf but wonderful unspoilt coastal scenery to match. With the ever changing mood of the Atlantic Ocean in view there are some simply wonderfully natural links courses like Carne, Enniscrone, Co Sligo, Rosapenna and Ballyliffin to enjoy. However, in this part of Ireland more than any other corner of the country, allow yourself some extra time to enjoy the hidden links of Donegal (Murvagh), Nairn & Portnoo and Portsalon. The time spent will be richly rewarded.
Finally, not to be missed are some terrific parkland courses like Adare, Mount Juliet, Killarney, Fota Island and Lough Erne to name just a few. These are terrific courses that offer you a chance to take a break from links golf should you wish, but equally they can be considered for those 36 hole days you want to include in your itinerary.
Ireland offers an unforgettable golfing experience with spectacular scenery, rich and ancient history to lose yourself in, a lively traditional music scene, fabulous bars and restaurants but most of all the charm, hospitality and personality of its people are what makes Ireland maybe the best golfing destination in the world.
We have put together several sample itineraries for you to browse over, but would encourage you to consider, including a couple of these hidden links to get the most out of your golf trip to Ireland. These sample itineraries are intended to let you see what is possible, so the length of stay plus the amount of golf played can of course be changed to suit your group.