The Five Best Golf Courses In Ireland

Mar 26, 2013 by

Playing golf on your home course is great fun, but if you’re a bit tired of the same old bunkers and same old faces, it’s probably time to try out a new course. Playing away from your home turf is a great way to enjoy a new environment and take up a new  golfing challenge. With any luck, when you return to your new club you’ll have upped your game and learned a few new tricks. So why not take a trip to the home of golfing legend Rory Mcllroy – in beautiful Ireland. With over a third of the world’s natural links located there, and some of the best regarded courses in the world,  playing in Ireland is the ultimate experience for any keen golfer. Read on for a guide to the best courses on the Emerald Isle.

Ballyliffin, Inishowen, Donegal

Length: 7,135 yards Par 72

One of the most challenging golf courses in Ireland, Ballyliffin will test even the most experienced golfer. Two courses, 36 holes, tight fairways, an expanse of space and incredibly stunning scenery, make these championship links courses well worth the trip. The Glashedy course is considered the harder of the two, but both are revered the world over for their amazing combination of natural challenges and manmade design.

Ballybunion, County Kerry

Named by Bill Clinton as his favourite golf course in the world, it’s not hard to see why the Ballybunion course in County Kerry is considered as one of the world’s best. Right next to the churning Atlantic, these spectacular links are rough, rugged and windswept. With two courses to play on, you’ll find it a unique and challenging experience. There are still even caddies there, so you won’t be weighed down too much by your Titleist 913 driver and irons!

Lough Erne Resort, County Fermanagh

7,167 yards, Par 72

If you’re looking for five star luxury as well as fantastic golf, this Nick Faldo designed championship course is for you. The resort has incredible facilities including a  golfing academy, on course attendants, a Thai Spa, fly fishing, helicopter tours, gourmet restaurant, and 120 luxurious rooms and suites. Situated on a private peninsula of 600 acres, amidst stunning scenery, playing this course will be memorable.

Royal Portrush, County Antrgolfim

6,867 yards, par 72

With arresting views across the ocean, near a ruined castle, rocky cliffs, and the Giant’s Causeway, these links are especially dramatic. It can be considered intimidating, with its towering sand dunes, tricky greens and a heathery rough.  That said, the Dunluce Links layout is within the top 20 in the world.

Royal County Down, Newcastle, County Down

Length: 7,186 yards. Par 71.

This course needs to be booked weeks or sometimes months in advance, and is one of the more expensive, but is worth it. Again ranked as one of the world’s best courses, Mcllroy himself has regularly played here and rates it as one of his favourites. Set in the stunning Murlough Nature Reserve against the dramatic Mourne Mountains, this course includes the famous ‘bearded bunkers’, narrow fairways ribboned through sand dunes, and undulating greens.

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Rob Rudd is a professional writer who enjoys a round of golf at the weekend. He writes about many subjects, from Parenting and Family to Sports and Leisure.