Royal County Down is set on rugged, wind blown topography along the Irish Sea coastline and nestled in the shadow of the majestic Mourne Mountains.
It features narrow fairways guarded by purple heather and golden gorse, its famous snarling "bearded" bunkers edged by marram grass.
This links course is the truest test of any golfer with the iconic par four hole nine the most photographed hole in world golf.
The Royal County Down has consistently ranked in the top five golf courses in world golf with most major Golf magazines before finally achieving a well deserved top spot in 2016 and maintaining it in 2017.
Visit Royal County Down for more information.
The legendary Royal Portrush Golf Club is home to one of the best and most challenging links golf courses in the world, the Dunluce Links, and the hidden gem, the Valley Links.
Both courses are championship courses offering breathtaking views over the rugged North Atlantic coastline with neigbouring Scotland able to be viewed on good days.
The Royal Portrush is the only course in Ireland to have hosted The Open Championship and is scheduled to do so again in 2019. This challenging course consistently ranks in the top 20 world courses. Its fifth hole is aptly names "White rock" - over hit and your ball could end up in the wild Atlantic Ocean!
For more information visit Royal Portrush Golf Course.
Waterville Golf Links is a simply stunning course surrounded by MacGillycuddys reek mountain range to the north, and Ballinskelligs Bay and the Atlantic Ocean to the south.
Waterville itself was a personal favourite of Charlie Chaplin, who brought his family here each year. A statue commemorating the great man can be found in the village with a festival held in his honour each year.
Its remote location has been the sole reason preventing it from holding any large competitions, but it is well renowned in Ireland for its sensational finishing stretch.
Visit Waterville Golf Links for more information.
Travelling along the winding coast road you will find the most formidable sand dunes in all of Ireland, nestled within this wild and rugged course. On a good day the golfer can attack the greens with gusto, but if there is a strong wind from the Atlantic it is best to simply enjoy this exhilarating course and all its virtues.
A favourite of eight time Major Winner Tom Watson, he was invited to remodel the course in 1995 and it was voted the 'Best Golf Course in Ireland' (World Golf Awards 2015) and 'Top 100 Golf Course in the world' (Golf.com 2016).
Visit Ballybunion Golf Course for more information.
This hardy course was designed in 2002 by two time major Gregg Norman, the only one within the British Isles. It is nestled between Lahinch and Ballybunion, with sensational views over the Atlantic
The look and feel is old fashioned, using the areas local landscape. Norman famously commented "not one foreign blade of grass" and that still rings true today.
The resort itself is a five star luxurious haven to relax in voted 'Number one resort in Europe'. (Conde Nast Traveler).
Visit Trump Golf Ireland for more information.
It is a piece of golf real estate like no other, that causes many a golfer and visitor to pinch themselves as they drive through the ancient gateway with the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean some 300 feet below.
Jutting out two miles into the Atlantic ocean, this course is absolutely exhilarating. The waves can be heard echoing in the tunnels below, local gulls soar around these cliffs. A very special place, but a solemn one too. It was close by that the Lusitania was sunk by a german torpedo.
There is little margin for error in the course, but beware: signs will warn you off looking too hard for your ball!
Visit Old Head Golf Links for more information.
Voted as '1st Overall Best Parkland Course (Irish Golfers Guide 2016), the Slieve Russell course has hosted some major Irish PGA Tournaments including the Irish PGA Championship in 1996.
Set in the beautiful rolling countryside of County Cavan, the course takes advantage of the natural terrain called drumlins to provide a wonderful test for any golfer.
Visit Slieve Russell Golf for more information.
Old Tom Morris
After Old Tom visited Rosapenna, he went back to St. Andrews and told of his incredible discovery of this fantastic course and so it was then Rosapenna became a place of pilgrimage for golfers at the turn of the century.
Amongst those to follow were two other great golfing champions Harry Vardon and James Braid (in 1906) who won 11 Open Championship titles between them.
Located on the edge of the picturesque Sheephaven Bay, Rosapenna is the proud home to two of the finest links in the world. The Old Tom Morris Links designed by Old Tom Morris of St. Andrews in 1893 and a modern great in the Sandy Hills Links laid out by Pat Ruddy of The European Club fame and open for play since 2003.
With a luxury hotel on site Rosapenna is the perfect venue for a golfing break.
The Sandy Hills Links at Rosapenna opened for play in June 2003 and has matured into one of Ireland’s finest modern links courses. Sandy hills funnels its way through centuries-old dunes created by and still whipped by the winds coming in off the Atlantic Ocean
Visit Rosapenna Golf Course for more information.
Farnham Estate’s Cavan golf course offers a scenic challenge designed by Jeff Howes. A stunning 18-hole course spanning 500 acres of rolling countryside and dense woodland.
Gentle but challenging, the front nine explores the undulating meadows of this magnificent estate. In contrast, the back nine is a more vigorous test, traversing denser, more rugged woodland. The course’s parkland setting includes a meandering stream, seven lakes, ancient trees, fairy fort, wishing well, wild garlic and wildlife.
Approved by Failte Ireland as a preferred golfing destination and ranked 26th in the 'Top 100 parkland courses in Ireland'(Top100golfcourses.com).
Visit Farnham Estate Golf Resort for more information.
Founded in 1881, the course lays claim to being the oldest in Ireland. Royal Belfast provides a stern golfing challenge. At the heart of its varied challenges is the constant requirement for accuracy rather than length, providing all levels of golfer with a fair test of golf.
The course remains much the same today as it was then, a tribute to the enduring excellence of its original design, always meticulously maintained with impeccable greens and groves of rhododendrons and gorse providing a colourful backdrop in spring.
Amongst the members is a certain Mr Rory McIlroy who is often observed enjoying the course.
Visit Royal Belfast Golf Course for more information.
Welcome to a good walk unspoiled. The outstanding natural landscapes of Fota Island Golf Club offer a golfing experience that’s simply unmatched in Ireland, let alone Cork.
The rolling landscape overlooks the Harbour in Cork. The championship Cork golf club was proud host to the 2001, 2002 and 2014 Irish Open. In 2011 & 2012, the golf club also hosted the PGA Europro Audi Cork Irish Masters.
Visit Fota Island Cork Golf Club for more information.
The Golf Course – Designed By Eddie Hackett & Ron Kirby
They designed a ‘world class’ golf course that would challenge all handicap players yet be playable and enjoyable . The golf course is standard capable of hosting professional golf events, both Irish and European.
After arriving at the elevated clubhouse, the first look back down the mountain reveals a breathtaking scene – and you are in for a serious test of Irish golf. The turf has a links-like firmness. The mounding, contours and rocky clusters on the fairways and in the rough, along with nasty patches of gorse and tall grass (typical of links golf courses), make the layout unusual. Add to that the mountain feel of the place which defines such fine U.S. courses as Cascades in Virginia and Castle Pines in Colorado).
From the standpoint of location, design, topography and sheer golfability, this is one of the most unique golf courses in Ireland. In fact, the golf course may well be the jewel in the crown of architect Eddie Hackett’s lifetime of golfing achievements. Despite the fact that it is not a links, It retains its Irishness, its Celtic temperament and flavor, its distinct character. And while there are American-style heathland courses that are not worth the time of a visitor from the United States, this Irish gem should be on everybody’s short list of superior Irish experiences.
The course boasts panoramic views across Kenmare Bay from every hole.
Combine this with the beautiful Kerry mountains as a backdrop.
Visit www.ringofkerrygolf.com for more information.
With the Wild Atlantic Ocean on three sides and the magnificent Bluestack Mountains as a backdrop, Donegal Golf Club, Murvagh, is set in one of the most beautiful locations imaginable. Couple this with the original design skills of golf course architect Eddie Hackett and a more recent upgrade by the renowned Pat Ruddy, and it is no wonder that British Open Champion golfer Darren Clarke describes it as “one of my favourite courses in the world”. Extending to a breath-taking 6,764 metres (7,440 yards), Donegal Golf Club’s layout is configured in two elongated loops of nine holes. The front nine runs anti-clockwise and the back nine runs clockwise, sitting inside the outward nine. Because of this it is regularly described as “The Muirfield of Ireland”. The clubhouse which overlooks the links has stunning panoramic views of the sea and the mountains and the bar and restaurant are made for relaxing after a round. Golf clothing and accessories of all kinds may be purchased in the shop and Buggies, trolleys, clubs and caddies are available to hire on request. Practice facilities include:
Visit www.donegalgolfclub.ie for more information.
Roe Park golf course is renowned for its stunning natural setting in the Roe Valley. It's the focal point of the Roe Park Resort, where superb accommodation and amenities combine in a historic riverside estate - making it the perfect base for a golfing holiday in Northern Ireland or a few holes on a Sunday afternoon.
The 18 hole parkland layout takes full advantage of its beautiful setting with the Lough Foyle and Inishowen Peninsula providing a dramatic backdrop to the course.
Popular with amateurs and seasoned players alike, the course is both challenging and enjoyable to all levels of golfer.
Visit Roe Park Golf Course for more information.
The seven time Major winner Arnold Palmer designed both courses at the K Club. The Ryder Cup Course is quite simply one of Europe’s most spectacular courses.
The course hosted the Ryder Cup in 2006, the 2016 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open where we saw Rory McIlroy’s European Tour Shot of the Year and 11 European Opens testify the importance of The Ryder Cup Course to European Golf.
Viist the K Club for more information.
Galgorm Castle is one of Ireland’s finest Championship parklands and is the Home of the European Tour’s Northern Ireland Open. Awarded the IGTOA’s ‘Parkland Course of the Year 2014’ award, Galgorm Castle is consistently ranked among the Top 3 Parklands in Northern Ireland.
This spacious 18 hole, Par 72 Championship Golf Course is set in 220 acres of mature parkland in the grounds of one of Ireland's historic demesnes including renmants of the Irish fort of the McQuillan clan.
The course is bordered by the rivers Main and Braid which come into play and include a magnificent oxbow 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 of god.
Visit Galgorm Castle Golf for more information.
Ardglass Golf Club, home of the world's oldest clubhouse dating back to 1405AD. The course is a true test of golf, particularly on a windy day. The course hugs the coastline, with no fewer than 8 holes where the Irish Sea coastline comes into play.
The Irish Sea is visible from all 18 tees and greens and on a clear day it is possible to see across the Irish Sea to the Isle of Man. Ardglass is really a course to savor with some outstanding holes.
Visit Ardglass Golf Club for more information.
Located 5 miles south of Belfast, in the lower Lagan Valley at Ballydrain, the course gently rolls through 330 acres of immaculately maintained parkland along the River Lagan. Designed by CK Cotton and Associates.
From the moment you drive up the tree lined entrance you know you are in a special place and what lies beyond the gates will definitely not disappoint.
After finding the fairway, golfers must negotiate the championship greens which, in conjunction with the gr
grounds are maintained to the highest standards. Malone rightly deserves its place alongside the elite courses in Northern Ireland and any golfing vacation to this area would not be complete without its inclusion.
Visit Malone Golf Club for more information.
Belvoir Park Golf Club boasts a distinguished history having hosted The Irish Open, Irish PGA & Irish Close.
Enjoying a well-deserved position as one of the finest inland courses in Ireland, if not the British Isles, the fair but tight greens mean that Belvoir is rarely closed by water logging. Many accomplished golfers down the decades such as Peter Allis, Fred Daly and Peter Dohereiner have sealed this reputation. Each believed Harry Colt was right on the money when he referred, with considerable foresight, to “a course affording an excellent test, and at the same time, one that will give maximum of pleasure to golfers”.
Visit Belvoir Golf Club for more information.
Copyright © 2017 Golf with Ireland - All Rights Reserved.