Golfing in Ireland: The Perfect Irish Golfing Getaway

Updated On: November 08, 2023

Golfing in Ireland - Donegal Golf Club

Are you a keen golfer looking to experience world-class golf courses? Then a golfing break to Ireland is calling you! Golfing in Ireland is one of the ever growing and loved sports in the country.

Ireland is famous for its exceptional golf courses and producing some of the worlds most talented golfers including Rory McIlroy, Darren Clake and Graeme McDowell.

Not only that but the Irish golf courses are located within some of the most magnificent spots in the world, making the golfing experience even better for those who enjoy the sport.

Ireland is the place to be for golf, after all, it’s home to a quarter of the worlds natural linked golf courses. You can craft your golfing techniques on the Irish courses, which have helped to produced those world-class players.

Here’s a list of the best Golf Courses in Ireland:

1. Royal County Down Golf Course, County Antrim

This Northern Irish golf course has often found itself being named as one of the most renown- courses in the country. Just last year ‘Golf Digest Ireland’ named Royal County Down as the number one golf course in Ireland (2018).

Rightly so, this Irish golf course deserves that titled as it isn’t short of impressive.

Royal County Down is located in Newcastle, a small seaside town nestled near the striking Mourne Mountains.

Golfers coming to Ireland won’t be disappointed by the championship link courses on offer here. The link courses are a firm favourite for its amazing design created by Old Tom Morris, and over 120 architectures, providing a different view and experience from each hole.

Incredibly, Royal County Down Golf Club opened over 130 years ago and its thought of as one of Ireland’s oldest courses.

It’s fourth and ninth holes are often admired by golfers from around the world. The two holes were even features in the book ‘The 500 World’s Greatest Golf Holes’.

Irish Golfer Rory McIlroy even stated that this Northern Irish course is his favourite in the whole world.

If you’re looking to experience a quality golf course with a phenomenal history, this is one you can’t pass by, after all its recommended by one of the best golfers on the planet.

2. Portmarnock Golf Club, County Dublin

Next is another one of the world’s best-ranked golf courses, Portmarnock Golf Club founded in 1984. This Irish golf course is often recognised for helping to promote the progression of golf in Ireland.

Many professional and amateur golfing tournaments have been hosted at Portmarnock Golf Club. The golfing events include Irish Open Championships, British and Irish Amateur Championships.

Portmarnock Golf Club is a very respected course, it has seen world-famous golfers such as Sam Snead and Seve Ballesteros, two amazingly talented golfers of their time, playing on the course.

This Irish course is one of fairest linked courses in the world, offering a magnificent course for those looking a challenge and to test their golfing skills.

It’s also beautifully located within the picturesque Irish coastline, just 15 minutes outside Dublin City. Whether you’re a golfing pro or just learning, the practice facilities are set to championship standards at Portmarnock.

3. Royal Portrush Golf Club, County Antrim

This next golf course is the only club in Ireland to have hosted the world-renown ‘Open Championships. Royal Portrush Golf Club offers two challenging link golf courses, the Dunluce Course and the hidden gem Valley Course.

The Irish golf course welcomes visitors all year round to test their legendary courses, ranked number seven in the World’s Greatest Golf Course by Golf Digest (2017).

Beautiful Photo of the Royal Portrush Golf Course, County Antrim
Beautiful Photo of the Royal Portrush Golf Course, County Antrim

Both courses at Royal Portrush offer 18 holes, designed to test the best of golfers with its rough green and unpredictable weather, no game of golf is ever boring here.

The mastermind behind the design of the course is Harry Colt, one of the world’s most impressive golf architects.

It’s one of our favourite places to golf in Ireland, and although the Dunluce Course is popular, we recommend experiencing the Valley Course as well.

The course is popular with golf lovers all over the world, with the course being the host to many popular tournaments throughout the years including the Irish open, most recently in 2012, The Amateur Championship in 2014 and The Open Championship in 2019.

4. Tralee Golf Club, County Kerry

The talented and popular American golfer Arnold Palmer is the man behind Tralee Golf Club, his first European course design. This Irish golf course is situated in one of the most splendid locations you could imagine, along Ireland’s rugged Atlantic coast.

Tralee Golf Club offers golfers the opportunity to experience its smooth fairways, towering dunes and testing greens on its magnificent 18 holed course. As well as an additional par 3 course to check out.

The Arnold Palmer course was first opened up in 1984, on a seaside links site in Barrow, helping to give Tralee Golf Club global status. Ever since then the club has grown in popularity, it now has over 1,300 members compared its originally 120 in 1896 when Tralee Golf Club was instituted.

The gorgeous setting of the club is truly a treasure in itself, making for an unforgettable golfing trip in Ireland.

5. Donegal Golf Club, County Donegal

Reaching the end of our guide on the best places to golf in Ireland, we can’t forget to mention the stunning Donegal Golf Club.

Just like most of the courses we have brought to your attention, it offers another one of Ireland’s finest links courses. Donegal Golf Club also has important geological significance as it’s been inhabited by past centuries, making it even more historical to play on.

Donegal Golf Club Course
Donegal Golf Club Course

The course is creative and fun, offering both men and women a par 73 course, designed by the great Irish golf architect Eddie Hackett. Donegal Golf Club is constantly being improved and boosted to continue to excite golfers.

Facilities on offer at this Irish golf course include a driving range as well as putting, practice and chipping areas.

What we love most about this course are its secludedness and tranquil location providing the best undisturbed golfing experience.

Ireland is filled many uniquely impressive golf courses but these are by far some of the best to check out. Golfing in Ireland is an experience like no other, we promise you won’t regret a trip over to the emerald island.

Do you have a favourite golf course in Ireland? Are you planning any golfing trips to Ireland soon? Let us know in the comments below 🙂

Check out some other blogs that might interest you:

Amazing Parks in Ireland: Must Visit Parks for Tourist and Locals| Street Murals Around the World| Famous Landmarks in Ireland|

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