Ireland has some of the worlds best golf courses. It’s truly a magical place, with beautiful landscapes and charming people that fascinate travelers year in and year out.
When traveling to the emerald Isle, you must play these 7 incredible links golf courses.
Waterville is the type of golf course you hear quotes like, “this is the finest sight these eyes have ever seen” and “God must have built this place”. Part of the charm of Waterville Links is the town of Waterville. Located along the Ring of Kerry, Waterville is one of the most beautiful places on earth. The golf course is magnificent and the people are so lovely, you will never want to leave.
Royal County Down
Royal County Down is arguably the best links golf course in the world. I think Bernard Darwin said it best over 70 years ago, Royal County Down with it’s “big and glorious carries, nestling greens, entertainingly blind shots, local knowledge and beautiful turf is the kind of golf that people play in their most ecstatic dreams”
Arguably the most picturesque golf course on this list, Old Head is a must play when traveling to Ireland. Nestled in County Cork on the southwest coast of Ireland, Old Head occupies a headland reaching two miles out into the Atlantic Ocean. It’s steep cliffs and quaint little white lighthouse are just a few characteristics that make this golf experience unforgettable. The club also provides 5 star accommodations with world class cuisine.
The best way to describe Tralee is to list quotes from the designer of the golf course, Arnold Palmer – “I have never come across a piece of land so ideally suited for the building of a golf course” and he also stated “I may have designed the first nine, but surely God designed the back nine”.
Trust Arnie, Tralee is THAT good.
The beauty of Ireland and history of golf come together perfectly at Royal Portrush. Two Open Championships have been held here, one in 1951 and the other in 2019. Located along the Causeway Coast in the middle of a triangle of giant sand hills, which present magnificent views of the surrounding area. The ruins of the 13th century Dunluce Castle overlook the links. It’s a tough golf course, so bring your A game.
Ballybunion Old Course
Ballybunion Old Course really does feel as if it was made and not built. It’s as if it’s been sitting on the northwest Coast of County Kerry long before 1893. It’s one of Tiger Woods favorite links golf courses and is on every golf trip itinerary to Ireland. The intricate design and gigantic sand dunes make Ballybunion an incredible golf experience.
Portmarnock Golf Club
Portmarnock Golf Club is located on a stunning stretch of coastline 10 miles away from one of the greatest cities on earth, Dublin. It just may be one of the most underrated golf courses in Ireland. The club has three brilliantly designed nines to choose from, red, blue and yellow. It’s a tough but fair links course that has been admired by golf legends like Tiger Woods and Seve Ballestaros.
Lahinch Golf Club
Last but certainly not least. Lahinch was founded in 1892 and has an all star line up of designers including Old Tom Morris, Alister Mackenzie and Martin Hawtree. Located on the Northwest coast of County Clare. It’s been dubbed the “St. Andrews of Ireland”, which is fitting for a course with so much history and could be considered the jewel in the crown of Irish golf links.