Exploring Ireland’s Best Golf Courses

Ireland is home to some of the best golf courses in the world. It has a wide range of inland gems, as well as plenty of great links courses. The country is hugely popular with UK and US travellers not to mention those all over the globe and Irish Golf Holidays should be on everyones to-do list at least once!

It’s worth playing golf in Ireland, with the country boasting high-quality courses and regular maintenance to make them a top choice. Listed below are a few of the top golf courses in Ireland.

The European Club

Founded: 1987

Location: Brittas Bay, County Wicklow

The European Club was designed by Pat Ruddy, an Irish golf writer and architect who wanted to create his own golf course in 1987. It officially opened six years later. The course provides a challenging but fun experience with five holes positioned close to the beach. Recently, there has been some work on widening the fairways and the larger 15th green is located on the cliff. It ranks 19th in the top 100 ranking for golf courses worldwide.

Waterville

Founded: 1973

Location: Waterville, County Kerry

The course is pretty much surrounded by water, provides great views of the mountains and gives you a brilliant test of golf. The layout is young but it feels like a course that has been around for many decades. There has been recent work on the topography of the area to make it more consistent throughout while improving the beauty, challenge and traditional links playing surfaces. It is situated next to a picturesque and peaceful bay.

Adare Manor

Founded: 1995 (redesigned in 2016)

Location: Adare, County Limerick

This course had been closed for two years so that it could be renovated and the final design of the course has made it one of the best inland courses in Ireland and the 4th best golf course in Ireland and the UK. New playing surfaces are available along with the installation of a high-quality drainage system and 6,600 square meters of new bunkering. Luckily, the course will be hosting the 2027 Ryder Cup which will be 100 years after the first match.

Ballybunion

Founded: 1893

Location: Ballybunion, County Kerry       

The course is located on Ireland’s Atlantic Coast in County Kerry. The holes start relatively easy and get significantly more challenging after the 7th hole. You get to enjoy a thrill ride through the dunes until it the end of the round. Some of the holes are clinging to cliff-tops, while others make their way down and around sandhills.

Lahinch

Founded: 1892

Location: Lahinch, County Clare

Lahinch was host to the Irish Open in 2019 and it showcased the brilliant layout and test of the course for the seasoned golfers. The course was created in 1892 when two Limerick Golf Club officials laid out 18 holes with the help of officers from the ‘Black Watch’ regiment. The course that is more familiar today was created in 1927 by Dr Alister MacKenzie and currently, the course is ranked 26th in the UK and Ireland top 100 rankings.

Portmarnock

Founded: 1894

Location: Portmarnock, County Dublin

To the north of Dublin, the 27-hole course is on a relatively flat and sandy peninsula and provides golfers with a stern test of their skills. Portmarnock is highly regarded and has been ranked as one of the most challenging courses in the country. The course was formed in 1894 and has hosted many high-level titles including 19 Irish Championships and more recently an Amateur Championship in 2019.

Mount Juliet

Founded: 1991

Location: Mount Juliet, County Kilkenny

Mount Juliet is a course that has matured well over the past three decades and it provides a stellar setting for a few rounds of golf. It’s one of Ireland’s modern course layouts that is peaceful, stunning and pretty open. The course has been host to many competitions including the Irish Open in the 1990s and the WGC-American Express Championship.

Rosapenna – Sandy Hills

Founded: 2003

Location: Rosapenna, Donegal

The popular golf course was designed by Pat Ruddy (Also designed the European Club course) and has been established as one of the best modern links in Ireland. Sandy Hills shows off a great example of modern course design from the last 25 years. The golf course does an excellent job of making the most out of the dramatic coastal landscape. It delivers a stunning variety of memorable, unique and challenging holes for you to enjoy. It is tough to play here but it’s fair and the experience is hugely enjoyable for those who can handle it.

 

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