In Ireland, where the grass is greener and the landscapes are breathtaking, golf is not just a game, it’s a part of the culture. Ireland golf courses are a blend of challenging play, stunning backdrops, and rich tradition. With a total number of more than 400 golf courses in Ireland, it is not an easy task to find a suitable one for your golf skills. Here, let’s explore the top 9 golf courses in the Irland, each offering its own unique experience, from coastal cliffs to ancient dunes.
Most Thrilling Golf Courses in Ireland for 2024 Golf Tours
1. Old Head Golf Links, County Cork
Address: Downmacpatrick Or Oldhead, Kinsale, Co. Cork, Ireland
The 1st one on the list of best golf courses in Ireland is Old Head Golf Course. Perched on a dramatic headland in County Cork, Old Head Golf Links is a visual spectacle. This course, set on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic, offers some of the most stunning vistas in golf. Each hole here provides a unique view of the ocean, cliffs, and lighthouse, making every round an unforgettable experience. Old Head isn’t just a golf course; it’s a celebration of Ireland’s majestic coastal beauty.
2. Ballybunion Golf Club, County Kerry
Address: Sandhill Rd, Ballybunion, Co. Kerry, V31 RX37, Ireland
Ballybunion’s Old Course is a wild, natural beauty, where the Atlantic winds and towering dunes shape your play. It’s a course that surprises you at every turn, especially the 11th hole, where the ocean breeze plays a key role. Playing here is more than just golf; it’s about embracing the raw, untamed spirit of Ireland.
3. Portmarnock Golf Club, County Dublin
Address: Golf Links Rd, Portmarnock, Co. Dublin, D13 KD96, Ireland
Portmarnock, located on a tranquil peninsula near Dublin, offers a peaceful yet challenging golfing experience. The course, known for its strategic layout, tests your skills against the backdrop of the calming Irish Sea. Notably, the 15th hole is a masterpiece of design, demanding accuracy amidst the surrounding bunkers. At Portmarnock, you’re not just playing a round of golf; you’re immersing yourself in Ireland’s serene beauty.
4. Lahinch Golf Club, County Clare
Address: Dough, Lahinch, Co. Clare, Ireland
Affectionately known as the “St. Andrews of Ireland,” Lahinch is a place of whimsical charm. Designed by the legendary Old Tom Morris, it dances through massive dunes with the Atlantic Ocean as a constant companion. The course is famous for its quirky holes like the Klondyke and Dell, offering a golfing experience that’s as delightful as it is unique.
5. County Louth Golf Club, County Louth
Address: Golf Club, Baltray, Drogheda, Co. Louth, A92 HK03, Ireland
County Louth, also known as Baltray, is one of the best golf courses in Ireland. This traditional links course, set along the Irish Sea, offers a pure and challenging golfing experience. Its natural dunes, rolling fairways, and well-thought-out bunkers demand a strategic approach to the game. The 14th hole, in particular, is a test of skill and strategy, challenging even the most seasoned golfers. County Louth is a course that embodies the true spirit of Irish links golf.
6. Waterville Golf Links, County Kerry
Address: Murreagh, Waterville, Co. Kerry, V23 W940, Ireland
Waterville Golf Links, situated in the scenic Ring of Kerry, is where the timeless charm of Links Golf meets modern design. The course, with its broad fairways and strategic layout, beautifully integrates with the wild Atlantic coastline. The 17th hole, Mulcahy’s Peak, is particularly memorable for its panoramic views and challenging play. At Waterville, you’re not just playing golf; you’re experiencing the heart of Ireland’s natural grandeur.
7. The European Club, County Wicklow
Address: Ardanairy, Brittas Bay, Co. Wicklow, Ireland
The European Club in County Wicklow offers a modern yet timeless Irish golfing experience. Designed by Pat Ruddy, this course stands out for its massive greens and strategic bunkering, set against the dramatic backdrop of the Irish Sea. The course challenges golfers to adapt to its varied landscape, making each round a unique experience. It’s a course that perfectly captures the rugged beauty of Ireland’s eastern coastline.
8. Adare Manor, County Limerick
Address: Adare, Co. Limerick, V94 W8WR, Ireland
Adare Manor, recently refurbished, is quickly becoming a cornerstone of Irish golf. This parkland course, reimagined by Tom Fazio, contrasts Ireland’s traditional links courses with its well-manicured lawns and state-of-the-art design. The course, with its strategic water hazards and stunning landscaping, offers a luxurious golfing experience. The signature par-3 16th hole, with its island green, is as challenging as it is beautiful. Adare Manor is more than a golf course; it’s a testament to Ireland’s evolving golf scene.
9. Dooks Golf Club, County Kerry
Address: Dooaghs, Glenbeigh, Co. Kerry, Ireland
Dooks Golf Club in County Kerry, Ireland, is the last name in the list of the best golf courses in Ireland. Established in 1889, it’s one of the country’s oldest links courses, boasting a rich history that adds to its charm. This 18-hole links course offers a challenging yet rewarding game, with stunning views of the Dingle Peninsula, the McGillycuddy Reeks, and the Atlantic Ocean as your backdrop. The course’s undulating fairways, well-placed bunkers, and unpredictable winds provide a true test of golfing skill.
Dooks is renowned for its friendly and welcoming atmosphere, making it an ideal destination for golfers of all levels. After a round, players can relax in the clubhouse, which offers panoramic views of the course and the surrounding natural beauty.
Each of these golf courses in Ireland is a testament to the country’s love for golf. They’re not just places to play; they’re destinations where the sport’s tradition, the beauty of the land, and the joy of the game converge. So, pack your clubs and set off on an Irish golf adventure that you’ll remember for a lifetime.