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Golf holidays in Ireland: smiles all round
In a land where the grass is the greenest, it is no surprise that golf has been played here for so long and golfers have been coming to Ireland on holiday since very shortly after it all began!
One of the main attractions of golf in Ireland is, of course, links golf. A quarter of all the links courses in the world are to be found on the island of Ireland; practically encircling the island in a long ribbon of holes. Aside from these, there are many fine inland courses too, so wherever you holiday in Ireland you will never be too far from a Golf Club.
You do not have to travel too far in Ireland to begin discovering these superb golf courses, plus the affable characters and warm Clubhouses that Ireland is so famous for. There are great golfing tours to be had around the East coast ports of Rosslare, Dublin and Larne, close to the Irish airports at Belfast, Dublin, Cork or Kerry or, if you don't mind a little driving you can discover the wilder hidden links in Donegal, Galway and Connemara.
Ireland's capital city has a host of reasons for visiting, not least of which are the string of golf courses to be found all around the city. The most renowned Golf Clubs are on the North side in the seaside suburb of Portmarnock.
The Old Course at Portmarnock is one of the finest and toughest links you will ever play; close by is Portmarnock Links with its hotel on-site. To the South (near Clontarf) is Bull Island: a small islet reached by a rickety old bridge that is home to both Royal Dublin and St. Annes Golf Clubs, both well worth playing. Heading North, you will soon come to The Island G.C. (yet) another fine links and carrying on up to Baltray you will come to County Louth - one of Ireland's less heralded golfing gems.
The two 'big names' of Wicklow golf are Druids Glen and The European. The first is a beautiful parkland affair with shrubs to rival Augusta at the right time of year, the second a beautiful but brutal links that will test your skill and nerve!
There is no shortage of other golf courses in Wicklow either, both inland and along the coast. Wicklow Golf Club enjoys a tremendous clifftop setting, Powerscourt has 36 holes playing around the formal gardens of the huge Stately Home, Arklow is a genuine links, Woodenbridge one of the prettiest courses in Ireland tucked away in the Vale of Avoca and so it goes on...
Killarney is an out and out tourist destinations and makes a great effort to attract visitors from all over the world, playing heavily on its beautiful green setting around the peaceful Lough Leane. Consequently you will hear plenty of American, French, Italian, Japanese, German voices amongst the unique Kerry brogues. It has not however lost any of its Irishness - just try visiting on a Gaelic Football or Hurley weekend!
It is a superb base for golf holidays with so many Kerry golf courses within range in a day's drive: Killarney, Waterville, Dooks, Tralee, Ring of Kerry even Ballybunion.
Every evening on returning to Killarney from the golf courses you will find a huge choice of places to eat and afterwards be entertained by any number of minstrels plying their trade in the bars up and down the High Street.
The north of Ireland has many great golf holiday venues, one of the finest is the coast directly north of Belfast, around Portrush and Portstewart. Here, in addition to some wonderful seascapes there are half-a-dozen excellent golf courses. The most famous of these is Royal Portrush (set to be an Open venue again in 2019), but the Strand course at Portstewart gives it a good run for its money!
The golf courses of Portrush and Portstewart are set closely together making it easy to get from one to another: ideal for your golf break.
The town of Portrush is the ideal place to stay for golf holidays in Northern Ireland. It is a small town, with a pleasant, slightly jaded feel that is predominantly a holiday resort, so there are some good hotels in Portrush and plenty of places to wine and dine too!
Getting to your golf holiday in Ireland
There are numerous routes to the Emerald Isle these days. Frow the smart, speedy ferries that zip across from Holyhead to Dublin, Fishguard to Rosslare, Stranraer to Larne. These Irish ferries will transport you and your car and your clubs to your Irish destination in comfort. So if you live close to one of the western UK ports the convenience is evident. Plus, with our special fares you may find it costs a lot less than you think. So if you want to take an Irish golf tour in your own car, please ask us to include ferry crossings in your itinerary.
If you prefer to fly to Ireland for your golf holiday then we can advise on the best routes and airfares to get you from where you live to where you want to play in the quickest possible time.
Irish food and drink
The Irish talent for entertaining extends to food, drink and music. Guinness needs no introduction and there is an eternal debate as to whether it tastes different in Ireland...
For dining you will be hard pressed to sample all of the Irish delicacies:- cockles, mussels, smoked salmon, black sole, Dublin bay prawns, oysters, venison, Wicklow lamb, the list goes on and on.
After dinner, should your golf have left you some energy, there is sure to be music and singing somewhere in town, just ask around for the 'local knowledge' - although you can usually hear it from a fair distance!
Cork is also a superb base for golf holidays with so many of Ireland's finest golf courses within range including: Old Head of Kinsale, Cork, Fota Island and even Killarney can be played in a day trip. Plus there are so many friendly little local's golf clubs that you have probably never heard of but where you will experience real Irish Member's and their golf, such as Monkstown, Kinsale, Muskerry, Bantry Bay and many more...
Every evening on returning to Cork from the golf courses you will find a huge choice of places to eat and drink, both traditional and trendy. Down in Kinsale it is more traditional Irish bars serving Stout and food, the fish has to be amongst the finest in the world - no exaggeration.
County Down has one, rather significant golfing attraction: Royal County Down Golf Club, once played, never forgotten.
The course and setting is remarkable and draws golfers from across the globe to spend their golf holiday in County Down. There are some other courses around the area that are well worth playing too so a golf holiday in County Down should be more than a one-hit-wonder!