US & Canada Toll Free: 888 209 4094 All other Countries: +44 (0)1228 598089

South West

This is probably the most popular part of the country for a Golf Vacation in Ireland. The quality Links Courses are in abundance, with Ballybunion Old Links, Tralee, Waterville and Lahinch Old Links amongst the most popular. A Golf tour to Ireland would not be complete without a visit to this area.

Ballybunion Old

Ireland – South West – Ballybunion Old – 6638 yds – Par 71

Ireland Golf Vacation, Ireland Golf Package, Ireland Golf Trip

click image to enlarge

The Old Course at Ballybunion is a true seaside links, virtually treeless with a distinct lack of man made influences. There is certainly a wild look to the course, making it appear intimidating, yet the truth is that the course is eminently fair.

The contours on the fairways and greens are what make Ballybunion a great golf course. The golfer is required to play accurate approach shots to the greens, usually to a small target with not a lot of space to miss left or right.

 

 

Ballybunion Cashen

Ireland – South West – Ballybunion Cashen – 6194 yds – Par 72

Ireland Golf Vacation, Ireland Golf Package, Ireland Golf Trip

click image to enlarge

 

Many consider that Ballybunion Golf Club is all about the Old Course. However nothing could be further from the truth. Designed by legendary course architect, Robert Trent Jones Sr. and opened in 1980, the Cashen Course at Ballybunion is more than entitled to share the same hallowed turf as the Old Course and is a superb test of links golf in every respect.

That some consider that the Cashen Course presents a stiffer challenge than the Old Course, speaks volumes for its quality.

 

 

Lahinch

Ireland – South West – Lahinch – 6698 yds – Par 72

Ireland Golf Vacation, Ireland Golf Package, Ireland Golf Trip

click image to enlarge

 

One of the oldest golf clubs in Ireland, Lahinch Golf Club is also one of the most respected links courses in the world.

Set right on the Atlantic coastline, Lahinch is exposed to the ocean through all her moods and has been moulded and shaped over the centuries by nature’s harsh elements and an occasional touch of human genius. Lahinch, with its towering sand dunes, undulating fairways, rolling greens and fair share of blind shots, is the perfect natural golfing terrain a true links in the traditional meaning of the word.

 

 

Doonbeg

Ireland – South West – Doonbeg – 6818 yds – Par 72

Ireland Golf Vacation, Ireland Golf Package, Ireland Golf Trip

click image to enlarge

Doonbeg Golf Club may be the last true links course to be built in either Ireland or Britain. The site is along 1½ miles 0f crescent-shaped beach and dunes. The ocean is visible from the green, fairway,  or tee of 16 of the 18 holes. The dunes, centuries old, reach almost 100 feet.

Greg  Norman’s design follows a course designed by nature — 12 of Doonbeg’s fairways  were simply mowed, and the putting green undulations generally follow the lie of the land. The fairways and greens consist of native grasses, including fine fescues, bent grass, and ryegrass. The par-72 layout features a single loop of nine holes out and nine back. It plays 6,848 yards from the back tees. The most natural routing within the existing dunes resulted in an uncommon combination  of five par-3s and five par-5s. Variations in wind speed and direction ensure the course plays differently almost every day. For example, the average golfer will play from a sand wedge to a 5-iron on the 111-yard 14th. To allow for a range of conditions and abilities, most holes feature five or more tee locations. Doonbeg Golf Club is situated in the parish of Doonbeg on Ireland’s southwest coast in County Clare. Located on the main coastal road between Ballybunion and Lahinch — both ranked in Ireland’s top-10 courses — Doonbeg Golf Club is an ideally situated destination for links golf.

 

 

Waterville

Ireland – South West – Waterville – 7225 yds – Par 72

Ireland Golf Vacation, Ireland Golf Package, Ireland Golf Trip

click image to enlarge

The front nine holes, which were designed to contrast with the more rugged and exposed closing stretch, begin with the chillingly named “Last Easy”, a fairly ironic name given the fact that it’s not really that simple. Then again, given the quality of the remaining 17 holes, it probably deserves its title. Each hole at Waterville is a wonderful experience, with the 2nd and 3rd holes, both par fours, being particularly impressive. And while the par three, 17th is probably Waterville’s feature hole, most would agree with Gary Player when he described the 11th as “the most beautiful and satisfying par five of them all”. Running 500 yards through a narrow passage of huge dunes, this hole fully deserves its name “Tranquility”.

The late Henry Cotton, three times British Open Champion, probably said it best when he commented: “Waterville has to be one of the greatest golf courses ever built. If it were located in Britain, it would undoubtedly be a venue for the British Open. I have never seen a more consistent succession of really strong and beautiful golf holes than here.”

Tralee

Ireland – South West – Tralee – 6806 yds – Par 71

Ireland Golf Vacation, Ireland Golf Package, Ireland Golf Trip

click image to enlarge

Brace yourself for one of the finest homeward stretches in golf. Each hole from the 10th to the 18th provides an unforgettable experience. When playing your second shot to the 12th green, you will quickly realize why it’s rated the most difficult on the course. Assuming you have hit a good drive, a huge depression from which there is no escape lurks to the left, while there is literally nowhere to land your ball other than on the green.

The short par three 13th over what is best described as “trouble” is all about trusting your club selection, while the longer par three 16th requires a well struck mid to long iron from an elevated tee to a green cleverly protected by bunkers and perched directly beside the Atlantic Ocean.

Old Head of Kinsale

Ireland – South West – Old Head of Kinsale – 7121 yds – Par 72

Ireland Golf Vacation, Ireland Golf Package, Ireland Golf Trip

click image to enlarge

You may have walked the fairways of Augusta, manoeuvred around the cliffs of Pebble Beach or witnessed the history of the Old Course at St. Andrews but rest assured that you have never seen a golf course as overwhelmingly striking as the Old Head of Kinsale.

The 220 acre site of five par 3’s, five par 5’s and eight par 4’s is configured as two returning loops of nine holes.

Eight of the holes play directly along the cliff tops, providing an exhilarating test of golf and concentration. On a fine day, the Old Head can actually accommodate a fairly low return but the vagaries of the Atlantic winds ensure that the course offers a different challenge every day.

Dingle

Ireland – South West – Dingle (Ceann Sibeal)

Ireland Golf Vacation, Ireland Golf Package, Ireland Golf Trip

click image to enlarge

 

Located on the Dingle Peninsula, Ceann Sibeal, or Dingle Golf Club as it’s also known, is the most westerly golf course in Ireland and for that matter, Europe.

The course is certainly the best kept golfing secret in Kerry but at 6,690 yards in length, Ceann Sibeal is one of Ireland’s truly traditional championship links courses and is a real test of golf. If Christy O’ Connor Jr. was misguided in commenting “This course has everything that St. Andrews has to offer and more”, then it wasn’t by much.

 

 

Dooks

Ireland – South West – Dooks

Ireland Golf Vacation, Ireland Golf Package, Ireland Golf Trip

click image to enlarge

 

Dooks Golf Club represents traditional Irish links golf at its best. Though not renowned the world over like its near neighbour Ballybunion, Dooks offers the visitor a unique links experience in a majestic environment.

Golf Course architect Donald Steele aptly assessed the course as follows “Dooks is a rare gem it has a special place in the annals of links golf and must be preserved at all costs. Its character typifies the true meaning of what this form of the game should represent.”

 

 

Fota Island

Ireland – South West – Fota Island – 6,900 yds – Par 74

Ireland Golf Vacation, Ireland Golf Package, Ireland Golf Trip

click image to enlarge

There is an argument that Fota Island Golf Club is the
site of the second oldest golf club in Ireland as records suggest that the golf
was played there as far back as 1886. Regrettably though, the original nine
hole course fell into disrepair following the First World War and golf at Fota
Island was abandoned. It was not until 1993 that a new championship course was
developed at Fota Island and it hosted a number of major tournaments in its
early years. Following an extensive redesign in 1999, Fota is now rated as one
of the finest parkland course in the country and was host to the Murphy’s Irish
Open Golf Championships in 2001 and 2002.

Killarney ( Killeen)

Ireland – South West – Killarney ( Killeen) – 7121 yds – Par 72

Ireland Golf Vacation, Ireland Golf Package, Ireland Golf Trip

click image to enlarge

While golf has been played in Killarney since 1891 (originally on a nine hole layout known as the Deer Park), the first 18 hole golf course at Killarney, which was designed by Sir Guy Campbell and Henry Longhurst, did not open for play until October 1939. Essentially this design comprises most of today’s Mahony’s Point course, while the Killeen Course, designed by Billy O’Sullivan and renowned Irish course architect Eddie Hackett, opened in 1971.

The merits of the original design at Killarney were quickly recognised by the Golfing Union of Ireland and in 1949, the Irish Amateur Championship was played here for the first time. The first of two of two professional events played over the original course was won by Eric Browne and is also remembered as the first tournament appearance outside of South Africa by Gary Player, who despite his failure to make the cut, rated the 8th hole (now the 13th on the Killeen Course) as “potentially one of the world’s greatest inland golf holes”. The course has played host to the Irish Open Championship.

Adare Manor

Ireland – South West – Adare Manor – 7138 yds – Par 72

Ireland Golf Vacation, Ireland Golf Package, Ireland Golf Trip

click image to enlarge

The Adare Golf Club, an 18 hole Championship course on the 840 acre estate of Adare Manor, was designed by Robert Trent Jones Snr. Trent Jones is one of the most respected and best known golf course architects in the world.

From his first impression of Adare Manor as having all the flavour of Augusta, he has created an Irish masterpiece to match the challenge of champions. The Adare Golf Club measures 7,138 yards and uses 230 acres of lush countryside. The Maigue River comes into play on three holes with a dramatic finish at the 18th hole.

 

Since the official opening in 1995, Adare has staged the Smurfit Irish Professional Championship, the Women’s World Cup, the AIB Irish Seniors Open and the 2005 J P McManus International Pro-am, in which Tiger Woods competed. In all circumstances, Adare proved itself a worthy challenge.

 

 

 

Ring of Kerry

Ireland – South West – Ring of Kerry – 6,663 yds – Par 73

Ireland Golf Vacation, Ireland Golf Package, Ireland Golf Trip

click image to enlarge

The Ring of Kerry Golf & Country Club is located amidst the most stunning scenery imaginable. Overlooking beautiful and serene Kenmare Bay with the Kerry mountains providing a wonderful backdrop, the setting is surely one of the best in Ireland. The course itself, 6814 yds from the medal tees, is hilly with dramatic elevation changes and a challenging layout. Lakes abound ready to catch your errant ball, should you be distracted from your shot by the surrounding views. Strictly speaking a Parkland course, it has a definite links feel given its sand-based fairways and greens and its proximity to the bay. In short, the Ring of Kerry Golf & Country Club is a beautifully-designed course set amidst unbelievable scenery, where every hole is memorable.

 

 

 

Back to Top