Southwest Ireland Golf | luxury golf tours Ireland

Southwest Ireland Golf

The Southwest of Ireland has some the greatest golfing courses in the world.  Created by the greatest golf architects and designing some of the world’s finest golfing experiences.  Establishing Ireland as a place to enjoy deluxe golf trips.  Not only are the courses both spectacular and challenging, the panoramic scenery (which encapsulates them) can only be found in the emerald isle.

The South West corner of Ireland is home to some of the most popular golf courses known worldwide. This region of Ireland is fantastic for family vacations and a mecca for golfing. Here’s a quick overview of Golf Clubs we will be looking at today:

For the more interesting and historical clubs we have Tralee, a superb design by Arnold Palmer and it is only a short drive from beautiful Dingle.

Waterville is where Tiger Woods comes to practice for major tournaments and is praised by some of the world’s best players.

The Old Head course is a spectacular sight jutting out into the Atlantic and is definitely not to be missed.

The oldest course in Kerry is Dooks, a stunning club that has a breathtaking view out over Dingle Bay.

No visit to the southwest is complete, without playing the world-famous Old Course and Castle Course at Ballybunion.  It is one of the jewels of Irish links golf, and although it’s shorter than some of the modern championship courses, it leaves an impression that is unforgettable.

The world renowned 18-hole Doonbeg golf course at Trump International spans 1.5 miles of crescent-shaped beach and century old sand dunes along Doughmore Bay.

Adare Manor, set in an 840-acre estate and designed by Robert Trent Senior. The course measures 7,453 yards and uses 230 acres of lush countryside including a 14-acre lake and the River Maigue.


Founded in 1927, Lahinch Golf Club is one of the oldest golf clubs in Ireland and a wonderful place to begin a customized golf tour of Ireland.  There are two courses, the Castle Course and the Old Course.  Starting off, let’s take a look at the Old Course.

Established in 1892, and designed by Tom Morris/Alister MacKenzie, the Old Course has often been compared to Saint Andrews by the top world ranked golfers. When it was completed Mackenzie stated “Lahinch will make the finest and most popular course that I, or I believe anyone else, ever constructed”.  The Old Course is visually breathtaking, it looks out on the Atlantic Ocean and is subject to calm cool breezes and full on blustery winds.  The old course has an array of exceptional golf holes that utilizes the surrounding natural terrain to optimum advantage.

Lahinch Golf Club | luxury golf vacations Ireland

Lahinch Golf Club

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The Dell & The Klondyke

Despite its luxurious looks, Lahinch is home to two infamous holes that have challenged even the most seasoned golfers. The “Klondyke,” and the “Dell,” designed by Old Tom Morris are his most deceptive.  The Klondyke, a par 5 starts off fine but the the second shot is straight over a looming sand dune. You can’t see the green so you just have go full swing over the sand and hope it lands soft.

The 5th hole and the world famous Dell, a long, shallow green, bang in the middle of two 30-foot-high sand dunes.  The “Dell” is a par 3 hole that hides a shallow green tucked entirely behind a dune.  Hit the ball over too hard or not enough and you are in a lot of trouble.

Lahinch Golf Course | Deluxe Golf Tours Ireland

Lahinch Golf Course

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The Castle

Next we have the Castle Course, a short distance away.  The Castle is a shorter course, a par 69, and 5,488 yards.  General opinion is that it is easier than the Old Course, but the array of holes will challenge both new and experienced players.  The Castle differs from the Old Course as it is flatter, with wide fairways and no dunes.  On arriving at the 6th and 7th hole you will get a great view of Dough Castle, from which the course is named.  Little has been changed on the Castle Course since 1963, when it was laid out by Commander John Harris and is great fun to play.  Lahinch Golf Club is a great place for a  deluxe Irish golf vacation, as it hosts the south of Ireland Amateur Golf Championship every year and should be on every golfer’s itinerary.

lahinch Castle | Deluxe Golf Trips Ireland

lahinch Castle

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Doonbeg, Trump International

Next on your Irish Golf Tour is the Doonbeg Golf Course designed Greg Norman, the two-time British Open Champion.  The course is pretty unique as it forms a crescent shape along 1.5 miles of beach and sand dunes, while playing a round you are treated by views of the Atlantic. Doonbeg was officially opened in 2002, and was awarded European Golf Resort of the Year by the IAGTO, as well as Golf Digest’s ‘Best New International Course’, in 2010.

Because of Normans design, the average time it takes for a round of golf is four hours and thirty minutes.  The par 72 layout centres on a single loop of 6,885 yards from the back tees, as a result, Doonbeg has a challenging combination of five par 5’s and five par 3’s.  Which, is no wonder it was voted number two in the top 10 new golf courses in the world by Sports Illustrated.

doonbeg golf club | Irish Luxury Golf Tours

Doonbeg golf club

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Playing Doonbeg

Because of the location on the coast, wind plays a huge factor on every game, the direction and wind speed make playing each hole a different experience every time.  There is a resident golf professional available to help players improve their game, instruction is available for individuals and groups annually.  Also available, to compliment the in-house instructor, there are also expertly trained caddys, on call to improve your score and overall experience.

Other facilities at Doonbeg include: a driving range, where you will find this is the ideal place to practise before tackling one of the best golf links in Ireland.  Golf lessons are also on offer for private or small group tours throughout the year from beginner to advanced and now our junior club to make a family vacation fun and engaging.

Trump International Doonbeg Golf Resort |customized golf package ireland

Doonbeg Golf Resort

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The Ocean View Restaurant

What better way to end the day of playing golf, on one of the world’s best courses than a dining experience that’s second-to-none?  Voted “Best Hotel Restaurant in Ireland 2012”.  The Ocean View Restaurant combines ocean-front dining, with a professional and genuinely warm service, overlooking the Atlantic.  Diners can enjoy the finest pint of Guinness poured by only the best bar staff, or sit and enjoy the incredible cuisine that has been freshly sourced from local produce.  The Ocean View restaurant is a great place to just unwind and chat over a few drinks by the fire place.  Its’ setting makes for a wonderful romantic meal while on a deluxe honeymoon tour of Ireland.

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Dining at Doonbeg

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Tralee Golf club

Tralee Golf club is located in Co Kerry, on southwest coast of Ireland.  Tralee Golf Club was designed by the one-and-only Arnold Palmer.   Surrounded by the Atlantic, Tralee offers breathtaking views on all sides.  The area surrounding includes castles, distant islands, towering mountains and the famous beach that was featured in the film, Ryan’s Daughter.   Tralee Golf Course is considered a golfer’s paradise, these stunning links represent a true challenge to veteran players and is widely hailed as one of the finest 18 holes in Ireland.

Arnold Palmer Tralee | Deluxe Irish Golf Tours

Arnold Palmer Tralee

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Hole 17: Ryan’s Daughter

While playing this hole Peter Dobereiner stated that “it is the most magnificent backdrop for a golf course I have ever encountered”.  The 17th hole named Ryan’s daughter, after featuring in the award-winning film by David Lean.  Looking down over the cliffs you are taken back by the miles of beach, stretching as ‘far as the eye can see’, taking this route your personal driver can easily show you where most of the scenes from the film were shot.
Arguably the most memorable hole on the course, the 17th plays from a high tee, across a gap, to a green contrasted against mountains.  Quoted from the Washington Post “The word awesome can rightly be associated with the Tralee Golf Club and it is possibly the finest test of golf in all of Ireland.”

Ryans Daughter |customized golf trip ireland

Ryans Daughter

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Relaxing at the clubhouse

Tralee Golf Club prides itself on having modern up to date facilities at your disposal. The club has a fully qualified resident professional to offer help and guidance to groups or a single individual. Other facilities include: a fully stocked pro shop and a 9 hole Putting Green in front of the clubhouse.

The Highlight of the clubhouse is the bar and restaurant, it features a balcony overlooking the course. It has earned a reputation for its relaxed atmosphere among staff and guests as all the caddys are members.  It’s easy to find a caddy and guest sharing a pint in the upstairs lounge after a round.  The balcony is a great place to relax on your golf tour of Ireland and enjoy a drink on a summer day.  Close-by is the lounge room with a large TV for keeping track on the current tournament and internet access is available for checking your e-mail messages and browsing online. A trip to Tralee is a must for any golfer at any level.

The club house tralee |customized golf vacation Ireland

The club house tralee

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Ballybunion Golf Club

Ballybunion Golf Club was founded 1893.  It is home to two uniquely and challenging links courses the Old Course and The Cashen Course.  Ballybunion has enjoyed welcoming international visitors to the Club for many decades, not only for the high quality of both courses but also for the club’s facilities including: a Driving Range and three putting greens (two beside the clubhouse and the third putting green located near the 1st tee on the Cashen Course).

If you are finding the going difficult why not enquire about the services of Brian O’Callaghan the Golf Professional.  Brian is available for private guided tours and group lessons; to teach bump and run chipping, playing in the wind, putting and bunkers.

ballybunion Golf Club | Ireland Golf Tours

ballybunion Golf Club

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The Old Course

The Old Course in recent years has emerged as the country’s most coveted golf venue, by professionals and celebrities.  Bill Clinton famously made a flying visit here in 1998 as have many PGA Tour stars like Tiger Woods and Tom Watson (who was captain back in 2000 when the old course hosted the Irish open on the European tour).  The Old Course is the original course at Ballybunion Golf Club and is classed as one of the best golf courses in the world. The first seven holes are a gentle learning curve, (then the layout can be quite challenging) it features narrow, contoured fairways that can be almost claustrophobic play on to the ninth,  it becomes obvious why it is a luxury golf vacation spot and why it is ranked as one of the best in the world.

the Old course layout | Golf Transport Ireland

the Old course layout

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The Cashen

Designed by Robert Trent Jones Senior, and opened in 1982, the Cashen in many ways, is a lot more challenging and more unforgiving than the Old Course.  The Clubs own Brian O’Callghan describes it as, “completely different to the Old Course. It’s much more undulating terrain.”  There are times when a strong breeze comes off the Atlantic, that requires shot-making, placement and trajectory control to make par, even off the tee.  The Cashen Course requires precision to get to the fairways or you will find your ball will frequently disappear around corners, worse still you will run out of fairway and find your ball embedded in marram. The Cashen Course also contains many blind shots and well-guarded greens, making a caddy’s life tough trying to keep track on your ball as it whistles out of sight over yet another dune.

For a fun day on your Irish golf tour be prepared for a test of placement, and trajectory control skills. It’s a wonderful challenge from start to finish.

The Cashen | Ireland golf transport

The Cashen

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Waterville Golf Club

Waterville is located on the beautiful Ring of Kerry, constructed by course architect, Eddie Hackett, it has long been a  favourite luxury golf vacation spot for discerning golfers.  Surrounded by the Inny River and open Atlantic Ocean,  Waterville was recently updated by Tom Fazio the world renowned architect and was praised by Mark O‘Meara and Tiger Woods for its near perfect design.  Waterville hosted the Kerry Gold Classis from 1975-1977, (which was won by Tony Jacklin) and since been a regular vacation spot for David Duval and the late Payne Stewart.

Shortly after the tragic death of Payne Stewart in a plane crash, in 1999.  Waterville golf club unveiled a bronze statue of him which was attended by professionals, family and friends.

Payne Stewart | Ireland golf transportation

Payne Stewart


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The Mass Hole

All 18 holes at Waterville are feature holes, Hackett himself, on record stated his affinity for the 12th the “Mass Hole” he said, the “Local contractors told me they weren’t going to touch ground there because Mass was once celebrated in hollow during penal days”, which is where the par 3 gets its name.  The Green is considered one of the finest in the country, and the views from it are awesome to behold.  It’s a wonderful feeling to be playing a hole while the cool Atlantic breeze blows across it.

The Mass Hole | Discover Ireland Golf Tour(s)

The Mass Hole

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The Old Head

The Old Head Golf Links near Kinsale is one of the world’s most unique and dramatic courses, built by Ron Kirby, Paddy Merrigan, J. B. Carr and the late Eddie Hackett, in 1977.  It sits on a 216-acre headland jutting out more than 2 miles into the Atlantic Ocean. The entire course stretches for more than 7,000 yd, nine holes of play along the cliff-tops and all 18 holes give you an unmatchable view of the ocean. Overhead, along the 300 foot cliffs swooping cormorants and peregrine falcons, make their nests (as well as other rare Irish birds).

Golfers from all over the world have lavished praise on the Old Head saying that they will never forget at this awe-inspiring course including distinguished professionals such as :Mark O’Meara, Tiger Woods, Stuart Appleby, Lee Janzen, David Duval, and the late Payne.  Add on some of the most luxurious award winning accommodation Ireland has to offer, coupled with a large onsite spa, and it makes the Old Head a place to completely unwind before continuing along your golf vacation in Ireland.

The Old Head | private golf tours of Ireland

The Old Head

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Old Head Course

Old Head Golf Links is built on a 220-acre diamond shaped piece of land, that juts out over the Atlantic for over two miles. Scattered along the cliff side numerous caves run beneath your feet as you play. 180 acres has been dedicated to the main course, with the remaining 40 surrounding and frame the course.

Old Head, is a tough par 72, with five Par 3’s, eight Par 4’s and five Par 5’s, sspread out to over 7,200 yards.  With the ever-changing sea breezes, the course provides a challenge to the professional and amateur alike.

Originally designed as a walking course, visitors are encouraged to walk the old head with a club Caddy to really appreciate the work and stunning views on each hole.  Old Head’s Caddy Program is among the worlds most intense and professional.

Luxury Golf Tour Vacations Ireland

The Old Head

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Clubhouse Dining

The De Courcey Dining Room is a five-star, a la carte restaurant, it provides diners with a spectacular view of the Lighthouse guarding ships from the fickle Atlantic. Dishes offered are catered for everyone’s taste, lobster fresh from the tank, fish, poultry and game all bought from local producers.  All dishes are complemented with an extensive international wine list that you can enjoy outside on deluxe Irish golf trip.

Dining at The Old Head | Deluxe Golf Vacations Ireland

Dining at The Old Head

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Dooks Golf Club

Dooks is one of Ireland’s oldest and more famous Golf Clubs, that should top of your list when planning a luxury golf package in Ireland. Dooks is an unbelievable looking golf experience.  The door officially opened in 1889 allowing visitors long contoured fairways breath-taking views and treacherous sand dunes. At certain holes at Dooks you will, at times, start to lose focus due to the incredible vibrant colours of the local wild flowers and the dramatic scenes of the McGillycuddy’s Reeks mountains to the east and the Glenbeigh hills to the west

Dooks Golf Club | Irish golf vacations

Dooks Golf Club

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Dooks Expansion

When it opened in 1889 Dooks was a 9 hole course, then in the 1970 (almost 100 years later), came the services of the legendary Eddie Hackett who extended it to its’ current amazing looking 18 holes with a variety of gorse, heather and wild flowers. Dooks is a fairly enclosed links and only gentle winds will affect action whilst playing the fairways, this by no means makes Dooks an easy course, (far from it indeed), long, narrow fairways and what seems to be besieged greens, it will bring out the very best of skills in a player.  In other words Dooks offers you a real taste of traditional links golf at its very best.

Dook's Golf Club | irish golf Vacation Packages

Dook’s Golf Club

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Dooks Clubhouse

Dooks Clubhouse offers a wide range of facilities including: locker facilities, bar, restaurant and Pro-shop, selling all the latest branded good for any golfers needs.

The restaurant’s menu includes: full meals as well as light snacks and hot beverages.  Full service is available throughout the day all freshly prepared using only the highest quality local produce. After a fine meal take a walk to the clubs bar and relax with a drink or perhaps have a chat with other members about where it all went wrong on the 8th .

Dooks famous Club House is known for its easy going atmosphere and old-world feel.  Back in 1976, it was decided to change the looks of the clubhouse and reconstruction began.  It was remodeled extensively, with enormous care taken to make sure it retained its old-world charm so when you step through the entrance you will feel immediately at home.

Dooks Club House | Chauffeur Tours Ireland

Dooks Club House

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Adare Manor

Adare Manor is the former seat of the Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl and was built in the early 19th-century, it still has some of the original walls of the 17th-century structure.  This is where any luxury golf vacation in Ireland should begin .

To say Adare manor golf club is one of the world’s finest places to play golf, would be an understatement.  Located in the heart of Limerick it truly is a centre piece in the crown of golf. The massive 840-acre parkland is recognised as one of the premiere of golf links worldwide.  The 18-hole championship golf course was designed by the one and only Robert Trent Jones Senior.  Whose intention was to make his final course design and truly push the boundaries. From the back tees, it measures an incredible 7,453 yards, which will test any veteran.  For the less skilled he placed four tee position on each hole, reducing the shortest route to a still impressive 5,082 yards.  But it’s not just golf Adare manor is famous for, the historic manor itself is a must visit on a vacation in Ireland whether you are golfing or not.

Adare Manor |Ireland Golf Vacations

Adare Manor

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Playing The Course

Adare Manor Golf course was the last major golf course designed by the Robert Trent Jones, Senior.   His dream design gained international acclaim as his finest creation.

it was opened in 1995 to grand applause and high praise, the manor includes so many features such as magnificent mature trees surrounding the 14-acre lake anchoring the front nine. The River Maigue also flows through the entire course creating a sense of absolute beauty but do not let this Disney like scene fool you!  This course is no pushover with water hazards, mammoth holes and rough it will have you feeling frustrated if your accuracy is not up to scratch and this is what sets Adare aside from the ordinary, after all Robert Trent Jones had almost 500 designs to his name.

Adare Golf Course | ireland golf vacation packages

Adare Golf Course

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The Oak Room Restaurant

Dining plays a central role in the Adare Manor experience, the senior Chef leads a young and enthusiastic team of up and coming chefs.  The cuisine on the menu changes as the seasons change.  As the Chef strives to source and cook local produce.  To compliment the dishes on offer, the ambiance in the Oakroom is a beautiful thing, overlooking the river Maigue and its accompanying forestry it’s an exceptional place for a deluxe honeymoon tour in Ireland and has been described as the most romantic dinner setting in Europe.

The oakroom | Ireland golf trips

The oakroom

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So now you have seen the southwest, next time we will be travelling north and to Northern Ireland to check out the greatest Golfing.

Stay Tuned

Or if you would like to call us directly to make and enquiry or to book a tour, Call Toll Free on 1888 7930 416.

All the best,

Mike Ryan


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