Private Golf Tours of Ireland | The Best Irish Golf Links Courses
Golf links courses are the oldest style of golf course and developed in Scotland. The word ‘Links’ is from the Scottish language meaning ‘rising ground, ridge’. It is no surprise that Ireland, being an small island itself, has the most spectacular golf links courses in the world. Some are so natural and built without interrupting nature and can be quite difficult to reach, with your Irish private driver you can relax while they navigate the routes safely. We’ve put together some of the best golf links courses in Ireland but to be honest they are all just fantastic and there are so many to choose from. Mike Ryan has of course tested them all for you.
Doonbeg Golf Course
Your Irish Golf Tour must include 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 and while playing a round you are treated by views of the Atlantic. Doonbeg Golf Club was purchased by Donald Trump in 2014 for an estimated €15 million. He aimed to turn Doonbeg into a “truly iconic” golfing resort. This is definitely a course in which all clubs will be used! Now known as the Trump International Resort, there’s everything on offer here from luxury suites to fine-dining and a spa health and wellness centre. Offering you a deluxe golf vacation in Ireland.
Old Head Golf Links
Extending over 2km out onto the Atlantic, the Old Head Golf Course rests on 7220 acres of land. It’s located in Kinsale, Co. Cork, famously known as the as the nearest point to where the Lusitania was sunk by a German torpedo during World War 1, in 1915. The course was originally designed as a walking course and though challenging this is still encouraged today. The dramatic surroundings of clifftops, makes this a very memorable golf tour in Ireland. It has been labelled ‘one of the most beautiful Golf Courses in the world’ by the PGA advisory board. Each hole gives astonishing panoramic views of the Atlantic and gives the feeling of playing on the gigantic sea. It is a much sought-after golf experience by players throughout the world.
The Royal Dublin Golf Club
Founded in 1885, The Royal Dublin Golf Club is Ireland’s second oldest Golf Club. It was originally designed by Harry Colt and was extended and overseen by golf architect Martin Hawtree. The Royal, is one of those unique clubs that sits entirely on an island, Bull island, and can be accessed by an old wooden bridge (if you want the old time feel) or via the modern causeway. The island was created in the 19th century, as a result of the sea wall, which was constructed to provide shipping with a safe, straight and deep approach into Dublin city. With your very own Golf Transport in Ireland you don’t have to worry about accessing the more difficult to reach courses.
A favourite Irish golf vacation spot in County Kerry is Waterville Golf Links. Designed by John A Mulcahy (architect Eddie Hackett) and opened in 1973, his vision was to built the most challenging golf links in the world. The course stretches over 7,300 yards, intimidating to even the most confident player. Also popular with the late Payne Stewart, a bronze statue was unveiled there to honour him, following the tragic plane crash that claimed his life in 1999.
The Royal Portrush
The Royal Portrush Golf Club is found in the fishing village of Portrush, in County Antrim in Ireland. It was formed in 1888 it was only a 9-hole course, until 1889 when it was extended to the 18-course (Valley Course). Then in 1929 another 18-hole course (Dunluce Course) was added by the renowned architect, Harry Colt. Everything you can expect to see on an Irish golf trip. Portrush hosted the Open in 2019 and it was won by Irish man Shane Lowry, the last time they had hosted the competition was 1951.
Ballybunion Golf Club
Founded in 1893, Ballybunion Golf Club is home to a unique and challenging links course: the Old Course. Ballybunion is in County Kerry, on the southwest coast of Ireland. It was founded in 1893, starting off as a 9-hole course before later expanding to 18 holes, in 1927. Although its’ remote location has lead to few championships being held here, Ballybunion Golf Club has been a consistently popular amongst those wishing to be challenged. It features narrow, contoured fairways, it soon becomes obvious why it is a luxury golf vacation spot and why it is ranked as one of the best in the world. It’s location should be of no concern to you as your Irish private chauffeur will get you there and back.
Portmarnock Golf Club
Portmarnock Golf Club opened in 1894 with just 9 holes, it was later extended to an 18- hole course in 1896 and then a further 9 holes joined the course in 1971. This distinguished course, designed by Bernhard Langer, is 117 years old. Portmarnock has a flat green which makes for relatively easy-going fast play, each hole however is unique. It is a world-wide known, challenging course and afterwards your private Irish chauffeur will drive you in luxury back to your hotel.
We can help you plan any part of your luxury golf vacation in Ireland and if you have any questions please do contact us and we’d be happy to help. If you are interested in an Irish Golf Vacation Package and would like more information, please visit our partner company Golf Tours Ireland. All the best, Mike Ryan.