Luxury Golf Tours Ireland | The Best of North & South Combined
Experience the best Irish links courses North and Southwest. Stay in deluxe hotels where you can experience true Irish hospitality amid fabulous Irish scenery. As we have to travel North, we have put in a relaxing sight-seeing day in Dublin where we will visit the famous Guinness Storehouse and a tour of Dublin, before we start back for serious golfing the next day in Portmarnock.
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.
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.
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.
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 Golf Club was purchased by Donald Trump in 2014 for an estimated €15 million. The presidential candidate aimed to turn Doonbeg into a “truly iconic” golfing resort. The famous billionaire changed the name of the links to Trump International Golf Links and Hotel Doonbeg, Ireland.
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.
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.
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.”
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 dramatics 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 give the feeling of playing on the gigantic sea. It is a much sought-after golf experience by players throughout the world.
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).
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.
Today we travel to Dublin and take a well-earned break from golf. We will have some sight seeing in Dublin with Trinity College and the famous Book of Kells. The onto the infamous Guinness Storehouse, it was created in 2000 as a fully themed establishment attracting thousands of visitors each year. It is located at St. James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin and has seven floors which surround a pint-of-Guinness-shaped glass atrium. The ground floor showcases the world famous Guinness founder, Arther Guinness and the four renowned ingredients, water, barley, hopes and yeast that are used to produce the tasty beverage. Sampling a pint of the ‘black stuff’ is a must this day!
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.
Portmarnock is thought to be the best Championship Course in Ireland and was ranked by Golf Digest and the best Golf Club in Ireland. Portmarnock was also the venue for the first Irish Open in 1927. Upon his visit there Tom Watson’s view on Portmarnock was” There are no tricks or nasty surprises, only an honest, albeit searching test of shot making skills.” Portmarnock was also the venue for the first Irish Open in 1927.
The place to visit is The Royal County Down Golf Club, this popular Golf Club is high of the list of all golfer’s to visit. Founded in 1889 the Golf Club is located in the Murlough Nature Reserve and is in the seaside resort of Newcastle in Co. Down. At 127 years old, it is one of the oldest Golf Clubs in Ireland and has two 18-hole link courses, the Championship course and the Annesley links. It stretches out over 7,200 yards along the shores of Dundrum Bay, making it one of the most naturally stunning courses in the world.
Royal County Down Golf Links | Golf Vacations Ireland
To play this course is an absolute test of any player’s skills. Because of the natural settings with gorse and heather, if your shot strays off course you could have a tough game ahead. Also the ‘bearded’ bunkers are infamous and requires the player’s concentration. The Royal County down has made impression contributions to Irish Golf and was only the second venue to host the Walker Cup. Most recently, this year 2016, Golf Digest named it the best Golf Course in the world.
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.
There are a number of signature holes to play, notably the 14th hole, it’s an uphill par 3 named ‘Calamity Corner’. The 2 courses are amongst some of the most challenging in Ireland. The Royal Portrush Golf Club was voted the 12th best in the world by Golf magazine. It is situated in front of the White Rocks beach and boasts spectacular views of the 13th century Dunluce Castle. Everything you can expect to see in an Irish golf trip.
That completes the Best of North & South Combined and just some of the best Golf Links in Ireland, there is so much to see and do in our wonderful country. If you would like further information on a Luxury Golf Tour of Ireland, or would like more information on any of our tours then please click the Enquire button below:
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