The top 5 golf courses in the Republic of Ireland & Northern Ireland
With Galway having been named one of two European Capitals of Culture 2020 and the excitement of the Six Nations tournament, there’s never been a better time for a Hibernian golfing escape. Here’s our pick of the best courses to visit in Ireland this year…
Connemara Golf Club, County Galway
If you’re heading to the European Capital of Culture in 2020, a detour to Connemara should feature in your itinerary. The links course is surrounded by a dramatic coastline and play is greatly influenced by the flat landscape and Atlantic winds. Although the 27 holes here are renowned for their difficulty, you’ll be rewarded with sweeping panoramic views and a friendly welcome.
Mount Juliet Golf Club, County Kilkenny
Set in the grounds of a glorious 1,500-acre country house estate, Mount Juliet is a picturesque parkland course. The perfectly manicured holes are framed by trees yet somehow feel surprisingly open, and the Jack Nicklaus creation features the usual splash of water hazards, from natural streams to large lakes.
Old Head Golf Links, County Cork
Prior booking is essential at this County Cork course, famed for its cliff-top holes and dramatic setting. While a few rounds here are perfectly safe, ‘water hazards’ take on a whole new meaning when they refer to the crashing Atlantic, 300ft below the fairway. The largely private members’ course welcomes guests throughout the week, availability permitting.
Royal Portrush Golf Club, County Antrim
The club at Portrush offers 36 holes over two courses – the 7,317-yard Dunluce and the shorter Valley, at 6346 yards. The former hosted last year’s British Open and was so popular, it’s already been lined up to stage it two more times by 2040. You’ll have to be at your best for Calamity Corner on the 16th, an uphill par three featuring a large ravine and a green surrounded by mounds and hollows.
The K Club, County Kildare
This parkland course feels like a slice of America in Ireland, with fast greens, plenty of trees and an inland location that’s as far from a links experience as you can imagine. The varied holes are situated next to the River Liffey, a scenic reminder of the course’s proximity to Dublin. The complex is also home to a five-star-hotel and luxury spa, making it ideal for a short golfing getaway.