County Louth Golf Club – Baltray
County Lough Golf Club (also known as Baltray) is a classic links which will provide you with a solid and challenging round. The fairways, bunkers and greens are all excellently maintained, with the greens being some of the best you are likely to play in Ireland. There is a natural placement of bunkers that will catch you if you’re wayward, along with a good intuitive layout.
Portmarnock Golf Club – Old Course
One of Ireland’s classic clubs founded in 1894, Portmarnock Golf Club hosted the first Irish Open Amateur Championship in 1896 and the Walker Cup in 1991. The seaside winds almost always come into play, and several blind drives and difficult approach shots, along with quirky greens and classic bunkers, combine to make golf at Portmarnock an amazing experience. Ranked #30 on Golf Digest’s list of 100 Greatest Courses outside the US.
Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links
Designed in 1993 by Bernard Langer and Stan Eby, the Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links is a fine links course to play. You’ll be challenged by 90 intelligently placed bunkers, many of which are in the classic Scottish style, and the strategically placed gorse. Holes 8 through 14 are entirely built in the gorgeous sand dunes. The use of natural dunes, elevated tees and greens, acutely angled doglegs and almost 100 bunkers, test even the most accomplished golfers. One of the more memorable holes on the outward journey includes the par three 9th measuring over 170 yards from the back tees. You are advised to always take one club more here as the green is set on a plateau and is fronted by a depression. The 18th is a superb par four, which plays alongside the sea from an elevated tee.
The Island Golf Club
Founded in 1890, The Island Golf Club is considered to be one of Ireland’s hidden gems. This classic links course is surrounded on three sides by the Atlantic Ocean. Almost completely situated in sand dunes, no two holes in this layout are alike, providing you with one of the best golfing treats to be found anywhere in Ireland.
Royal Dublin Golf Club
Designed by Harry S. Colt in 1893, Royal Dublin Golf Club, past host to the Irish Open, is a classic links linear layout with nine holes out and nine holes back in to the clubhouse. The course, which is quite flat compared to other top-class links throughout the country, has exceptional bunkering, rolling greens, and occasionally vicious winds (shorts if worn must be knee length).
The European Club
The European Club is a classic links course designed by Pat Ruddy. While the facilities here are minimal and you must carry/pull your own bag (caddies are not allowed, buggies are available), the rough is high, the fairways are wide, the gorse is punishing, and the holes along the ocean make you feel as if you are playing on the beach. Ranked #41 on Golf Digest’s list of 100 Greatest Courses outside the US.
Druids Glen Hotel & Resort – Druids Glen Course
Nestled in Newtownmountkennedy in the heart of County Wicklow, the garden area of Ireland, Druids Glen Hotel & Resort’s Druids Glen Course is often called “The Augusta of Ireland” due to its profuse and well manicured landscaping. Designed by Tom Craddock & Pat Ruddy, the course hosted the Irish Open Golf Championship from 1996 to 1999. Steeped in history, Druids Glen owes its name to the pagan high priests, or druids, who worshipped in the forested Wicklow countryside in the 5th century. A druid’s altar at the 12th hole remains as proof of their inhabitation of the glen. Several water hazards, liberally distributed bunkers and course length make Druids Glen a challenging test of golf. Due to the course length we highly recommend taking a golf cart. We also suggest a stop in the majestic clubhouse, a former Manor House built in 1760 by an Irish earl, for a pint after your round.
The Kildare Hotel, Spa & Country Club – Palmer Ryder Cup Course
The 2006 Ryder Cup venue the Palmer Course at the K Club (Kildare Hotel, Spa & Country Club) is located within one of Ireland’s premier five-star golf resorts. Designed by Arnold Palmer, this parkland course is a beauty. The River Liffey runs through the course, mature trees, man-made lakes, smartly placed bunkers and greens as good as you will find anywhere make for delightful round of golf.
The Kildare Hotel, Spa & Country Club – Palmer Smurfit Course
The second course at the Kildare Hotel, Spa & Country Club, the Palmer Smurfit Course, is also designed by Arnold Palmer Co.. Opened in July 2003, the course would best be described as an inland links. Located just across the River Liffey from the K Club Palmer Course, it has many dramatic landscapes with dune type mounding throughout. Fourteen acres of water have been worked into the design especially through the final phase of holes 13 to 18. A watery grave awaits many a golfer on the home stretch. The most significant golf hole is the Par 5 7th measuring some 606 yards, which has a series of water cascades and water.
Mount Juliet Golf Course
Mount Juliet Golf Course is Ireland’s only Jack Nicklaus designed parkland course. Most Nicklaus courses have exceptional bunkering, and Mount Juliet is no exception with small to gargantuan bunkers that surround half the green. Mount Juliet is truly one of the most beautiful inland courses in all of Ireland, and a delight to play. Mount Juliet was the venue for the American Express World Golf Championship in 2002.
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