As providers of deluxe, customized Ireland Golf Travel programs, we at CORK & TEE Golf Travel frequently are asked to share thoughts on our favorite golf courses. When it comes to Ireland, we are asked not only about courses, but about our recommend Ireland Golf Travel itineraries.
While we don’t intend to hedge, the answer in our opinion is, “It depends.” Some of our Ireland golf travel clients are simply looking to collect marquee golf courses. Other clients are looking to combine golf with a rich Irish cultural experience. Others know this will be their only Ireland Golf Travel experience and are looking to get the most out of it.
From a geographic perspective, we identify four key golf regions in Ireland and make sure clients understand that travel times can be deceiving! Let’s start our discussion of Ireland golf travel regions with the Dublin area, which features great courses, some within just 20 minutes of the city with others a bit further out. The collection includes Portmarnock Golf Club, The European Club, The K Club, host of the 2006 Ryder Cup, and Killeen Castle, which is host to the 2011 Solheim Cup. Other notables include County Louth (Baltray) and The Island. Depending on the length of stay in country, CORK & TEE often creates Ireland golf travel programs combining the Dublin region with another region, such as Northern Ireland or the Southwest.
Speaking of Northern Ireland, it is chock full of exceptional golf courses and is home to spectacular scenery. En route from Dublin on your Ireland Golf Travel program, you first encounter Royal County Down, which is perhaps Ireland’s finest golf course. On the north coast, you have another set of exceptional courses including Royal Portrush, Ballyliffin and Portstewart, which collectively represent some of the very best Ireland golf travel experiences. For clients looking for an Ireland Golf Travel program that goes off the beaten path, we heartily recommend the rugged northwest, including Counties Sligo, Donegal and Mayo. Course standouts in the northwest include Enniscrone and County Sligo
Our favorite region, though, is the iconic southwest of Ireland including Counties Cork, Kerry and Clare. The combination of outstanding championship golf, world-class hospitality, charming towns and villages, top accommodations and spectacular scenery makes for an Ireland golf travel experience that is hard to beat. Start with Old Head, located near the delightful town of Kinsale and one of the world’s most scenic golf courses. Replays are very common here. The classic links courses of the southwest include Waterville, located on the Ring of Kerry, challenging Ballybunion and beloved Lahinch, not far from the dramatic Cliffs of Moher. Courses from the modern era that often are part of our client’s Ireland golf travel programs include Doonbeg by Greg Norman and Tralee, perhaps Arnold Palmer’s finest design.
In our view, it is simply hard to go wrong anywhere in Ireland. It would be our pleasure to customize an Ireland Golf Travel program of a lifetime for you and your group of two or more.