What is it about the Old Head golf links on the south coast of Ireland that inspires golfers to describe it as one of the most spectacular golf courses in the world? For nearly twenty years, we have been including the Old Head on south west Ireland golf itineraries, and we cannot recall meeting anyone who did not marvel at the experience. We could say that most people are blown away, not be the wind, but by the combination of the golf course presentation and jaw dropping vistas of the Atlantic Ocean and nearby headlands.
As you drive out along the headland a sense of expectation builds as you survey the rich and green pastures of the surrounding countryside. Soon you reach the end of the road, quite literally, and pass through the gates that take you on to the Old Head. It is an assault on the senses from every direction. To the left you see greens perched close to the edge of the headland which tumbles towards the Atlantic. To the right, you catch a glimpse of the 12th hole, with its tee box tucked in by the cliff edge and you wonder how you will navigate your drive to the fairway waiting on top. As yo drive further along, the iconic lighthouse comes in to view as it towers over the 18th tee. The clubhouse, nestles quietly and unobtrusively in the background. There is no better place to enjoy a drink and something to eat either before or after your round.
The Old Head is one of a select few courses in the world that leaves a lasting impression etched in the golfers memory. An Irish golf tour is all the richer for its inclusion.
Located less than one hour south of Dublin, The European Club is set to both enthrall and challenge the visiting golfer in equal measure. From the moment you drive through the gates you know that a treat lies in store. First up is a piece of Ireland's history with a recreation of a Dolmen an ancient burial tomb fittingly on #IrelandsAncientEast.
Don't let this get in to your head as you prepare to play this wonderful links course!
The nature of the welcome and greeting is unique and cordial. Pat Ruddy and his family give such a personal touch that you are bound to feel at home from the get go!
The course has a number of stand out holes. The par 4 7th demands accurancy as marshland awaits any approach shot that drifts either left or right. This hole was voted among the top 100 greatest golf holes in the world and is dedicated to the bravery of Arnold Palmer.
The Irish sea glistens in the background as you make your way around the course. Where else would you find 20 golf holes in play?
This is as enjoyable a game of golf as you are likely to play anywhere in Ireland and is a must play on an east coast of Ireland golf trip.
Royal County Down will be opening their diary for 2019 bookings from Monday 21st May 2018.
Demand is expected to be unprecedented at the world's number 1 links course. Tee times sold out very quickly for this season and next year is likely to be the same. Should you be planning a Northern Ireland golf trip in 2019 please note that Royal County Down will be closed to visitors 9th through 16th June 2019 as it hosts The British Open Ladies Amateur Golf Championship.
Keep in mind that Royal Portrush hosts The Open Championship in July 2019 so next year is going to be a year like no other in terms of golf in Northern Ireland.
Portstewart Golf Club, a neighbour of Royal Portrush will also be taking bookings. Castlerock Golf Club is just a short drive from Portrush. It unveiled its revamped links this week to much acclaim. The signature hole at Castlerock is the 214 yard Par 3 played to a bowl shaped green guarded by rough and fescue.
The West of Ireland Golf Championship, County Sligo Golf Club
(between 14th-18th April 2017).
Sponsored by Radisson Blu Sligo, 'The West', as it's known, has been won in the past by renowned golfers like Rory McIlroy (twice), Shane Lowry and Padraig Harrington, and every year provides challenging test at many levels for the best amateur players from Ireland and abroad. This short film previews this year's event with some of the key contenders, last year's winner Jonathan Yates, Irish Close Champion Alex Gleeson and winner of the North of Ireland Championship Seán Flanagan. Tom Horkan, Captain of County Sligo Golf Club sets the scene ahead of the opening round. Produced by Sligo-based production company Omedia, camera by Peter Martin and edit by Micheál O Domhnaill. http://www.countysligogolfclub.ie
2400 KM route along the Irish Western seaboard "The Wild Atlantic Way"Many.The perfect mix for your golf trip. Tourism and Sport.
Padraig Harrington has won three Major Championships and that is 11 less than Tiger Woods.
Harringtons last Major victory, like Woods, was in 2008 when capturing the PGA Championship after Woods claimed a 14th Major months earlier that year at the U.S. Open.
This year then will mark 10-years since Woods last won a Major Championship and with some observers believing Woods, and now age 42, can still break Jack Nicklaus record of 18 Major victories.
But after chatting with Woods on at least two occasions this year, Harrington is of the opinion it should make no difference to Woods if he were to win 14, 18 or break 'The Golden Bear's' record in winning 19 Majors.
The Irish Golfer Magazine Top 100 Irish Course Ranking 2018.
Congratulations to the clubs included and commiserations to those that just missed out.
Note: Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Club and Hogs Head were excluded from consideration as both were closed to the public at time of publication.
We hope you enjoy our golf blog and current golf stories we find and share. Please always feel free to contact us if we can be of any assistance in helping you decide on the golf trip that's just right for you.