Over the years we have arranged many trips for golfers visiting St Andrews in Scotland to play the Old Course and tick it off their bucket lists. Usually a group of golf buddies, perhaps a couples golfing trip or a party of business associates. This Summer, I had the privilege of playing the Old Course with my youngest son Shaun, and what a special occasion it turned out to be. Not that the golf ( or should I say my golf) was anything to write home about, it was just that special feeling of walking on hallowed turf, following in the footsteps of all the great golfers who walked this ground at the home of golf. From the starters introduction on the first tee, to the customary photographs and that first nerve jangling drive, all the way through to the road hole and eventually the crossing of the Swilken Bridge and the walk up the 18th to the final green.
To experience all of this is the stuff of dreams for any golfer, however to do it as father and son, brothers in arms so to speak, is a memory to live forever. Watch out Charlie, you're next up.
For details of a St Andrews golf trip, please click here
Play Enniscrone Golf Club in north west Ireland and experience some of the most dramatic dunes in Irish links golf
When it comes to a true and authentic links golf experience on an Ireland golf trip, then look no further than Enniscrone Golf Links on the west coast of Ireland.
One of Ireland's most traditional links golf courses, Enniscrone presents 27 holes on 400 acres of magnificent links land, featuring the par 73 Dunes Championship Links Course. The Dunes is one of Ireland’s top-ranked championship links courses and regularly features highly in the course rankings of many golf publications.
This year marks 100 years of links golf at Enniscrone. Located in County Sligo on Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way, Enniscrone fits nicely on a golf itinerary that includes other notable courses such as County Sligo Golf Club (Rosses Point), Strandhill and Carne Golf Links in Belmullet, Co. Mayo.
In 1999, the club asked renowned golf course designer Donald Steel to redesign the course, the brief being to take it into the biggest dunes. Ridges of sand rise 200 feet above the valleys and the hollows which Steel managed to incorporate seamlessly with the earlier design work or Irish course designer Eddie Hackett. Some of Ireland’s best golf holes are to be found at Enniscrone. Notwithstanding the excellent work by Steel, the quirky 12th and 13th designed by Hackett are two of the best par fours, while the 10th and 11th are also Hackett's work, the 11th being regarded by many as the best of the course’s par threes.
For more information on a West of Ireland golf trip, please click here
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.