The West of Ireland Golf trip, where the golf courses have been chiseled from the landscape, present some of the most natural and challenging links you are likely to find anywhere in the world.
Perhaps the courses are not as well known as their counterparts in south west Ireland or indeed in Northern Ireland, but nevertheless these courses are simply unmissable!
Starting at Connemara Golf Links, and working your way northwards, you will be blown away by the stunning vistas and challenging course layouts.
Connemara has been described as a miracle , and the nearby town of Clifden offers some great accommodation options as well as a lively selection of bars and restaurants.
Travelling north along the coast and on to Carne Links, near Belmullet at the furthest western point. The 27 holes of golf at Carne more than compensate for the journey!
Travelling eastward you will reach Enniscrone Golf Links, one of the rising stars of Irish golf. The dunes are simply jaw dropping, and if the wind is up, and which it invariably is, be ready for as stern and thrilling a round of golf you will ever play!
The Seasons Lodge guesthouse, will provide nice lodgings and a hearty breakfast to have you fit and raring to go as you move on to County Sligo Golf Club at Rosses Point. Home to the West of Ireland Amateur Golf Championship, be prepared for a feisty round at County Sligo, as this course will give you nothing for nothing. Inspired by the spectacular Ben Bulben mountain backdrop, this is a course you will want to return to.
Nearby Strandhill Links is a gem, not as well known as County Sligo, but worth a visit, when you are visiting the region.
In the words of the famous Irish poet WB Yeats, whose grave also lies under the shadow of Ben Bulben, when considering the west of Ireland golf trip, you might think "All changed, changed utterly: A terrible beauty is born"
Golf at Waterville is a mystical experience – the beauty of this classic links land, surrounded by the sea yet forever challenged and shaped by the elements.
Waterville is rated among the top courses in Ireland and among the top 20 links courses in the world. Waterville Golf Links is located on the famous Ring of Kerry scenic drive, along the Wild Atlantic Way.
It is a must play course on your South Ireland golf itinerary. More information on https://www.specialtygolftrips.com/classic-south-west-ireland-golf-trip.html
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.
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When a number of officers from the Black Watch Regiment of the British Army went to the west coast of Clare, Ireland in search of sand dunes that would be suitable for the development of a golf course, they discovered Lahinch. It was a month later in April 1892 that they returned and using feathers and sticks laid out a links golf course. The first game of golf was played at Lahinch on Good Friday 15th April 1892 between Lieutenant William McFarlane of the Black Watch Regiment and William F. McDonnell, a Limerick businessman.
Two years later, the club invited Old Tom Morris, the celebrated Scottish golfer, to design a new links golf course. Old Tom said Lahinch was “the finest natural course he had ever seen”.
Remarkably, in 1895 the first South of Ireland Amateur Golf Championship was played at Lahinch making it one of the oldest existing Championships. Down through the years Lahinch has played host to a number of championships including the Irish Professional Championship in 1961, where Christy O’Connor Senior won following rounds of 67 and 68 on the first day. In 1975 Lahinch hosted the Carroll’s Irish Match Play Championship and his nephew, Christy O’Connor Junior, defeated Peter Townsend by 3/2 in the final.
in 1999 golf course designer, Dr. Hawtree was brought in to modernise the links golf course at Lahinch turning it in to a top class championship golf course. In the new layout, the sand dunes closer to the Atlantic Ocean were utilised and, in all, 14 greens were redesigned.
in 2020, Lahinch is set to host the Arnold Palmer Cup, an international collegiate event between the United States and Great Britain and Ireland.
The vision of club founder Alexander Shaw in 1892 to develop Lahinch into a top class golf links course has inspired and drawn golfers from all parts of the world and from all walks of life to ply their skills on the great golf links course.
Hillside Golf Club is situated in Southport, the home of "Englands Golf Coast". The course forms part of England's finest stretch of coastal links being adjacent to Royal Birkdale and Southport & Ainsdale with Formby Golf Club a few miles down the road.
A true championship links, Hillside is proud to have been chosen to host Open Championship Final Qualifying each year from 2014, together with a superb track record in hosting the worlds major amateur events.
Golf has been played in Dooks since 1889 and so is one of the oldest clubs in Ireland. It was introduced to the local aristocracy by officers from the Royal Horse Artillery attending compulsory training at the nearby Glenbeigh Artillery Range.
Dooks, (A Gaelic word for Sand Dunes) is renowned for its hospitality and spectacular scenery. From its gentle rolling fairways there are breathtaking views of Dingle Bay, the stunning sandy beaches of Rossbeigh and Inch and the magnificent McGillycuddy Reeks. Even though this links is not as exposed as some Irish courses and features an amazing variety of gorse and heather and wild flowers, the "gentle" wind is never far away and the narrow genuine sandy fairways and well contoured greens offer you a real taste of traditional links golf at its very best.
Dooks was originally a nine hole links and was extended to eighteen in the 1970s under the guidance of Eddie Hackett. However in 2002 the club engaged the services of Martin Hawtree golf Architect of international renown to enhance the layout of the course. 16 holes were redesigned and have added immensely to the golfing challenge. We now have a longer course measuring 6586 yards from the back tees with expanded and contoured greens. Those who know it well find it a most intriguing course to play; it will test even the very best of golfers. For the golfer who is seeking a beautiful and tranquil environment to enjoy great golf, Dooks presents a convincing case.
Aerial Drone Video | Killarney Golf Club
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