On my blog post entitled How useful are course rankings when planning a golf trip to Ireland or Scotland? we discussed the role of golf course rankings in determining the choice of destination for a golf trip or golf vacation in Ireland or Scotland. The fundamental point is that while many golfers are significantly influenced by rankings in deciding on the golf courses to be included on their itinerary or golf trip package, it is advisable to look beyond the obvious golf course choices.
The same can be said when choosing a destination within a country or in planning combination golf trips such as Ireland and Scotland, England and Scotland or Wales and England.
The West of Ireland golf tour is a classic example of a golf vacation that offers the very best in terms of golf course quality, dramatic scenery and as friendly a 19th hole experience as you are likely to find anywhere. This is a region widely appreciated by visiting golfers, even though there are no headline ranked golf courses in this part of Ireland.
The UK magazine, Golf Monthly recently released it's Top 100 Courses UK and Ireland Rankings for 2017/18. Each course is rated according to Quality of Test and Design, Course Condition and Presentation, Visual Appeal, Facilities and Overall Visitor Experience. Significantly, for golf in the west of Ireland, Carne Links ( Belmullet) and County Sligo Golf Club ( Rosses Point) were the biggest upward movers while nearby Enniscrone Golf Club made it's way in to the top 100. Combine these three courses with Donegal, Rosapenna ( Sandy Hills) and Ballyliffin ( Glashedy and Old courses) and you have an Ireland golf package to rival any!
As many of the big named courses around Ireland and indeed Scotland are full or close to being full for the peak season in 2017, this could be an opportune time to consider the west of Ireland golf tour for your next Irish golf vacation.
Apart from the quality and availability of golf courses, another factor that influences golfers in deciding on their destination is the range and variety of sightseeing and visitor attractions in the area. We are increasingly seeing that golfers want to have a rest or sightseeing day included in their golf itinerary. In Ireland, The Wild Atlantic Way, Europe's longest coastal scenic route, ticks all the boxes in this regard and towns such as Clifden in County Galway, Westport and Ballina in County Mayo and Sligo provide a range of golfer friendly lodging options, fine restaurants and of course, pubs with plenty of music and craic! I have often compared Westport to Killarney in this regard, and it is only a matter of time before Westport becomes the golfing hub in the west of Ireland.