It was the legendary American sportswriter Herbert Warren Wind who first discovered the beauty of the South West golf trail back in the 1970s. He declared Ballybunion among the ten best courses in the world. The golfing tradition in this part of Ireland has flourished to such an extent that there are now nine magnificent links courses, from Doonbeg down to the farthest reaches of the Ring of Kerry, where Waterville is situated.
Here are a few thoughts on some of the the range of courses we offer as part of our luxury golfing packages.
Adare Manor fully redesigned and rebuilt in 2016-2017 to championship-worthy specifications, with the very latest in course technology and construction methods, The Golf Course at Adare Manor offers a spectacular golfing experience amid the breath-taking surroundings of our parkland estate. Planted throughout with mature trees, gorgeously landscaped, and bounded by the peaceful waters of the River Maigue, the course offers ever-changing vistas and breath-taking approaches to each hole.
Every bit as strategic as it is scenic, this is a course which demands precision but rewards risk and courage. Whether you are new to the game or a passionate lifelong devotee, golfers of every level will encounter something to inspire, challenge, and improve their game every time they play through. Legendary golf architect Tom Fazio has created a golf course which thoughtfully explores the true character of the terrain, revealing new levels of discovery at every turn.
Ballybunion Old Course is an authentic seaside links course. It is situated on the treeless Shannon Estuary in Ireland's south-west corner and is noted for its majestic stretch of sand dunes looking out onto the Atlantic. It was relatively unknown until the mid-1970s, when the legendary Tom Watson himself redesigned it. He remarked that “Nobody can call himself a golfer until he’s played at Ballybunion”, and although it may appear rather daunting in the challenges it presents, it is a fair course, whatever your handicap – if you play well!
Dooks Golf Club was founded in 1889 and is one of the oldest, most charming Links in Ireland. The charm, the atmosphere and the superb seaside setting of a truly traditional golf links makes Dooks a must-play for any fan of coastal golf. Originally a nine-hole course, the members themselves designed and built nine extra holes back in the late 1960s. More recently, Martin Hawtree has improved on that work, and the result is stunning.
The links is set out on one of the three stretches of sand dunes at the head of Dingle bay. In the immediate foreground are the sand dune peninsulas of Rossbeigh and Inch and just a few miles away the whitewashed houses of Cromane fishing village provide an eye-catching distraction.
The Old Course at Lahinch is a story in its own right. The course has been labelled by many as “The St Andrews of Ireland”, for its traditional links qualities. It was redesigned - shortly after its opening - in 1895 and has undergone several upgrades by distinguished course architects since then. The course’s natural setting extends across the enormous area of dunes touching the Atlantic and an endlessly unique aspect of playing this course is the ever-changing weather off the raging ocean. Alongside the beautiful beaches and proximity to the legendary Cliffs of Moher, Lahinch marries tradition to the best a modern-day links course can offer. After all, there must be a reason why many of the world’s greatest golfers pay a visit during their preparations for the Open Championship. As The Old Course at Lahinch is the host venue of 2019 Irish Open.
Old Head, despite its name, is one of South West Ireland’s newest links courses. It opened in 1997 and occupies an imposing 220-acre diamond-shaped peninsula stretching two miles out to sea. The panoramic backdrop is a marvel and you’ll get a great view, as nine of its holes run along the cliff tops. This course is intelligently designed, with exquisitely landscaped fairways and manicured greens. In fact, it is set up each day depending on the weather that day. It’s quite a challenge but if you’re here in Ireland for a challenge plus some luxury, there’s no better place.
Tralee is the jewel in the crown in the South West. An elegant designed by Arnold Palmer has helped it to gain worldwide status since its opening in 1895. It is set in beautiful surroundings, including an old stone tower and offers spectacular views from rugged cliffs. Palmer once said he had never found a piece of land so well-suited for a great golf course. This course is not for the faint-hearted – every hole is a story and offers a challenge, but once played, you’ll fall in love with this marvellous course.
Trump International - known as Doonbeg until its re-opening in 2016 - was originally built in the late 1990s. 16 of its 18 holes offer beautiful views of the Atlantic and it is set in 360 acres of crescent-shaped beach and undulating dunes. It is eminently playable for all levels of ability and is certainly seen as an essential stop on any golf lover’s trip to the Emerald Isle.
Waterville is very much regarded as one of the mostvenerable and old-established links courses in the British Isles. You need to have a round there to see for yourself the incredible natural beauty of this area, surrounded as it is by majestic ocean waves crashing onto the rocks below. The course offers challenges throughout, with especially tricky approaches to its greens. Your chip and putt game will need to be absolutely top-notch! Having said that, Waterville is also regarded as very satisfying to play because it is fair to those who play to their best (an important consideration for the amateur golfer!). It’s gorgeous setting and highly attractive adjoining facilities make this a genuine item for your golfing bucket list.
Our programmes are extremely flexible; if you'd like us to create something unique for you, we'll do exactly that according to the courses you'd most like to play, the number of rounds, the accommodation and the number of nights you'll be with us.
For more details about our unique golfing experiences, please go to Ireland experience page.