Golf history in Ireland
The Royal Curragh golf course was the first to be created in Ireland, back in 1853. And thanks to the sport's rich, colourful and long history, many of the early Irish golf courses created in the mid-1800s are still here. Today Ireland has more golf courses per capita than most countries, and while the game we love originated on Scotland's rugged eastern coast, Ireland is one of the sport's greatest spiritual homes.
The Republic of Ireland alone offers almost 300 courses in total. On the dramatic western coast, links courses deliver beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean. Portmarnock course, near Dublin region, has hosted an extraordinary fifteen Irish Opens. The Irish PGA has been held here annually since 1907, the nation's oldest golf tournament. The Irish Open itself was created in 1927, reborn in 1975 and is now on the European Tour, a qualifying event for the Open. The Irish Amateur Open Championship was established in 1892, played at the Royal Dublin Golf Club since 2007. The Irish senior Open teed off in 1997. And the brilliant Volopa Irish Challenge, dating back to 2015, has a place on the Challenge Tour. If truly great golf is your obsession, you'll find plenty of it here.
Golf courses in Ireland
Seventeen of the best golf courses in Ireland await you, all with guaranteed tee times thanks to our sensational Irish golf breaks.
1. Ardglass golf course – 18 holes, 6268 yards, par 70, designed by David Jones
2. Ballybunion Old golf course – 18 holes, 6802 yards, par 71, designed by an unknown designer, redesigned by Tom Watson
3. Ballyliffin golf course – 18 holes, 6612 yards, par 71, designed by Eddie Hackett, Pat Ruddy and Tom Craddock, upgraded by Nick Faldo
4. Castlerock golf course - 27 holes in total, designed by Ben Sayers and later modified by Harry Colt
5. County Louth golf course – 18 holes, 7031 yards, par 72, designed by Messrs Pentland & Gilroy, modified by Tom Simpson, Donald Steel and Tom Mackenzie
6. Dooks golf course – 18 holes, 6586 yards, par 71, designed by Dr Martin Hawtree
7. Lahinch Old golf course – 18 holes, 6950 yards, par 72, designed by Tom Morris
8. Old Head golf course – 18 holes, 7200 yards, par 72, designed by Ron Kirby, redesigned by Paddy Merrigan, Liam Higgins, Eddie Hackett and Dr Joe Carr
9. Portmarnock, Dublin golf course – 27 holes in total, designed by William Pickeman
10. Portstewart golf course – 54 holes in total, designed by R C Davison and James Rea, remodelled by Willie Park Jnr
11. Royal County Down golf course – 36 holes in total, designed by Tom Morris
12. Royal Portrush golf course – 27 holes in total, designed by Harry Colt
13. The European golf course, Wicklow – 20 holes in total, designed by Pat Ruddy
14. The Island, Dublin golf course – 18 holes, 6312 yards, par 71, designed by The Syndicate
15. Tralee golf course – 18 holes, 6948 yards, par 72, designed by Arnold Palmer
16. Trump Intl Ireland golf course – 18 holes, 7026 yards, par 72, designed by Dr Martin Hawtree
17. Waterville golf course – 18 holes, 7225 yards, par 72, designed by Eddie Hackett, John Mulcahy and Claude Harmon
Golf packages in Ireland
Our popular Ireland golf packages whisk you away to the home of a collection of fabulous courses, each with its own unique personality and challenges. Whether you want to play Ireland's stunning south or discover the joys of playing golf in Northern Ireland, our flexible packages cover everything from four to seven nights and can all be tailored to your exact needs and desires.
Find out more or make your booking
Golf holidays in Ireland are hugely popular. If you're arranging an Irish golf break and you'd like to know more about our Irish golf packages, feel free to contact us.