Ireland – where the greens are as lush as the landscapes and the golf courses are steeped in history and prestige. It’s also known for its breathtaking scenery and rich cultural heritage and is also a paradise for golf enthusiasts. From rugged coastal links to serene parkland settings, the best golf courses in Ireland offer an unparalleled golfing experience. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or new to the sport, Ireland’s golf courses are not just about the game; they’re about immersing yourself in nature, history, and the spirit of golf. Join us on a journey to explore the crème de la crème of Irish golf, where every swing brings a story and every hole is an adventure.
20 Best Golf Courses In Ireland
1. Royal County Down Golf Club
Features: In the picturesque Newcastle area, Royal County Down Golf Club offers a challenging links golf course layout amidst the stunning Mourne Mountains.
Holes: Its 18 holes blend naturally with the terrain, presenting both power and precision play opportunities.
As one of the best golf courses in Ireland, Royal County Down is a haven for golf enthusiasts. Its unique combination of natural beauty and golfing challenge makes it a standout among Ireland’s best golf courses. The course, known for its unpredictable greens and strategic play, is a gem in County Down, Ireland. Recognized as one of the best private golf courses in Ireland, it allows limited visitor access.
2. Old Head Of Kinsale Ireland
Features: Set on a stunning cliff-top in County Cork, Old Head Of Kinsale is famed for its oceanic vistas.
Holes: The course’s 18 holes offer a par-72 challenge with a scenic backdrop.
Old Head Of Kinsale, a highlight among golf courses in Ireland, mesmerizes with its coastal views. It’s a perfect blend of nature’s grandeur and golfing excellence, making it one of the best golf courses in Ireland. This semi-private course, considered one of the best affordable golf courses in Ireland, is accessible for both members and non-members under certain conditions, showcasing Ireland’s commitment to offering the best public golf courses in Ireland.
3. Ballybunion Golf Club
Features: Ballybunion Golf Club in County Kerry is famed for its rugged terrain and classic links design.
Holes: The 18-hole course offers a challenging blend of dune-lined fairways and undulating greens.
Recognized as one of the best golf courses in Ireland, Ballybunion Golf Club captivates with its natural landscape and challenging layout. This club is a fixture among the best Ireland golf courses, providing a pure links experience. It’s known for hosting prestigious golf tournaments, making it a top choice for golf enthusiasts. As one of the best public golf courses in Ireland, it provides an accessible yet challenging round for all.
4. Waterville Golf Links
Features: Waterville Golf Links in County Kerry is renowned for its scenic beauty and dune-laden landscape.
Holes: This 18-hole links course is a harmonious blend of natural terrain and strategic golf design.
Waterville Golf Links stands out in the realm of golf courses Ireland, offering a unique mix of challenge and charm. It ranks high among Ireland’s best golf courses for its picturesque setting and compelling play. The club, steeped in history, is a frequent pick for golfers seeking the best golf courses in Ireland. As a premier destination, it epitomizes the essence of the best affordable golf courses in Ireland, balancing exclusivity with accessibility.
5. Portmarnock Resort & Jameson Golf Links
Features: Portmarnock Resort & Jameson Golf Links, near Dublin, is famed for its classic links design and seaside setting.
Holes: The 18-hole championship course offers a blend of strategic play and scenic beauty.
As a beacon among the best golf courses in Ireland, Portmarnock boasts a rich history and challenging play, placing it high on the list of best Ireland golf courses. The course, known for its well-manicured greens and strategic design, is a private club, offering an exclusive golfing experience. It’s a testament to Ireland’s heritage in the best private golf courses in Ireland.
6. Cork Ireland Golf Courses
Features: Cork Ireland Golf Courses include several notable courses, each offering unique layouts and challenges.
Holes: These courses typically feature 18 holes, showcasing Ireland’s diverse golfing landscapes.
The collection of courses in Cork represents the diversity of golf courses in Ireland. From scenic parkland to classic links, these courses rank among Ireland’s best golf courses. They vary in their access policies, with both private and public options available, catering to golfers looking for either the best private golf courses in Ireland or the best public golf courses in Ireland.
7. Lahinch Golf Course
Features: Lahinch Golf Course in County Clare is renowned for its classic Irish links and natural sand dunes.
Holes: This 18-hole course is characterized by varied hole designs that challenge and delight players.
Lahinch Golf Course offers a distinctive blend of historic charm and modern golfing challenges. The course’s natural dunes and windswept terrain make for an engaging round of golf, appealing to enthusiasts and professionals alike. With its stunning coastal views and strategic layout, Lahinch is a popular destination for those seeking a memorable golfing experience. This course is semi-private, welcoming both members and visitors.
8. County Louth Golf
Features: County Louth Golf, also known as Baltray, is famed for its superb links course and unspoiled natural setting.
Holes: Its 18-hole championship course presents a fair yet challenging test for all golfers.
County Louth Golf Club, with its serene atmosphere and meticulously maintained course, offers a tranquil yet challenging golfing experience. Its well-designed holes, set amidst natural beauty, provide a perfect blend of challenge and enjoyment. Baltray is recognized for hosting national and international tournaments, adding to its prestige. This club is a private establishment, known for its high-quality golfing and exclusive environment.
9. Royal Portrush Golf Club
Features: Located in Northern Ireland, Royal Portrush Golf Club is famous for its rugged coastal links and challenging layout.
Holes: The course features 18 holes that offer a mix of strategic play and natural beauty.
Royal Portrush is a hallmark of golfing excellence, known for its challenging terrain and stunning sea views. This course has hosted major tournaments, including The Open Championship, highlighting its caliber. The Dunluce Links here is particularly famous for its demanding holes and breathtaking scenery. Royal Portrush is a private club, but it extends limited playing opportunities to visitors, making it an exclusive yet accessible golfing destination.
10. Parknasilla Private Resort
Features: Parknasilla Resort, located in County Kerry, is renowned for its picturesque parkland course and luxury amenities.
Holes: This 12-hole course offers a unique and enjoyable golfing experience with its well-designed layout.
Parknasilla Resort blends luxury and golfing in a unique way. Its course, while shorter than standard 18-hole courses, provides an enjoyable and relaxed round of golf amidst stunning natural beauty. The resort, known for its serene environment and top-notch facilities, is an ideal retreat for golfers and non-golfers alike. As a private resort, Parknasilla offers an exclusive golfing experience, making it a distinguished choice for those seeking a luxurious golf getaway.
11. Milltown Golf Club
Features: Milltown Golf Club, located in Dublin, is known for its well-maintained parkland course and welcoming atmosphere
Holes: This 18-hole course offers a balanced challenge with its diverse range of holes.
Milltown Golf Club combines a rich history with modern golfing facilities, making it a preferred destination for golfers of all levels. The course, with its varied layout and scenic beauty, provides a delightful golfing experience. Renowned for its friendly environment and excellent course conditions, Milltown is an ideal spot for those seeking a classic golfing experience in Dublin. This club is private, offering an exclusive atmosphere for its members and their guests.
12. Narin & Portnoo Links
Status: Both Public & Private
Features: Narin & Portnoo Links in County Donegal is celebrated for its stunning coastal views and traditional links course.
Holes: The 18-hole course is noted for its engaging and varied hole designs.
Narin & Portnoo Links stands out for its breathtaking scenery and challenging play. The course winds along the coastline, offering golfers a unique combination of natural beauty and golfing challenge. Known for its friendly atmosphere and well-maintained greens, it’s a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Recently upgraded, this course has enhanced its reputation as a must-visit golfing destination. Narin & Portnoo is a semi-private course, that welcomes both members and the public.
13. East Clare Golf Village
Features: East Clare Golf Village, situated in County Clare, is known for its stunning natural landscape and welcoming, relaxed atmosphere.
Holes: The 18-hole course offers a blend of scenic beauty and golfing challenges, suitable for all skill levels.
East Clare Golf Village stands out with its picturesque setting amid the rolling hills of Clare. The course is celebrated for its well-kept fairways and greens, providing a pleasant and fair golfing experience. Its layout, combining natural features with thoughtful design, makes it a favorite for both casual and serious golfers. The club offers a public access policy, making it a great choice for those seeking quality golfing in a serene environment.
14. The K Club
Features: The K Club in County Kildare is famous for its luxurious resort and two championship golf courses.
Holes: Each 18-hole course at The K Club is uniquely designed, offering diverse and memorable golfing experiences.
The K Club is synonymous with golfing prestige, known for hosting the Ryder Cup and numerous other high-profile tournaments. Its courses, set against the backdrop of a stunning estate, offer a mix of challenge and exclusivity. With world-class amenities and immaculate course conditions, The K Club is a premier destination for golf enthusiasts. As a private club, it provides an exclusive and opulent golfing experience.
15. Ballykisteen Golf & Country Club
Features: Located in County Tipperary, Ballykisteen Golf & Country Club is known for its stunning parkland course and modern facilities.
Holes: This 18-hole championship course offers a balanced test of skill, with a variety of holes that cater to different playing styles.
Ballykisteen Golf & Country Club provides a harmonious blend of natural beauty and challenging golf. The course, with its well-maintained fairways and strategic water hazards, is designed to provide an enjoyable yet testing round for golfers of all abilities. Its combination of accessibility and high-quality facilities makes it a popular choice for local and visiting golfers. As a public course, Ballykisteen is a great example of the best of Irish golfing hospitality.
16. Corballis Links Golf Club
Features: Corballis Links Golf Club in County Dublin is celebrated for its traditional links course set in a breathtaking coastal environment.
Holes: This 18-hole public links course is known for its natural, rugged layout that challenges golfers in a picturesque setting.
Corballis Links Golf Club stands out as an accessible and enjoyable golfing destination. The course, with its natural dune landscape and views of the Irish Sea, offers an authentic links experience. It’s a favorite among those who appreciate the true spirit of links golf in a more informal and affordable setting. As a public course, Corballis Links embodies the essence of accessible golfing in Ireland, offering a quality experience without the exclusivity of a private club.
17. Corrstown Golf Club
Status: Both Private & Public
Features: Corrstown Golf Club, located near Dublin, is known for its lush parkland setting and well-designed courses.
Holes: The club features three 9-hole courses, which can be played in different combinations to create a varied 18-hole experience.
Corrstown Golf Club offers a unique and versatile golfing experience with its three distinct 9-hole courses. The club’s layout allows for a variety of golfing experiences, catering to all skill levels. Known for its excellent maintenance and beautiful setting, Corrstown is a preferred destination for golfers looking for quality golfing near Ireland’s capital. As a semi-private club, it combines the accessibility of public courses with the exclusivity of a private club.
18. Sutton Golf Club
Features: Sutton Golf Club in County Dublin is celebrated for its scenic links course and historic charm.
Holes: This 9-hole course presents a unique challenge with its compact yet strategically designed layout.
Sutton Golf Club, one of the oldest golf clubs in Ireland, offers a distinct link experience with its historic 9-hole course. Despite its shorter length, the course provides a challenging and enjoyable round of golf, with each hole offering its own unique test. The club’s location along the coast adds to its allure, providing stunning sea views. Sutton Golf Club is a private club, known for its rich heritage and warm, welcoming atmosphere.
19. Silloge Park Golf Club
Features: Silloge Park Golf Club, located in Dublin, is known for its accessible and welcoming public parkland course.
Holes: This 18-hole course offers a balanced challenge for golfers of all levels, with a mix of long and short holes.
Silloge Park Golf Club provides a straightforward yet enjoyable golfing experience, making it ideal for both beginners and experienced players. The course is well-maintained and offers a variety of challenges, including water hazards and well-placed bunkers. Its status as a public course makes it a popular choice for those seeking affordable golfing in a friendly and relaxed environment.
20. Druids Glen Hotel & Golf Resort
Features: Druids Glen Hotel & Golf Resort in County Wicklow is famed for its two championship golf courses and luxurious amenities.
Holes: Each of the 18-hole courses at Druids Glen offers a unique challenge, blending natural beauty with strategic design.
Druids Glen, often referred to as the “Augusta of Europe,” is renowned for its picturesque setting and impeccable course conditions. The resort’s two courses, Druids Glen and Druids Heath, offer varied golfing experiences surrounded by breathtaking landscapes. This destination is a favorite for those seeking a premium golfing experience coupled with luxury accommodations. As a private resort, Druids Glen offers an exclusive and opulent golfing retreat.
As our tour of Ireland’s top golf courses comes to a close, we’re left with more than just memories of challenging fairways and stunning views. They embody a blend of natural beauty, historical significance, and golfing excellence that is rare to find elsewhere. Whether it’s the private clubs offering exclusive experiences or the public courses welcoming all, Ireland’s golfing landscape is as diverse as it is beautiful. So, when you think of golf courses in Ireland, remember, it’s not just about playing a sport; it’s about embracing an experience that stays with you long after the final putt.