Anyone who has played golf in Ireland will tell you that you will be hard pushed to find somewhere more beautiful. Here are five favourite courses, handpicked by Your Golf Travel …
1) Fota Island: Tucked away in a stunning 780 acre estate Fota Island actually boasts three golf courses but it is the Deerpark Course that we are focusing on. Mature beyond its years, the Deerpark Course offers a relaxing test of picture-perfect parkland golf to visiting golfers. Generous fairways and light rough are common features which will appeal to weekend warriors with the real test coming from seemingly ever-present water hazards, excellent bunkering and slick, multi-tiered greens.
2) Carton House: Having hosted the Irish Open last year, the quality of the Montgomerie Course here is highlighted by the fact that 2013 was in fact the third time it had been staged at the Kildare resort. Monty worked in conjunction with European Course Design when building his 7,300 yard brute at Carton House and, taking inspiration from the age old links courses from his homeland, the former Ryder Cup hero created what many describe as an inland links.
3) Royal Portrush: Bernard Darwin was spot on with his assessment of Royal Portrush, which is one of the most spectacular links courses in the world. On the course you have to deal with world famous holes such as the par-3 14th, known by many as Calamity, while off the course, to the east, you have the White Rocks and tall limestone cliffs that lead to Dunluce Castle and the headlands of the Giant’s Causeway, as well as the hills of Inishowen, beyond which lie Portsalon and the links of Donegal to the west.
4) Killarney : The Killarney National Park and Killarney Golf & Fishing Club might just be one of the most beautiful places to play golf anywhere in the world. Home to three golf courses, it is an amazing place to enjoy a stay and play golf but it is the Killeen Course we’re interested in here. The course originally opened for play in 1972 and since then Donald Steel has completed a reconstruction that includes new greens, tees and bunkers as well as additional length, with the course reopening for play in the summer of 2006.
5) Portmarnock : Not to be confused with Bernhard Langer’s Portmarnock Links (also an excellent course), Portmarnock Golf Club is home to one of the most celebrated links courses in the country and has hosted Ireland’s national championship more than any other course. Situated on a peninsula on the north side of Dublin, the Championship Course at Portmarnock sits on land that was actually owned by the famous distiller, John Jameson, and was once used as his own private course. With this in mind, we feel that a hip flask is a mandatory part of a golfer’s equipment when taking to the course but don’t be too generous with the measures as the course is a tough nut to crack.
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