The island nation of Ireland is known for its stunning coastline, green scenery, and historic architecture. Otherwise known as the Emerald Isle, Ireland is also home to the most beautiful golf courses in the world - and it's no wonder that most of today's golfing greats are Irish.
For the golfing enthusiast, all the choices available can seem overwhelming. After all, they all seem to have it all.
To help you narrow down your options, we are introducing you to the best golf courses in Ireland. All of these courses guarantee an unforgettable golfing experience while you marvel over Ireland's natural beauty.
Best Golf Courses In Ireland
Royal County Down Golf Club Championship Links
Of all the golf clubs in Ireland, the Royal County Down Golf Club is revered as the most prestigious. It is home to two 18-hole golf courses - and of the two, its Championship Links is considered as the finest in the country.
Located on the Murlough Nature Reserve, there’s no doubt that the Championship Links are naturally beautiful. The breathtaking view is a reward in itself, but the fact that the course offers a challenging game makes the experience more memorable.
This golf course offers fast greens that offer a smooth rolling motion from your ball. But in some parts of the turf, the greens are slightly domed, so you may have to improve your putts for your shot to make it through. This is a fun way to test your accuracy and command of every shot.
The Championship Links at the Royal County Down Golf Club also has narrow fairways and world-famous bearded bunkers that add an eye-catching charm to the golf course. But for some, this beauty is too distracting and has lead a few players astray - so you can say that it’s part of the challenge.
Overall, there is no doubt that the Championship Links at the Royal County Down Golf Club is one of the best golf courses in Ireland. Its challenges make it exciting, while the stunning backdrop consisting of the Irish mountainside and coastline takes the game to a whole new level.
Mount Juliet Golf Course
The Mount Juliet Golf Course is known for its perfect fairways and the best greens - and renowned golfing great Tiger Woods agrees.
This golf course is designed by no other than the legendary Jack Nicklaus, so you can only expect a carefully planned layout to help you make the most of the game. It stretches for 7200 yards across a 180-acre Irish countryside that gives you scenic views of the lush mountains.
The Mount Juliet Golf Course has hosted championship games, and this guarantees that it truly delivers professional quality.
This 18-hole golf course is home to five artificial lakes and 80 bunkers that are strategically-located to improve how you play. You have to deal with sand and water to win the game, and that’s part of the beauty of the challenge.
Of its 18 holes, the most picturesque are the 11th, 13th, and 14th holes, and you can think of it as a rewarding view for making it this far. This will surely motivate you to do better and finish the entire course, no matter how challenging it may be.
Royal Portrush Golf Club - Dunluce Links
Another premium golf course that you might want to try is the Dunluce Links at the Royal Portrush Golf Club.
This 18-hole course spreads out to 7317 yards and is home to impressive elevations that are sure to make the game more challenging. In fact, this course is recognized as one of the most challenging golf courses in the world, so it’s a great place to practice your shots if you’re an aspiring professional golfer.
Of all the holes in this golf course, the most iconic is the 382-yard 5th hole. Despite its stunning view, this dogleg hole requires you to make a calculated shot to make it through - but without going beyond the rear of the green. Nevertheless, the 17 other holes equally offer tricky challenges that will surely test your precision and shooting.
All things considered, the Dunluce Links is a premium golf course that offers stunning views of the coastline and the Irish countryside. We couldn’t imagine a more exciting way to make the most of your golfing getaway in Ireland.
If the Dunluce Links seems too challenging for you, you can try the Valley Links, also at the Royal Portrush Golf Club.
This 18-hole golf course stretches for 6346 yards and is known to be more forgiving than the Dunluce Links. This makes it the perfect golf course for beginners who want to experience the premium quality from the Royal Portrush.
This course also features a driving range, a pitching green, and a putting green to help you practice before a serious round of golf.
The green fees on the Valley Links are also more affordable than that of the Dunluce, so it won’t hurt your budget. This is great if you’re only visiting to experience golf in one of the best golf links in Ireland. Besides, you’ll still get a stunning view of the Irish mountainside, and that’s a clear bonus.
Old Head Golf Links
Completing our list for the best golf courses in Ireland is the highly-rated Old Head Golf Links in Kinsale.
Claiming to have the most breathtaking yards in golf, the Old Head Golf Links rests on a 220-acre property that looks into the Atlantic Ocean. The whole golf course covers around 180 acres of the property, while the remaining 40 acres consist of Ireland’s famous cliffs - and this truly magnifies the jaw-dropping scenery.
This 18-hole par 72 course is home to fast greens and fair slopes that make it perfect for golfers of different levels. You should also take the sea breeze into consideration since this can affect how you control your every shot.
Also, the Old Head Golf Links have a minimum of six tees per hole to make the game more enjoyable for everyone - even handicapped golfers. This is definitely a plus in our book! We also love that nine out of the 18 holes are played along the clifftops, which give you a stunning oceanside view of the area.
With its exciting layout, challenging landscape, and exceptional views, there is no doubt that the Old Head Golf Links is one of the best golf links in the Emerald Isle.