Ireland is known for its ultra-friendly citizenry and
amiable atmosphere, and there’s nothing like sharing time with the locals at a
small pub in Killarney or seaside village in the Southwest of Ireland. Aside
from the congenial people, cozy pubs and lush terrain, the Southwest has some
of the most beautiful links courses in the world.
The next time you play golf in Ireland consider this
world-class line up:
Waterville- With its natural beauty and an innovative
design, few courses are as beautiful and fun to play as Waterville. The Ring of
Kerry is one of Ireland’s most stunning areas. Fortunately for golfers, the
route on the way to Waterville is filled with sightseeing, which enhances the
Lahinch- For those of you looking for a challenge, you’ll
find it at Lahinch. Overlooking the vast Atlantic Ocean, Lahinch is a natural
links course that can only be conquered with accuracy and solid course
management. Three rock star architects named Old Tom Morris, Alister MacKenzie,
and Martin Hawtree designed this golf course. If you have no idea who these
guys are, let’s just say it’s kind of like having Bill Russell, Michael Jordan,
and Lebron James on the same basketball team.
Tralee- Any golf course associated with Arnold Palmer or
“The King” is going to be a special place. The front nine is filled with
cliffs, stone walls, and castle ruins. On the back nine you’ll find a brilliant
stretch of links golf that is quite possibly the best in Ireland. I think Arnie
articulated it the best when he said: “I may have designed the first nine, but surely God designed
the back nine”.
Ballybunion Old Course- If you’re looking for a true test of
golf you’ll find it at Ballybunion GC. The Old Course is definitely one you
have to check off your bucket list. The natural dunes and perfectly groomed
fairways define this 120 year-old golf links. Often overlooked because of its
neighbor, the Cashen course designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. is another
exceptional layout with amazing views on almost every hole.
Doonbeg- Doonbeg will impress you with its massive dunes and
violent waves crashing against the neighboring beach. Don’t let its young age
fool you, this golf course plays like a classic links and feels like it’s been
around for centuries.
Old Head- Imagine driving toward a peninsula with rocky
cliffs then passing a centuries old castle ruin. As you approach your
destination you see an old lighthouse overlooking the ocean and a world-class
golf links. Simply put, Old Head is a one-of-a-kind golf course. I can’t
guarantee it will be your favorite course in Ireland, but I can confidently say
it’s a golf experience you’ll never forget.
Dooks GC- Located on the corner of Dingle Bay, this is one
of Ireland’s oldest golf courses. As you walk down the second fairway the
entire course opens up below where you’re rewarded with a panoramic,
postcard-like view of the stunning landscape. Even though it’s not as well
known as others in the region, the Dooks course is definitely a must play.
Dingle (Ceann Sibeal)- Nestled away near small fishing
villages, hidden bays and mountain ranges of Kerry lies Dingle Golf Links or
(Ceann Sibeal its Irish name). If you’re searching for a hidden gem, this is
it. Tell your golf buddies about Dingle and they’ll be forever thankful.