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    Golf on the island of Ireland Golf on the island of Ireland

    Golf!

    Ever wondered why the island of Ireland is referred to as the ‘green of dreams’? Here are just some of the reasons why…

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    The home of champions

    For a tiny island on the edge of Europe, Ireland sure knows a thing or two about golf. Everyone from champions Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson and Tigers Woods, to actors Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd and Bill Murray all love playing golf on the island of Ireland, and it’s hard not to see why. With world-class courses in some of the most spectacular locations on the planet, Ireland’s credentials are sky-high when it comes to golf.

    Ireland is home to over 300 golf clubs, including a quarter of the world’s natural links courses, and a selection of exceptional championship courses in amazing locations, so it’s no wonder that every year over 240,000 golfers from all over the world come to the island of Ireland’s greens to experience the impressive but unforgiving fairways.

    It should come as no surprise that in the last 20 years of or so, Ireland has been named International Golf Destination of the Year on more than one occasion by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators, as well as hosting the prestigious Ryder Cup, Solheim Cup and The Open. Or that some of the world’s best golfers hail from the island of Ireland, including Rory McIlroy, Shane Lowry, Darren Clarke, Graeme McDowell, Paul McGinley and Padraig Harrington.

    My favourite place to play golf is in Ireland. It's the most beautiful country to play golf in, and when you come as a guest, you're treated like a king.

    Bill Murray, Actor
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    Ireland – a links paradise

    With an astonishing one quarter of all the world’s links courses, Ireland is an island paradise for golfers

    Read more
    What you need to know

    It’s always best to call ahead and book your tee times in advance. For green fees, most clubs offer special rates for visitors and groups, so be sure to ask about any special offers from the club or your tour operator. They may also know about packages that allow you to play two or three courses over your trip, so that you get to test your skills against our greens.

    And, if you’re going to be playing on some of Ireland’s championship courses, it’s best to get a caddy. They know the fairways best, save you plenty of shots, and will probably be the best four hours’ conversation you’ll ever have on a golf course!

    The big hitters

    1
    Lahinch, County Clare
    Just a few miles from the Cliffs of Moher, Old Tom Morris said: ‘The links is as fine a natural course as has been my good fortune to play over’
    2
    Waterville, County Kerry
    ‘The beautiful monster – one of the golfing wonders of the world,’ so said Sam Snead, winner of the 82 PGA Tour events and Seven Majors.
    3
    Royal Portrush, County Antrim
    To quote Rory McIlroy: ‘This is among my favourite places to play in Northern Ireland, one of the truly great links courses.’
    4
    Royal County Down, County Down
    ‘Royal County Down is my all-time favourite’ said PGA Tour player Rickie Fowler.
    5
    Portmarnock, County Dublin
    ‘There are no tricks or nasty surprises, only an honest, albeit searching, test of shot-making skills, said Tom Watson, five-time Open champion.
    6
    Old Head Golf Links, Kinsale, County Cork
    ‘Anyone who has a love of golf and scenic beauty should make a point of playing here, it’s as simple as that,’ said former Masters and The Open Winner Mark O’Meara.

    Golf on the island of Ireland

    L-R: Royal Portrush Golf Course, County Antrim; Old Head of Kinsale Golf Course, County Cork; Royal County Down Golf Course, County Down; The European Club, County Wicklow

    The home of champions

    For a tiny island on the edge of Europe, Ireland sure knows a thing or two about golf. Everyone from champions Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson and Tigers Woods, to actors Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd and Bill Murray all love playing golf on the island of Ireland, and it’s hard not to see why. With world-class courses in some of the most spectacular locations on the planet, Ireland’s credentials are sky-high when it comes to golf.

    Ireland is home to over 300 golf clubs, including a quarter of the world’s natural links courses, and a selection of exceptional championship courses in amazing locations, so it’s no wonder that every year over 240,000 golfers from all over the world come to the island of Ireland’s greens to experience the impressive but unforgiving fairways.

    It should come as no surprise that in the last 20 years of or so, Ireland has been named International Golf Destination of the Year on more than one occasion by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators, as well as hosting the prestigious Ryder Cup, Solheim Cup and The Open. Or that some of the world’s best golfers hail from the island of Ireland, including Rory McIlroy, Shane Lowry, Darren Clarke, Graeme McDowell, Paul McGinley and Padraig Harrington.

    Golf on the island of Ireland

    L-R: Royal Portrush Golf Course, County Antrim; Old Head of Kinsale Golf Course, County Cork; Royal County Down Golf Course, County Down; The European Club, County Wicklow

    The beauty of golf in Ireland

    Most of Ireland’s courses, especially links, are open all year round. However, courses are in best condition and the weather is most suitable for golfing from April to October. In summer, daylight hours can stretch up to 10pm so two rounds and a lazy lunch can easily fit into a day.

    But that’s not all, the truly great thing about golfing in Ireland is that there’s far more to a golf trip than just the challenge of the fairway! In Ireland, we blend exceptional golfing with wonderful off-the-course-experiences. So next time you’re planning to tee off somewhere special, we think the island of Ireland should be at the top of your list…

    Ireland's golfing highlights

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