Anne Liguori at golf destinations in Ireland and Northern Ireland

I just got back from another amazing golf trip to Ireland and Northern Ireland. I have traveled around Emerald Isle for the past 20 years, played some of the best courses, and many of their hidden gems.

It’s absolutely my favorite golf destination, not only for the scenic and inspiring courses, and the variety of accommodations from castles and estates to mansions and B&Bs, but also for the great Irish and (Gaelian for a fun social activity) hospitality.

Since Ireland has a third of the links courses in the world, and each is as good or better than the other, my recommendation when planning a trip to Ireland is to choose an area and stay and play the best links and garden courses in that area.

A golf course in Addare, IrelandGetty Images

Golf courses in southwest Ireland

In the southwest of Ireland there is a wide range of courses where you can stay and play. Luxury accommodation with golf like run manorSouth Limerick, owned by Irish billionaire JP McManus, would be more than impressed.

Dromoland Castle, just north of Shannon Airport, offers luxury accommodations, and you can play its cool playground in the gardens.

I was visiting Doonbeg Since before it first opened in July of 2002, and interviewed architect Greg Norman. At the opening of the course, Norman and Padraig Harrington played an exhibition match to start the festivities.

I adore the design of links, the nearby village of Doonbeg with its welcoming bars and restaurants, and the picturesque coastline. Old friends Buddy Darby and Leonard Long (Buddy’s cousin) built the course and resort. In 2014, it became a Trump property and the name changed to Trump International Doonbeg.

Pictures of the island golf resort in Cork and Killarney golf and hunting club Well worth a visit.

I haven’t played yet Hughes Head Golf Course or stay in The lodge in WatervilleCounty Kerry, but many of the golf buddies who have been there praise it.

The games you must play in this area also include the amazing old headwhich cruises two miles from a peninsula into the Atlantic Ocean, and is stunning and well known WatervilleAnd the TraleeAnd the Balibonion And the Lahinch.

Make sure to include the drive to dingle golf club Along the Wild Atlantic Way, and to Dukes golf clubone of the oldest links courses in Ireland.

The stunning golf course and lighthouse at Old Head Of Kinsale in County Cork, Ireland
The stunning golf course and lighthouse at Old Head Of Kinsale in County Cork, IrelandGetty Images

West and Northwest Ireland Golf Courses

The West and Northwest of Ireland have captured my heart too. I’ve scored TV shows for courses that were once called hidden gems, but are now better known to American golfers: in fivinAnd the ConnemaraAnd the Karen Golf LinksAnd the InesconiAnd the Sligo County (also known as Roses Point) and very And the portnow.

Northwest golf club, which I played recently, is a course I can play every day. It is one of the nine founding members of the Irish Golf Association and its links layout along the shores of Lough Swilly, below the Moldy Mountains, is compact and manageable on foot.

Beautiful Donegal Golf Club It is located on a promontory extending into the Atlantic Ocean.

Make sure to play Portsalon And the Strandhill While you are in Donegal.

Rosabina Golf Resort is a great base to stay and play their three courses: Old Tom Morris Links, Sandy Hills Links, and the latest Tom Doak build from St. Patrick’s Links.

harp (pronounced crutch) Al Jazira Golf Club It is a nine-hole gem about 40 minutes north of Naryn and Porteno. The setting is second to none. Half the fun is getting to this gem on the Donegal Coast, as it is connected to the coast by a short and narrow road. It might be the most memorable round of golf you will ever play. I can assure you that the local members will be very helpful.

Heading to Donegal from Dublin, we stayed and played Slave Russell Hotel & Country Club, in Cavan. This is an amazing gardening course. We happened to run it on one of the hottest days ever.

Northern Ireland coast in Ballycastle
Northern Ireland coast in BallycastleGetty Images

Northern Ireland golf courses

Northern Ireland offers many amazing and well known links courses, such as Royal Portrush, host of the 2019 Open, was won by Ireland’s Shane Lowry. Royal Portrush will also host the 2025 Open.

County Royal Down It often ranks first in the British Isles. I played recently Portstewart And I love every minute of wandering through the towering sand dunes, with great views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Portstewart Golf Club in Northern Ireland
Portstewart Golf Club in Northern IrelandCourtesy Anne Liguori

More wonderful north Balvin Glashedy. Ballyliffen has two distinct links courses: Gashedy Links and Old Links. Both courses have hosted several Irish Championships and have great views.

Ardglass A gem, hugging the rugged coastline, and having the oldest golf club, dating back to 1405! I haven’t played yet castle rocksAnd the Love Ernie or Royal Belfastbut they belong on our list of the best courses in Northern Ireland.

I recently stayed in luxury Galgorm Resort and Spa. Their thermal village has the best pool in Ireland, perfect for touring and stretching before a round of golf in Galgorm Castle Stadiumwhich hosted the Northern Irish Opens and the ISPS Handa World Invitational (2021, 2022).

The first green course at Glen of the Downs Golf Club, Dublin, Ireland
The first green course at Glen of the Downs Golf Club, Dublin, IrelandGetty Images

Golf courses in eastern and southeastern Ireland

Golf around Dublin in eastern and southeastern Ireland offers an array of links, park courses and resort properties that will satisfy any golfer’s appetite.

Golf lovers can sample the rich variety of link courses in this region, including historic courses Al Jazira Golf ClubAnd the Royal DublinAnd the Portmarnock & Golf Links . HotelAnd the County Louth And the European clubbuilt by Pat Roddy, the famous Irish sports writer and golf course engineer.

The European Club is one of the most challenging courses in all of Ireland. Many professionals visit there to join the Open Championship.

If you are looking for five star accommodations in this area, make sure to stay and play at Druid’s Glen . Hotel & Golf Resort; The K . club, which hosted the Ryder Cup in 2006, the first time the international event was held in Ireland; And the Mount Juliet Real Estatewhich hosted the Irish Open this year.

Often, right on the road in Ireland or Northern Ireland, without any fuss, a track can become an unforgettable golf experience. This is because the “Land of Saints and Scholars”, as it is called, has an abundance of golf courses and Irish hospitality that will keep you coming back time and time again.

Anne Liguori is considered a pioneer in sports broadcasting. You can hear her show “Talking Golf” on Sundays, 7-8 a.m., on WFAN-NY, its “Sports Innerview” show on Saturdays, 7-8 a.m. on WLIW 88.3 FM, and its weekly shows on SI Golf/Morning Read. For more information on Liguori, visit annliguori.com.

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