Golf Courses in Ireland
Some say that Ireland is the Emerald Isle, and they say it without visiting any of its wonderful golf venues. But the travelling golfer who sets foot on one of the great golf courses in Ireland will enjoy the best scenery and a personal challenge at the same time. As is the case in England, golf information is often categorized by the section of the country chosen as a travel destination. For instance, in England there is the Lake District and the English Riviera. In the United States, people travel to the American Southwest or to the Sunshine State – Florida. In Ireland, one of the primary destinations for golfers is the southwest section, which generally includes Limerick, Kerry and Clare. This region features numerous courses along the coast, with park courses scattered in the interior of the region. Travelling players may want to experience Limerick County Golf Club, conveniently located near Shannon Airport and other fine courses.
Limerick was designed by two top players and opened in 1994. Other golfers with a desire for a golf holiday may choose the northeast region of the country (Dublin, Kildare and other counties). This area already boasts more than 50 golf courses, with Portmarnock hosting 15 Irish Opens and the Walker Cup. Golfers may also want to give Druid's Glen a try. This fine course hosted the 1996 Irish Open. Baltinglass Golf Club, 30 minutes from Dublin, is a perfect example of a golf venue that offers spectacular scenery and a great golf challenge. In considering a holiday on one of the fine golf courses in Ireland, think about the west and north sections of the Emerald Isle. Golfers here are challenged by links-style courses that are situated hard by the ocean. Flat, undulating layouts put a premium on accuracy and the bump-and-run style of play. Golfers may want to talk with a tour planner or golf holiday advisor to see if one of the great courses in Northern Ireland, the south or southeast might be to their taste. Park-like settings and the ever-present heath provide the backdrop for many courses in these areas.
The Midlands region offers excellent golf challenges, with natural terrain left undisturbed in the creation of several great designs. Some players may ask, "What is different about golf in Ireland?" Apart from the natural beauty and the challenging designs, many golfers in Ireland enjoy the bed-and-breakfast experience while playing golf in one of the more rural areas. While there are several golf holidays that include a stay in a luxury hotel or castle, many travelling golfers prefer to stay in a private home and experience the local flavour. Tour operators and travel planners can assist with both bed-and-breakfast golf holidays and more urban, luxury accommodations. Several all-inclusive holidays are available, with prices ranging from moderate to a bit expensive. Experienced travellers and travel advisors have learned that golf travel to Ireland has increased tremendously in the last few years. For this reason, it is best to secure accommodations and tee times several months in advance. As golf travel plans are made, it would be best to keep some additional ideas in mind: prepare for cool weather and damp conditions; be ready to suffer a bit of sticker shock (the popularity of golf travel to Ireland has caused prices to rise in some areas); go with an open mind and enjoy the local hospitality as well as the challenge of golf courses in Ireland.