Playing Golf While Holidaying in Ireland
The challenging and amazingly lively natural landscape of Ireland is among the things that make golf a remarkable experience. Thirty nine of the world’s 150 top golf courses are in Ireland. Celebrated architects, such as James Braid, Harry Colt, Alister MacKenzie, and Tom Morris, designed most of these golf courses; they capitalized on the splendid landscape. With his new golf course in County Meath, Jack Nicklaus will continue in the steps of these golf architects.
Ireland is home to all sorts of weather – sunshine, sleet, rain, and driving winds – you might even get to see all these different kinds in one round. Because there are no rain checks, you continue with your game unless it is lightening. If you plan to visit in the winters, pack up your waterproof shoes, sweaters, and other rain gear.
If you are not equipped with a light-weight golf bag that can carry stuff for a game of 18 holes, then it is better to get one before leaving for your trip. Electric carts are only available at the top venues; you can carry your bag yourself or use a caddy car, which is a pull cart. Caddies are available at many golf courses, but, because the course does not employ them, their availability cannot be guaranteed. In that case, you will have to carry your own bag; so you must be prepared and have your own Sunday Bag or a carryall.
Northern Ireland is home to some of the most spectacular and best golf courses. The top venues, such as Royal Portrush and Royal County Down, are less distant. Keep in mind that Northern Ireland is still under the reign of the British, so the currency is the pound sterling. However, there are many businesses and clubs that have no problem accepting the euro. But it is always better to be loaded. Travelling between different parts of the country is not restricted in any way.
Unlike America, most of Ireland’s private golf clubs have no problem with letting visitors use their golf courses, and their facilities; they are more than happy to do so. However, the members are given preference over the guests. Some clubs will require you to give an introduction letter from your American club back home to ascertain your privilege of playing. The private golf courses often have days reserved for visitors, so before you go to a club, call them up to get information.
The recent economic crisis in Ireland has resulted in the shutting down of a few golf courses. In 2011 and 2012, some of the golf courses dropped their sky rocketing prices to reasonable ones. Because of that, there is a constant competition among the golf courses for the lowest possible rates to attract players. It is an ideal situation for visitors who are price-conscious.
The Best Golf Courses
Ballybunion Golf Club
It is one of Ireland’s classic golf courses, where each of the holes is a pleasure. This golf club is noted for its tough, but at the same time pleasant, golf. The site is great for a walk but very challenging for a game of golf. It is located on the Atlantic’s shore, at Shannon River’s southern entrance. For a classic experience, visit this amazing golf club in County Kerry.
The K Club
If you have not heard of this golf course, then you are definitely not someone who plays golf. It is Ireland’s most demanding and prestigious golf course. Noted for its inland links feel and water obstacles, the main course was designed by Arnold Palmer. The facilities provided on site are the best in the entire country.
Portmarnock Golf Club
Among the Big Four Irish golf clubs – Royal County Down, Royal Portrush, and Ballybunion – is the Portmarnock Golf Club, located near Dublin. It is a links course situated on a sandy peninsula. With over hundred bunkers that are ready to catch professionals and amateurs alike, the golf club has hosted Irish Opens regularly.
Royal Country Down
The lunar scenery of this region makes this golf course difficult and beautiful at the same time. It has overtaken St. Andrews title of best course by the Golf Digest. It has a sea of bunkers resembling craters which punish the arrogant, and celebrate the straight.
Located in County Cork, this golf club is set on a splendid peninsula beneath which are the wild waters of the Atlantic. It is Irish golfers’ most romantic favourite. Your pulse will race when you view the spectacular scenery and the diverse wildlife.
Located in Northern Ireland, this old golf course has become Golf Digest’s one of the top ten golf courses outside the US. With curving fairways, and sand hills, it is an enjoyable sight.
Donegal Golf Club
Between the shadow of the Blue Stack Mountain’s majesty and the beautiful shores of Donegal Bay is the wonderful and wild course of Donegal Golf Club. The four dangerous holes between the 5th and 9th are the Valley of Tears, which are made more challenging by the feisty and strong winds.
It is a new addition to Irish links’ great tradition. The 15th is a treacherous hole that gamblers must beware of. The ocean’s great views are a reward for those who make it to the 18th.