Golfing Breaks in Ireland

Ireland has well over four hundred golf courses, but that number is not why people come to Ireland to golf. It's the friendly atmosphere and informal manner characteristic of every Irish golf course, not to mention the incredible variety of the land, from parkland to coastal dunes to lakeside spectaculars. Ireland is a treasure chest of the some of the finest golf courses in the world: Royal Portrush, The K Club, Portmarnock, Ballybunion, Mount Juliet, and Waterville, to name only a few. Bring your car to Ireland via one of the many ferry services and travel from course to course to course all across Ireland.

And better still, getting to Ireland couldn't be easier for a golfer. There are plenty of affordable ferries and different routes to choose from, which means of course means you can take your car over to Ireland quite easily, with all your golf clubs and luggage in the back. Having a car in Ireland gives you that extra bit of freedom, so you can happily travel around the country to all the top golf courses. For the best ferry deals to Ireland, see our booking and comparison engine below. And see further down the page for a run down of some of the best places to play golf in Ireland.

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Ferries to Dublin

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Ferries to Dublin

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Ferries to South of Ireland

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Ferries to South Ireland

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Where are the Best Places to Play Golf In Ireland?

Golfing opportunities can be found all over Ireland, so let's summarize them by region.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland, consisting of the counties Tyrone, Fermanagh, Down, Londonderry, Armagh and Antrim has over eighty golf courses scattered along the coast and inland among meadows and parkland. Called one of the most natural golf courses ever, Ballyliffin is highly rated by everyone who tries it. Three of the world's best links courses are in the region: Portstewart, the Dunluce Course at Royal Portrush and Royal County Down. The courses of Royal Belfast and Castlerock are two must-see must-play destinations.

North West Ireland

Proceeding counter-clockwise across the northern reaches of Ireland, we next come to the Northwest and North region, where we find the counties Sligo, Mayo, Galway and Donegal. The golf courses here are mainly along the Atlantic coastline, with a few inland parkland links. Donegal has Golf Club Murvagh for those seeking a challenge. County Galway has the links of the Connemara Golf Club and the Galway Bay Golf and Country Club, the last exemplifying the feel of a links course in a parkland setting. The town of Belmullet in County Mayo has the Carne Golf Links. County Sligo has two wonderful links course, one the little-known Enniscrone Golf Club in County Sligo, the other the County Sligo Golf Club at Rosses Point, is one of Ireland's best celebrated links courses.

Golfing in Ireland

West Coast of Ireland

Heading down the west coast of Ireland, we reach the Southwest region, with counties Limerick, Kerry and Clare. Most of the course are links sited along the coastline from the city of Galway to the town of Waterville, though there are some inland courses meandering through parkland and creeks. County Kerry has Cashen and Ballybunion Old; nearby is Tralee, designed by Arnold Palmer. The gorgeous Ring of Kerry is a great place to drive and, out at the land's end point, you'll find the Waterville Golf Links. In Dingle, you should play both Ceann Sibeal and Dooks and then proceed to the Killarney Golf & Fishing Club, home course for two Irish Opens. County Clare has the Doonberg and Lahinch Championship Courses and County Limerick has the Adare Golf Club, designed by Robert Trent Jones and sited on the grounds of Adare Manor.

South of Ireland

Golf on the southern coast of Ireland is mainly around the city and county of Cork. Even if you don't play, you'll be astounded by the gorgeous views you'll find at the Old Head of Kinsale Links, sited atop cliffs overlooking the ocean. Take a trip out to the golf course on Fota Island in the middle of Cork Harbour.

East Coast of Ireland

Continuing eastward along the Irish south coast and north up the Irish Sea coast, we find counties Wicklow, Wexford, Waterford, Tipperary, Kilkenny and Carlow, where golf moves to parkland, though the links of the European Club in Wicklow twenty miles south of Dublin is a splendid exception. Wicklow also has Druids Glen, a parkland course with plenty of woods. In the city of Kilkenny, Jack Nicklaus designed the golf course at the Mount Juliet Estate.


Let's not forget the midlands of Ireland, including counties Tipperary, Roscommon, Offaly, Monaghan, Laois, and Cavan. Obviously, there are no coastal links courses, but you will find parkland courses and courses located along lakes and rivers.

North East

Back to the eastern coast of Ireland and on the way north, with counties Meath, Louth, Kildare and Dublin, you'll find almost six dozen golf courses, two of the most famous being Royal Dublin and Portmarnock. The Baltay links course in County Louth is well worth a visit, as is the K Club, designed by Arnold Palmer and sited in Staffan, County Kildare.

Places to stay while exploring the possibilities for golf in Ireland range from deluxe modern hotels to renovated ancient castles to county guesthouses to quaint manors. In addition to the golfing, you'll find landscapes with gorgeous land and sea views. Restaurants and pubs abound. An Irish golf trip is one you'll never forget.

Compare Ferries to Ireland - all operators, routes and prices

Find the best prices for a ferry to Ireland

We compare all Irish ferry operators to find you the cheapest tickets and fares for ferries to Ireland, including Stena Line Ferries, P & O Ferries, Irish Ferries, Norfolkline Ferries and Fastnet Line Ferries. Click here to compare Ferries to Ireland or click on the links below for more information about each Irish ferry operator...