Irish Golf Vacations | Southwest golf down to a Tee
The Southwest of Ireland has some the greatest golfing courses in the world. Created by the greatest golf architects and designing some of the world’s finest golfing experiences. Establishing Ireland as a place to enjoy deluxe golf trips. Not only are the courses both spectacular and challenging, the panoramic scenery (which encapsulates them) can only be found in the emerald isle. This region of Ireland is fantastic for family vacations and a mecca for golfing. Here’s a quick overview of Golf Clubs we will be looking at today:
Founded in 1927, Lahinch Golf Club is one of the oldest golf clubs in Ireland and a wonderful place to begin a customized golf tour of Ireland. There are two courses, the Castle Course and the Old Course. Starting off, let’s take a look at the Old Course.
Established in 1892, and designed by Tom Morris/Alister MacKenzie, the Old Course has often been compared to Saint Andrews by the top world ranked golfers. When it was completed Mackenzie stated “Lahinch will make the finest and most popular course that I, or I believe anyone else, ever constructed”. The Old Course is visually breathtaking, it looks out on the Atlantic Ocean and is subject to calm cool breezes and full on blustery winds. The old course has an array of exceptional golf holes that utilizes the surrounding natural terrain to optimum advantage.
The Dell & The Klondyke
Despite its luxurious looks, Lahinch is home to two infamous holes that have challenged even the most seasoned golfers. The “Klondyke,” and the “Dell,” designed by Old Tom Morris are his most deceptive. The Klondyke, a par 5 starts off fine but the the second shot is straight over a looming sand dune. You can’t see the green so you just have go full swing over the sand and hope it lands soft.
The 5th hole and the world famous Dell, a long, shallow green, bang in the middle of two 30-foot-high sand dunes. The “Dell” is a par 3 hole that hides a shallow green tucked entirely behind a dune. Hit the ball over too hard or not enough and you are in a lot of trouble.
Doonbeg, Trump International
Every Irish Golf Tour need to include; Doonbeg Golf Course, designed Greg Norman, the two-time British Open Champion. The course is pretty unique as it forms a crescent shape along 1.5 miles of beach and sand dunes, while playing a round you are treated by views of the Atlantic. Doonbeg was officially opened in 2002, and was awarded European Golf Resort of the Year by the IAGTO, as well as Golf Digest’s ‘Best New International Course’, in 2010. Because of Normans design, the average time it takes for a round of golf is four hours and thirty minutes. The par 72 layout centres on a single loop of 6,885 yards from the back tees, as a result, Doonbeg has a challenging combination of five par 5’s and five par 3’s. Which, is no wonder it was voted number two in the top 10 new golf courses in the world by Sports Illustrated.
Tralee Golf club
Tralee Golf club is located in Co Kerry, on southwest coast of Ireland. Tralee Golf Club was designed by the one-and-only Arnold Palmer. Surrounded by the Atlantic, Tralee offers breathtaking views on all sides. The area surrounding includes castles, distant islands, towering mountains and the famous beach that was featured in the film, Ryan’s Daughter. Tralee Golf Course is considered a golfer’s paradise, these stunning links represent a true challenge to veteran players and is widely hailed as one of the finest 18 holes in Ireland.
Hole 17: Ryan’s Daughter
While playing this hole Peter Dobereiner stated that “it is the most magnificent backdrop for a golf course I have ever encountered”. The 17th hole named Ryan’s daughter, after featuring in the award-winning film by David Lean. Looking down over the cliffs you are taken back by the miles of beach, stretching as ‘far as the eye can see’, taking this route your personal driver can easily show you where most of the scenes from the film were shot.
Arguably the most memorable hole on the course, the 17th plays from a high tee, across a gap, to a green contrasted against mountains. Quoted from the Washington Post “The word awesome can rightly be associated with the Tralee Golf Club and it is possibly the finest test of golf in all of Ireland.”
Ballybunion Golf Club
Ballybunion Golf Club was founded 1893. It is home to two uniquely and challenging links courses the Old Course and The Cashen Course. Ballybunion has enjoyed welcoming international visitors to the Club for many decades, not only for the high quality of both courses but also for the club’s facilities including: a Driving Range and three putting greens (two beside the clubhouse and the third putting green located near the 1st tee on the Cashen Course).
If you are finding the going difficult why not enquire about the services of Brian O’Callaghan the Golf Professional. Brian is available for private guided tours and group lessons; to teach bump and run chipping, playing in the wind, putting and bunkers.
The Old Course
The Old Course in recent years has emerged as the country’s most coveted golf venue, by professionals and celebrities. Bill Clinton famously made a flying visit here in 1998 as have many PGA Tour stars like Tiger Woods and Tom Watson (who was captain back in 2000 when the old course hosted the Irish open on the European tour). The Old Course is the original course at Ballybunion Golf Club and is classed as one of the best golf courses in the world. The first seven holes are a gentle learning curve, (then the layout can be quite challenging) it features narrow, contoured fairways that can be almost claustrophobic play on to the ninth, it becomes obvious why it is a luxury golf vacation spot and why it is ranked as one of the best in the world.
Waterville Golf Club
Waterville is located on the beautiful Ring of Kerry, constructed by course architect, Eddie Hackett, it has long been a favourite luxury golf vacation spot for discerning golfers. Surrounded by the Inny River and open Atlantic Ocean, Waterville was recently updated by Tom Fazio the world renowned architect and was praised by Mark O‘Meara and Tiger Woods for its near perfect design. Waterville hosted the Kerry Gold Classis from 1975-1977, (which was won by Tony Jacklin) and since been a regular vacation spot for David Duval and the late Payne Stewart. Shortly after the tragic death of Payne Stewart in a plane crash, in 1999. Waterville golf club unveiled a bronze statue of him which was attended by professionals, family and friends.
The Old Head
The Old Head Golf Links near Kinsale is one of the world’s most unique and dramatic courses, built by Ron Kirby, Paddy Merrigan, J. B. Carr and the late Eddie Hackett, in 1977. It sits on a 216-acre headland jutting out more than 2 miles into the Atlantic Ocean. The entire course stretches for more than 7,000 yd, nine holes of play along the cliff-tops and all 18 holes give you an unmatchable view of the ocean. Overhead, along the 300 foot cliffs swooping cormorants and peregrine falcons, make their nests (as well as other rare Irish birds). Golfers from all over the world have lavished praise on the Old Head saying that they will never forget at this awe-inspiring course including distinguished professionals such as :Mark O’Meara, Tiger Woods, Stuart Appleby, Lee Janzen, David Duval, and the late Payne. Add on some of the most luxurious award winning accommodation Ireland has to offer, coupled with a large onsite spa, and it makes the Old Head a place to completely unwind before continuing along your golf vacation in Ireland.
Dooks Golf Club
Dooks is one of Ireland’s oldest and more famous Golf Clubs, that should top of your list when planning a luxury golf package in Ireland. Dooks is an unbelievable looking golf experience. The door officially opened in 1889 allowing visitors long contoured fairways breath-taking views and treacherous sand dunes. At certain holes at Dooks you will, at times, start to lose focus due to the incredible vibrant colours of the local wild flowers and the dramatic scenes of the McGillycuddy’s Reeks mountains to the east and the Glenbeigh hills to the west
When it opened in 1889 Dooks was a 9 hole course, then in the 1970 (almost 100 years later), came the services of the legendary Eddie Hackett who extended it to its’ current amazing looking 18 holes with a variety of gorse, heather and wild flowers. Dooks is a fairly enclosed links and only gentle winds will affect action whilst playing the fairways, this by no means makes Dooks an easy course, (far from it indeed), long, narrow fairways and what seems to be besieged greens, it will bring out the very best of skills in a player. In other words Dooks offers you a real taste of traditional links golf at its very best.
We can help you plan any part of your luxury golf vacation in Ireland and if you have any questions please do
contact us and we’d be happy to help. If you are interested in an Irish Golf Vacation Package and would like more information, please click on the Enquire button below. All the best, Mike Ryan.