19 Golf Courses You Should Visit On The Island Of Ireland

Since The 148th Open was held at Royal Portrush last year, Northern Ireland has been the ‘go to’ place for golfers from around the world. But the island of Ireland has a wealth of golf courses that suit golfers of all standards.

Ireland – north and south – has turned into an absolute golfer’s paradise, with four of the most popular courses on the island appearing in the Top 50 courses in the world! The island is home to some amazing links as well as clifftop courses – both historic and modern.

Thanks to the success of home-grown golfers such as Darren Clarke, Rory Mcllroy, Graeme McDowell and last year’s British Open winner Shane Lowry the popularity of golf in Ireland is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.

At Belfast Chauffeur, when it comes to golf, our drivers certainly know the lay of the land – and of the links. Our drivers are knowledgeable about what’s on offer for golfers around the island and also about the ‘add ons’ such as the best eateries and best accommodation. 

At Belfast Chauffeur, our ‘links’ with golf are second to none. We have golf down to a tee...

Here are our suggestions for the top 20 golf courses on the island of Ireland:

Northern Ireland 

1. Royal County Down


Situated in Newcastle at the foot of the Mourne Mountains, Royal County Down is one of the most exhilarating locations for a golf links in Ireland – if not the world! The course has established a great reputation over the years and has been voted the World’s Number One Golf Course for the third consecutive time in January 2020 by the influential American magazine Golf Digest.  

2. Royal Portrush 


The venue for last year’s 148th British Open, Royal Portrush is now world renowned and consistently named in the top ten best golf courses in the world by Golf Digest magazine. The course, renovated and extended for the British Open, is subject to rapid weather changes but the scenery – which overlooks the North Atlantic coast, is second to none. A course with many twists and turns. Watch out for Graeme McDowell – his home course - and local resident Darren Clarke. 

3. Portstewart


Another of the North Coast’s finest. Founded in 1894, this is one of the toughest golf courses in the world. The opening nine are amazing and, in preparation for the 2017 Irish Open, the club improved the back nine by creating more dunes. 


4. Royal Belfast 


With views ranging from Belfast Lough to County Antrim, Royal Belfast is not only considered to be a deceptive course, but is reputedly the oldest course of Ireland, dating from 1881. Located just seven miles from the centre of Belfast 

5. Lough Erne 


The Nick Faldo designed course is part of one of Ireland’s most luxurious five star hotel resorts which hosted the G8 world leaders’ summit in 2013. Located in Enniskillen, the gateway to North West Ireland the resort boasts two Championship, Lakeland courses –the Faldo course and Castle Hume Golf course.    

Southern Ireland

6. Ballybunion 


Consistently rated as one of the best golf courses in the world, Ballybunion has tough grass, steep slopes and narrow fairways. For some reason the course is considered one of the loneliest courses in the world, but golfers love it because they view it as unique. often referred to as the ‘Irish Pebble Beach’, some of Ballybunion’s holes are practically clinging to the clifftop! 

7. Mount Juliet Golf Club


The course at Mount Juliet in County Kilkenny, which was designed by Jack Nicklaus, has hosted three Irish opens. Tranquil and beautiful, the course comes with a few bunkers that can instil fear in even the most prolific golfers!

8. Druids Glen


Druid’s Glen golf club in Wicklow is home to different parkland courses. A four-time Irish Open venue, Druids Glen is one of Ireland’s finest parkland tests. The links features quite a bit of water, but the back nine will provide golfers with a real test of skill and performance. 

9. Mount Wolseley 


Ideally located within one hour from Dublin, Kildare, Kilkenny and Waterford, this challenging 18-hole championship course has matured beautifully with age and offers stunning views of the Carlow mountains and countryside. Designed by Christy O’ Connor Jnr, the golf course at Mount Wolseley is an idyllic and lush parkland course that tests every facet of the players’ games..



10. Dooks Club


Dooks has welcomed golfers since 1889 and is one of the oldest in Ireland . Located between Macgillycuddy’s Reeks and Dingle Peninsula, it’s also home to the natterjack toad, an endangered species, so golfers need to be careful.

11. The K Club


The K Club will forever be remembered for Darren Clarke’s emotional win as part of European Ryder Cup team in 2006, but the course is definitely a ‘must visit’ for all golfers. Two majestic courses have lush green lawns and resemble a typical American parkland course. 

12. The European Club


The European Club certainly meets the challenges of the modern game, allowing the champions of today to express themselves. Recent work has widened the fairways and increased the size of the 15th. 

13. Waterville


A timeless links course that is still relatively new, Waterville Golf Club in County Kerry is almost completely surrounded by water. The links proves an excellent test for even the most experienced golfer, but the backdrop of the mountains and beautiful bay make it worth a visit alone!

14. Portmarnock


Top-quality and historic, Portmarnock has hosted many Irish Opens. Although there are fewer dunes on the course, it’s still an extremely fair test for most golfers. 

15. Lahinch


Lahinch features a great mix of holes, not to mention fairways that run through huge dunes and fast greens with run-offs that will test the skills of any golfer!

16. Rosapenna 


Set among towering dunes with fantastic sea views, Rosapenna is one of Ireland’s best modern links. But watch out for when it’s windy – it can be tough going!


17. County Sligo 


Overlooked by Benbulben Mountain, County Sligo is a superb, spectacular links, which is encircled by the sea. A classic Irish links, it provides everything that golfers could want in a course. 

18. Trump International Golf Links


Situated among the incredible dunes overlooking Doughmore Bay, the course – which was designed by golf legend, Greg Norman, has one of the best opening holes in golf – an amazing par 5 that moves through the dunes to a spectacular green.

19. Tralee


Situated on the rugged Atlantic coast of Ireland's south west, the Tralee links features towering dunes, undulating fairways, punishing rough and cliff-top tees and greens. Designed by golfing star, the late Arnold Palmer, the setting is a paradise for those looking for a challenge! 

Book your golf tour today by calling Oliver on 07880 880 923

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