Beautiful coastal scenery, rolling countryside, ancient castles and elegant country houses are just a few of the factors which make Ireland a top destination for golf holidays. According to Fáilte Ireland - the Irish Tourist Board - the Emerald Isle is home to nearly 400 golf courses, among them some of the best courses in the world. Here at BedandBreakfastworld.com, we've come up with a list of the country's best-loved courses, as well as recommendations for some of our favourite nearby B&Bs, to help you plan your golf holiday in Ireland.
The 3 championship courses at Killarney Golf & Fishing Club take full advantage of Killarney's stunning lakeside scenery, overlooked by the impressive backdrop of the Kerry Mountains. The varying levels of difficulty of the Mahony's Point, Lackabane and Killeen courses provide a challenging round for every level of golfer.
Facilities: • 2 courses • Putting Green • Chipping Green • 2 clubhouses • Locker room with gym and sauna • Bar and restaurant • Snack shop
Competitions: • Ryder Cup: 2005, 2006 • Irish Open: 1991, 1992, 2010 • Irish Ladies' Open: 2002 • Curtis Cup 1996
A must for golf enthusiasts, 19th Green Guesthouse is perfectly situated just 500m from Killarney Golf Club. Hosts John and Freda Sheehan welcome guests to their cosy, lodge-style guesthouse, which boasts 13 en-suite rooms tastefully decorated and equipped with satellite TV, so you never have to miss the Golf Channel! A busy day sampling the best golf in Killarney starts with a hearty Irish breakfast in the restaurant and ends with a relaxing drink the stylish bar.Book Ireland Golf B&B 19th Green Guesthouse in Killarney
As well as several other golf courses in Killarney, also in Co. Kerry are the prestigious Ballybunion Golf Club, Waterville Golf Club and Tralee Golf Club.
Just 30 minutes from central Dublin, Druid's Glen Golf Resort offers 2 championship links courses set on classic Irish parkland in the beautiful Wicklow countryside. As well as the two modern courses, Druid's Glen and Druid's Heath, the resort boasts a golf academy run by PGA professionals and excellent event facilities.
Facilities: • 2 links courses • Golf Academy • Driving range • 5-star accommodation • Spa • Event facilities • Brasserie, Bistro and Bar • 2 clubhouses
Competitions: • Irish Open: 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 • Irish PGA Championship: 2008 • Seve Trophy: 2002
Pallas Lodge is a homely country house B&B overlooking the village of Ashford, less than a 15-minute drive from Druid's Glen Golf Resort. The comfortable, spacious guestrooms are tastefully decorated with en-suite bathrooms, and a tasty breakfast is included in the rates. Set amid landscaped gardens, the B&B is close to pubs, restaurants and shops, as well as the beautiful Mount Usher Gardens.Book Ireland Golf B&B Pallas Lodge B&B in Ashford
Another popular Irish golf course in the Wicklow area is the European club.
First opened in 1894, the historic Portmarnock Golf Course is consistently ranked among the top courses in the world. Located just 10 miles from Dublin city centre, the low sand dunes, green hollows and long valleys of the peninsula were originally home to the private golf course of the Jameson family, and have since played host to no less than 75 championships.
Facilities: • Clubhouse • Restaurant • Pro shop
Competitions: • Irish Open: 1927 (first ever tournament), 1937, 1946, 1948, 1976-83, 1986-90 • Walker Cup: 1991 • Canada Cup: 1960
Hosts Mary and Padraig O'Leary welcome guests to Almanii, a homely B&B set in a convenient location close to Dublin International Airport and just 20 minutes from Portmarnock Golf Club. Tastefully decorated twins, doubles and triples are available, each equipped with en-suite bathrooms and television. The leafy residential area provides the perfect setting for a quiet and relaxing stay, while a short drive brings you to Dublin city centre itself.Book Ireland Golf B&B Almanii Bed and Breakfast in Dublin
Other courses in the Dublin area include the Royal Dublin Golf Club and The Island Golf Club.
See more B&Bs in Dublin.
One of the most challenging links courses in the world is located at the Royal Portrush Golf Club on Northern Ireland's dramatic Causeway Coast. Established in 1888, both courses at the club were designed by legendary golf architect Harry Colt, and the Dunluce Links boasts not only the famous par 3 'Calamity Corner' 14th hole but also one of the most stunning par 4's in golf, beginning from an elevated tee towards the North Atlantic Ocean.
Facilities: • Pro shop • Golf school • Clubhouse
Competitions: • Irish Open: 1930, 1937, 1947 • British Ladies' Amateur Golf Championship: 1895, 1903, 1911, 1924, 1939, 1955, 1969, 1998 and 2011
Boasting 2 of Europe's finest golf championship courses, the esteemed K Club is a must on any golfing tour of Ireland. The Palmer Ryder Cup course and the Palmer Smurfit course, which sit each side of the River Liffey, were both designed by legendary golfer Arnold Palmer, and hosted the European Open for 17 consecutive years. Also at the K Club are a luxurious hotel and spa.
Facilities: • Michael Dixon School of Golf • 5-star hotel • Spa • Event facilities • Other activities - fishing, riding, clay pigeon shooting, cycling
Competitions: • Ryder Cup: 2006 • European Open: 1991-2007
A 13th-century fortress set in 20 acres of parkland is the setting for Barberstown Castle, an elegant country house hotel at the heart of Co. Kildare. Opened to the public as a hotel in 1971, every one of the individually decorated guestrooms has been named after one of Barberstown Castle's previous owners, from the first owner Nicholas Barby in 1288 to music legend Eric Clapton. Most importantly, Barberstown Castle is less than a mile from the prestigious K Club.
Offering a traditional golfing experience Lahinch Golf Club was established in 1892 by officers of the Scottish Regiment, as an extension of the Limerick Golf Club. The Old Course is a true classic, a championship course located right on the beach. Across the road is her younger-sister, the Castle Course, whose best holes are set around the ruins of Dough Castle.
Facilities: • Pro shop • Bar and restaurant • Club house
Glasha Meadows is a traditional, family-run B&B located in the village of Doolin on Ireland's beautiful west coast, offering spacious en-suite guestrooms, a cosy atmosphere and wonderful views out over the bay. After an exhilarating round of golf at nearby Lahinch Golf Club, Glasha Meadows is just a 2-minute walk from the lively pubs of Doolin, where visitors can enjoy a true sample of traditional Irish life.Book Ireland Golf B&B Glasha Meadows in Doolin
Also in Co. Clare is Doonbeg Golf Club, with its luxury hotel and spa.
A prestigious and historic country estate is home to the Mount Juliet Golf Club, steeped in heritage and just 20 minutes from the medieval city of Kilkenny. The Jack Nicklaus signature course was described by Tiger Woods as having 'perfect fairways…and the best greens we have putted on all year' which, coupled with its stunning surroundings, puts Mount Juliet high on the itinerary for any golfing holiday in Ireland.
Facilities: • Golf Academy and academy course • Driving range • Bunker and chipping green • Practice putting green and 18-hole putting course • Catering • 5-star hotel • Spa
Competitions: • Irish Open: 1993-5 • World Golf Championships: 2002, 2004
Forming part of a magnificent 300-acre estate, the highly acclaimed championship golf course at Slieve Russell takes full advantage of the wide lakes and gentle slopes of the beautiful Cavan countryside. The strategic course provides a testing but enjoyable round, with tricky greens requiring an accurate approach as well as some excellent driving holes.
Facilities: • Golf shop • Golf academy • Luxury hotel • Spa and wellness centre
Competitions: • Irish PGA Championships: 1996 • PGA Charity Pro-Am: 1997
Located a short distance from Limerick in the south west of the country, Adare is known as one of the prettiest villages in Ireland, and its golf course, which passes by a 19th-century abbey, a graveyard and the impressive Desmond Castle, is no less scenic. Originally established in 1900, the 18-hole course designed by Eddie Hackett was added in 1992.
Facilities: • Pro shop • Clubhouse • Bar and restaurant
Barnalick House is a 19th-century farmhouse B&B situated at the heart of the peaceful Golden Vale countryside, just down the road from Adare Manor Golf Club. With just two beautifully decorated guestrooms available, both overlooking the garden and the historic hill of Knockfierna, a private and intimate atmosphere is guaranteed. Book Ireland Golf B&B Barnalick House in Adare
Resting on County Kerry's north west shore on a beautiful stretch of rolling sand dunes overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Ballybunion Golf Club offers 2 rewarding links courses - the Old Course and the Cashen Course, designed by the famous Robert Trent Jones.
Facilities: • 2 links courses • Driving range • Chipping green • 3 putting greens • Golf shop • 2 bars, restaurant and lounge • Locker room with steam room
Competitions: • Irish Open: 2000 • Home Internationals: 2003 • Palmer Cup: 2004
In the grounds of one of Ireland's finest 12th-century Norman castles lies Killeen Castle Golf Club. The 600-acre estate, with its natural woodland and lakes teeming with fish, is an idyllic setting for the Jack Nicklaus' signature golf course, and provides a truly Irish golfing experience.
Facilities: • Dave Pelz Scoring Game School • Pro shop • Clubhouse • Restaurant • Fishing
Competition: • Ladies' Irish Open: 2010 • Solheim Cup: 2011
Family-run Broadmeadow Country House offers 4-star accommodation and a peaceful atmosphere close to the town of Ashbourne in scenic county Meath, just 15 minutes from Dublin Airport. The eight luxurious en-suite guestrooms are all individually decorated and enjoy views of the beautifully landscaped gardens and the surrounding meadows. Facilities include a tennis court and an excellent equestrian centre, and Killeen Castle Golf Club can be reached in less than half an hour by car.Book Ireland Golf B&B Broadmeadow Country House in Ashbourne
Other popular courses in the area include Navan Golf Club and Ashbourne Golf Club
Close to Galway city centre, in the popular seaside holiday destination of Salthill, is Galway Golf Club, a par 70 course designed by golf architect Alistair McKenzie. The course is attractive, with an abundance of trees and gorse, and a glass-fronted clubhouse provides particularly impressive panoramic views out over Galway Bay and to the Clare Hills.
Facilities: • Pro shop • Restaurant • Clubhouse
Competitions: • All-Ireland Cups and Shields: 2002
Situated just a 10-minute walk from Salthill and the Galway Golf Club, Amber Hill offers luxury B&B accommodation in stylish, well-equipped guestrooms. Spacious singles, double and family rooms all feature en-suite bathrooms, TV, DVD and tea/coffee-making facilities and a tasty continental or full Irish breakfast is served every morning in the cosy dining room. Amber Hill B&B enjoys an ideal location for exploring Connemara and the beautiful scenery of Ireland's west coast.Book Ireland Golf B&B Amber Hill B&B in Galway
See more B&Bs in Galway.
Find out more information about travel in Ireland at DiscoverIreland.com.
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By Eleanor Brown