21 Irish Golf Courses Any Self-Respecting Golfer Must Play Before They Die

Start ticking them off the list

Golf Course

Ireland has a lot going for it when it comes to attracting people to our little island, like the best Guinness they'll ever taste, some of the friendliest people in the world, and, of course, the craic in general. 

One of the biggest draws (which we ourselves also love) is golf, as we're blessed with some incredible courses here. 

The rain to keep them green, our rugged terrain, and some great course designers make Ireland a paradise for golf lovers. So we thought we'd share 21 courses that you simply have to play before you die. 

1. Connemara

Playing here feels about as far west as you can go without actually being in America. With the wild Atlantic wind blowing, you'll need your A game just to get a par. 

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2. K Club

If it's good enough to host the Ryder Cup, then it's good enough for you. Stunning design and world class facilities in the club house.

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3. Carton House

Two wonderful courses that will test your game to its fullest. Worth booking in for one of their midweek deals to get the best of the hotel and at least a couple of rounds in.

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4. Luttrellstown Castle

Luttrellstown Castle Golf & Country Club is situated within the 567 acre walled estate of Luttrellstown Castle, only 20 minutes’ drive from Dublin's city centre.

5. Druids Glen

They market it as the Augusta of Europe and not hard to see why, what with its big dips and banks around the greens. There have been lots of big competitions here over the years and any golfer can expect a proper challenge here. 

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6. Fota Island

On a a small island just 10 minutes outside Cork city, this course has one of the most stunning finishing holes in golf. Plenty of water and hills throughout the 18 to keep you honest.

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7. Lough Erne

This large hotel is just north of the border and home to two golf courses. Try the Nick Faldo designed one and make sure to practice before coming, because it is not easy.

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8. Portmarnock 

Jutting out into Dublin Bay, this is one of the very best links style courses, and not just in Ireland, the world. You'll want to pray the wind isn't up too much.

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9. Killeen Castle

The course is designed by the great Jack Nicklaus himself and although it appears easy at first glance, every bump, mound and bunker has been strategically placed to give you a serious challenge.

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10. Portstewart

One of the very best links courses in the whole world, to play it is one of the biggest challenges in golf. The mounds rise up, the fairways are narrow and God forbid the wind gets up. For the very serious golfer. 

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11. Mount Juliet 

A beautiful parkland course in the heart of Ireland that winds through the woods and will give you a good challenge. World class food and hotel facilities mean that even if the golf doesn't go great, you'll still have a wonderful time.

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12. Adare Manor

Probably the most visually stunning course on the list, as it weaves its way around the trees, then back in towards the stunningly beautiful castle. A joy to play on.

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13. The European Club

A private club which welcomes visitors and which has been voted in the top 100 courses in the world. A proper links challenge with stunning views and punishing rough.

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14. Ballybunion

A gorgeous links on the West Coast of Ireland which has welcomed Bill Clinton in the past and even Tiger Woods in his pomp, warming up for the British Open. 

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15. Royal Portrush

It'll be home to the British Open in 2019, so better get some practice in now if you plan on winning that. Even the pros struggle to hit a low score here. 

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16. Royal County Down

Nestled in between the hills and the sea, this is a beautifully manicured course that's always in top condition. 

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17. Waterville

Yet another world class links on the list and when you see the calibre of the lads getting out of the chopper specifically to play here, you know it's the real deal. Not to mention a serious challenge.

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18. Lahinch

The course is named after the stunning little town where it lives. Just down from the Cliffs Of Moher, there's no shortage of stunning scenery at this spot.

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19. Powerscourt 

Two championship courses and far enough away from Dublin to feel as if you're in another world, but close enough to drive to for an early tee time. 

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20. County Louth

The Baltry course is not as well known as others on the list, but just 4 miles outside Drogheda it's an absolute classic that's always in pristine condition and a joy to play on. 

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21. Slieve Russell

The video will do all the explaining you need. Once you get a taste for this course you'll want to play it every single day of the year. It also boasts a top hotel to unwind in after your game.

READ NEXT: 5 Insane Irish Pads You Can Rent On Airbnb In Ireland

Written By

Niall Harbison

Niall founded Lovin' Dublin with a few fairly simple aims: discover new places to eat in Dublin and share simple recipes cooked up in his kitchen.

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