Regularly mentioned in conversations about the best golf courses in the world, the renowned Ballyliffin Golf Club is a little piece of golfing heaven. There are two incredible championship courses among its rolling hills and towering sandy dunes. Ballyliffin hosted the Irish Open as recently as 2018 and Rory McIlroy said that it’s a “must play on any golf trip in Ireland”.
The two 18-hole courses at Rosapenna Golf Resort adopt contrasting approaches but both harness the natural scenery to spectacular effect. The more traditional Old Tom Morris Links runs alongside the dunes while the newer Sandy Hills Links cuts through them to ramp up the challenge for visiting golfers.
Golf has been played on the Portsalon Golf Club since the 1880s and the course has continued to evolve ever since, with Paul McGinley making improvements to it in recent years. It was recently named in the top 25 courses in the world by Golf Digest.
The compact Cruit Island Golf Club on the edge of the Atlantic in West Donegal has been called the best nine-hole course in the world. Untamed scenery combines with a tricky layout to give golfers a battle with the elements that they won’t forget.
The natural course at Nairn and Portnoo Golf Club is an entertaining course that’s all about simple golfing pleasure. A recent revamp added three back-to-back par fives and made it more difficult, yet it remains a classic course that any golfer will enjoy.
Known as the ‘Muirfield of Ireland’, the exhilarating 18-hole Donegal Golf Club on the Murvagh Peninsula features two demanding loops of nine holes. Darren Clarke called it one of his favourite courses in the world and this long links course will appeal to big hitters.
The 27-hole County Sligo Golf Club at Rosses Point challenges players to overcome everything from rolling greens and awkward bunkers to sand dunes and undulating fairways. It’s a test of skill and concentration, especially with amazing views of the Atlantic and Benbulben in the distance.
The impressive Enniscrone Golf Club can rightfully claim to be as challenging as any links you’ll find in Ireland. Great golf and unrivalled views mean its one for every golfer’s ‘to do’ list.
There aren’t many places that have been called ‘nature’s gift to golf’ but it’s a fitting description for the remote 27-hole Carne Golf Links at Belmullet. This was the last, and some would argue best, links course to be designed by the late, great golf course architect Eddie Hackett.
One of the toughest championship courses in the world, the 27-hole Connemara Championship Golf Links at Ballyconneely isn’t for the fainthearted. The lack of dunes provides panoramic views of the surrounding coast and mountains, but it also makes the wind yet another hazard for visiting golfers.
With jaw-dropping views of Dingle Bay and Macgillycuddy's Reeks to enjoy, Dooks Golf Links at Killorglin is a beautiful course that brimming with character and charm.
Dingle’s Golf Chumann Ceann Sibéal has a traditional layout but it also has plenty of strategic bunkers, humps and hollows to keep you on your toes. This low-lying course has uninterrupted views of Dingle Bay and the Blasket Islands, which only adds to the experience.
The Ring of Kerry Golf Club’s 18-hole parkland course in Kenmare is notable for its quirky level changes and water hazards. The gorgeous backdrop of Kenmare Bay is just as memorable as the action on its greens and fairways.
This 18-hole Bantry Bay Golf Club has a selection of holes overlooking the sea and taking in the distant Beara Mountains and also some fantastic parkland sections. With some difficult blind shots and awkward approaches to contend with, there’s more to it than just impressive views.
There are world class courses along the full stretch of the Wild Atlantic Way so head over to our Things to Do page and plan your dream trip.