Ireland is a mecca for golfers, with more than 300 golf courses on our small island. Golf tourism brings in more than €270 million per year. The hard part is choosing an itinerary that gives you the best courses, but with the least driving. Irish roads are not like US interstate, so don’t let the seemingly short distances fool you when planning a golf trip to Ireland.

Old Head Golf Links

An ex-Charleston resident, John Dooley, is not only a PGA member, but also owns Concierge Golf Ireland, which arranges golf tours of Ireland. John has written some tips below for us.

John says….

Indeed, while looking at the map of Ireland, golfers could be fooled into thinking that since Ireland is so small compared to other countries. How tough could traveling by car be to complete the following list of golf courses in seven days?

Essentially, starting off from Dublin Airport moving to Royal Portrush Golf Club, then onto Royal County Down Golf Club and to Old Head Golf Links. Then from Old Head over to Waterville Golf Links then up to Lahinch Golf Club, but stopping to play Ballybunion on the way to Lahinch and the final course to play before traveling home is Portmarnock Golf Club.

Remarkably, should everything go to plan the driving time would be more than 21 hours and covering over 1,539 Kilometres. Moving hotels daily, also the roadways are not as perfect as you would like them to be and drivers will be driving on the left side of the road! We say that it’s madness to spend that amount of time in a car! 

Therefore, the magnificent golf travel experts at Concierge Golf Ireland would recommend the following steps to consider before arranging the next or first Irish Golf adventure! We would suggest segmenting Ireland into four golfing areas such as; The North, Southwest, Northwest and East of Ireland. Additionally, I would add the following list of courses to each of the segments noted. 

Golf Courses of Ireland

Southwest of Ireland Golf Courses 

  1. Adare Golf Resort       

  2. Ballybunion Golf Club      

  3. Castletroy Golf Club       

  4. Cork Golf Club           

  5. Doonbeg Golf Club

  6. Hogshead Golf Club

  7. Lahinch Golf Club       

  8. Old Head Golf Links      

  9. Tralee Golf Club       

  10. Waterville Golf Links       

East of Ireland Golf Courses

  1. Carton House Golf Resort

  2. County Louth Golf Club

  3. Druids Glen Golf Resort

  4. Portmarnock Golf Club

  5. Portmarnock Links Resort

  6. Powerscourt Golf Club

  7. Rosslare Golf Club

  8. Royal Dublin Golf Club

  9. The Island Golf Club

  10. The K-Club

Northwest of Ireland Golf Courses   

  1. Ballyliffin Golf Club     

  2. Carne Golf Links       

  3. Co Sligo Golf Club       

  4. Connemara Golf Links      

  5. Donegal Golf Club       

  6. Enniscrone Golf Club       

  7. Galway Bay Golf Club       

  8. Portsaloon Golf Club       

  9. Portumna Golf Club       

  10. Rosapenna Golf Resort   

Northern Ireland Golf Courses

  1. Ardglass Golf Club

  2. Castlerock Golf Club

  3. Hollywood Golf Club

  4. Lough Erne Golf Club

  5. Malone Golf Club

  6. Portstewart Golf Club

  7. Royal Belfast Golf Club

  8. Royal County Down Golf Club

  9. Royal Portrush Golf Club

Notably, golfers can reduce the amount of time traveling from course to course and stay in one area. Naturally, by picking the golf courses from one or two of the segments, such as the East of Ireland and Southwest or the East of Ireland and the North or Ireland and so on. 

Currently, the best value for Ireland golf vacations is located at the Northwest of Ireland and click on this link to watch and listen to John Dooley talking about golfing in the Northwest of Ireland. Notably, the most popular Concierge Golf Ireland Tours for 2019 are playing the following golf courses. Starting at Royal County Down, Lahinch Golf Club, Ballybunion Golf Club, Tralee Golf Club or Waterville Golf Links, Old Head Golf Links and finally Portmarnock Golf Club before home. Indeed the courses are the best golfers can play in Ireland. 

Please feel free to contact John Dooley should you have any questions about golf travel to Ireland. Contact notes Email: or click on the following for our website Concierge Golf Ireland and follow his facebook page for golf tips.