Southwest Ireland, the Emerald Isles' answer to St Andrews...

Ireland’s answer to St Andrews, this coastline is one of the world’s greatest and most breathtaking places to play golf. The coast is lined with dozens of magnificent courses, stretching from the awe-inspiring Old Head Links of Kinsale in the South all the way around to the Westerly Doonbeg.

Imagine an itinerary that also includes legendary links like Ballybunion, Tralee, Lahinch, Waterville, Dingle and Dooks. With spectacular Atlantic views, giant rolling dunes and some of the world’s most incredible holes, this region is a must play.

Southwest Ireland, the Emerald Isles' answer to St Andrews...

Ireland’s answer to St Andrews, this coastline is one of the world’s greatest and most breathtaking places to play golf. The coast is lined with dozens of magnificent courses, stretching from the awe-inspiring Old Head Links of Kinsale in the South all the way around to the Westerly Doonbeg.

Southwest Ireland

  • 5 nights at the International Hotel (4 star)
  • Breakfast daily
  • 5 rounds of golf at Old Head, Waterville, Dooks, Killarney Golf & Fishing & Tralee
  • Car or van Rental (self-drive)
  • Thank you gift from Epic Golf Travel
  • Price includes all taxes and surcharges

 

from $1550 USD pp

Not quite what you’re looking for? Let's tailor your personal golf vacation!

Southwest Ireland

  • 4 nights at the Temple Gate Hotel (4 star) & 3 nights at the International Hotel (4 star)
  • Breakfast daily
  • 7 rounds of golf at Lahinch, Doonbeg, Ballybunion, Tralee, Dooks, Waterville & Old Head
  • Car or van Rental (self-drive)
  • Thank you gift from Epic Golf Travel
  • Price includes all taxes and surcharges

 

from $2250 USD pp

Not quite what you’re looking for? Let's tailor your personal golf vacation!



The story goes that Tom Watson ‘discovered’ Ballybunion back in 1981. His admiration for the club directed a spotlight on this south west corner of Ireland. But in truth it was Herbert Warren Wind in the 1970’s when he wrote that it was among the ten best courses in the world.  

Regardless, this south west trail has flourished to such an extent that it now comprises nine remarkable links courses, from Doonbeg down to the farthest reaches of the Ring of Kerry, where Waterville awaits. How beautiful is this region? When the Golf Channel picked their Top Ten Ocean Courses in the world, three of them were on Ireland’s south west coastline: Ballybunion, Tralee and Old Head. There are fine parklands too; Adare, Killarney (Killeen), and Dromoland Castle are among Ireland’s best, but it is the links which draw most American golfers.

Shannon Airport is in the heart of the south west, making this area highly accessible. There are several golf resorts scattered across the region, while Killarney town and Limerick city offer central locations for those golfers looking to take in as many courses as possible.

To the north, Doonbeg is a Greg Norman design with beautifully and idiosyncratic traits that divide, but the landscape of rolling dunes on the edge of Doughmore Bay is spectacular. The five star resort sits above the beach and close to the renowned village of Doolin. This small village is famous for its traditional live music sessions which draw locals and tourists from all around.

From Doonbeg the next course south is Lahinch, but you are unlikely to reach this Alister MacKenzie masterpiece without stopping off to see the Cliffs of Moher. Stretching for five miles, these sandstone cliffs rise 700 feet from the Atlantic Ocean, and are Ireland’s most visited natural attraction. Golfers will be similarly inspired by the golf course at Lahinch. This is links golf at its rhythmic best and a superb example of MacKenzie’s philosophy on course design.

To the south lies Spanish Point, so named because of the Spanish Armada galleons which sank here in 1588. A nine hole course of the same name may not have the allure of a Lahinch or a Tralee, but the course has some startling links holes. Beyond Spanish Point, the road to Ballybunion can take one of two routes: the most direct line involves a ferry across the Shannon, to Tarbert… but that would be to miss the drive east to Limerick with Dromoland Castle to the north and Adare to the south. These two major five-star parkland resorts are accommodated in a 16th century castle and an 18th century neo-Gothic Manor, respectively.

Past these we go on to Ballybunion and its 36 holes. The Old course is the one everyone knows and adores, the dunes getting bigger and bigger as the round progresses. Standing on the high 2nd green every golfer should look back to the clubhouse and the myriad of dunes you still have to overcome (including the Cashen course). And, in those dunes, waits the par four 11th, regarded as one of the best holes in the world. The Cashen does not have the same reputation but it charges through even bigger dunes than its sibling. It’s a stunning hybrid and well worth your time.

Next is Tralee Golf Club. This course had two designers: Arnold Palmer… and God… or so said Arnold Palmer of the turbulent back nine that has some of the best holes on the island. You’ll appreciate why Tralee was voted a Top Ten Ocean Course from the moment you arrive, for Ireland’s beauty lies in every direction.

Now comes the 110 mile loop around the Ring of Kerry, which is the next peninsula to the south. The Ring is home to two of the oldest links in Ireland, both Dooks and Waterville were established in 1889. They have more than that it common for if there was a top five ranking of most beautiful Irish golf settings, each would be on the list. Waterville flows like velvet, a perfect rhythm of 18 holes , building to a stunning finish beside the sea. Dooks, closer to Killarney town, is a more rambunctious, idiosyncratic affair… but just as thrilling.

Killarney is the big town in these parts, home to a host of five star and all star hotels. It’s a bustling place and its beautiful setting by Lough Leane and at the foot of the mountains has drawn artists and photographers in their thousands. Many never left and their studios line the streets.

The 36-hole golf club at Killarney Golf & Fishing Club shares that same beauty, with several holes running along the lakeshore. It offers a break from links golf as you play over pristine parkland fairways and between herds of deer.

It is now time to travel south into Ireland’s most southern county, Cork. Cork is famed for its artisan food producers, from smokeries to chocolatiers, and that love of food comes together in Kinsale, a small fishing town boasting a world famous food festival. Of course, golfers will know that this is also the home of the Old Head of Kinsale. This peninsula is as dramatic a location as any golf course on the planet, with half of the course’s holes clinging to 300 foot cliff tops, where vertical drops fall away from tee boxes and greens. This is no place to discover you have a fear of heights as you won’t get past the 2nd tee.

Little more has to be said about southwest Ireland to persuade golfers to travel there. This region is on a par with St Andrews as a golfing Mecca, and is lovingly known as the St Andrews of Ireland. It’s a pilgrimage that you need to make at least once.

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Are you ready to get started? Simply fill out our quote page and we'll get back to you within 24 hours! Need some help making plans? Just contact our golf experts for more information.