The West and North West regions (Donegal, Galway, Mayo and Sligo) offer pure links golf. From Galway all the way to Ballyliffen, it lies along the Atlantic shoreline. Some parkland courses complete the mix.
The South West (Clare, Kerry and Limerick) is the place of pilgrimage for all those who wish to experience the best Irish golf has to offer. The majority of courses are located along the coastline from south of Galway to Waterville with a few par kland courses inland.
Golf in the South is in the county and city of Cork. Parkland and heath terrain offers magnificent golf with many new and spectacular courses.
The South East region (Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford, Wesford, Wicklow) runs from Dungarvan in the South to Dublin. Courses are mainly park and heath land.
Dublin and the North East region (Dublin, Kildare, Louth, Meath) features over 50 clubs with more on the horizon. Two of best are Portmarnock, venue for 15 Irish Opens, the Walker cup and the Canada Cup and Druid’s Glen, venue for the 1996 Murphy’ s Irish Open.
The Midlands region (Cavan, Kildare, Laois, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Tipperary) offers a great selection of parkland settings – courses make use of natural, undulating terrain to lakeside locations.
Top Five best golf courses in Ireland
Royal Country Down
Located in Newcastle at the foothills of the Mountains of Mourne, Royal County Down enjoys a drier climate than the rest of the Emerald Isle.
The course has attracted many professionals. Tiger Woods and Tom Watson have played there for preparation for the Open Championships Rory McIlroy, Northern Ireland’s current star, often plays a round. Royal County Down will host The Irish Open in 2015.
Portmarnock (Co. Dublin)
The Canada Cup, The Walker Cup, and The Irish Open are just some of the championships that have been played at this course located outside of Dublin’s fair city. The practice facilities boast of a driving range, short game area, putting and chipping green, which are all at a championship standard.
The Royal Portrush, which is the only club in Ireland to have hosted The British Open, houses both the challenging Dunluce Links championship course and the lesser known but also challenging Valley Links course. The Dunluce Links were voted number 12 in the world by Golf Magazine.
Located in the south of Ireland, Waterville hosts a practice facility and short game area with fantastic views of the Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding hills. The practice facility is surrounded by hedge walls, which provide some relief from the winds which prolongs the playing season.
Ballybunion (Co Kerry)
The Old Course features challenging holes nestled in grassy dunes and has been frequently rated among the top courses in the world. The Cashen Course on Co. Kerry’s shoreline is a more wild looking course with rolling dunes.