Play the top 5 courses in Ireland over 6 days
Ireland has many fine golf courses, so how could you possibly decide where to play first? By playing the top 5 that’s how. This 6 day, self drive itinerary plays 5 of Ireland’s best courses (plus Old Head of Kinsale, ranked 16th for good measure) with time to explore the local surroundings.
Ranking golf courses always leads to debate. Our Top 5 is based on the ranking provided by the Top 100 golf courses website. Our local operator has selected accommodation located near to courses and included a two night stopover in Killarney to ensure you aren’t rushing every day. Car rental is included however our local operator can organize a driver if you desire.
Course rankings in order for your reference:
- Ballybunion (Old)
- Lahinch (Old)
- Portmarnock (Old)
- European Club
Welcome to Ireland
After collecting your rental car there is a short 1 hour drive to The European Golf Club. The clubhouse offers changing facilities and a restaurant. We recommend making use of both to ensure you are refreshed and ready for your early afternoon tee time.
Following your round it is a short drive to Arklow for your overnight accommodation, ensuring there is time for a quick visit to the 19th before you depart the Club.
This Google map provides a route map connecting all the courses you will play over the next 6 days.
Full size rental car (5 days)
Car rental booked for collection from Dublin airport with enough space for luggage and the all important golf clubs.
1 Round at The European Club
A Truly Great Golf Links. Ranked in the World's Top-100 Golf Courses and ranked No 4 golf course In the Republic of Ireland. The links of The European Club was designed by Pat Ruddy who continues after thirty years to calibrate the links to meet the challenges of the modern game allowing the champions of today to express themselves while demanding a cerebral approach for true success.
Hoey's Bridge Hotel (1 night)
Bridge Hotel is a family run hotel located in Arklow. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar, free WiFi throughout and free parking.
All rooms have an en-suite bathroom, a desk, tea/coffee making facilities, ironing facilities and a hairdryer.
The fully licensed bar/lounge serves food and snacks, local craft beers, spirits and international brands. There is a shared guest lounge and luggage storage facilities.
Drive to Kinsale
Folowing check out make your way South to Kinsale. We have confirmed an early afternoon tee time at Old Head of Kinsale and once again accommodation is in the nearby village.
1 Round at Old Head Golf Links
Old Head Golf Links is built on a 220-acre diamond of land jutting out over two miles into the Atlantic Ocean. The promontory is almost an island with numerous caves running beneath your feet as you play the course. The links and practice area occupy 180 acres and the remaining 40 acres of unspoilt cliff frame the course. It is a piece of golf real estate like no other, that causes many a golfer and visitor to pinch themselves as they drive through the ancient gateway with the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean some 300 feet below.
The sensory overload does not stop there with the journey along the fragrant Hydrangea and Rosa Rugosa lining the Old Head driveway providing stunning vistas across the superbly manicured golf course, with the powerful ocean on both sides and beyond the famous lighthouse that lies in front.
The Old Dispensary Kinsale (1 night)
Located in Kinsale within less than 1 km of Dock Beach and 5 km of Charles Fort, The Old Dispensary provides rooms with free WiFi.
Guest rooms at the guest house are equipped with a minibar, a kettle, a shower, bathrobes, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, game console – nintendo wii and game console – ps3. At The Old Dispensary each room is equipped with bed linen and towels.
Drive to Killarney
Today we drive to our overnight accommodation in Killarney and play the Old course at Waterville. tomorrow. We will spend two nights in Killarney allowing free time to explore the area before or after playing Ballybunion Golf Club on day 4.
1 Round at Waterville Golf Links
The earliest structured golf at Waterville has been traced back to 1889, when it came under the umbrella of the extremely active Waterville Athletic Club. It was a formalised part of the life of the village by 1900, when becoming one of the first clubs to be affiliated with the Golfing Union of Ireland.
Today Waterville holds a firm grip on the number 5 sport on the Top100 thanks to it's stunning, remote location with views of mountains to the north and Atlantic Ocean to the south.
Great Southern Killarney (2 nights)
From its distinctive architecture to its effortless service and genuine hospitality, Great Southern Killarney has been a favourite retreat for over 160 years.
After warming yourself by the open fire in our entrance hall, ease into a soft velvet sofa and enjoy afternoon tea. We like to think time slows down just a little at Great Southern Killarney. Enjoy the light as it streams through tall windows, ramble through our gardens, and rest for a while on a secluded bench. Where else are you going to find 6 acres of gardens in the centre of a bustling town?
1 Round at the Old Course at Ballybunion Golf Club
“If sheer pleasure is the yardstick, then Ballybunion’s Old Course gets my vote as the No.1 in the world.” – Peter Dobereiner, the famous English golf writer.
Dobereiner was doing no more than reflecting the views of the locals who somehow knew, through all of their struggles for survival since the day the club was founded way back in 1893, that the Ballybunion links was an unknown treasure waiting for the outside world to come and discover it.
Although the course’s fame did not arrive internationally until the late 1960s, there were hints. The first came in 1936 when the famous English architect Tom Simpson was hired to prepare the course for the Irish Amateur Close Championship one year later.
Back to Dublin
Today is an early morning check out and drive 1 hour+ to Lahinch Golf Club for our mid morning round.
It is a 3 hour drive to our Dublin accommodation for the night with numerous point of interest along the way.
1 Round at Lahinch Golf Club
The Old Course and Lahinch comes in at number 2 on the Top100 courses list. It is an enchanting place to play golf with its traditional out and back layout situated next to the lovely beach of Liscannor Bay.
Host of the 2019 Irish Open yet with a history dating back to 1892 your round here will leave you wanting more.
The Merrion Hotel Dublin (1 night)
Italian marble bathrooms, a restaurant with 2 Michelin stars, and an infinity pool are offered at this award-winning 5-star hotel. In Dublin’s centre, the Georgian building features beautiful landscaped gardens.
Situated within the Georgian house, this air-conditioned room offers impressive views of the government buildings or the Merrion's private landscaped gardens. It offers a king-size bed, 2 armchairs, and a marble bathroom. This room features WiFi, flat.screen TV, mini-bar and stereo system.
1 Round at Portmarnock Golf Club
Within a picturesque curve of coastline, 10 miles to the north of Dublin City and only a 15-minute drive from Dublin Airport, Portmarnock Golf Club sits majestically on a narrow tongue of shallow duneland. And as a measure of its enduring quality, it remains one of the most respected venues in world golf. No other Irish course has been graced by so many distinguished players in a rich history encompassing a broad sweep of significant events.
Last round before departure
After a late breakfast abd check out head out of town to Portmarnock Golf Club for your final round.
Your rental car can be dropped at the airport before catching your flight home.
- 5 nights accommodation including daily cooked Irish breakfast
- 6 Rounds of golf at courses listed
- 6 days rental car hire
Our local tour expert can replace and/or book additional transfers, restaurants and activities. Please add your suggestions to the contact form message space.