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Ireland's golf guide

From the world-renowned royal courses of Northern Ireland to the rugged and wind-swept links land of County Kerry, Ireland has become famous for golfing. A list of some of the best golfing venues in Ireland follows.

Some are fairly remote and easiest to reach for those with access to cheap car hire in Ireland from the following airports; Dublin, Shannon, Cork, Knock and Dublin City. You wouldn't want to lug around your clubs - just pop them in the car & make sure you have a GPS device to ensure you won't get lost.

Golf course

Royal County Down

County Down, Northern Ireland
The Morne Mountains, wind-swept dunes and the Irish Sea are the backdrop to this world-famous course. The first nine holes are particularly fine and were even praised by former world number-one Tom Watson as the best he’d ever played.

Royal Portrush

County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Royal Portrush competes with Royal County Down for ‘best-in-the-north’ status. The Dunluce Course is named for the ruined castle that presides over it, and it’s the sort of challenging links course that simultaneously delights and frustrates. The Valley Course lies among the sand dunes and – while still a challenge – is a bit kinder.           

The Irish Open will be taking place here from 28th June - 1st July.

Trump International Golf

County Clare
If golfers didn’t know that it was designed by Greg Norman in the 21st century, they would swear it was one of the finest old-Irish courses on offer. The landscape is major attraction here, taking in sand dunes, rolling greens and more than a few dramatic cliffs. Changing winds add to the challenge.

Ballybunion Golf Club

County Kerry, Ireland
This course is often billed as the type you play for the sheer satisfaction rather than for the score. It spreads across some of the finest links land in the world and challenges golfers with the tallest sand dunes in Ireland. Try to time your visit with a day when the winds are merciful.

Lahinch (The Old Course)

County Clare, Ireland
This fine course has hosted the annual South of Ireland Championship since it opened in the late 19th century. It comes complete with formidable sand dunes and a flock of resident goats. The latter usually know it’s going to rain before the golfers do. If they’re huddling near the clubhouse, beware!

Portmarnock (The Old Course)

County Dublin, Ireland
Portmarnock is a perfect example of natural terrain that was destined to be a links course. It spans 500 acres and has hosted the Irish Open and the Canada Cup. Take your time on the final five holes. They’ve earned a bit or notoriety on the professional circuit.


County Kerry, Ireland
Waterville is well-known for its angling potential, but it has also been on the golfing circuit since 1889. The course is laid out on a promontory walled in by the sea, with views of the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks mountain range and the Atlantic coastline. Waterville is off the beaten path, and it’s most accessible to golfers with a hire car in Ireland.   

European Club

County Wicklock, Ireland
A short drive from Dublin, the European Club is young by Irish standards. It’s a memorable course, both for its stunning scenery and a few unusual holes. In particular, hole number seven is often included on lists of the top hundred holes in the world.

Ireland Golf Clubs

Castle Barna Golf Club, Daingean, Co Offaly. Castle Barna is one of the leading golf courses in the Midlands. Open for golf club membership, greenfees and society golf bookings.

To ensure you have room for your golf bag, do look through our choices of vehicles we have to offer when you make a quote with Irish Car Rentals here.