The Best Links Courses in Ireland

Golf has been played in Ireland since the 19th Century and it remains one of the most popular sports in the country. Combining Ireland’s rugged coastline, stunning scenery and warm Irish hospitality, it’s no wonder why golf experiences in Ireland are on most golfers’ bucket lists.

With fewer than 200 links golf courses in the world, Ireland is home to 50 of the most prestigious. Whilst these 50 courses stretch along the entire length of Ireland’s impressive coastline, some of the best courses in Ireland can be found in the areas surrounding Dublin and Limerick.

Whether you have already booked your flights for your golf holiday in Ireland, or you’re still in the research stage and deciding where to go, we’ve shared our favourite links courses on the west coast and east coast of this go-to golfing destination.

West Coast Ireland Golf Courses

Offering some of Ireland’s most dramatic and spectacular landscapes, the long west coast makes a fantastic location for a golf holiday. Shaped by the persistent Atlantic wind, you will find peninsulas, ports and tiny islands scattered along its length.

The best links courses to play during your golf holiday

Ballybunion Golf Club

Ranked in the Top 20 in the World by Top 100 Golf Courses, Ballybunion Golf Club is a must-visit during your golf holiday in Ireland. Set amongst the most spectacular and formidable sand dunes in Ireland, the club boasts two equally impressive golf courses.

Whilst the original course (known as the ‘Old’ Course) encourages golfers to overcome natural challenges, the ‘Cashen’ course provides the true challenge. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Senior, this course features higher dunes, deeper valleys and greens more undulating than its predecessor, requiring accurate precision from the start.

We offer transfers from Shannon Airport to Ballybunion Golf Club, which takes approximately 1 hour 30 minutes.

Lahinch Golf Club

Celebrating 125 years of golf, Lahinch Golf Club is one of the iconic links golf clubs lining the Irish coast. Situated next to Liscannor Bay, the club boasts two 18-hole golf courses, one of which being a championship course. Host to the South of Ireland Championship each September, the course has maintained traditional links course whilst simultaneously embracing the modern game.

Our transfers from Shannon Airport to Lahinch Golf Club takes approximately 50 minutes.

Tralee Golf Club

Offering golfers enchanting views across Tralee Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, Tralee Golf Club boasts an Arnold Palmer-designed course that has achieved worldwide status. Whilst the first few holes play across the level terrain, the majority hug the coastline and are routed through rugged dunes and ravines. A captivating course from the very beginning, the course features a wide variety of holes that are guaranteed to grab and hold your attention.

Golf Drives transfers from Shannon Airport to Tralee Golf Club takes approximately 2 hours.

Trump International Golf Links Doonbeg

A jewel between Lahinch and Ballybunion, Doonbeg is the only course designed by Greg Norman in the British Isles. Named as the Best Golf Resort in Europe by Conde Nast Traveler, the club covers an impressive 400-acre site. Despite being designed, and now owned by an American, the course has a traditional feel which embraces its spectacular 100ft sandhills rather than changing them.

Our transfers from Shannon Airport to Trump International Golf Links Doonbeg take approximately 1 hour.

Where to stay during your west coast golfing holiday

Combining its convenient location with authentic Irish friendliness, Limerick is the perfect location for a golf holiday to Ireland’s west coast.

Close to famous golf clubs, Limerick contains one of the most iconic views in Ireland: the River Shannon winding around the 12th century King John’s Castle.

Famous for their warm welcome, cities such as Limerick and Galway are close to Shannon Airport, which serves many major airlines. Don’t forget that we offer transfers from the airport to your hotel, from your hotel to your chosen golf course, and from course to course, too. 

What to do during your stay along the west coast

In addition to golf, the west coast offers plenty of additional activities. Here are some suggestions:

  • Drive along the Wild Atlantic Way, one of the most scenic drives in the world. A winding coastal road that is notoriously difficult to navigate, spend time at the famous Cliffs of Moher and admire the view.
  • Get a ferry across to the Aran Islands and experience Ireland’s island life.
  • Explore the rugged wilderness and rich natural beauty of Connemara National Park.
  • Enjoy the famous nightlife of Galway.

East Coast Ireland Golf Courses

As a result of its strategic position and extremely fertile land, the east coast of Ireland has seen the majority of development, leaving behind astonishing architecture amongst lush farmland.

Framed by the River Shannon and the Irish Sea, the area’s 5000 years of history contrasts with its vibrant modern cities. Easily accessible via Dublin Airport, the coast shows visitors the best of ancient and modern Ireland.

The best links courses to play during your golf holiday

European Golf Club

Nestled between the coastal towns of Wicklow and Arklow, European Golf Club presents a unique golf experience that is ranked in the world’s top 100 golf courses. Designed by Pat Ruddy in 1993, the course features a 20-hole links layout that will challenge players of all abilities. Played against the contrasting Irish Sea, the course has attracted some of the best golfers, with Tiger Woods holding the record of 67.

We offer transfers from Dublin Airport to European Golf Club take approximately 1 hour 5 minutes.

Portmarnock

Located on its own sandy peninsula, Portmarnock Golf Club is an iconic course just 8 miles northeast of Dublin. A natural links course featuring water on three sides, players are at the mercy of the wind if they are to score well. Boasting views to the south of Ireland’s Eye (a small island), the course has established an international reputation and has hosted numerous tournaments including the Irish Open, the Canada Cup and the Walker Cup.

Golf Drives transfers from Dublin Airport to Portmarnock take approximately 20 minutes.

Royal Dublin Golf Club

Situated on Bull Island in Dublin Bay, the Royal Dublin Golf Club was founded in 1885 and was granted royal patronage by Queen Victoria. Rebuilt by Harry Colt in 1920 following severe damage during WW1, the course is a traditional ‘Scottish’ out and back links which is unusual for this area but certainly worth visiting and experiencing for yourself. A favourite of Christy O’Connor, the course has hosted numerous tournaments including several Irish Opens and has seen the likes of Ballesteros and Langer claim victory.

Our transfers from Dublin Airport to Royal Dublin Golf Club take approximately 30 minutes.

The Island Golf Club

The Island, as its name suggests, was once located on an island but is now attached to the mainland, sandwiched between the Irish Sea, the beach of Donabate and the Broadmeadow on a spur of links land. Despite being ranked consistently as one of the best golf clubs in Ireland, The Island is relatively unknown, and a golf holiday to Ireland isn’t complete without enjoying this hidden gem. This natural links course is sure to provide a memorable golfing experience.

We provide transfers from Dublin Airport to The Island Golf Club, taking approximately 20 minutes.

Where to stay during your west coast golfing holiday

One of the most popular destinations to visit in Ireland, Dublin is perfect for golfing holidays to the Emerald Isle. Sitting in the centre of Ireland’s east coast, Dublin is a bustling city filled with the nation’s history and culture.

Close to major golf courses, it is a convenient location for a golf holiday to Ireland.

What to do during your stay along the east coast

Apart from playing at some of the best golf courses in Ireland, the west coast offers plenty of additional activities. Why not:

  • Explore Cork and the historic Blarney Castle in the south.
  • Hike the countless trails in the spectacular Wicklow Mountains.
  • Visit the Guinness Storehouse and see how this famous factory works.

We hope this blog post provides some useful information for planning and organising your next golf holiday. Whether you’ve already booked your flights or you’re still deciding on the destination for your gold holiday, don’t forget to get a quote for your transfers from Golf Drives. Simply fill in the form to the right and we will provide an instant quote for your travels. We provide airport to hotel, hotel to course, and course to course transportation, too. 

Golf Drives provides reliable & hassle-free transfers for your entire golf holiday, so all that’s left for you to do is enjoy the 19th hole! Book your transfers from the airport to hotel or hotel to course online today!