Top 10 Golf Courses In Ireland 1

Top 10 Golf Courses In Ireland (Part 1)

Slieve Russel (Cavan)

The Slieve Russel Golf Course is found among the lakeland and drumlin valley district of Ballyconnell in County Cavan.

It's one of the more "newer" golf courses on this list as it opened in August 1992 and almost immediately it became an attraction as one of Ireland's top courses.

The parkland course was brilliantly designer by golf-course architect Patrick Merrigan and contains 300 acres of manicured gardens and 50 acres of lakes, so as you can imagine, water hazards are a major challenge on this course.

The course has played host to a number of prestigious golf tournaments such as the Irish PGA Championship in 1996, European Tour Events and the North West of Ireland Open in 2001/2002.

Royal Portrush (Antrim)

The Royal Portrush Golf Course is another top golf course in Ireland and is located on the spectacular north coast of County Antrim. The course boasts a spectacular setting and is overlooked by the 13th century ruins of Dunluce Castle.

It has two challenging links courses the Dunluce Links and the Valley Links. It has hosted the British Open, the North of Ireland Championship and the British Amateur Championship.

The Dunluce Golf Links was designed by Harry Colt and will put the most seasoned golfer to the test. The Valley Links lies between huge sands hills and some higher ground next to the shoreline. The course has its fair share of challenges with many elevated tees, menacing bunkers, sand hills and dunes.

Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell are big fans of this course while it is classed as a favourite for Padraig Harrington and Darren Clarke.

Ballybunion Golf Club (Kerry)

Ballybunion Golf Course is located in the stunning coastal resort of Ballybunion, County Kerry on the south coast of Ireland. This golf club has two courses - the new course which (also known as the Cashen Course) and the old course.

Ballybunion's Old Course is a magnificent 18-hole golf course and is regarded to be one of the finest links courses in the world. In fact, this golf course is nearly always listed in the Top 100 Golf Courses in the World.

Famous visitors who have fell in love with this course include Tiger Woods, Greg Norman, Ernie Els, Phil Mickleson, Ian Woosnam and Vijay Singh (who has said that Ballybunion is his favourite course outside of the US!). Other famous personalities to have played there include Michael Jordan, Bill Murray and Bill Clinton.

Both courses are spectacularly located on sand dunes and boast some of the most breathtaking views of the Atlantic. Famous American golfer, Tom Watson once described the 11TH hole as "the best par 4 in the world".

Druid's Glen (Wicklow)

Druid's Glen can be found in County Wicklow, nestled between the mountains and the sea, about 30km south of Dublin city centre. This classic parkland course is often referred to as "The Augusta of Europe" and the golf course especially comes into its own during the Summer months when the plants and flowers and in full bloom. The golfer will really feel a piece of heaven on earth here with its beautiful tricking streams, forests, flora and fauna.

In 2000/01, Druids Glen was awarded the title "European Golf Course of the Year" and it was the location of the Irish Open from 1996-1999.

Top golfers who have played here include; Ian Woosnam, Retief Goosen, John Daly, Jose- Maria Olazabal, Ernie Els and Nick Faldo.

Note: When on the 12th green check out the pre Christian stone altar overlooking the green. It is believed to have been belong to Druids, hence the name of the golf course, Druid's Glen!

Mount Juliet (Kilkenny)

Mount Juliet is located near Thomastown in County Kilkenny, just about a 20 minute drive from Kilkenny city. This 18-hole championship golf course was carefully designed by Jack Nicklaus and last year it claimed the title of "Best Parkland Course in Ireland" by Backspin Magazine.

Golfers of all abilities are put to the test on this stunning course with its bunkers, lakes and bridges. And if you need to brush up on your skills you can try out the driving range, the bunker and chipping green or the putting green.

Top professional golfers to have played here include; Sergio Garcia, Retief Goosen, Darren Clarke and Padraig Harrington.

The luxurious resort of Mount Juliet also offers a deluxe 4 star hotel, a leisure centre, a gym, a spa and other activities like archery and clay pigeon shooting.

Article By Mairead Foley

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