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Ireland’s Top 5 Golf Courses

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Tour Details

The Emerald Isle is a golfing Mecca for players all over the world. With its lush green fairways, dramatic coastlines, and a wealth of world famous Championship courses, it’s little wonder so many make the pilgrimage to Ireland every year.

On this once in a lifetime tour you will get to play at Ireland’s top 5 courses: Portmarnock, European Club, Ballybunnion (old course), Lahinch (old course), and St Patrick’s Links at Rosapenna.

As well as golfing, this tour includes visits to the imposing Cliffs of Moher, the Wicklow Mountains, and Marble Arch Caves, as well as a chance to enjoy a Guinness at Sean’s Bar, Ireland’s oldest pub.

From tour planning and admin to booking tee times and caddies, we handle it all so you can enjoy the best courses and cultural experiences Ireland has to offer.

Arrival & Departure Location:

Arrival: Dublin International Airport
Departure: Dublin International Airport

Duration:

9 Nights / 10 Days

Hotels

  • Powerscourt Hotel Resort & Spa, Dublin (3 nights)
  • Dromoland Castle Hotel, Dromoland (3 nights)
  • Lough Eske Castle Hotel, Lough Eske (2 nights)
  • Carton House Hotel, Maynooth (1 night)

Golf Courses

  • Portmarnock Golf Course
  • The European Club
  • Ballybunnion, Old Course
  • Lahinch, Old Course
  • Rosapenna, St Patrick’s Links

Points of Interest

  • Dine at the highest pub in Ireland
  • Powerscourt Estate (gardens, house & waterfall)
  • Wicklow Mountains, Glendalough, Dromoland Estate
  • O'Shaughnessy's Pub, Adare
  • The Cliffs of Moher
  • Athlone & Sean's Bar (Ireland's Oldest Pub), Sligo, whiskey tasting in Whiskey Cellar at Lough Eske
  • Letterkenny, Murder Hole Beach, Glenveagh National Park
  • Belleek Pottery, Marble Arch Caves

Included:

  • Accommodation
  • Breakfast
  • Green Fees & Admissions to all sites according to itinerary
  • Bespoke itinerary
  • Premium vehicle & Private chauffeur
  • Admission to all activities
  • Local guides where appropriate
  • Personal travel co-ordinator

Map

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Dublin

Accommodation – Powerscourt Hotel Resort & Spa, Co. Wicklow (3 Nights)
Transport – Executive Vehicle & Private Chauffeur
Dinner – SIKA Restaurant at Powerscourt Hotel

From the second you touch down at Dublin Airport, our team will take care of everything. Your chauffeur will be waiting for you and give you a hand with your bags into your luxury vehicle. They will then make the drive to your home for the next three evenings: Powerscourt Hotel Resort and Spa.

Powerscourt presents an ideal idyllic retreat with its gracefully curved façade adorned with captivating archways and terraces. Overlooking a meticulously manicured lawn and a serene water feature, the setting exudes tranquillity and charm. The opulent rooms boast plush furnishings and panoramic views of the renowned Powerscourt Estate.

Here you can indulge in world-class amenities, from the award-winning spa, where you can relax after a long flight, to the exquisite dining experiences that showcase culinary mastery of the highest level. Immerse yourself in the tranquillity of the meticulously landscaped gardens or explore nearby attractions such as the iconic Powerscourt Waterfall.

Tonight, you will dine on the terrace of Powerscourt’s acclaimed SIKA Restaurant. The panoramic views are unparalleled, capturing the verdant forests and rolling hills of Wicklow, accentuated by the majestic backdrop of Sugar Loaf Mountain. SIKA’s culinary artisans showcase Ireland’s natural bounty, skilfully preparing sumptuous dishes. Among the array of delectable offerings are scallop and crab ravioli, lobster salad, and roast quail. At SIKA, the evening promises not just a meal, but a celebration of the local area’s finest ingredients blended brilliantly with the breathtaking beauty of the surrounding landscapes.

Day 2Portmarnock - Championship Course

Accommodation – Powerscourt Hotel Resort & Spa, Co. Wicklow
Transport – Executive Vehicle & Private Chauffeur

Activities – Play Portmarnock, Championship Course
Dinner – Johnnie Fox’s Pub

After a hearty breakfast your chauffeur will be on hand to take you to the first of five incredible Irish golf courses, the Championship Course at Portmarnock.

Steeped in history and once belonging to the renowned whiskey magnate John Jameson, Portmarnock is a beautiful sight to behold, fitting in seamlessly with the stunning surrounding landscape. Crafted in 1894 by Mungo Park, a British Open champion, the course’s initial 9 holes expanded to 18 holes within two years. Mungo’s keen eye for working in harmony with nature is evident as the circular loop of the front and back nine holes guides players back to the enchanting clubhouse.

Spanning 7500 yards from the back tees, the course poses a formidable challenge for even the most seasoned golfers as its coastal location subjects it to the whims of the wind, making strategic shot-making a must. With sweeping views encompassing Ireland’s Eye to the south and the majestic Mountains of Mourne to the northwest, Portmarnock is a real showstopper of a course and the perfect way to kick this tour off.

With a demanding day of golf under your belt, you will then head to Johnnie Fox’s pub where you may need to loosen your belt after tucking into the delicious traditional food on offer such as the beef and Guinness pie.

Famous for being the highest pub in Ireland, Johnnie Fox’s was established in 1798 and was originally a farmhouse. The rooms in the pub retain the names of their original function, such as the Pig House and The Haggart, where animals were kept. There is even a small museum where you can marvel at antique artefacts from days gone by.

Day 3The European Club

Accommodation – Powerscourt Hotel Resort & Spa, Co. Wicklow
Transport – Executive Vehicle & Private Chauffeur

Activities – Play The European Club
Dinner – The Sally Gap Bar & Brasserie at Powerscourt Hotel

Next up on the list is The European Club at Brittas Bay on Ireland’s east coast. While it is a relatively new course compared with some of the others on this tour, The European Club quickly established itself as one of golf’s must-play courses.

It was here that Rory McIlroy won the Irish Amateur Championship way back in 2006. After his success, he said “this is probably the best links course I have ever played.” Who are we to argue with such a golfing great. Pat Ruddy designed the course and has been working on it ever since, constantly tweaking the design to keep up with the demands of the modern game. With sea views, sandy dunes, fast fairways, and one of the longest greens in the world at 127 yards, The European Club promises a round of golf that will challenge you but leave you smiling simply for having had the pleasure to play here.

In the evening, you will dine at The Sally Gap Bar and Brasserie situated within Powerscourt Hotel. Significant redevelopment has seen the old pub, McGill’s, replaced with a casual yet sophisticated dining space, the perfect spot to relax and enjoy dinner. Executive Chef Cormac McCreary and his team have developed a menu which focusses on using the best of local produce to create such treats as the Wicklow Ridgeway wagyu beef burger and John Stone beef tartare.

Day 4Visit Powerscourt Estate (gardens, house & waterfall), drive through Wicklow Mountains, visit Glendalough, explore Dromoland Estate

Accommodation – Dromoland Castle Hotel, Newmarket on Fergus, Co. Clare (3 Nights)
Transport – Executive Vehicle & Private Chauffeur

Activities – Visit Powerscourt Estate (gardens, house & waterfall), drive through Wicklow Mountains, visit Glendalough, explore Dromoland Estate
Dinner – Fig Tree Restaurant at Dromoland Castle Hotel

After a couple of days out on the fairways, it’s time for a little break from golf as you explore some of Ireland’s villages, mountains, and country estates.

Up first is a chance to explore more of Powerscourt Estate which weaves history and nature together effortlessly. Begin by wandering around the meticulously manicured gardens, a rich tapestry of flower beds, sculptures, fountains, terraces, and lakes. It’s so beautiful it was named the third finest garden in the world by National Geographic.

From there you will head inside to the regal Powerscourt House, an architectural wonder replete with period furnishings and antique artwork. Take your time to enjoy a coffee at the Avoca Terrace Café. Finally, just a short walk away is one of Irelands most impressive waterfalls in the form of Powerscourt Waterfall. Standing at 398ft, the water comes crashing down the rocks to create the perfect photo op.

Your chauffeur will then take you on a drive through the Wicklow Mountains. Wind your way through Ireland’s largest national park with sparkling lakes framed by vast woodland valleys and stunning mountains. Keep an eye out for the protected species who live here, including peregrine falcons, pine martens, and goosander.

You will then pay a visit to Glendalough, the site of an ancient monastic village which dates back to the 7th century and while it lies in ruin now, it remains a spiritually special place for those of the Catholic faith.

Tonight, relish the privilege of staying at Dromoland Castle Hotel — an idyllic embodiment of luxury. With a storied history dating to 1014, it has evolved into a premier European resort, offering a myriad of activities from fishing and archery to golf and spa treatments.

You will have a chance to explore the picture-perfect grounds before having dinner at the hotel’s Fig Tree Restaurant. Cosy décor and lighting set the scene for a relaxed evening meal.

Day 5Ballybunnion - Old Course

Accommodation – Dromoland Castle Hotel, Newmarket on Fergus, Co. Clare
Transport – Executive Vehicle & Private Chauffeur

Activities – Play Ballybunnion – Old Course, Visit O’Shaughnessy’s Pub, visit Adare
Dinner – Earl of Thomond Restaurant at Dromoland Castle Hotel

It’s back to business at Ballybunion Old Course today. This legendary course, designed by James McKenna in 1897, clings to the edge of dramatic cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Over the years, the course has undergone numerous refinements to mitigate the effects of coastal erosion.

Aerial shots reveal a coastline that has retreated by 10-20 meters since 1951, posing a significant challenge to the team there. However, Ballybunion has not only met this challenge with resilience but has also turned it into an advantage. The 7th hole, for instance, now presents an intriguing test for golfers, demanding precision from tee to green to avoid the right-hand out-of-bounds.

As with other seaside courses, strong winds are a constant factor at Ballybunion. Take care to consider the wind’s influence on your shots, especially on the 11th hole, which descends through three levels before culminating in a formidable natural bunker guarding the right side of the green.

The Old Course at Ballybunion epitomises the true essence of links golf, offering a challenging and rewarding experience for golfers of all skill levels. With its breathtaking scenery, demanding holes, and rich history, it is no surprise that this course ranks among the best in the world.

After your round of golf, it’s time for a round of Guinness at O’Shaughnessy’s Pub, a traditional Irish pub where locals and tourists form fond friendships.

You will then visit Adare Village, a living tapestry of history woven since the 13th century. You’ll soon discover why this village is frequently dubbed “Ireland’s most charming.” Wandering its cobblestone lanes, you’ll be swept back in time as thatched cottages, quaint churches, and the majestic Adare Castle conjure a vibrant image of a romanticised past.

Dinner will be served in the Earl of Thomond Restaurant this evening. The moment you step into The Earl of Thomond, you’ll be transported to another era. The grand surroundings, with their rich furnishings and polished décor, evoke the atmosphere of a period drama. The menu at The Earl of Thomond is a culinary masterpiece, showcasing the finest seasonal ingredients sourced from local producers.

Day 6Play Lahinch - Old Course, Visit the Cliffs of Moher

Accommodation – Dromoland Castle Hotel, Newmarket on Fergus, Co. Clare
Transport – Executive Vehicle & Private Chauffeur

Activities – Play Lahinch (old course), visit the Cliffs of Moher
Dinner – Fig Tree Restaurant at Dromoland Castle Hotel

Up next, you’ll journey to Lahinch Links, a legendary course steeped in history and renowned for its challenging layout. Originally designed in 1894 by the revered Scottish golf architect Old Tom Morris, Lahinch has hosted numerous championships over the years.

Two of Morris’s original holes, the 4th and 5th, remain in play today, standing as testaments to his golfing genius and providing a stern examination of any golfer’s skill. In 1927, Dr Alister MacKenzie, the architect behind Augusta National, undertook a redesign of Lahinch, infusing his signature creativity and further enhancing the course’s character.

On the 6th hole, aptly named “Paradise,” prepare to be mesmerised by the breathtaking panorama of the beach, bay, and ocean that unfolds before you. As you take aim for the green, surrounded by this scenic splendour, you’ll undoubtedly feel like you’ve entered a golfer’s paradise.

You will then head to the Cliffs of Moher, an iconic Irish destination towering over West Clare’s dramatic coastline. Explore a distinctive visitor centre, resembling a Hobbit-burrow, nestled into the rock, before ascending O’Brien’s Tower, the cliffs’ pinnacle, offering breathtaking views 702 feet above the roaring sea.

This evening presents another chance to sample the delights on offer at The Fig Tree Restaurant.

Day 7Visit Athlone & Sean's Bar (Ireland's oldest pub), Visit Sligo, Whiskey Tasting in The Whiskey Cellar at Lough Eske Castle Hotel

Accommodation – Lough Eske Castle Hotel, Lough Eske (2 Nights)
Transport – Executive Vehicle & Private Chauffeur

Activities – Visit Athlone & Sean’s Bar (Ireland’s oldest pub), visit Sligo, Whiskey Tasting in The Whiskey Cellar at Lough Eske Castle Hotel
Dinner – Cedars Restaurant at Lough Eske Castle Hotel

Up first today is a visit to Athlone, a bustling town with gorgeous architecture. The town straddles the River Shannon, so a stroll across the old stone bridge is a must. Art connoisseurs will want to pay a visit to Luan Gallery, while history buffs will find Athlone Castle a real gem.

You will then head to Sean’s Bar, the oldest pub in Ireland, where there has been a tavern on this site since 900 AD.

From there you will be driven to the town of Sligo which is known as “the land of heart’s desire” after famous Irish poet W.B. Yeats set one of his plays there. Fans of Yeats may want to head to Drumcliffe Church, his final resting place. The ruins of Sligo Abbey, a medieval monastery dating back to 1252, is a great place to get a sense of the deep history of Sligo.

It’s then time to sample some of Ireland’s finest whiskey with a tutored tasting experience at The Whiskey Cellar at Lough Eske Castle Hotel. There is no better setting to experience the rich and varied flavours of Irish whiskey than this purpose built cellar with rich wood display cabinets and marble countertops.

After enjoying some Uisce Beatha (Irish for “water of life”), you will head to the hotel’s Cedars Restaurant. This two AA Rosette restaurant boasts panoramic views of the castle grounds and woodlands, a picturesque backdrop for enjoying some of Donegal’s finest produce.

Day 8Drive through Letterkenny, Play Rosapenna - St Patrick’s Links, Visit Murder Hole Beach, Drive through Glenveagh National Park

Accommodation – Lough Eske Castle Hotel, Lough Eske
Transport – Executive Vehicle & Private Chauffeur

Activities – Drive through Letterkenny, Play Rosapenna – St Patrick’s Links, Visit Murder Hole Beach, Drive through Glenveagh National Park
Dinner – Gallery Bar at Lough Eske Castle Hotel

Today you will play your 5th and final round of golf, however before doing so you will be driven through Letterkenny. This charming seaside town is renowned for St Eunan’s Cathedral which played a significant role during the English attempt to impose Protestantism on the local Presbyterian and Roman Catholic communities.

Then it’s onwards to play your round at St Patrick’s Links at Rosapenna Golf Resort, the first golf resort in the world with the hotel opening its doors in 1893. The site of St Patrick’s Links previously held 36 holes; however, they were totally redesigned in 2021 by Tom Doak, who transformed the land into an 18 hole links course which is rapidly gaining a reputation as one of the greatest in the world. With intimidating sand dunes, stunning coastal views across Sheephaven Bay, and creatively used natural bunkers, St Patrick’s Links provides a thoroughly rewarding round of golf.

On your way back to the hotel you will stop off at Murder Hole Beach which, contrary to the grizzly name, is a delightful bay offering a great photo stop with views across the North Atlantic Ocean.

You will then wind your way through Glenveagh National Park with rugged landscapes, pristine lakes, dense woodland, and majestic mountains. Keep your eyes peeled for some of the elusive wildlife who make the heather covered moors their home.

Dinner this evening will be served in The Gallery Bar at Lough Eske Castle Hotel. While it may be set within a luxury 5 star hotel, the cosy atmosphere and warm hospitality gives you the sense you’re in a traditional Donegal pub. Look out for the Hereford rib eye steak or West Coast fillet of cod.

Day 9Visit Belleek Pottery, Marble Arch Caves

Accommodation – Carton House Hotel, Maynooth (1 Night)
Transport – Executive Vehicle & Private Chauffeur

Activities Visit Belleek Pottery and Marble Arch Caves
Dinner – The Carriage House at Carton House Hotel

On your final day of touring, you will firstly pop into Belleek Pottery Visitor Centre which is just over the border in Northern Ireland. Premium Parian ware pieces have been expertly crafted here since 1863, with the factory now producing over 100,000 items every year.

There is a museum displaying the finest and rarest pieces produced throughout the factory’s illustrious history. You can also go on a guided tour where you will learn more about the origins and story of Belleek Pottery. Finally, pop into the tearoom which has a mezzanine overlooking the River Erne.

From there you will delve into an underground expedition exploring the wonders of Marble Arch Caves. Subtle lighting unveils a captivating subterranean realm, showcasing peculiar and splendid stalactites and caverns. As you navigate the walkways, reflect on the fact that the rock you see today was formed 330 million years ago when Ireland was much closer to the equator and sat beneath a shallow sea.

You will be taken on a guided tour which follows the route of the Yorkshire Ramblers who first explored these caves in 1935 when the equipment available was much more basic. You can hear the water gargling around you as you make your way through tunnels, past beautiful formations, down into the dark, before finally making your way back to the daylight once again.

Your chauffeur will then drive you back to the outskirts of Dublin in preparation for your flight tomorrow.

This evening you will be staying at Carton House Hotel where dinner will be served in The Carriage House. Once home to the Fitzgerald family’s fleet of 7 carriages, a sign of significant wealth, the space now provides a relaxed dining area to tuck into some premium Irish produce.

Day 10Departure

Transport – Executive Vehicle & Private Chauffeur

Having played the best five courses in Ireland and enjoyed some wonderful experiences, your thrilling adventure through the Emerald Isle must finally end.

Your chauffeur will be there to help you with your bags and take you to Dublin Airport where they will wish you a very fond farewell.

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