Is a Round or Two of Links Golf on Your Bucket List?

Old Head,Kinsale Golf

Most of us who play Golf in the United States and watched tournaments played on Links courses In Countries such as England, Scotland and Ireland, have probably dreamed of challenging our skills with Links play.

How would I like to do it?

As a family vacation or travel with my Golf crew that I play with routinely.

I have been researching trips and courses and regardless of how you decide to plan your trip with Family or with Golf Group, here are some recommendations.

Ireland

While golf may have been played in Bray, Co. Wicklow, as early as 1762, the game came into its own in the last two decades of the nineteenth century. The first Irish golf clubs were founded in the 1880s, mainly in Ulster and in the Dublin area. Golf in Ireland has been described as ‘a gift from Scotland’, and there is ample evidence of this Scottish connection. 

Alexander Shaw (centre), a director of the Waterford, Limerick and Western Railway, was active in the Irish Industrial Movement and helped found Lahinch Golf Club, pictured here in the early twentieth century. (National Photographic Archive)
Laninch

Not many late nineteenth-century creations have survived the ravages of time the way golf clubs have. There were some 1,000 Gaelic League branches in 1913, but few of these survive today. Perhaps only the GAA can boast institutions of such impressive longevity as the venerable golf clubs at Portmarnock, Limerick, the Island, Lahinch, Athlone, Malahide, Birr, Galway, Bray, Woodenbridge, Carlow and Tramore, to name but some of the products of the ‘golfing ’90s’. It is this proud golfing pedigree that gives Ireland credibility as host of the 2006 Ryder Cup.

South West Ireland

Ireland is known for its ultra-friendly citizenry and amiable atmosphere, and there’s nothing like sharing time with the locals at a small Pub in Killarney or seaside village in the Southwest of Ireland. Aside from the congenial people, cozy pubs and lush terrain, the Southwest has some of the most beautiful links courses in the world.

ballybunion
Waterville Links Course

Waterville

With its natural beauty and an innovative design, few courses are as beautiful and fun to play as Waterville. The Ring of Kerry is one of Ireland’s most stunning areas. Fortunately for golfers, the route on the way to Waterville is filled with sightseeing, which enhances the overall experience.

tralee
Lahinch Links Course

Lahinch

For those of you looking for a challenge, you’ll find it at Lahinch. Overlooking the vast Atlantic Ocean, Lahinch is a natural links course that can only be conquered with accuracy and solid course management. Three rock star architects named Old Tom Morris, Alister MacKenzie and Martin Hawtree designed this golf course. If you have no idea who these guys are, let’s just say it’s kind of like having Bill Russell, Michael Jordan and LeBron James on the same basketball team.

dooks
Ballybunnion Old Course

Ballybunion Old Course


Ballybunion sits high on the Co. Kerry coastline, its 36 links holes famous the world over. The Old course is magical but it wasn’t until the 1980s when it enchanted Tom Watson that the world took notice.This is links golf in its purest, most natural form… which just happens to play over stunning dunes. There is variety too, as the calm start builds to a crescendo, with the exceptional back nine ducking and diving through the biggest dunes. And then there are the five nerve-wracking par threes (130 to 214 yards).Greens sit on high plateaus and down in dells, fairways glide between muscular shoulders and dunes jealously embrace greens. It promises an almost mystical experience.

Tralee Golf Club Video

There are many more courses to choose from as well as many touring sites of this unique area of Ireland

A Gift to Ireland from Scotland

Additional Courses in the Southwest of Ireland

PGA Southwest Ireland Recommendations

South West Ireland is well renowned as a golfing destination, but it stands above the rest; as you’d be hard pushed to find another region (or coastline) in the world that hosts such an array of world class courses and golfing heritage. Bucket list trip? Put it at the top of your list!

Request a tour package if you are interested in playing any of these courses as part of your golf vacation to South West Ireland with BennysIreland.com

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