Great “joy to be alive” is found on the fine running-golf links of Ireland, though there is a lack of inland running-courses with fine grasses that are usually found on heathland or downland, that make the grade.

In the South West: Ballybunion *(Ba); Lahinch *(La); Waterville (Wa); Tralee (Tra); Dooks (Do) and Dingle (Din).

In the North and West: Port Stewart (PSt); Royal Portrush *(RPr); Castlerock (Cas); County Sligo *(CS); Donegal, Murvagh (Don); Port Salon (PS); Ballyliffin (BL); Rosapenna (ROS) ; Narin & Portnoo (NP) ; Carne (Cn); Connemara (Conn); Enniscrone (En) and Strandhills (Sh).

On the East coast: Royal Dublin *(Rdu); Portmarnoch *(Pm); The Island *(TI); County Louth *(CL);  Royal County Down *(RCD); Portmarnock Hotel and Links (PmH).

More Fine running-courses have been built in Ireland since 1962 than in any other region of the British Isles. There are areas of Links/duneland still available.

I still have to play: Doonbeck (DB) – recently upgraded after Trump’s acquistion; The European (TE) – Ruddy’s design masterpiece but I am told is unfortunately wall to wall annual meadow grass (Poa annua); St Anne’s (StAn); and Rosslare (Rl) and the nine-holer Cruit Island.

*featured in Frank Pennink’s 1962 “Golfer’s Companion”

I recommend Links of Heaven an excellent guide to Ireland’s golf courses. Published in 2007, this is Richard Phinney’s ‘Fine Golf Trail’.


Featured Courses

Ireland* Map