“In my golfing heart, I have never enjoyed the game of golf more than my time in Ireland on the links of the Emerald Isle. The people, places and courses stretched my imagination to a new level and left me with memories and great stories that I have revisited throughout my life.” The words ring true for me and still do each time I am lucky enough to play golf in Ireland.
With winter deeply entrenched in the Northeast it’s a perfect time for golf travel vacation planning and if you have not been to Ireland it is surely time to go. With Norwegian Airlines offering $99.00 fares to multiple airports in Ireland and other airlines matching these fares it would seem that Ireland is on sale, brilliant!
Ireland is only 175 miles east to west and about 300 miles north to south in size, just the same if you are going on a golf trip, keep the driving to a minimum and the golf to a maximum. First, you are going to want to choose one of four to five golfing regions, Southwest, Northern Ireland, West of Ireland, Donegal and my favorite, Dublin or Eastern Ireland.
Dublin or Ireland’s eastern region provides a mix of both classic links and magnificent parkland courses. The Island Golf Club, Portmarnock, The European Club, Royal County Down and Baltray head the list of links courses, while the K-Club, Druids Glen and Carton House are parkland style championship golf courses of the highest standards. The city is over a thousand years old (founded by the Vikings in 841 AD) but the one constant has been the River Liffey, which flows through the city’s heart. This is home to the Book of Kells, Trinity College, Croke Park, Dublin Castle, U2 and yes, Guinness, say no more!
Dublin is a great base and being in the city opens up a very wide range of options for off the course dining, shopping and a wide range of activities. Just 13 miles north of the city centre is the village of Portmarnock overlooking the sea. Close to Portmarnock are the pretty villages of Malahide and Howth, both providing an excellent array of restaurants, pubs, and shops. Just south of Dublin is County Wicklow, known as the ‘Garden County’. Wicklow is undoubtedly the most scenic county in the east of Ireland, providing mountains, lakes, and sea together with many historical sites of interest.
It’s time to make your own memories in Ireland and play the old game on some old courses. No golf life is complete without a trip to Ireland, actually, it takes about 5 visits to play and see this fine country. The weather does not vary much season to season, nor does the temperatures. Summers are traditionally busier. You will need layers because the weather in Ireland is ever changing and as an Irishman would tell you, it may be disimproving.