It is fair to say that Ireland is one of the finest destinations in the world for golf so it comes as little surprise that the European Tour’s Irish Open has been staged on some spectacular golfing creations. From the windswept links of the County Antrim coastline to the stunningly beautiful surrounds of the Killarney National Park, the Irish Open has visited all four corners of the Emerald Isle and with the old adage that “a picture paints a thousand words” in mind, we thought we’d take a look at some of the courses to have hosted Ireland’s national open.
Portmarnock, one of Ireland’s great links, has hosted the Irish Open more than any other course, last welcoming the tournament to its fairways in 2003.
More recently, Druids Glen, known to many as “the Augusta of Ireland” has hosted its fair share of Irish Opens. Sergio Garcia got his hands on the trophy here when he was just 19 years old.
Another of Ireland’s age old links classics, Ballybunion, which is part of a headline cast on the world famous South West coast, has also hosted the Irish Open in the past.
The Fota Island Resort boasts a spectacular location and no less than three championship courses.
While golf on the site dates back to the 1800s, it was not until Christy O’Connor Jr. and Peter McEvoy laid out their new Deerpark course in 1993, that Fota Island became a serious golfing destination.
County Louth saw Shane Lowery become only the third ever amateur to win a European Tour event in 2009.
Despite its undeniable quality, County Louth remains one of Ireland’s best kept golfing secrets.
Adare Manor is as difficult as it is beautiful. Measuring just shy of 7,500 yards, this course is a real brute of the championship tees and throughly tests the games of Europe’s best. In 2005, Padraig Harrington thrilled Irish golf fans by becoming the first Irishman to win the title since John O’Leary in 1982.
Set on the banks of Lough Leane with the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks serving as a dramatic backdrop, Killarney Golf & Fishing Club is one of the most beautiful places in the world to play golf.
Sir Nick Faldo has enjoyed his fair share of success on the Killeen Course at Killarney, winning back to back titles in 1991 and 1992. He would go on to complete the hat trick at Mount Juliet in 1993.
From 1993 onwards Mount Juliet hosted a hat trick of Irish Opens. This gorgeous parkland course has also played host to a World Golf Championships where a certain Tiger Woods waltzed off with the title.
Royal Portrush, last year’s host course, is one of the fonest links courses in the world and proved its allure by breaking attendance records on the European Tour.
As the only golf course outside of Scotland and England to have hosted the Open Championship, golf’s oldest major, Royal Portrush holds a special place in golf history. Its immense success as a host of the Irish Open will hopefully prompt the R&A to reintroduce it to the Open Championship rota.
The Montgomerie Course at Carton House is hosting the Irish Open in 2013. With another championship course on site – the O’Meara Course – Carton House is an excellent destination for an Irish Golf Holiday.
Let’s take a look at the golden moments from Irish Open history…
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