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Best Golf Courses in South West Ireland

from the Experts in Golf Holidays

⏱ 8 min read

Best Golf Courses South West Ireland

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Ballybunion Golf Club (Old Course)

The Old Course is perched in an idyllic position on the Shannon Estuary, offering not only a world class test of golf, but sweeping views of the rugged yet beautiful south west coast of Ireland.

At just 6,802 yards, the Old is not long, but there is a genuine premium placed on leaving your ball in the best place with the next shot in mind.

More info on Ballybunion Golf Club >>

Ballybunion Old Course facts
Location Co. Kerry, Ireland
Length 6,802 yards
Par 71
Designed by Tom Simpson
Established 1893
Hosted Irish Open 2000
Where to stay South West

"From the 7th tee onwards Ballybunion is truly spectacular, oozing class and rugged links charm from every pore. It’s obvious why many think this is Ireland’s best golf course."
Huw (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 5)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Huw about playing this course.

Lahinch Golf Club (Old Course)

Lahinch hosted the Irish Open for the first time in 2019 and has been at the pinnacle of Irish golf since the great game was first played there in 1892.

This Irish gem is often referred to as 'the St Andrews of Ireland', a place where control of the golf ball is not just advantageous but necessary. For those who love real links golf, this course is as gorgeous as any you will find, a definite must-play.

More info on Lahinch Golf Club (Old Course) >>

Lahinch Golf Club (Old Course) facts
Location Co. Clare, Ireland
Length 6,950 yards
Par 72
Designed by Old Tom Morris, Dr Alister MacKenzie, Dr Martin Hawtree
Established 1892
Where to stay Killarney

"Intimidating, all or nothing tee shots, ingenious bunker placement – one of Mackenzie’s hallmarks – and several blind shots also add to the challenge and charm of the Old Course. For lovers of links golf, Lahinch is simply not to be missed."
Rick (Marketing: Handicap 11)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Rick about playing this course.

Waterville Golf Links

Waterville Golf Links is one of the more remote golf courses on our list, located down in the South West of Ireland, in the face of the Atlantic ocean, golfers from around the world make the pilgrimage to play on its spectacular links.

Although the front 9 rolls across somewhat flat land, the undulating back 9 follows the natural layout of the dunes. The ground is firm and fast, the ability to roll the ball up onto the greens will serve you well at Waterville.

More info on Waterville Golf Links >>

Waterville Golf Links facts
Location Co. Kerry, Ireland
Length 7,200 yards
Par 72
Designed by Eddie Hackett, Claude Harmon
Established 1973
Where to stay Killarney

"The small promontory that plays host to Waterville is as natural a setting for a golf course as you can find. Almost totally surrounded by the sea, the course challenges visitors with its raw links character, owing to the natural undulations and firm, fast turf."
Sam (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 1)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Sam about playing this course.

Trump International Golf Links Doonbeg

The only course designed by Greg Norman in the entirety of the UK & Ireland, Trump Doonbeg is certainly one of his masterpieces. However, it could be said that the greater credit belongs to Mother Nature, with 14 greens and 12 fairways mown where they lay, the course is mesmerising in its natural beauty.

Forged along the County Clare coastline, 16 holes boast astonishing views over the Atlantic.

More info on Trump International Golf Links Doonbeg >>

Trump International Golf Links Doonbeg facts
Location Co. Clare, Ireland
Length 7,400 yards
Par 72
Designed by Greg Norman & Dr Martin Hawtree
Established 2002

"Standards are set at Doonbeg as soon as you arrive on the 1st tee where you are greeted by a dramatic par 5 with the Atlantic Ocean sitting a 7 iron or 2 to your left."
Rory (Marketing: Handicap 8)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Rory about playing this course.

Adare Manor

Originally designed by internationally recognised golf architect Robert Trent Jones Senior, the course at Adare Manor was given a major update by Tom Fazio in 2017.

Tom has designed a course where each hole boasts distinct character and unique playability, creating a complete golf experience to satisfy all levels of golfer, whether they play from the forward or back tees.

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Adare Manor facts
Location Co. Limerick, Ireland
Length 7,509 yards
Par 72
Designed by Robert Trent Jones Snr, Tom Fazio
Established 1955
Hosted Ryder Cup 2027
Hosted Irish Open 2 times (2007-08)
Where to stay Killarney

"The Golf Course at Adare Manor is now one of just a handful of courses worldwide to have the patented Sub Air technology, also found at Augusta National, making it a pleasure to play at any time of year."
Rob (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 16)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Rob about playing this course.

Tralee Golf Club

Situated in a breathtaking location on the shores of County Kerry, Tralee is arguably a little overlooked at times thanks to its relatively close proximity to some of Ireland's most famous courses such as Ballybunion and Lahinch; a crying shame considering it easily holds its own with the best layouts in Ireland. Just ask course designer Arnold Palmer, who once said of Tralee: “I have never come across a piece of land so ideally suited for the building of a golf course.” Who are we to argue with The King?

Tralee is not only a fantastic test of golf but its stunning location on the shores of the ‘Lake District’ of Ireland will have golfers taking as many shots with their cameras as they do with their clubs. Get into your stride on the gentler front nine which boasts some of the most spectacular views imaginable, before taking to the back nine where it's fair to say you'll need your A Game to come out the other side with a decent scorecard intact!

More info on Tralee >>

Tralee Golf Club facts
Location Co. Kerry, Ireland
Length 6,975 yards
Par 72
Designed by Arnold Palmer
Established 1892 (current course 1984)
Where to stay Killarney

"Probably the most naturally beautiful golf course you'll come across. The course looks like a natural part of the landscape. Can't wait to play here again."
Sam (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 1)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Sam about playing this course.

Old Head Golf Links

Old Head is a truly remarkable links course situated on the Old Head of Kinsale, extending over a distance of two miles into the vast Atlantic Ocean. Renowned as one of the most captured golf courses globally, Old Head offers an unparalleled golfing experience that is highly esteemed worldwide.

Its exceptional qualities have earned it a prominent place on numerous Top 100 Golf Course rankings, not only in Ireland but also across Europe and beyond.

More info on Old Head Golf Links >>

Old Head Golf Links facts
Location Co. Cork, Ireland
Length 7,150 yards
Par 72
Designed by Ron Kirby, Paddy Merrigan, Liam Higgins
Established 1997

"The course starts off quite fast with the 2nd, 3rd and 4th holes giving you every bit of cliff-top beauty that Old Head has to offer. Any shot left of the fairway on these holes will find their way into The Atlantic Ocean."
Oliver (Marketing: Handicap 1)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Oliver about playing this course.

Dooks Golf Club

Dooks Golf Club stands as a picturesque golf course in the South West of Ireland, boasting breathtaking vistas and a fast-paced coastal terrain that exudes the essence of a classic links course, reminiscent of its 120-year-old heritage.

Similarly to numerous other traditional Irish coastal courses, Dooks possesses the allure of feeling like it has been untouched. The placement of the greens and teeing areas has been determined by the natural contours of the land, resulting in an exceptionally authentic ambiance.

More info on Dooks Golf Club >>

Dooks Golf Club facts
Location Co. Kerry, Ireland
Length 6,511 yards
Par 71
Designed by Anthony Brown, Martin Hawtree
Established 1889

"The views are fantastic from every hole, firm turf, sand dunes, steep-faced sand pits and a couple blind shots all what you would expect of a fine links course."
Sam (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 1)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Sam about playing this course.

Killarney Golf & Fishing Club (Killeen)

The Killeen Course is the most established at Killarney and has held a number of events from the mens and ladies tour. It provides a challenge to players of all levels, with water features on nearly every hole.

Located within a national park next to the largest lake in the southwest and the mountains of Macgillycuddy's Reeks in the background it is one of the most beautiful inland golf courses in Ireland.

More info on Killeen Golf Course >>

Killeen Golf Course facts
Location Co. Kerry, Ireland
Length 6,590 yards
Par 72
Designed by Eddie Hackett, Billy O’Sullivan, David Jone
Established 1971
Hosted Irish Open 4 times (1991-92, 2010-11)
Where to stay South West Ireland

"The lake comes into play right from the start but does turn away from the water into more traditional parkland surroundings too."
Tom (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 6)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Tom about playing this course.

Cork Golf Club

Situated in the picturesque Cork Harbour, the Club has been the venue for numerous prestigious amateur and professional Championships throughout its history, including the renowned Irish Open.

Constructed on a foundation of porous limestone, the course offers a pristine heath-like playing surface reminiscent of traditional links courses.

More info on Cork Golf Club >>

Cork Golf Club facts
Location Co. Cork, Ireland
Length 6,813 yards
Par 72
Designed by Alister MacKenzie
Established 1888

"The course requires you to bring your golfing brain and the stretch of holes from the 4th to the 10th are among the best you will play in Ireland."
Tom (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 6)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Tom about playing this course.