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Irish Open Golf Courses

Irish Open Venues you can play while on a Golf Break in Ireland

Portmarnock Golf Club 1

Best Irish Open Courses You Can Play

Ireland is home to some of the best golf courses in the world. The challenge that they pose has seen the cream of the crop play host to the coveted Irish Open. Whether it is Rory McIlroy winning at The K Club, John Rahm at Portstewart and Lahinch or Nick Faldo at Killarney and Mount Juliet, the Irish Open has ingrained itself in golfing history.

Due to the quality of golf in Ireland, The Irish Open has also been played at over 15 different golf courses. From fast-running links in the South West to the lush parkland layouts in and around Dublin.

So, wherever your championship golf experience takes you, rest assured if you to get to play a past Irish Open host you’ll be sure to have a memorable day on the course and follow in some very illustrious footsteps dating back to 1927.

THE BEST IRISH OPEN GOLF COURSES

Royal County Down

Ranked 1st on Golf Digest's biennial 'World's 100 Greatest Golf Courses' list in 2016 and again in 2018, Royal County Down Golf Club needs little introduction. The golf course is nestled in the Murlough Nature Reserve, flanked by the breathtaking Mountains of Mourne and running along Dundrum Bay, is considered by many to be the most strikingly beautiful golf course in the world.

Don’t let the beauty of Royal County Down fool you, the course is a true test of golf, narrow fairways and ‘bearded bunkers’ demand excellent control of the golf ball.

More info on Royal County Down >>

Royal County Down facts
Location Newcastle, Co. Down, Northern Ireland
Length 7,186 yards
Par 71
Designed by George L. Ballie, Old Tom Morris, Harry Vardon, Harry Colt
Established 1890
Hosted Irish Open 4 times (1928, 1935, 1939, 2015)
Where to stay Belfast

"There probably isn't a golf course that tests you as much off the tee as Royal County Down. Each shot requires perfect execution to open up your approach."
Tom (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 6)

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

Portmarnock Golf Club

Jutting out into the Irish Sea just beside Dublin, Portmarnock is surrounded by water on 3 sides, making for spectacular views and changeable winds. The layout is such that every shot is potentially played with the wind coming from a different direction, however, from the tees to the greens nearly every feature is in sight, providing a fair test to golfers of any ability.

The 19-time host of the Irish Open is deserving of a mention on any list of Ireland's greatest courses.

More info on Portmarnock Golf Club >>

Portmarnock Golf Club facts
Location Portmarnock, Co. Dublin
Length 7,463 yards
Par 72
Designed by William Pickeman
Established 1894
Hosted Irish Open 19 times (1927-2003)
Where to stay Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links

"A great links experience that was very fair and playable and a course that I'd recommend to anyone visiting Ireland."
Oliver (Marketing: Handicap 1)

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

Royal Portrush - Dunluce Links

As the only venue outside of England and Scotland to host an Open Championship, Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland did so again in 2019.

The course itself is widely considered as one of the best courses in the world, with spectacular views and an unrivalled layout.

More info on Royal Portrush >>

Royal Portrush Dunluce Links facts
Location Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland
Length 7,143 yards
Par 72
Designed by Harry Colt
Established 1888
Hosted Irish Open 4 times (1930, 1937, 1947, 2012)
Hosted The Open 2 times (1951, 2019)
Granted Royal status Queen Victoria in 1892
Where to stay Portrush & Derry

"Some of the best links views anywhere in the world. A very playable course if you drive it well and somewhere I'd recommend to all, such a great stretch of golf with great apres golf at Ramore in the Harbour."
Tom (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 6)

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

Royal Dublin Golf Club

Originally designed by Harry Colt, Royal Dublin is the second oldest golf club in Ireland and displays its heritage perfectly to this day. Just a short drive from Dublin city centre, this coastal course is relatively flat for a links course but is by no means easy.

More info on Royal Dublin Golf Club >>

Royal Dublin Golf Club facts
Location Dublin, Ireland
Length 7,269 yards
Par 72
Designed by Harry Colt, Martin Hawtree
Established 1885
Hosted Irish Open 6 times (1931, 1936, 1950, 1983-85)
Granted Royal status Queen Victoria in 1891
Where to stay Dublin

"With long narrow drives, accuracy off the tee is required while the bunkering and run off areas around the greens means your short game will also be in for a stern test."
Tom (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 6)

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

Mount Juliet

Mount Juliet was designed by Jack Nicklaus who opened the course in person in 1991 with an exhibition match between the Golden Bear and Christy O’Connor Senior.

The course is considered by many to be the best inland layout in the country with visitors being struck by an endless procession of exciting and memorable golf holes.

More info on Mount Juliet >>

Mount Juliet facts
Location Co. Kilkenny
Length 7,264 yards
Par 72
Designed by Jack Nicklaus
Established 1991
Hosted Irish Open 4 times (1993-95, 2021)
Where to stay Mount Juliet

"As you would expect from a golf course that has hosted the world's 50 best golfers, the course is a bit of a monster from the tips but thanks to a number of well thought out tee locations on each hole, the handicap golfer can easily play it from a length that best suits their game."
Oliver (Marketing: Handicap 1)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Oliver 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.

Druids Glen Golf Course

With two extremely picturesque courses on-site both measuring over 7000 yards, this venue is a championship test for all levels of golfer. Not only does Druids Glen present one of the best courses in Dublin, it is renowned for having one of the best par 3's in golf.

You may have heard of Druids Glen being referred to as the Augusta of Ireland, and this is because the 8th hole here is reminiscent of the 16th at Augusta National. It is simply stunning.

More info on Druids Glen >>

Druids Glen facts
Location Kilmacullagh, Co. Wicklow
Length 7,046 yards
Par 71
Designed by Pat Ruddy & Tom Craddock
Established 1995
Hosted Irish Open 4 times (1996-99)
Where to stay Dublin or Wicklow

"Ireland is famous for its links golf and rightly so, but when it comes to a relaxing day on a beautiful parkland layout, it's tough to beat a round at Druids Glen."
Huw (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 5)

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

Fota Island (Deerpark Course)

Fota Island is is one of the best golfing venues in Ireland and home to no less than three top quality championship courses.

The course is set amidst the fantastic scenery of the Fota Island estate, winding through the gorgeous woodlands its receptive greens and strategic bunkering, impresses even the most experienced golfers.

More info on Fota Island >>

Fota Island facts
Location Co. Kerry, Ireland
Length 6,927 yards
Par 71
Designed by Christy O'Connor Jr. and Peter McEvoy
Established 1993
Hosted Irish Open 3 times (2001-02, 2014)
Where to stay Cork

"Fota Island is one of my favourite parkland courses and although when you think of Ireland you think of links, Fota Island is worth a visit. Excellent condition in a beautiful setting - highly recommend adding to a Cork tour."
Tommy (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 14)

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

Carton House - Montgomerie course

There are two very different courses at Carton House - an inland links course designed by Colin Montgomerie and the O'Meara, a parkland style course.

The Montgomerie course has hosted the Irish Open more than once and is a course where the deep bunkering easily come into play. It's an interesting layout with long grass and is heavily undulating and best yet, it's only 15 miles from the city so makes for a perfect golf and city break.

More info on Carton House >>

Montgomerie course facts
Location Maynooth, Co. Kildare
Length 7,301 yards
Par 72
Designed by Colin Montgomerie
Established 2003
Hosted Irish Open 3 times (2005-06, 2013)
Where to stay Carton House >> or Dublin

"My tip before you arrive here is to practice your bunker play, as there are a lot of deep bunkers, and when the wind gently catches your ball you know that's where they'll end up!"
Rick (Marketing: Handicap 12)

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

County Louth Golf Club

Although a regular feature in the Top 100 Courses in Ireland, County Louth was brought into the limelight when it hosted the 2019 Irish Open which saw then amateur Shane Lowry win the tournament and make history.

Set out in two loops of nine, this championship links course definitely fits the category as best in Dublin with its unique layout and character running alongside the stunning coast.

More info on County Louth Golf Club >>

County Louth Golf Club facts
Location Baltray, Co. Louth
Length 7,031 yards
Par 72
Designed by Tom Simpson
Established 1938
Hosted Irish Open 2 times (2004, 2009)
Where to stay Dublin

"Visually, the 12th hole stands out most in my mind with the green sitting behind 3 very deep pot bunkers and the fairway also protected by more bunkers."
Huw (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 5)

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

Malone Golf Club

Malone Golf Club is somewhat of hidden gem in Northern Ireland and yet is one of the best parkland courses. Originally an 18 hole course, the Lady Captain Peggy Valentine added a further 9 holes to create what is now an outstanding 27 hole layout.

Having hosted the Irish Senior Masters (where Gary Player claimed victory) as well as many other tournaments including where Tony Jacklin won his first professional tournament, it is a surprise this venue isn't better known.

More info on Malone Golf Club >>

Malone Golf Club facts
Location Belfast, Northern Ireland
Length 6,689 yards
Par 71
Designed by John Harris, Fred Hawtree
Established 1895
Hosted Irish Open 1933
Where to stay Belfast

"Undulating, tree lined fairways with every hole layout really well thought about. My tip here - don't miss this course off your Northern Ireland list"
Rob (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 16)

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

Portstewart Golf Club (Strand Course)

Huge sand dunes and panoramic views await you at Portstewart. The origins of golf here date back to 1894 although it is believed the game was played on the site from 1880.

Since then, there have been many course updates, and the fairways you walk today are a beautiful blend of both the old and new course. Easily found in the Top 100 Courses in Northern Ireland and host of the Irish Open in 2017, Portstewart is a must-play.

More info on Portstewart Golf Club >>

Portstewart Golf Club facts
Location Co. Londonderry, Northern Ireland
Length 7,118 yards
Par 72
Designed by Willie Park, Des Giffin
Established 1894
Hosted Irish Open 2017
Where to stay Portrush & Derry

"An elevated tee, a dog leg left to right, with the sea crashing in the backdrop. It is dramatic."
Rob (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 16)

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

Belvoir Park Golf Club

Established in 1927 by esteemed golf-course architect Harry S. Colt who also designed other famous Northern Irish courses: Royal County Down and Royal Portrush, Belvoir Park has been described as the Best Parkland Course in Ulster as well as one of the best inland courses in Ireland.

More info on Belvoir Park Golf Club >>

Belvoir Park Golf Club facts
Location Belfast, Northern Ireland
Length 6,471 yards
Par 71
Designed by Harry Colt
Established 1927
Hosted Irish Open 2 times (1949, 1953)
Where to stay Belfast

"Belvoir is worth staying inland for, each hole is meticulously crafted and are satisfying to play - especially the collection of par 3s. These were some of the quickest greens I've ever played so be sure to take a turn on the putting green before hand."
Huw (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 5)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Huw 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.

More info on Adare Manor >>

Adare Manor facts
Location Co. Limerick
Length 7,509 yards
Par 72
Designed by Robert Trent Jones Snr, Tom Fazio
Established 1955
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.

The K Club (Palmer North Course)

Became Ireland's first Ryder Cup venue when it hosted the event in 2006 and has improved with age. The stadium-style resort course measures over 7,300 yards from the tips, many commentators have described it as the most difficult inland layout in the country as well as one of the best around Dublin.

Arnold Palmer succeeded in working with the existing mature trees and water features to create a magnificent test for golfers of all standards.

More info on The K Club Palmer North Course >>

The K Club Palmer North Course facts
Location Straffan, Co. Kildare
Length 7,350 yards
Par 72
Designed by Arnold Palmer
Established 1991
Hosted Irish Open 2016
Hosted Ryder Cup 2006
Where to stay Dublin Area

" Each hole is very individual so can’t see much of the rest of the course as you play it. It exceeded high expectations and thought the design and playability was great, look forward to returning next time I’m in Dublin."
Oliver (Marketing: Handicap 1)

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

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
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.