Six courses in Ireland that should be on every golf fanatic’s bucket list

Ireland Ballybunion

The courses you can reach to play easily are often nearly as interesting as those that are more of a challenge to get to – as any golfer to have spent time in the Emerald Isle can attest.

Ireland has some of the most uniquely beautiful – and often remote – courses in the world.

Here are just six of them…

Waterville Golf Links

Golf was first played in the angling centre of Waterville as far back as 1889 when a modest nine-hole course was laid out over what is today the Eastern section of the links.

Irish-American Jack Mulcahy saved the course from bankruptcy in the 1960s, but the boom in tourism since has ensured the course endures to this day.

The course that showcases the rugged beauty of County Kerry will set you back at least €300 to play in season, while there are multiple play options for guests staying at Waterville House.

European Club

Nestled into the so-called ‘Garden of Ireland’, the European Club is only about 30 miles from Dublin between the coastal villages of Wicklow and Arlow.

Johnny Miller tried to make a case for the European Club to join the Open rota given the epic proportions of the links course. In a poll at the turn of the century, the 470-yard seventh was voted among the 100 best holes in the world.

It may be a private club, but guests are welcome and green fees are reasonably accessible at €230 midweek during the high season and fair rates for services such as club and buggy rental.

St Patrick’s Links Rosapenna

There are three courses laid out across the sprawling estate that encompasses the Rosapenna Hotel and Golf Resort with the St Patrick’s Links the jewel in the crown.

St Patrick’s Links is a walking-only course, and prospective players are advised to notify staff if they wish to engage a caddie or rent any trolleys.

A round on the Tom Doak-designed course will set visitors back €240.00 in 2024 although Irish residents can play the links for just €80.00.


Portmarnock occupies its very own sandy peninsula across two miles of gorgeous Irish coastline.

Famous Irish whiskey distiller John Jameson was the first to construct a course on the land although it originally was not open to the public and served as his private facility.

Buggies are not available to non-members, but the course can be played for €275 in winter and €300 in the high season. Package deals are also available for the course.


Lahinch left its course designer in awe of its natural beauty, some feat considering it was laid out by none other than Old Tom Morris.

Golf has been played here since 1892 and it is a course that inspires sheer delight in those who play the course that gives visitors a healthy slice of County Clare countryside.

In high season you will be asked for €275 in green fees to play the old course and the club requires visitors playing the Old Course to take at least one caddie along with their group.


Time and again, Ballybunion tops lists of the best course in Ireland and it is easy to see why when taking in the wild links course set among gigantic dunes along Atlantic coastline.

The historic town has since come to be quite reliant on the course to attract tourists and as a result the place is geared towards celebrating the game.

The old course will require green fees of around €350 for a single round. Although package deals are available, caddies are recommended but are not mandatory.