The Best Top 5 Golf Trips to Northwest Ireland

St Patrick's Links at Rosapenna by Clyde Johnson, Cunning Golf Design
St. Patrick’s Links at Rosapenna by Clyde Johnson, Cunning Golf Design

A recent week long trip along the west coast of Ireland reminded me of the myriad of golf options available, from the more established to the newcomers. Read more for the Top 5 Golf Trips to Northwest Ireland.

I can recall quite clearly in the late 1980’s as the southwest of Ireland was slowly being recognized as a golf destination. The golf courses were becoming aware of the demand from American golfers which some of them tapped by offering lifetime international memberships for (with hindsight) a paltry sum. Over the years, this region has emerged as the driving force of Irish golf tourism. The original core courses (Ballybunion, Lahinch, Tralee & Waterville) have been augmented by others, most notably the Old Head & Adare Manor.

Adare Manor, Ireland | Top 5 Golf Trips to Northwest Ireland -
Adare Manor, Ireland

The accommodation options have also increased and improved significantly as well. As the notoriety of the golf courses has increased, so has the demand. Enter the northwest of Ireland, which for the purposes of this post stretches from Carne in the south to Ballyliffin in the north.

Mount Falcon Estate, Ireland |  Top 5 Golf Trips to Northwest Ireland -
Mount Falcon Estate, Ireland

Almost without exception the courses are in spectacular locations and can be combined in a number of ways for a variety of reasons, of which I group into 5 categories;

  1. Top 100 Bucket List
  2. Hidden Gems
  3. Golf & Fishing
  4. Authentic Irish Pubs in small communities
  5. Golf Cart availability

Sample Itineraries –

Deluxe Northwest Ireland | 6 Nights, 6 Rounds | Click To View

Classic Northwest Ireland | 7 Nights, 7 Rounds | Click To View

The Best Golf of Northwest Ireland | 7 Nights, 7 Rounds | Click To View

Given my recent touring and observations, I have compiled my Top 5 list below;

The Best Top 5 Irish Golf Trips that include the Northwest

  • Royal County Down, Royal Portrush, Portstewart, Ballyliffin & St. Patrick’s Links (1, 2, 4, 5)

  • Ballyliffin (Old & Glashedy), Rosapenna (St. Patrick’s & Sandy Hills) and Narin & Portnoo Links (1, 2, 4, 5)

  • Fish & Play – Mount Falcon Estate with golf at Enniscrone, Rosses Point (Co. Sligo), Carne and 3 days fly fishing on private beach (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

  • Carne, Enniscrone, Rosses Point (Co. Sligo), Lahinch, Doonbeg (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Rather than try to describe these courses, I encourage you to take a moment to enjoy some wonderful drone footage of these venues…and you decide if the hyperbole is warranted.

Narin & Portnoo Links
Carne Golf Links
Co. Sligo (Rosses Point)
Enniscrone Golf Club
Ballyliffin Golf Club
Portstewart Golf Club
Donegal (Murvagh)
Portsalon Golf Club
Co. Louth (Baltray)

About the Author: Gordon Dalgleish is the Co-Founding Director of PerryGolf, the leading provider of international golf vacations. View on LinkedIn.