Saint Patrick lived during the fifth century and was born in Roman Britain. Known as the ‘Apostle of Ireland, Saint Patrick was kidnapped and taken to Ireland as a slave at 16. He later escaped but returned to Ireland and became a priest. He was then credited with bringing Christianity to its people.
Despite Saint Patrick not being Irish, he is very much considered one of their own. Ireland is also famous for its diverse green landscapes with rolling hills, dramatic cliff tops and wonderful sea views.
The music in Ireland is recognisable across the globe with some of their very own stars, including U2, Sinead O’Connor and Van Morrison.
Irish pubs are an important part of the culture, with over 7,000 in the country, with a large proportion being open all day and late into the night. Of course, all of these pubs serve the nation's favourite beer too - Guinness. The Guinness Storehouse, is the site where the beer is brewed, stories and fermented.
Finally, sport. The two biggest sports in the country are rugby and Gaelic football. However, Ireland also boasts some of the most famous golf courses in the world and was where the idea of Leading Courses was born at The European Club.
There are over 400 combined 9 and 18 hole golf courses in Ireland, with 25% of the World’s links courses being found in the country. (If you want to know what a links course is, read our article What is a Links Golf Course)
Below are some of the top rated Links Courses in Ireland on Leading Courses:
Lahinch Golf Club
County Louth Golf Club
Portmarnock Golf Club
Tralee Golf Club
Narin & Portnoo Links
Ballyliffin Golf Club
Ballybunion Golf Club
The European Club
Trump International Golf Links Doonbeg
Old Head Golf Links
The golfing spotlight will be shone, even more so, on Ireland over the coming years as the Ryder Cup returns for just the second time to the country. In 2027, Adare Manor will host the famous event on its newly designed and rebuilt parkland course.
In 2016-2017, legendary golf architect, Tom Fazio, set about thoughtfully creating a superb golfing experience for all, which captures the break-taking surroundings of the estate. Mature trees and the waters of River Maigue really play its part in this eye-catching risk-reward course.
The Ryder Cup first came to Ireland in 2006 at The K Club Golf Resort where Europe triumphed USA by 18 ½ to 9 ½.
There are many different regions in Ireland which can make a fabulous golfing experience, but will also give you the opportunity to take in the Irish culture:
There are 66 golf courses in and around Dublin, including the 19-time host of the Irish Open, Portmarnock Golf Club. As the capital of the country and an airport near the city centre, a trip to Dublin can offer you a variety of courses as well as the opportunity to enjoy the Irish pub culture.
Other courses which are bookable on Leading Courses near Dublin:
Perhaps the most picturesque part of Ireland in terms of golf courses, the South West is a must-visit, however, due to how spread out the courses are, good transport options and pre-planning is a must.
One of the biggest draws and most spectacular courses in the South West is Old Head Golf Links, but be warned, it is quite remote.
If you’re looking for a few options with courses slightly closer together, then Killarney Golf & Fishing has two courses and less than an hour away is Ring of Kerry.
If you were to start your trip close to the border of Northern Ireland and work your way South-West along the gorgeous coastline, then you would be in for a real links golfing treat.
Donegal Golf Club would be your first port of call and offers a variety of incredible views as the course extends out onto the Atlantic Ocean.
Less than an hour's drive south and you will end up at the 100+ year old course, The County Sligo Golf Club. The course was designed by the famous Harry Colt and utilises the natural contours of the dunes.
Travelling slightly further west and just an hour away is one of Ireland’s top ranked courses, Enniscrone Golf Club. One of the more challenging courses in the country, Enniscrone does have 27 holes which stretches across 400 acres and is a must play.
Carrying on to about the most Western part of the country, Carne Golf Links would be your final stop before you have to change direction. Carne Golf Links was the last course designed by the late Eddie Hackett and believed by many to be his greatest challenge.
There are of course many incredible trips and courses to play in Ireland, all of which can be found here.
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