The increased popularity of golf within the last half-century resulted in the growth of the number of new golf courses built with onsite hotels to cater for demand.
Ireland Golf Resorts have added to the fine links already in the country with designers finding plenty of suitable land for resort complexes.
The convenience of staying on-site and just having to walk straight out onto one of the best golf courses in Ireland (and the best Northern Ireland golf courses) in the morning cannot be overstated, especially for overseas visitors.
In this list of 10 luxury resorts, quality was the principle used by developers for both the golf and the accommodation on offer with the renowned Irish reputation for hospitality adding to the experience.
Ireland Golf Resorts
In the list of 10 golf resorts you are going to learn about below, only one dates back to the early days of Irish golf. For the most part, they were built on parkland or land used previously for farming.
Great design and nature have combined to produce Ireland golf resorts that seem to have been there forever.
These are the 10 Best Golf Resorts in Ireland
In This Post:
- 1. The K Club
- 2. Druids Glen Hotel & Golf Resort
- 3. Trump International Golf Links & Doonbeg Hotel
- 4. Tulfarris Hotel & Golf Resort
- 5. Adare Manor
- 6. Lough Erne
- 7. Rosapenna Hotel & Golf Resort
- 8. Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links
- 9. Fota Island Resort
- 10. Powerscourt
- Now You Know the Best Golf Resorts in Ireland!
1. The K Club
Kildare hosted the Ryder Cup between Europe and the USA in 2006 when the local economy was buoyant. The 2008 world recession changed things, yet the K Club remained popular with visitors and I was one of a party of 8 who played there that year.
When it comes to the top golf resorts in Ireland, the Palmer Championship Courses, and the incredible accommodation, it’s hard to beat the K Club. European and Irish Opens are also held here regularly.
Where: Straffan, Co. Kildare, W23 YX53, 30 miles west of Dublin. Find the K Club on the map here.
When: While winter is cheapest, it is also a time when wet weather can make the courses less of an attraction. The best time would be in the late spring and summer.
Cost: High season will cost you €135 ($160) to golf if a guest at the hotel, €160 ($190) otherwise. April & October is €120 ($140), €140 ($165) respectively. Winter is €85 ($100) and €115 ($135) respectively. You can hire equipment and caddies.
Booking: Click here to learn more about the current rates, reviews and to book at the K Club on Booking.com.
2. Druids Glen Hotel & Golf Resort
The setting with views of the Irish Sea is lovely, with woodland, heathland, lakes, and interesting bunkers a challenge to the best of golfers. The accommodation is one of the best.
Where: Leabeg Upper, Newtown Mount Kennedy, Co. Wicklow, A63 DW08. Click here to find it on the map.
When: Spring around to October is the best time to play here with the wet and cold weather in the winter weeks meaning the courses lose some condition.
Cost: Weekend rounds on Druids Glen cost €100 ($120) with a buggy costing an extra €17 ($20). Midweek you can expect to pay between €68 ($80) and €120 ($100) depending on the time of day. The Heath Course starts at just €43 ($50) a round midweek with add-ons such as breakfast or a buggy available. Equipment is available for hire. Rooms start at €180 ($210) per night though the Presidential Suite is more than 3 times that figure. Regular stay and play promotions are offered.
Booking: Click here to learn more about the current rates, reviews and to book at Druids Glen Hotel on Booking.com.
3. Trump International Golf Links & Doonbeg Hotel
I played Doonbeg, due west of Shannon Airport in its early days after its development by Greg Norman and the USA Golf Commentator, Jim Nance.
Word has it that this lovely stretch of coastline had no rail connection a century ago when other West Coast courses were developed.
The plans were to sell apartments as a means of funding the development but the 2008 recession brought an end to that.
Donald Trump added it to his ”empire” and one of the top golf hotels in Ireland, 5-star, was built instead to make it one of the best golf resorts in Ireland.
I played there in short sleeves one November, remarkable given the usual winds off the Atlantic. The short Par 3 on the back nine is one where if you miss the green, you are likely to involve that ocean.
Where: Doughmore Bay, Doonbeg, Co. Clare. Click here to find it on the map.
When: This championship course is built on sand and hence well-draining. Its condition is usually good all year round.
Cost: You can play the course for as little as €90 ($105), even at weekends, depending on the time, with the most popular times €120 ($140) midweek and €135 ($160) at weekends. Winter fees are only €60 ($70). Rooms start at €230 ($270) per night.
Booking: Click here to find out more about the current rates, reviews and to book a room on Booking.com.
4. Tulfarris Hotel & Golf Resort
When it comes to Ireland golf resorts, Tulferris may not immediately come to mind yet its proximity to Dublin makes it a good choice. Few courses in Ireland have a better setting.
The Lakeside Course is built on three peninsulas on Blessington Lakes and is a challenge to all golfers. Beginners will enjoy it but must put the amount of water out of their minds.
Where: Tulfarris Hotel & Golf Resort, Blessington Lakes, Rathballylong, Blessington, Co. Wicklow, W91 EE95. Click here to see it on the map.
When: The course is in peak condition during the summer months with winter play subject to the weather.
Cost: Dinner, a room and a round of golf are available here at just €135 ($160). Ask about equipment hire when making a booking.
Booking: Click here to read reviews, see the current rates, and book a room at Tulfarris Hotel and Golf Resort on Booking.com.
5. Adare Manor
Adare has had a 9-hole course since 1900 on the Earl of Dunraven’s Estate and it was not until 1992 that it became 18 holes.
But, this is a neighbouring course also on the original estate scheduled to host the Ryder Cup in 2027. It’s owned by the Irish billionaire J P McManus and no expense has been spared in creating the course — a monster off the back tees measuring more than 7200 yards.
Visitors will be happy to play the tees 600 yards less than that.
The beautiful 5-star hotel with gothic architecture has been recently renovated, with rooms starting at €340 ($400). This is a course with little rough but plenty of runoffs to capture a wayward ball.
Where: Adare, Co. Limerick, V94 W8WR. Click here to find it on the map.
When: Adare Manor is best played between May and October inclusive but with plenty of investment on drainage and sand, it is better than most during spells of wet weather.
Cost: Tee times are difficult to obtain for visitors not staying at the hotel. Off-season fees are €310 ($360) with a caddy €73 ($85), while peak season fees are €375 ($440). One stay and play package is €1,025 ($1,200) for a couple.
Booking: Click here to read reviews, see the current rates, and book a room at Adare Manor here.
6. Lough Erne
Sir Nick Faldo’s design, one of two 18 hole championship standard courses at Lough Erne in Northern Ireland, opened in 2005. The 5-star accommodation is a match for the golf on offer, justifying Lough Erne’s inclusion among the best Ireland golf resorts.
Faldo’s course measures 7100 yards while the second 18, Castle Hume, regularly hosts the Ulster PGA. Both courses offer lovely views over the waters which come into play quite regularly.
Lesson packages are available for beginners while equipment is available for hire and visitors should ask for details when booking a tee-time.
Located on a 600 acre peninsula with spectacular views of the Fermanagh Lake, it’s no surprise that Lough Erne is one of the top 5-star golf resorts in Ireland.
Where: Lough Shore Rd, Enniskillen, BT93 7ED. Click here to find it on the map.
When: May to October inclusive is peak season but, due to a recent development, these courses are better-drained than equivalent ones that have existed for decades. Golfing here is ok year-round.
Cost: Weekend golf costs £63 ($80) a round with midweek golf offered at £50 ($64) with discounts available for 4 ball bookings. Twin rooms start at £185 ($235) for a couple.
Booking: Click here to see the recent reviews and current rates, and to book a room on Booking.com.
7. Rosapenna Hotel & Golf Resort
The oldest course in this list of Ireland golf resorts is the links at Rosapenna in the extreme north of the Republic. Old Tom Morris Links opened in 1893, Sandy Hills is a second 18 which opened in 2003, and St. Patrick Hills is due to open in 2021.
It makes this resort an excellent choice for guests wanting to play on different courses during their stay. The hotel was opened well over a century ago so Rosapenna can claim to be the oldest golf resort around.
There have been modifications over the years with Old Tom now approaching 7000 yards off the back tees. Rosapenna is one of the courses that can be played within the annual Donegal Classic each summer.
Where: Rosapenna Downings, F92 PN73, Co. Donegal. Click here to find it on the map.
When: Rosapenna’s links drain well so they remain in good playing condition all year round.
Cost: 2 nights & 2 rounds on ”Old Tom” is available at €283 ($330) with shared B&B is €95 ($110).
The standard rate per round on either course is €130 ($155) though slightly cheaper on selected times, so the 2 night/2 round promotion represents excellent value. When booking, ask about hiring equipment.
Check the price for playing in the Donegal Classic which offers 3 rounds for a 4 ball on Portsalon, Ballyliffin, and Rosapenna for €735 ($860) each.
Booking: Click here to book directly on their website.
8. Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links
This Bernhard Langer designed links was opened in 1995 close to the more famous Portmarnock Golf Club which I played while this complex was under construction.
On the outskirts of Dublin, it is one of the most accessible of Ireland golf resorts. It has all the features you would expect of a quality links course, exposed to the breezes off the Irish Sea, and making use of contours to punish a wayward shot.
The rooms offer gorgeous views of the sea, combining modern elegance with the grandeur of a 19th-century residence. Portmarnock Hotel was previously owned by a member of the Jameson Whiskey dynasty, and these days you can find a Jameson Bar on-site.
Where: Strand Rd, Burrow, Portmarnock, Co. Dublin, D13 V2X7. Click here to find it on the map.
When: The Links are in decent condition all year round so if you are in Dublin in the winter and the weather is fine, get in contact.
Cost: Green fees for all 7 days are €180 ($210) for non-residents, €130 ($155) for residents. Winter midweek rounds available for hotel guests are just €60 ($70) and non-guests €68 ($80). There are reduced rates for groups and you should enquire about equipment hire when booking a tee-time.
Booking: Click here to see reviews, the current rates, and to book a room on Booking.com.
9. Fota Island Resort
This resort in Cork has 27 holes, offering a variety for golfers to effectively play 3 different layouts. The original 18 is Deerpark but the Belvelly and Barryscourt 18s each have 9 of the Deerpark in their 18.
Deerpark is over 7000 yards, Par 71 through open woodland. Belvelly is longer but Par 72, while Barryscourt takes the two longest 9s to measure over 7400 yards, Par 73.
Visitors, of course, do not need to play off the back championship tees and mid-range handicappers are advised not to do so.
The hotel is another 5-star establishment, with stunning countryside views. Guests also having the option of self-catering villas.
Where: Foaty, Co. Cork. Click here to find it on the map.
When: These courses are in their best condition in the weeks between May and October although they do open during the winter months during all but the poorest weather.
Cost: ”Stay & Play” offers are a regular feature of this resort with prices for a couple starting around €360 ($420). It is possible to play one round for as little as €43 ($50) depending on time and season, while peak time and season average €125 ($145). When booking here, select the course you wish to play and ask about equipment hire etc. when making the booking.
Booking: Click here to see the latest reviews, current prices and to book a room on Booking.com.
With Dublin so close, this has become a popular resort with visitors flying into the capital’s airport. The two courses, East and West, on the Powerscourt Estate have played host to several competitions including the PGA and the Irish Seniors.
In both cases, the courses are Par 72 and approximately 6500 yards off the back tees. The Club has some special offers for those holding discount cards which are available online.
The 5-star Autograph Collection on the Estate is real luxury accommodation. Rooms offer panoramic views, floor-to-ceiling windows, marble bathrooms, rain showers, and feather beds. This is a lovely place for a getaway.
Where: Powerscourt Estate, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow, A98 K376. Click here to find it on the map.
When: Both courses are open all year round with the best condition obviously in the drier months of summer.
Cost: A midweek, high season round costs €53 ($62) on either course and €73 ($85) at weekends. While in the low season those fees are €47 ($55) and €53 ($62) respectively. Tee-times can be booked online when inquiries about hiring should be made.
Booking: Click here to see the latest reviews, current rates and to book a room on Booking.com.
Now You Know the Best Golf Resorts in Ireland!
Ireland golf resorts are found throughout the Republic and Northern Ireland meaning the visitors can enjoy a huge variety of courses — ranging from coastal classics to resorts on traditional estates, yet offering 21st Century luxury.
Regular flights to regional airports mean that each of the resorts mentioned in this article are easily accessible to all.
Most are suitable for golfers with a reasonable level of ability and off the back tees are a challenge for the best. It is worth looking at open competitions which may allow you to play some of these courses cheaper than when booking a standard tee-time.