Peter of Glencor Golf spent last week familiarising himself with some of the stunning golf resorts in Ireland on a trip to the North West of this famous golfing country.
Time to visit one of my favourite golfing destinations again the – Emerald Isle but this time to a part I had not visited before the North West coastline and also to revisit the Portmarnock area East of Dublin. Arriving at Dublin airport I went across to visit the Portmarnock Golf Resort. The Hotel has just completed the renovation work on all its bedrooms and the rest of the Hotel will also be renovated by the end of the month. It is now a stunning golf resort with all the amenities you could want and one of the nicest bars I have ever visited. Full of old world charm, it’s a glorious place to sample the black stuff or try one of the many different brands of whisky they stock behind the bar. The hotel has its own excellent links course on site which offers tremendous value for money. Two minutes away is the renowned Portmarnock Old links one of Ireland’s most famous courses. The Island Golf Course is also close by and my personal favourite the Royal Dublin course is a bout 15 minutes away. There are also several other very good courses in the vicinity. I was surprised to find that it was only 15 minutes away from Dublin Airport and the nearby time of Malahide is well worth a visit with its bars, restaurants and shops. All in all it’s a great location and the ideal place for a truly enjoyable golfing holiday.
From there I set off to a part of Ireland I had not visited before the North West Atlantic Coast. With great scenery along the way it was still a long drive and I would have been better flying into either Belfast or Derry airports had I not wanted to see Portmarnock first. I would certainly recommend that option to anyone wanting to visit this region. However long the drive it was worth it as we arrived at Ballyliffin Golf Club a place I had heard so much about. It is spectacular with two wonderful golf courses The Old Links and the Glashedy Links. Winding through the natural sand dunes you cant help but admire the ingenuity and brilliant design. Of the two the Old Links is a little easier but its natural timeless design will enchant all who play it. The Glashedy was only conceived in 1992 but its naturalistic design by the renowned architect Pat Ruddy makes it seem like its been there for ever. The food in the clubhouse is of very high quality and you are assured of a warm welcome by the club manager John Farren. There are 4 hotels nearby and I stayed in the Ballyliffin Lodge And Spa Hotel and found it extremely good value. Especially as I got room 216 which had a large 4 poster bed and a Jacuzzi and when I inquired about it was told that it was the bridal suite. There was also an excellent spa and Gym.
From Ballyliffin I moved on to the Rosapenna Golf Resort which again has two magnificent courses and a very good four star hotel. Here there are 36 stunning holes of great links golf in a magnificent setting amongst centuries old sand dunes. There are spectacular views of the magnificent Sheephaven Bay with its miles of sandy beaches to distract the golfer but you need to focus your attention on the golf as the Old Tom Morris course and the newer Sandy Hills course require maximum attention. The Sandy Hills course is the harder of the two and its hard to believe it has only opened in the 21st century as the skillful design gives it that timeless quality so that it seems to have been there for years. The adjoining hotel also has that old world charm and a genuine Irish welcome is afforded to you by all the staff whilst still providing the modern facilities that the modern golfer needs.
A fantastic few days and for lovers of links golf the North west of Ireland is a must visit area.
Have you had a golf break or golf holiday in North West Ireland? Tell us your favourite places to play!