Donegal … a golfing paradise

In 2018, The Ballyliffin Golf Course played host to the Irish Open … and there is a good reason why. The challenging terrain is perfect for golf. Donegal is home to some of Ireland’s best links courses. In fact it is probably the luckiest spot on the planet … remote and beautiful, with an abundance of natural links courses.

Seven of the best links courses in Donegal:

  • Ballyliffin Glashedy Course: Host of the 2018 Irish Open. Watch out for the 5th, a stunning par 3 with dramatic views of Glashedy Rock.
  • Ballyliffin Old Course: When a golf club’s second course is ranked in the top 20 courses in Ireland, you know you are in for a golfing treat.
  • Rosapenna Sandy Hills: The newer, tougher & longer of the 2 Rosapenna courses. The 6th and 10th are 2 of the standout holes among many.
  • Rosapenna Old Tom Morris: Old V New. Original 9 designed by Tom Morris in the 1890s with the new nine designed by Pat Ruddy in 2009.
  • Donegal Golf Club: Yet another links masterpiece. Sits on the Murvagh Peninsula . The Par 5 8th is the standout hole, but there are many.
  • Narin & Portnoo Golf Club: The term ‘hidden gem ‘ is often misused … be prepared to be thrilled. The stretch from 7 to 15 is breathtaking.
  • Portsalon Golf Club: One of the country’s oldest links set in a beautiful location. The 2nd is undisputably the best second hole in Ireland.

Golf on the Wild Atlantic Way

The Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland is the world’s longest defined coastal touring route. It is also home to some of the greatest golf courses on the planet. The Wild Atlantic Way alone is blessed with over 40 golf courses , a combination of world famous links classics and hidden gems .. not to mention beautiful parkland courses. As you travel north from the Old Head in Kinsale to Ballyliffin in Donegal, you will encounter some of the greatest golf courses in the world. Links courses such as Lahinch, Ballybunion, Tralee, Waterville, County Sligo and Enniscrone regularly feature on the world top golf course listings.

Golf Tours

For further information on tours and how to include these courses in your golfing itinerary, please contact info@wagt.ie or visit our website for suggested golf trips at www.WildAtlanticGolfTours.com .

Best golf holes on the WAW … The back 9

Best-Golf-Holes

Following on from our recent post featuring the best 18 golf holes on the Wild Atlantic Way, here is the back 9. Why not play our choice of the best golf holes on the Wild Atlantic Way. WAGT will customize the best golf tours for you and your groups in Ireland. Play classic Irish links courses such as Ballybunion, Waterville, Lahinch and Tralee.

The Wild Atlantic Way is a tourism trail on the West Coast of Ireland. The stunning 2,500 km of coastline offers breathtaking scenery, invigorating sea swells, gastronomic gems and a warm welcoming atmosphere. It is also home to some of the greatest golf courses on the planet.

Best Golf Holes : The back 9 :

  1. Rosapenna Golf Resort , Sandy Hills .. Par 4. Rosapenna is another club blessed with two great golf courses, Old Tom Morris and the newer Sandy Hills. The 10th on Sandy Hills is a great little links hole. A carefully placed drive to the bottom of the dunes sets you up for your second to a green well above you. The 6th hole is another absolute cracker.
  2. Ballybunion Golf Club, Old Course .. Par 4. Perhaps the most famous golf hole on the Wild Atlantic Way. Known all over the world as Tom Watson’s favourite , the 11th is quite possibly the signature hole of the entire country. An elevated tee, a steep drop to a second fairway and a narrow approach to the green . Great views over the Atlantic to the right.
  3. Galway Bay Golf Resort .. Par 4. The course sits on Galway Bay and offers amazing views along the Wild Atlantic Way. The 12th is a long dog-leg requiring precision off the tee. The second shot requires a fearless approach over water to a green which is perfectly placed with Galway Bay in the background.
  4. Connemara Golf Links .. Par 3. Enjoy the stunning views as you drive to the course. Connemara is set on beautiful and rugged landscape. Playing over 200 yards, the 13th is an absolute beauty. Never mind the feeling of isolation as you stand on the tee, think about the chasm and bunkers you have to clear to hit a sloping green.
  5. Carne Golf Links .. Par 3. Prepare to be mesmerised. Carne is one of the true hidden gems of Irish golf .. unspoilt and rugged. This is a remote course with so many great golf holes. It is also home to some of the largest dunes you are likely to experience on a golf course. The 14th stands out for its quality, remoteness and stunning ocean views.
  6. Strandhill Golf Club .. Par 4 .. The 15th is an uphill dog-leg that requires precision off the tee to avoid the dunes. However , it is the second shot that makes this a great hole as you hit straight towards a flag that appears to hang in the sky. Knocknarea mountain looms in the background.
  7. Enniscrone Golf Club .. Par 5. Enniscrone has everything a great links course requires .. mesmerising fairways, huge dunes, thrilling blind shots and beautiful views. The 16th is truly a great golfing hole set between the dunes and the ocean. A precise approach is required to an elevated dune framed green.
  8. County Sligo Golf Club .. Par 4. Set on Rosses Point, this is a glorious links course with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the mighty Ben Bulben ever present on the other. Spoiled for choice with many great holes, the 17th is the pick of the bunch. It starts on flatter ground and rises to an amphitheater green to your left.
  9. Waterville Golf Links .. Par 5. There are many great closing holes on the Wild Atlantic Way but the 18th at Waterville gets our vote. Try not to be distracted by the amazing mountain and sea views as you head back towards the clubhouse. The 18th is a long straight finishing hole beside the sea.

Golf Tours

Wild Atlantic Golf Tours have designed ‘ The Collection Tours’ which focus specifically on our choice of the best 18 holes on the WAW. For further information on tours and how to include these courses in your golfing itinerary, please contact info@wagt.ie or visit our website for suggested golf trips at www.WildAtlanticGolfTours.com .

The best 18 golf holes on the Wild Atlantic Way ?

Hole 9 of 18 Great Holes on Wild Atlantic Way Golf Tours. one of Best 18 golf holes

The Wild Atlantic Way is a tourism trail on the West Coast of Ireland. The stunning 2,500km of coastline offers breathtaking scenery, invigorating sea swells, gastronomic gems and a warm welcoming atmosphere. It is also home to some of the greatest golf courses on the planet.

Need a bucket list of great golf holes to play as you venture along the Wild Atlantic Way?  Why not play our choice of the best 18 holes on the Wild Atlantic Way.  The holes are played in the correct order they appear on the courses. The ‘course’ is a par 72 with four par 3’s and four par 5’s. Try out our front 9 for starters and let us know your feedback ..

The front 9 :

  1. Trump International Golf Links .. Par 5 .. Doonbeg is without doubt the best opening hole on the Wild Atlantic Way. An elevated tee has you staring down a dune lined hole to a green in the distance. The towering dunes create a truly magical amphitheater effect around the putting surface. Take time to admire the Atlantic Ocean which roars to your left. Globally recognised as a beauty.
  2. Portsalon Golf Club .. Par 4 .. The second hole in Portsalon is an absolute classic with long carries and stunning views. An elevated tee has you driving across a beach and river. Careful positioning is required as your second shot also requires you to carry the same river. Consistently voted the best second hole in Ireland.
  3. Tralee Golf Club .. Par 3 .. The back 9 is Tralee is often heralded as the best in the country. However there are also some great holes on the opening 9. The 3rd at Tralee is our choice for our Wild Atlantic Way list. The green sits delightfully on top of the rocks in front of the round tower. The scenery beyond is stunning.
  4. Old Head Golf Links .. Par 4 .. Of all the courses on the Wild Atlantic Way, the Old Head undoubtedly has the biggest ‘wow’ factor. The views will simply blow your mind. The ‘Razor’s Edge’ 4th hole is a classic. Playing along the cliff edge towards the lighthouse in the distance. Absolutely exhilarating and recognised the world over.
  5. Ballyliffin Golf Club Glashedy .. Par 3 .. Ballyliffin boasts two of the best courses in the country … The Old Course and Glashedy ( host of the 2018 Irish Open ). The stunning 5th on Glashedy makes our list. This hits straight out towards the sea with Glashedy Rock in the background. The green is slightly below , which enhances the views even further.
  6. Lahinch Golf Club .. Par 4 .. Recently celebrated it’s 125th birthday and host to the 2019 Irish Open, Lahinch Golf Course is a must play for all serious golfers. The thrilling 6th would mount a serious challenge for the best hole in Ireland. Surrounded by dunes, a blindish drive sets up a tough second shot towards the Atlantic Ocean. Watch out for the hollow!!
  7. Dooks Golf Club .. Par 4 .. Take your camera … the walk from the first green to the second tee opens up some of the most stunning scenery on the island. The long 7th hole is a classic links hole requiring a careful drive through a narrow channel of punishing dunes. This aerial view of the course is a taster of what you will experience at Dooks.
  8. Donegal Golf Club .. Par 5 .. Donegal Golf Club sits on the Murvagh peninsula and it is a links masterpiece. Playing over 7,000 yards with five par 5’s … the 8th is the pick of the bunch. This hole has everything … dunes and sea views to the right, a tilting fairway, a hollow, a drop , rough in front of the green and a bunker.
  9. Narin & Portnoo Golf Club .. Par 4 .. There is a stretch of holes from 7 to 15 which would rival any in the country for sheer quality and breathtaking views. The 9th hole is a gem. A long par 4 with the sea to your right which will test any golfer. Unlikely that you will get closer to the sea on any course on the Wild Atlantic Way. See image above.

Golf Tours

Wild Atlantic Golf Tours have designed ‘ The Collection Tours’ which focus specifically on our choice of the best 18 holes on the WAW. For further information on tours and how to include these courses in your golfing itinerary, please contact info@wagt.ie or visit our website for suggested golf trips at www.WildAtlanticGolfTours.com .