Southwest Ireland Golf Vacation
When most golfers consider an Ireland golf tour, southwest Ireland is usually at the top of the list especially for first time visitors. The great southwest Ireland golf courses including Ballybunion, Lahinch, Waterville, Tralee, Doonbeg and Killarney are known around the world.
As a frequent visitor to Scotland and Ireland I’m often asked what separates Southwest Ireland from the other golf rich regions of Ireland and Scotland. The first thing that comes to mind is the large, dramatic sand dunes that Ballybunion, Lahinch, Tralee, and Waterville are built into, on top of and around. I have always been of the opinion I’ll take a good golf course with great scenery over a great non-descript, flat test of golf anytime. Another aspect of the southwest Ireland golf tour is the towns that are normally used as a base. Killarney and Lahinch are often used as a base to play the courses for golf vacations in this part of Ireland.
Killarney is a two hour drive from Shannon and can be used as a base to play the links courses at Ballybunion (75 minutes from Killarney), Tralee (45 minutes from Killarney), Waterville (90 minutes), and Dooks only 30 minutes drive from Killarney. You can even play Old Head Golf Links from Killarney if you would rather make the two hour drive each way than switch hotels. The three scenic parkland courses at the Killarney Golf and Fishing Club are just a couple miles from the town center. The Killeen Course is the main attraction having hosted the 2010 Irish Open.
While Killarney is a tourist town that draws a lot of non-golfer I enjoy the buzz around town. Many of the accommodations ranging from B&Bs / guesthouses to 5 star hotels are in the town center or an easy walk away. Killarney also offers a wide selection of restaurants, shops and pubs to fit any budget. Non-golf relations distractions are also close by. The Gap of Dunloe tours is a favorite that takes in the mountain gap, Killarney Lakes and Ross Castle all within a few miles of the town center. If you catch the tour on a sunny day the scenery is breathtaking. The tours normally runs from 10 am to 3-4 pm, so if you have to keep an non-golfing spouse or fellow traveler happy this is a great option and a day away from the demanding links. Muckross House and Gardens just outside of Killarney is also a tourist favorite.
The other base used to play courses on the southwest Ireland golf tour is Lahinch. A quaint, seaside town of a few thousand permanent residents, Lahinch is only 50 minutes drive from Shannon Airport making it a typical first or last stop on your Ireland golf vacation. Lahinch Golf Club is just a block or so from the town center and is considered one of the more difficult tests of links golf in Ireland. The dramatic 600’ sheer Cliffs of Moher are a major tourist attraction and only 20 minutes north of Lahinch. There are several B&Bs / guesthouses in the area and a few good four star hotels including Moy House and Vaughan’s Lodge. The Greg Norman design at Doonbeg is only 30 minutes south along the coast from Lahinch.
When planning your Ireland golf vacation contact RoundBall Golf Tours and ask for me (I’ll even suggest a few of my favorite restaurants or watering holes!)
Avid Traveler and Golfer
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