There are approximately 350 18-hole golf courses in Ireland, with new courses such as Hogs Head currently being built. Along with 9-hole courses, the total breaks the 400 mark which is very substantial for a country the size of Ireland. Have you heard about the guy who has played them all?
According to the Golf Digest Rankings, Royal County Down is the no.1 golf course in Ireland.
There are four main golfing regions in Ireland.
- South West
- West & North West
- North & North East
- Dublin & South East
Peak season in Ireland is May – September and this time of year has the best weather (usually). We advise booking well in advance to secure a tee time during peak season. Please be aware that prices are also higher during this time. Shoulder season in Ireland is March, April & October where there is more availability and prices are lower.
With the ever-increasing number of direct flights to Ireland, we recommend flying as the best way to get to Ireland. Check out our getting to Ireland guide for more.
With the general assumption that Ireland is a very small country, it sometimes can be assumed that driving around Ireland does not take long at all. This is in fact untrue and driving between destinations can take longer than expected. Therefore, journey times need to be considered when organising tours. Check out our driving times guide for more.
You do not need a special driving licence in Ireland. A full US, Canadian or EU driving licence allowed you to drive in Ireland. It also allows you to drive in Northern Ireland. Read our guide on renting cars and transport options for golf tours.
The standard of roads in Ireland has increased drastically over the last 30 years. The development of Irish motorways now allows travellers to go from Dublin to Cork in 180 minutes and Dublin to Belfast in under 2 hours. In Ireland, please remember that we drive on the left-hand side of the road.
Due to the difference in the way commuting in Ireland is compared to other countries, some travellers will find driving to be challenging. We always advise clients that you will want to make a decision that is both safest and most convenient for you.
The main differences are:
- Ireland’s country roads are narrow that most people are used to.
- We drive on the left-hand side of the road.
- Cars in Ireland are typically manual.
- Drivers salute each other on country roads, no matter if they know each other or not. (You’ll get used to it)
Not to worry. There are several ways which can make driving in Ireland easier. We advise that when you rent your vehicle (we use Hertz by the way), you ensure:
- The vehicle is an automatic. (Easy to get if booked in advance)
- A GPS is included.
- You are fully insured.
For more please read our driving guide.
Club Rental is available at most our top courses. Most have either Titleist, Taylormade or Mizuno clubs to rent and prices range from €30 – €50 per set. For more info please read our club rental guide.
In most courses, the answer is yes. Some of the top links courses such as Ballybunion (Old) and Royal County Down do not allow carts on the courses due to both health & safety concerns and to protect the links.
Please see each individual golf course pages for more info. Carts are also subject to availability and courses will sometimes not let carts on the course when the weather is bad. Some courses also only allow carts to golfers with medical certs.
Not all courses have caddies in Ireland, although caddies are available in most of the top links & parkland courses.
Caddy fees vary depending on the course which you are playing. Fees are paid directly to the caddy in most cases and a tip is at your discretion.
Our rough guide to gratuity:
- Above Expectation: €20
- Meet Expectation: €15
- Below Expectation: €0
You do not require a handicap certificate of any kind in Ireland. For some of the top links & parkland courses, it is recommended that you have a handicap of 18 or less for men and 28 or less for women to get the most enjoyment out of playing.
In Northern Ireland, you will require British Sterling £ (STG) to pay in cash. Credit, debit, and pre-paid cash cards can also be used in most shops & restaurants.
Ireland is part of the EU (European Union) and uses the Euro. (€) Currency exchange is available at banks and currency exchange outlets. ATM’s are freely available in every town. Major credit/debit cards are accepted at most establishments.
No, there is no border check between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Ireland is famous for it’s Guiness, Ceól (Music) and Craic (Fun). Our Golf Tour Specialists can provide you with expert advice on where to go during your trip. For a full breakdown of recommended pubs and restaurants, please see our “Where to Eat and Drink” section.
Most of our clubs stay open during the winter period, weather permitting of course. Green fees are at significantly reduced prices due to the quality of the courses declining and less-desirable weather. Links courses usually use mats during the winter period to protect the courses and many of the top-line links courses are closed to visitors during the winter months.
Junior golfers can play golf in Ireland and can avail of discounted rates at most of the golf courses. However, various courses have guidelines for skill levels of junior golfers to play due to course difficulty. Please see individual courses for more info or ask one of our golf tour specialists.
Ireland has good phone coverage nationwide, with some more remote areas having limited network coverage. Pre-paid Sim cards are widely available. Please contact your cell-phone operator for information on roaming charges while in Ireland.
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