The Golfing Irish: An Overview Of Ireland’s Top Courses And Golfers

Ireland has become a top destination for golfers around the world, with a wide range of world-class courses to suit everyone from amateurs to professional players.

Recently it was the host of the 148th British Open, which was held in Royal Portrush, Co.Antrim. Ireland’s own Shane Lowry stole the show with a world-class performance, claiming the Championship and becoming the first Irishman to win the Open on Irish soil.

This was a very special and historical event for Ireland as it was the first time in 68 years that The Open was hosted on Irish soil. The Open was first held at Portrush in 1951. Max Faulkner won the title amongst a crowd of 8,000 people.

What made Lowry’s big win that bit more special was the support of the Irish viewers. Regardless of the miserable weather, they came out in droves and created one of the most memorable atmospheres in at a golfing tournament.

It’s not the first time that an Irish golfer has made headlines for a historic win around the world. Ireland has produced some of the finest talents in the game with many big names among its repertoire.

Ireland’s Top Golfers

  • Shane lowry 

The 148th Open - Shane Lowry Shane Lowry is from Co. Offaly. He recently made a historic win for Ireland as the first Irish man to win an Open Championship on the Emerald Isle.  

Lowry is The Open champion for 2019 and first came to fame when he won the Irish Open in Louth as an amateur back in 2009. He was one of three amateurs to ever win on the European Tour.


  • Rory Mcllroy

    Rory McilroyRory McIlroy is a pro golfer from Northern Ireland and one of the most famous golfers currently on the scene.
    He was number one in the Official World Golf Ranking for 95 weeks.

In 2019, Rory won RBC Canadian Open and The Players Championship at Sawgrass.

In 2016, Rory won the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill as well as The Irish Open at the K-Club.

  • Graeme McDowell  

    Graeme McDowell McDowell has won ten events on the European Tour and four on the PGA Tour. In 2010, McDowell won the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.

    His name frequently appears in the top-10 in the Official World Golf Rankings. In 2011, he ranked fourth in the world.

    On 31 March 2019, McDowell won his fourth PGA Tour title at the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship in the Dominican Republic.

  • Padraig Harrington 

    Padraig Harrington Harrington is one of the world’s top golfers and one of Ireland’s biggest household names in Golf.

    Following a very successful amateur career, including winning the Walker Cup in 1995 at Royal Porthcawl in one of his three Walker Cup appearances, he turned professional in September 1995 and went on to win three major championships including winning back-to-back Open Championships in 2007 & 2008 and the PGA Tour, also in 2008.


  • Darren Clarke

Darren Clarke at The Open

Darren Clarke hails from Northern Ireland. Clarke is one of the world’s best-known golfers and has won many fans with his passionate play, dedication and determination to the game.

In 2011, Darren won The Open Championship at Royal St George’s. In 2016, He captained Europe’s Ryder Cup team at Hazeltine.

He is also a dedicated charity worker. He set up the Darren Clarke Foundation, which not only helps further the development of junior golfers in Ireland, but also raises much-needed funds for Breast Cancer Awareness. 

He fired the first tee shot at the 148th Open Championship on his home course at Royal Portrush where he played out the front nine in 34 and the back nine in 37, finishing with a level par 71.

Top Links Courses in Ireland You Must Visit 

If you’re planning a golf vacation in Ireland, you must visit one of the many links golf courses Ireland has to offer. With amazing scenic views and challenging terrain, Ireland is home to one-quarter of the world’s links courses.

  •  Royal Portrush

    Sunset at Royal PortrushRoyal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland is home to one of the best and most challenging links golf courses in the world.

    The Dunluce Links was where the 148th 2019 Open Championship was held. The Open was first held at Portrush in 1951.




  • Portmarnock

Portmarnock Golf Course 10 miles to the north of Dublin City and a 15-20 minute drive from Dublin Airport, Portmarnock is a course any golfer would dream to play on.

It offers beautiful breathtaking views from the coastline.

It is where Arnold Palmer and Sam Snead successfully followed its serpentine route through classic linkland on their way to victory in the 1960 Canada Cup. The Portmarnock links have twenty seven holes.

  • The Golf Course at Adare Manor

    Adare Manor Golf Course The golf course at Adare Manor is one of the best championship courses in the world.

    The new course has been designed to blend with the outstanding natural beauty of its surroundings, overlooking the banks of the River Maigue.

    The golf course is cared for by an experienced, passionate team of devoted and dedicated greenkeepers.

    Adare Manor will be hosting the Ryder Cup 2026.

  • Lahinch

    Lahinch Golf Course Lahinch Golf Club is renowned for the way the links has retained all of its old virtues.

    It is regarded as one of the best and most enjoyable challenges to be found anywhere in the golfing world.

    On the 11th-13th September 2019 Lahinch will host the Men’s Home Internationals. On the 3rd – 5th July 2020 Lanich will host the Palmer Cup.


  • Royal County Down

    Royal County Down Golf CourseRoyal County Down is located in one of the world’s most naturally beautiful links settings in the Murlough Nature Reserve.

    The greens are fast and many are domed, rejecting any shot lacking conviction. The ninth hole is one of the most photographed holes in world golf.

    From the bottom of the slope the second shot is played over two bunkers to a raised green.

    It offers golfers of all standards the opportunity of playing a truly great course with dramatic panorama of the surrounding mountains and coastline.

    Plan Your Trip

    Start planning your golfing trip with Discovering Ireland now. Let us help you plan the perfect golfing tour for you and your friends. 

    The best time to come golf in Ireland is between April and October as the weather is warmer and slightly drier than the winter. The nights start to get dark around 10;30pm, so you can golf later during the evenings and watch the beautiful sunset over some of the finest scenery in the Northern Hemisphere.

    We also have a helpful guide for hotel golf courses in Ireland and for any further information please feel free to contact a member of staff today;

    Tel: 800 963 9260 from USA/Canada


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