Tir Chonaill is home to some of the best golf courses in Ireland, each with a character of its own. So, let us dive right into the best golf courses in Donegal.
Many know County Donegal for having some of the wildest and most beautiful landscapes on the island of Ireland.
Still, it is also very much known for its superb golf courses, many of which are highly acclaimed and recommended by professionals.
So, if a golfing holiday in the northwest is on the cards, then you cannot overlook these ten best golf courses in Donegal, guaranteed to be a memorable experience.
10. Dunfanaghy Golf Club – an 18-hole true links course in Donegal
Established in 1905, this traditional golf course in northwest Donegal serves up some spectacular views from the majority of the 18 holes.
Designed by Harry Vardon, this true links course is certainly one of the best in the area, not only for the breathtaking views but for the great golfing opportunities.
Address: Dunfanaghy Golf Club, 16 Rinn a Mhara, Kill, Dunfanaghy, Co. Donegal, F92 A372
9. St Patrick’s Links – one of the newest and best courses in Ireland
Tom Doak designed this fantastic 18-hole course. At the time, it was Ireland’s first new golf course since 2009 and the third 18-hole links at Rosapenna.
Offering up incredible views of the iconic Mount Errigal, as well as being a course designed by one of the best in the business, it is no wonder international golfers are dying to play here.
Address: Rosapenna Golf Resort Sheephaven Bay, Carrick, Co. Donegal
8. Bundoran Golf Club – for a truly unique golfing experience
Perched on the northwest Atlantic coastline, this 18-hole golf course is one of the oldest in Ireland. It was founded way back in 1894.
Overlooking Donegal Bay, Bundoran Golf Club serves up some fantastic views and top-class golfing opportunities for those looking for a unique experience. Truly one of the best golf courses in Donegal.
Address: Bundoran Golf Club, Sea Rd, Drumacrin, Bundoran, Co. Donegal, F94 V599
7. Rosapenna Hotel & Golf Resort – everything for golfers under one roof
Not only does this resort offer four-star luxury accommodation. Rather, just steps away from your room, golfers can book tee times for their two championship courses. Both of which have stunning views of Downings Beach.
Rosapenna, which is set alongside Sheephaven Bay, is a must for anyone looking for the ultimate golfing holiday package.
Address: Rosapenna, Downings, Co. Donegal, F92 PN73
6. Narin & Portnoo Links – one of the most scenic courses in Ireland
Situated just 10 km (6 miles) from the Glenties – an area of stunning natural beauty – many regard Narin & Portnoo Links as one of the most scenic 18-hole links courses in Ireland. This is part of what makes it so popular.
Founded in 1905, this traditional Irish links course, which is in an area steeped in history, is continuously winning golfers over.
Address: Naran, An Fhearthainn, Co. Donegal, F94 F433
5. Greencastle Golf Club – for golfers who love a challenge
Greencastle is a superb 18-hole links course that is ideally set amongst the natural surroundings of the Inishowen Peninsula.
Golfers can enjoy the view over Lough Foyle as they challenge themselves around at this wonderfully maintained course, making it one of the best golf courses in Donegal.
Address: Eleven Ballyboes, Greencastle, Co. Donegal
4. Cruit Island Golf Club – a perfect experience for all levels
Cruit Island Golf Club is a natural nine-hole links course that is set on the edge of the wild Atlantic Ocean; it is a fantastic place for novice or pro golfers to enjoy. It is one of the best golf courses in northwest Ireland for a reason.
Accomplished golfers will enjoy every aspect of the course, which is maintained in top condition by its diligent groundskeepers.
Address: Cruit Island Golf Club, Cruit Island Lower, Kincasslagh, Co. Donegal, F94 NX78
3. Portsalon Golf Club – golfing among the dunes of Donegal
Located on the magnificent Fanad Peninsula in County Donegal, many regard this links golf course as one of the best in the area, attracting locals and visitors year after year.
For a real links experience, with curvaceous greens and with a backdrop of dunes, this is a must for any accomplished golfer.
Address: 7 Fanad Way, Croaghross, Portsalon, Co. Donegal, F92 P290
2. Donegal Golf Club – one of the best golf courses in Donegal
Often called the Muirfield of Ireland, Donegal Golf Club is highly regarded as one of the best golf courses in Donegal sitting on the footsteps of the Bluestack Mountains.
Eddie Hackett designed the course layout, which offers amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean. It offers a truly unforgettable golfing experience, with panoramic views in a historic setting.
Address: Donegal Golf Club, Murvagh Lower, Laghey, Co. Donegal
1. Ballyliffin Golf Club – home to two championship courses
In 2018, Ballyliffin hosted the Dubai Duty-Free Irish Open; Rory McIlroy himself recommends anyone planning a golf holiday to the north of Ireland to come here.
Ballyliffin Golf Course boasts two championship links courses. It is widely considered one of the best golf courses in the world.
Address: Ballyliffin, Co. Donegal
Other notable mentions
North West Golf Club: Known as the ‘St Andrews of Ireland’, straddled between the mountains and sea, this course is a popular choice in Donegal.
Letterkenny Golf Club: Letterkenny Golf Club is a fabulous golf course on the banks of the Swilly Estuary; ideal for golfers of all skills and experience.
Buncrana Golf Club: Buncrana Golf Club is the oldest nine-hole links golf club in the country, dating back to 1890.
Cloughaneely Golf Club: Cloughaneely Golf Club is a testing nine-hole parkland course, perfect for golfers of all levels, and just a 40-minute drive from Letterkenny.
FAQs about the best golf courses in Donegal
What are the best golf courses in Donegal?
Ballyliffin and Rosapenna Golf Resort are two of the best in Donegal, amongst others such as Portsalon Golf Club.
When can visitors play golf in Donegal?
Many courses offer golf all year round. However, the best time is from April to October when the days are long, dry, and sunny.
How many golf courses are there in Donegal?
There are 18 golf courses in total in Donegal.
If you are a golfing enthusiast, you will surely want to take a trip to one of these ten best golf courses in Donegal for your next golfing holiday, where an unforgettable experience awaits you in this wonderful part of Ireland. Time to tick more off your bucket list.