Top 10 best golf courses in Ireland, ranked

Ireland is one of the leading countries when it comes to golf, so it should come as no surprise that some of the best golf courses in Ireland are amongst the best in the world.

As Ireland is so renowned for being a great golfing country, it naturally attracts many people from across the world every year to play golf on its shores.

Those who come to play golf in Ireland are in for a treat thanks to the high-quality golf courses that the Emerald Isle has to offer, all of which are regularly and professionally maintained to the highest standard.

Many of these courses are also surrounded by stunning natural beauty, which makes them a joy to play on. In this article, we will list what we believe to be the top ten best golf courses in Ireland.

10. Mount Juliet − surrounded by spectacular scenery

Mount Juliet is one of the best golf courses in Ireland.

Set amongst the rolling lush countryside, the Mount Juliet golf course is truly a sight to behold.

Spanning 180 acres of parkland, this golf course has hosted many unforgettable tournaments in the past and continues to be a very popular spot for golfers in Ireland.

Address: Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny

9. The K Club − a quality Ryder Cup golf course

The K Club was designed by Arnold Palmer.

The K Club is home to numerous courses designed by pro-golfer Arnold Palmer, and the golf course itself has had the honour of being a top Ryder Cup host golf course in the past too.

Address: Straffan, Co. Kildare, W23 YX53

Waterville Golf Links is one of the best golf courses in Ireland.

The golf course at Waterville Golf Links has a long history dating back to 1889 and is one of the best golf courses in Killarney. The land was once deemed useless for farming, but luckily, it turned out to be perfect for golfing.

This golf course is unique as it is set among exposed sand dunes with a magnificent view of the sea.

Address: Murreagh, Waterville, Co. Kerry

Ballyliffin is home to two championship links.

The Ballyliffin golf course in Donegal can make the proud boast of possessing two championship link courses.

If this wasn’t enough, the course also has a fantastic setting along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.

Address: Ballyliffin, Inishowen, Co. Donegal

6. County Sligo Golf Club: Rosses Point − one of the top golf courses in Ireland

Credit: Twitter / @CountySligoGC

Rosses Point at County Sligo Golf Club is a world-renowned traditional links golf course designed by Harry Colt. It is regarded as one of the top golf courses in Ireland.

This is thanks to the challenge it offers, as its utilisation of the sand dunes’ natural shapes has given the course a unique and dramatic effect.

Address: Rosses Point, Rosses Upper, Co. Sligo

5. Portmarnock − conveniently located in Ireland’s capital

Portmarnock is in Ireland's capital.

The Portmarnock golf course is conveniently located for visitors to Ireland as it is quite close to Dublin Airport.

The course itself is located alongside the beautiful Irish coastline and is one of the most respected golf courses not only in Ireland but across the world.   

Address: Golf Links Rd, Stapolin, Portmarnock, Co. Dublin, D13 KD96

4. Ballybunion Golf Club − consistently rated as one of the best golf courses in the world

Ballybunion Golf Club is one of the best golf courses in Ireland.

The golf course in Ballybunion is truly something special. This majestic course that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean has been consistently rated as one of the best golf courses in not just Ireland and the rest of the world.

Address: Sandhill Rd, Ballybunion, Co. Kerry

READ MORE: Find out where Ballybunion ranks on IB4UD’s list of the most expensive golf courses in Ireland

3. Lahinch Golf Club − ranked among the World’s Top 50 golf courses

Lahinch Golf Club is ranked among the best in the world.
Credit: Carsten Krieger for Tourism Ireland

Lahinch Golf Club is one of the best golf courses in Ireland and one that has been ranked among the world’s top 50 golf courses.

This pristine golf course has been in operation since 1852 and caters to all golfing needs.

Address: Dough, Lahinch, Co. Clare

2. Royal Portrush Golf Club − a golf course like no other

Royal Portrush is one of the best golf courses in Ireland.
Credit: Tourism Northern Ireland

Royal Portrush Golf Club has a golf course like no other as this oceanside course has world-class links, which make it not just a national golf destination but an international one too.

Address: Dunluce Rd, Portrush, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland

1. Royal County Down − the best golf course in Ireland

Royal County Down has the Mourne Mountains as its backdrop.

In first place on our list of what we believe are the top ten best golf courses in Ireland is the Royal County Down.

This course is located close to the Mourne Mountains and it gifts golfers a different spectacular scenic view at every hole.

On top of this, the Royal County Down course also has world-class championship links, which make it, in our opinion, the best golf course in Ireland.

Address: 36 Golf Links Rd, Newcastle, Northern Ireland

That concludes our article on what we believe are the top ten best golf courses in Ireland. Have you played at any of them?

Other notable mentions

Adare Manor is one of the best golf courses in Ireland.

Carne Golf Links: Carne Golf Links is renowned for being located along a wonderfully wild and ancient landscape.

Adare Manor: The new championship golf course at Adare Manor was designed by the magnificent Tom Fazio and offers golfers a great golfing experience. This hotel was also named one of the most romantic hotels in the world.

Enniscrone Championship Links Golf Course: The Enniscrone Championship Links Golf Course is regarded as one of the best and most challenging traditional Irish links golf courses in the country.

Esker Hills Golf Club: Shane Lowry’s home course in Offaly is a challenging course for keen golfers.

Royal Dublin Golf Club: Royal Dublin Golf Club is Ireland’s second oldest club. The championship routing that we recognise today was designed by Harry Colt in the 1920s.

The royal Dublin golf club was designed by Harry Colt.

Carton House Golf Club: Carton House combines pristine parklands with the exciting qualities of links golf.

Tralee Golf Club: Tralee Golf Club is an 18-hole links golf course in a stunning setting. Definitely one for your gold bucket list.

Luttrellstown Castle: Luttrellstown Castle Golf Club is an 18-hole championship course that is just a 20-minute drive from Dublin City.

Portstewart Golf Club: Portstewart Golf Club is one of the oldest clubs in Ireland. Golf was first played there in Derry as far back as 1889.

Druids Glen: Druids Glen resort is one of the country’s premier parkland courses.

FAQS about golf courses and golf in Ireland

Rory McIlroy has played on some of the best golf courses in Ireland.

How many golf courses are there in Ireland?

There are over 300 golf courses in Ireland.  

What is the best time of the year to play golf in Ireland?

Early April to mid-October is generally accepted as being the best times of the year weatherwise to golf in Ireland.

Are there many professional golfers in Ireland?

Yes, according to the Professional Golfer’s Association (PGA) which is comprised of professionals from both Great Britain and Ireland, they have a membership of over 7,500.

Many of whom are from Ireland. Some of the best Irish golfers in Ireland include Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley.

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