Very recently it was announced that the 2026 Ryder Cup (and yes that’s a long way to go) will be staged at Adare Manor in west Ireland. Despite the fact that I’ve been to Ireland a couple of times already, I’ve never played golf there. It was mostly work and one buddy trip from London, but golf was never an option.
I remember that I’ve seen all these lads with golf travel cases at Dublin airport and said to myself “I want that, too!”. So golf in Ireland has been on my bucket list for quite a while, especially the south-west is something that I’d like to tick off that list rather sooner than later. Apart from these legendary courses such as Ballybunion, Waterville, Lahinch, Tralee, Doonbeg, Old Head etc. there are others in other parts of the island, like Portmarnock, European Club, the K Club and alike that I had on my list.
I did not have Adare Manor on it, and truth be told, I have no idea why not. The property (hotel and course) was fully renovated in 2017, so I reckon it has to do with the fact that the golf course changed quite dramatically in the recent past. But I wasn’t prepared to see such beauty when somebody told me Adare Manor will host the Ryder Cup.
I investigated quite a bit since then and can officially agree that it’s one of the worthiest places to host the pan-Atlantic tournament everybody is so much longing for.
But see for yourself.
I hope to play here before 2026 in order to give you a more personal view rather than just showing you a professionally produced resort video, which I have to admit is pretty cool indeed.
Fell in love all over again. Damn.
Last week I was talking to a colleague over a coffee and told him that I’m currently planning a golf break to St Andrews, Scotland for May next year. I explained what courses we want to play, want St Andrews has to offer and how cool it’s gonna be to walk in the footsteps of golf’s greats, in the Home of Golf.
That guy immediately asked if he could come with us and after I had to neglect, he said something like: “So let’s do something different then, but similar, like links golf, I never played golf in Ireland by the way.”
And so I went home with an idea in my head, started to investigate, read, plan and make up a trip in theory. A word and a blow, I came up with what I believe are the best golf courses in Ireland and luckily they are pretty close to each other, so that travel from one to the other is very easy.
In total I identified two courses on the east coast and six courses on the west coast which I’d like to play in one go. Obviously there are many more great courses but one has to start somewhere. As most flights go into Dublin anyway you are already in the region, play the two courses and then head down south-west with a rental car. There you find some of the world’s most interesting courses nestled along the coast of Kerry and Clare.
I’m now trying to fit this one-week trip somehow into the rest of the schedule, most likely in 2017 but the following will make up a great journey to golfer’s heaven on earth (if you are into links golf I have to say):
Looks pretty plain vanilla black on white but if you are a golf enthusiast and have a look at the pictures on the websites of these courses, you’ll ask yourself why on earth have you not done this trip earlier. It’s time, the clock is ticking…
You can be assured that cameras and GoPros will be ready to capture all the action in Ireland. I’ll keep you posted. I might be able to fit it in much sooner… let’s see.
Living in the UK is great – well honestly not for every aspect of life, but definitely in terms of golfing. There are more than 3,000 courses here on the isles which is much more than anyone could wish for. Living in central London however is a bit of a mess when it comes to get to play golf because (1) all courses are a bit outside the city and not very accessible with public transport and (2) London golf courses are pretty expensive compared to most of all the other 2,990 in the country.
On the other hand there are other very expensive golf courses to find as well. However these clubs belong to the world’s best courses and were designed by the big course architecture heroes of the past and the present – both inland beauties or links design. Below you find a list of UK and Ireland’s 100 best golf courses (as of 2011).
I only played one of them so far (The Grove, 82) but 2013 is the year some of them might get conquered by a German hacker. I can’t wait to play Sunningdale Old for instance, The Berkshire, St. George’s Hill, Wentworth West, Kingsbarns, the Twenty-Ten at Celtic Manor or the Brabazon at The Belfry. There are so many choices… It’s a golf eldorado here! All I need is time and money!
- Royal County Down – Championship
- Old Course, St Andrews Links
- Turnberry – Ailsa
- Royal Birkdale
- Royal St George’s
- Royal Lytham & St Annes
- Carnoustie – Championship
- Royal Dornoch – Championship
- Sunningdale – New
Continue reading UK & Ireland’s Top 100 golf courses