Last updated on February 20, 2024
Ireland has been developing very positively for decades and has long ceased to be an insider tip among holidaymakers. But despite its growing popularity and steadily increasing number of visitors, the island is not a destination for mass tourism – fortunately!
Individual travellers, on the other hand, get their money’s worth on the Emerald Isle: dreamlike landscapes, spectacular coasts and a mild climate magically attract outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds – as do about 240,000 golfers every year, who enthusiastically romp around the country’s more than 400 golf courses.
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Why golf holidays in Ireland?
Many people think of England or Scotland when they think of golf holidays, but don’t really think of Ireland. Surprisingly, with over 400 golf courses in sometimes spectacular landscapes, Ireland really doesn’t need to hide from its British sister islands.
For comparison: Ireland has almost 5 million inhabitants and more than 400 golf courses, which means that there are about 12,500 inhabitants per golf course. In Germany, there are just over 700 golf courses for a population of 83 million, so there are about 11,8571 inhabitants per golf course.
In comparison, Ireland has about 10 times more golf courses per inhabitant, or about 10 times fewer inhabitants per golf course than Germany!
The Irish island also offers more than a quarter of the world’s links courses, 58 to be exact, and several first-class championship courses.
Well, are you getting curious? That’s it!
We live in Ireland (with a second home) and run a motorbike rental business on the Emerald Isle in the summer, as well as guest accommodation – for motorcyclists, hikers, golfers and other international guests.
I played golf myself for a while, first in Germany, and then also in Scotland and here in Ireland.
To my delight and enthusiasm, golfing in Ireland is generally very popular and there are many courses to suit all tastes and price ranges – from the posh club, to the small course where you only pay a minimal green fee and don’t need a membership card or course licence.
In addition to beautiful landscapes, Ireland also has a rich culture with many beautiful sights and pretty towns. So even travellers who don’t want to hit the golf course every day will get their money’s worth. Add to that the relaxed friendliness of the Irish, good food and drink and cosy accommodation – doesn’t that sound like a relaxing holiday?
The Sunny South East and Wicklow, the Garden of Ireland
Most international flights land in Dublin. The Wicklow Mountains begin directly on the southern edge of the capital. Where they belong to the Dublin city area, they are still called the Dublin Mountains, but a few kilometres further on you are in County Wicklow. The whole region belongs to the Ancient East, the historic east of the country. Here you will find many castles, monasteries, old towns, battlefields and, of course, museums and exhibitions about the Vikings, Normans, Anglo-Saxons and Celts.
The region around Dublin was dominated by the English for several hundred years. During this period, the 18th and 19th centuries, English lords built themselves several magnificent mansions and manor houses and laid out beautiful and sometimes huge parks and gardens. Because of the mild climate, exotic plants from all over the world thrive here. Some of these houses and gardens can be visited today, hence the nickname “Garden of Ireland” for the Wicklow region.
Wicklow National Park is the heart of the Wicklow Mountains. It offers hikers and cyclists plenty of opportunities to get out and about, but is also simply beautiful for a walk. The high moorland mountains are reminiscent of the Highlands in Scotland. The highest mountain, Lugnaquilla, is just under 1000 metres high and is one of the highest mountains in Ireland.
East of the Wicklow Mountains is the east coast with over 70 kilometres of white sandy beaches. This is the “Sunny South East”, the sunny southeast of Ireland. Statistically, it has the most sunny days and the least rain on the island. That’s why many Dublin families spend their holidays in the numerous mobile home parks along the coast.
Speaking of rain: Rain is not a bigger issue here than in Germany – we have lived here for several years and can compare. However, there is significantly more rainfall on the west coast than on the east coast – statistically.
What is the best season for golfing in the Sunny South East? From April to October/November you can play here wonderfully.
Is the wild Atlantic coast in the west even more spectacular than the east coast? Certainly it is. But the east also has its beautiful and interesting sides and the milder climate – and is particularly quick and easy to reach from Dublin! Wicklow and the south-east of Ireland are hot tips for your holiday!
Golf Courses and Resorts in the South East of Ireland
There are no golf courses in the Wicklow Mountains National Park itself, but there are quite a few around it, both on the coast and inland. I have listed here some nice golf resorts and golf courses in and around Wicklow and on the south-east coast:
|Powerscourt Golf Club
|Delgany Golf Club
|Delgany / Greystones
|Buttermountain Golf & Leasure Club
|Craddockstown Golf Club
|Palmerstown Stud Golf Club
|Blessington Lakes Golf Club
|Tulfarris Golf Club
|Roundwood Golf Club
|Rathsallgh Golf & Country Club
|Baltinglass Golf Club
|Carlow Golf Club
|Macreddin Golf Club
|Potter`s Point Golf Club
|Stepaside Golf Course
|Killiney Golf Club
|Newlands Golf Club
|Castleknock Golf Club
|Howth Golf Club
|Howth, North Dublin
|Newcastle Golf Centre
|Woodenbridge Golf Club
|Tara Glen Golf & Country Club
|Courtown Golf Club
|Bunclody Golf & Fishing Club
|Enniscorthy Golf Club
|Kilkenny Golf Club
|Arklow Golf Club
|Bray Golf Club
Accommodation in and around Wicklow
Many golf resorts have hotels with them. But you can also find nice B&Bs, hotels and other accommodation that is not part of the golf course. We mostly use Booking.com and Airbnb apps to find places to stay.
If you want to stay with us for a few days, you can play several courses from Blessington, Arklow, Gorey, Woodenbridge, Naas, Bunclody, Carlow to Enniscorthy or even Kilkenny, practically all of the golf courses listed above. You can find our accommodation options here.
Places of interest nearby
If you don’t fancy a day out golfing, there are some great places to visit in Wicklow and the surrounding area. A few examples are listed below:
|Glendalough Monastic City
|Kilruddery House and Gardens
|Wicklow Town and Harbour
|Mount Usher Gardens
|Wexford Town and Harbour
|Waterford Town and Harbour
|Kilkenny Castle and Town
|New Ross Dunbrody
|Irish National Stud
|Enniscorthy Town und Castle
|Russborough House and Park
General tips for the golf trip to Ireland
A few more tips for the golf trip:
Direct flights to Dublin are available from Ryanair, Lufthansa. Aerlingus, Eurowings and other airlines from several German airports. The flights hardly take more than 2 hours and are not expensive if booked in time. Connecting flights via London can also be an interesting alternative. The golf set can fly with you as sports luggage for an extra charge.
Ireland is part of the EU, but not part of the Schengen Agreement. You should therefore bring your passport with you.
The currency in Ireland (Republic of Ireland) is the Euro. You can withdraw money from ATMs, banks or as cash back in shops and petrol stations. Major credit cards and debit cards are accepted in all major shops, but not in every B&B – so carry some cash with you.
The best time to travel to Ireland for golfing starts in early spring and ends in late autumn, i.e. from April. Then you will usually have mild to warm temperatures. There can be showers in summer, but persistent rain is rare. It rarely gets hot on the island.
You can also visit Ireland in winter and play golf by the sea, because there is practically never frost. There can be some frost in the mountains, but otherwise it is more windy and wet in winter than really cold.
The electricity at the socket in Ireland is 230 volts, just like in Germany. However, the three-pin English sockets are used in Ireland, so you should bring a travel adapter.
Rental cars: In Ireland, you drive on the left and the handlebars of your rental car are on the right. You change gears with your left hand – if you’ve never driven on the left before, you may want to choose an automatic car, which is easier. You can rent a car at Dublin Airport. You will need a credit card, a German driving licence is sufficient.
Accommodation: There is plenty of choice on Airbnb or Booking.com. Both booking platforms are very common in Ireland and work very well.
Grocery shopping in Ireland is possible on weekends, including Sundays. Larger supermarkets are also open on public holidays, but then with reduced opening hours.
Book well in advance: If you want to travel in the months from May to August, I recommend booking well in advance. Rental cars tend to be very expensive in the high season. The same goes for flights and often for accommodation. In April and October/November, you can book at shorter notice.
Ireland has long been one of the top destinations for golf holidays. Many beautiful golf courses are located directly at the gates of Dublin and are therefore easy and quick to reach.
Wicklow, the Garden of Ireland, and especially the sunny south-east coast offer mild, dry weather and thus the best conditions for all kinds of outdoor activities.
Ireland is also worth a visit: culturally interesting, friendly and scenically simply beautiful!
So let’s go to Ireland – for playing golf!
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Cover photo credit: photo by Bobby Jones on Unsplash