Last updated on November 25, 2023
Golfing with a cruiseboat? What’s that all about?
Sounds “strange” at first, admittedly. But on reflection, the idea does have its charm…
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a family holiday on a cruiseboat or houseboat, travelling in comfort and stopping now and then to play a round of golf – that way, a comfortable family holiday becomes an active holiday at the same time!
Where can you do that? In Ireland, on the Shannon! With over 300 kilometres, the Shannon is Ireland’s longest waterway. It connects several beautiful lakes and towns and is a popular destination for water sports enthusiasts of all kinds. About 250 kilometres of the Shannon are navigable.
You don’t need a boat licence for houseboats in Ireland, the rental company will give you a briefing and then you can get started. One-way tours are also possible, i.e. north-south or south-north.
Don’t worry, houseboating is not difficult at all. I have a boating licence and houseboat experience and have also golfed in Ireland several times. I also know the Shannon and its lakes from numerous trips. We live in Ireland (second home). In summer we run our motorbike rental business (www.easycruiser.tours) here, south of Dublin, and also offer nice guest rooms for travellers (www-the-view-accommodation.ie).
Some golf courses are right on the shore and even have their own landing stages for boats! Others are a few minutes’ drive away. If you have a bike at the railing, you can cycle over, rent a golf set and play a round of golf. Or you can bring your own golf set and order a taxi from the pier to take you over to the golf course. The taxi transfers usually only take 10-20 minutes.
The following is an example of a one-week houseboat trip on the Shannon with 7 golf courses. Of course, you can also take a longer or shorter trip, go in the opposite direction, or choose a completely different route and find suitable golf courses. It’s up to you. There are many options – one of them is this.
There are several houseboat rental companies. One of them is Carrickcraft. He runs an English and a German homepage and has written an article about houseboats and golf. I liked the idea so much that I wanted to include it in my blog.
You can find the following tour in his programme. The route first goes south and makes a loop over Lough Derg. Then it goes north on the Shannon and over Lough Ree to Carrick. I will show you the golf courses on your tour.
Day 1: From Banagher to Terryglass
When you pick up your boat today, you may not want to go golfing first, but take off first. But if you do the tour in reverse, you can drop off the boat and have a farewell round of golf – as you like. From Banagher you can take a taxi to Birr. Just before Birr is the Birr Golf Club. The course was founded around 1900 and is a particularly scenic parkland course. See: https://www.birrgolfclub.ie/.
Day 2: From Terryglass to Killaloe
On the eastern shore of Lough Derg is the village of Dromineer. You can moor there and take a taxi to Nenagh Golf Club. The parkland course is cleverly laid out with water hazards and interesting bunkers. See: https://www.nenaghgolfclub.com/.
Day 3: From Killaloe to Portumna
You moor on the west shore of Lough Derg at Mountshannon Harbour. Just a few minutes’ drive away is East Clare Golf Club. The Championships Course is challenging and offers beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. See: https://www.eastclaregolfclub.com/.
Day 4: From Portumna to Athlone
Portumna is a small town on the north shore of Lough Derg. Portumna Golf Club is located in Portumna Forest Park to the west of the town. Incidentally, there are no deer in Ireland, but there is a free-ranging fallow deer on the golf course. See: https://portumnagolfclub.ie/.
Day 5: From Athlone to Lanesborough
In Athlone you actually have two golf courses to choose from: On the western lakeshore you will find the Athlone Golf Club and on the eastern lakeshore the Glasson Golf and Country Club. Both offer beautiful golf and lake views!
Day 6: From Lanesborough to Dromod
Just outside Lanesborough is Longford Golf Club See: https://www.countylongfordgolfclub.com/.
Day 7: From Dromod to Carrick on Shannon
Carrick on Shannon is a bustling nice little town, the perfect start or finish point for your boat trip. Carrick on Shannon Golf Club is situated on the shores of Lough Drumharlow and offers a beautiful golf course with trees and lake views. See: https://carrickgolf.ie/.
Multi-activity holiday, I guess you can call it if you go on a houseboat holiday and play a few rounds of golf. You can also swim in the clean waters of the Shannon, hire a kayak along the way, go hiking or cycling – there are no limits to your imagination and your holiday!
There are many things to do in Ireland, including golfing by houseboat – so let’s go to Ireland!
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Cover photo credit: photo by Nick Agee on Unsplash