Best Hidden Gems in Southwest Ireland

Best Hidden Gems in Southwest Ireland

It’s no secret that Southwest Ireland’s stunning coastline is home to some of the world’s top golf courses, and that’s one of the reasons it remains among our clients’ most popular itineraries. But there’s more to this magical area’s lineup of courses than just Ballybunion and Lahinch. Here we list a few of our under-the-radar favorites:

Dooks Golf Links

The layout of this raw, natural links beautifully incorporates all that is special about golf in southwest Ireland. With memorable views across Dingle Bay and the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks Mountains acting as a backdrop, the tranquil setting was seemingly made for golf. Golf at Dooks dates back well over 100 years, so this course will test your shotmaking abilities, but usually not your length. Having said that, if you catch it on a windy day, this can become the longest 6,000-yard course in the world.

Dingle Golf Links

The westernmost golf course in Ireland, this outstanding layout, which is referred to as Ceann Sibeal by the locals, is a rugged links which offers spectacular views out to the Blasket Islands. The surrounding area is rich in Gaelic tradition, a fact made evident by the names of each of the 18 holes. The signature hole is the par-3 10th, “An Tiaracht,” which plays uphill to a blind green guarded by bunkers and out of bounds, not to mention the ever-present Atlantic winds!

Dromoland Castle Golf & Country Club

The course was built in 1961 and the layout meanders its way through woodlands, across streams, and around lakes on the stunning property surrounding Dromoland Castle. Recent changes to the course have elevated its status to one of Southwest Ireland’s best, and it can’t be long before the course is considered for a high-profile tournament. Considering the course shares the property with one of Ireland’s finest hotels, it makes for a great stop for any golfer traveling in style.

 Cork Golf Club

The great Alister Mackenzie can be credited for Cork’s stunning natural layout. Mackenzie combined an old quarry with the naturally rolling terrain to create a golf course which is as fun to play as it is to admire visually. While it may be underrated at present, the course has tested some of the world’s best in the past, as the great Henry Cotton narrowly missed on the 1932 Irish Open title at Cork.



 Ballybunion Golf Club – Cashen Course

Don’t make the mistake of counting out Ballybunion’s wonderful Cashen Course simply because it gets overshadowed by its more famous sibling, the Old. The Cashen is both difficult and dramatic, with taller sand dunes and holes that play tighter to the water than the Old. You will shoot above your handicap, and you will love every minute of it.