Golf in Ireland - Midlands East Articles
This year will go down in history as the year Irish golf made its name on a truly worldwide scale. The K Club in County Kildare will host the Ryder Cup in September, a showcase that is now reported to be the third biggest sporting event in the world, and the Irish are planning a major ‘celebration’ of golf.
These are, in truth, very exciting times for those involved with golf across the water and the good news is that visitors are being invited to join in the fun. Having a good time, of course, is fairly straightforward when a city as colourful as Dublin is the focal point of the region. Consistently voted as one of the top ‘party capitals’ in Europe, Dublin has everything you could wish for and so much more.
Indeed, there are more golf courses in and around Dublin than you could shake a big stick at, and that’s just the way it should be. Seapoint, for a start, is a championship links of some repute and sits just north of Dublin, next door to Baltray. Designed by Des Smyth, Ian Woosnam’s assistant captain for The K Club clash, the Seapoint course meanders over 260 acres of stunning coastline with the closing stretch bordered by the beach with superb views of the east coast. Another top Dublin venue is Corrstown, a delightful inland stretch that’s characterised by large amounts of water and an island green to finish. Also worth an afternoon’s attention is Deer Park, which is set in the grounds of Howth Castle while enjoying great views of Dublin Bay and the coastline.
One of the first courses you will see should you fly to Dublin Airport is Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links, a Bernhard Langer design that celebrates ten years this year. This is a thinker’s golf course and every bit as good as its more famous neighbour, Portmarnock Golf Club, which should also be in your plans.
Try not to miss out on the likes of Rush, a neat nine-hole links, and the ever-popular Donabate, a superb 27-hole venue boasting a spanking new clubhouse. Highfield, Malahide and European Tour venue Druids Glen – where you will find two top-drawer courses – are others to consider.
County Wicklow borders the southern section of County Dublin and the east corner of Kildare and is home to a fair number of distinguished venues.
Wicklow Golf Club houses a unique part parkland, park links course set on the cliffs overlooking Wicklow Bay and offers an enticingly low green fee.
Likewise, Rathsallagh, a joint-effort by Peter McEvoy and Christy O’Connor Jnr, is a superb USGA spec parkland with mature trees dominating many holes. Like Wicklow, it is happy to welcome visitors throughout the year.
In Midlands East you must also play The European Club and Powerscourt, just south of Dublin and yet another delightful McEvoy design. The Enniskerry venue is popular with overseas visitors and it is easy to see why.
Frankly, you don’t need an excuse to come to this part of Ireland. It’s as simple as that.