The Land of Golf
Courses incorporate the natural landscape making for some of the most challenging rounds of golf
County Clare sits in a landscape that has been carved and forged by some of the harshest elements as well as being formed by years of use as grazing and farming. As a result, the county is a natural place for golf courses and County Clare prides itself on offering some of the best golfing in Ireland. Many of the courses incorporate the natural landscape making for some of the most challenging rounds of golf available.
County Clare offers golf courses for everyone, from the beginner to the professional. The links courses along the sea offer serious challenges in the form of ocean winds and hidden holes, while the parkland courses offer beautiful scenery in a less challenging environment.
Arguably the most famous links course in the county is the Doonbeg Golf Club. Designed by Greg Norman, it is known for its challenging but playable holes. The Lodge, connected to the course, is a beautiful five star resort and a good base for a golfing holiday.
Another links course that has been host to professional tournaments is the East Clare Golf Club. In addition to a challenging course, the club is active in protecting wildlife. There is a very good chance that you will see a fox or a swan as you make your way around.
The Lahinch Golf Club is one of the top fifty courses in the world. It has two courses on which to play. The first is the Castle Course, so called because of the remains of the castle that can been seen from the seventh hole. The second is the Old Course. Both are classic links courses with some memorable holes. This club dates back to the 19th century and has been called the “St. Andrews of Ireland.”
There are several links courses throughout County Clare that, although less well known, provide a wonderful round of golf. The Kilrush Golf Club is a challenging course, best not attempted if you are a beginner. The Spanish Point Golf Club, on the other hand, offers a nine hole course as well as its standard links course. The Kilkee Golf and Country Club offers another course set against the backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean.
County Clare offers some beautiful parkland courses as well with Dromoland Castle perhaps the best known. An exceptionally long course, it is known for the high level of care given to the course.
Shannon Golf Club hosted a pro-am for several years and the course reflects this standard of care. It is famous for its 17th hole which requires a a shot over the Shannon Estuary. Shannon is located next to the airport, making it an excellent course from which to begin or end a Clare County golf holiday.
Ennis Golf Club is an excellent choice for intermediate golfer with challenging holes but relatively even fairways. Close by is the Woodstock Golf Club, another excellent choice for the intermediate golfer.
For a beginning golfer, both the links and the parkland courses may be a bit intimidating. A wonderful alternative is a pitch and putt course and Doolin offers such a course. The smaller scale of this course as well as their wide variety of clubs for hire make this the perfect golf destination for a player just starting out in the game.
If you are after a full golfing holiday, many of the courses listed here offer packages that include a hotel stay and entry onto a variety of courses in the area. You may prefer, however, to book your own accommodation and play only once or twice during your holiday. Either way, one of the best things to do in County Clare is golf and you will not be disappointed in your choice.