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How Much Does it Cost to Play The Best Golf Courses in Ireland

By: | Fri 05 Apr 2024

Many of the world's most thrilling golf courses are located in Ireland, which is home to the most visually intoxicating links creations on the planet. Renowned for rolling dunes and spectacular scenery, the golfing landscapes are dramatic and truly unforgettable once you have experienced them.

However, there is no doubt that it can be expensive to play here, as international tourism has driven up the cost of green fees, but you cannot deny the quality that is available, whether it be within the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland.

If visiting the Emerald Isle is something that you are toying with - and you fancy ticking off a marquee venue or two - we have done our research to see just how much it will cost this summer.

These are the peak greens fees at 20 of the finest courses in the Republic and five of the greatest in Northern Ireland, all of which sit alongside the most celebrated layouts on Earth.

Republic of Ireland

Ballybunion Golf Club (Old Course)

Ballybunion Golf Club

Location: Ballybunion, Co. Kerry

Golfshake Rating: 4.97

Green Fee: €350

Review Comment: "Ballybunion Golf Club is the jewel in the crown of Ireland's golf courses and is definitely worth a visit. It should be on every golfer's bucket list and every time you visit you just can't wait to come back. Every day, every game, every hole and indeed every shot is different at Ballybunion and no two rounds will be similar."

Lahinch Golf Club (Old Course)

Lahinch Golf Club

Location: Lahinch, Co. Clare

Golfshake Rating: 4.94

Green Fee: €325

Review Comment: "Wow - not sure I have the superlatives to explain how much I enjoyed this place. Played early, with a member and the place was immaculate and stunningly beautiful. Golf simply doesn’t get any better."

Rosapenna Golf Resort (St Patrick's Links / Sandy Hills Links / OId Tom Morris Links)

Rosepenna Links

Location: Downings, Co. Donegal

Golfshake Rating: 4.88

Green Fee: €240 / €180 / €180

Review Comment: "The St Patrick’s Links was designed by Tom Doak. Sat on idyllic links land, the routing of the layout will take you through huge dunes, along the coast and then back through more dunes."

Portmarnock Golf Club

Location: Portmarnock, Co. Dublin

Golfshake Rating: 4.82

Green Fee: €325

Review Comment: "The more I play it the more I love it. The wind was so strong the day we played the planes that are usually constantly flying over head to land at Dublin Airport had been rerouted inland. We played the yellow nine then the red nine. A good score wasn't available so I focused on trying low bump and runs and punched shots. Great fun and looking forward to my next round."

The European Club

The European Club

Location: Brittas Bay, Co. Wicklow

Golfshake Rating: 4.88

Green Fee: €290

Waterville Golf Links

Location: Waterville, Co. Kerry

Golfshake Rating: 5.00

Green Fee: €325

Review Comment: "Perhaps the nicest course I have ever played. Got it on a glorious day and have rarely enjoyed a game so much - it really is out of this world."

The Island Golf Club

Location: Donabate, Co. Dublin

Golfshake Rating: 4.88

Green Fee: €270

Review Comment: "This is my favourite golf course all year round. It provides the best challenge of shot making: straight drives, super iron shots, clean chip shots off tight lies and super quick putts."

The County Sligo Golf Club

Location: Rosses Point, Co. Sligo

Golfshake Rating: 4.91

Green Fee: €250

Review Comment: "A super course providing a stern test of golf for all handicaps but also offering the opportunity for good scoring if played well. Stunning views all round and well worth the visit."

County Louth (Baltray) Golf Club

County Louth

Location: Drogheda, Co. Louth

Golfshake Rating: 4.88

Green Fee: €260

Review Comment: "Course is extremely fun to play. The back 9 is really outstanding. Each hole changes dramatically from 100 yards and in, it is almost like playing two different holes. Greens were fast and true and in great shape."

Ballyliffin Golf Club (Glashedy Links / The Old Links)


Location: Ballyliffin, Co. Donegal

Golfshake Rating: 4.92

Green Fee: €260 / €240

Review Comment: "Perfection. 36 holes of the highest quality. I have played 452 courses in Ireland and this is the best. I joined as a member although it's a four hour drive from my house."

Carne Golf Links

Carne Golf Links

Location: Belmullet, Co. Mayo

Golfshake Rating: 4.84

Green Fee: €160

Review Comment: "Easily my favourite course in the world, and I've played a few. Simply the most natural, dramatic links course anywhere. It's location means that it gets far fewer visitors than those in the south west and, as such, it is far less manicured which may not be to everybody's taste. Similarly, the club facilities, while adequate, may not be to the standards of some visiting groups. The course, however, is amazing."

Enniscrone Golf Club

Enniscrone Golf Club

Location: Enniscrone, Co. Sligo

Golfshake Rating: 4.88

Green Fee: €195

Review Comment: "The first thing to be said is that this is an Irish links, not a British one. This means huge dunes and constant changes of elevation. This is a cracking links course, with dunes almost as big as Carne down the road. An excellent routing and some spectacular views of the beach and ocean."

Tralee Golf Club

Location: Barrow West, Co. Kerry

Golfshake Rating: 5.00

Green Fee: €300

Review Comment: "I had friends down from Dublin who loved Ballybunion but thought Tralee was majestic, despite it being very dry as a result of all our great weather. Greens were fast and rough was best to be avoided if possible. Bunkers were challenging, as always. Food in the bar afterwards was excellent with a wide choice. In summary, a great course!"

Old Head Golf Links

Location: Kinsale, Co. Cork

Golfshake Rating: 4.94

Green Fee: €450

Review Comment: "An amazing experience. If I had one round left in my life and could play anywhere in the world, this would be my choice, the views are one of a kind. Pebble Beach on steroids."

Narin & Portnoo Links

Narin & Portnoo Links

Location: An Fhearthainn, Co. Donegal

Golfshake Rating: 4.40

Green Fee: €250

Review Comment: "One of the best courses I have ever played! It was in spectacular condition and really could not fault it in anyway. After a straightforward first three holes, the course winds down towards the sea and some breathtaking views. Straight driving is a must to return any type of score and the par 3s, while all well within reach for all golfers, must be landed on the green or you pay the penalty! The three par 5s in a row on the back 9 will either make you or break you, stamina is key to playing this course."

Donegal Golf Club

Donegal Golf Club

Location: Laghey, Co. Donegal

Golfshake Rating: 4.17

Green Fee: €210

Review Comment: "Donegal Golf Club is a very traditional links course. An absolutely fantastic layout, long winding par 5s, incredible mix of par 3s, and great par 4s. Bring your A game, as this is a tough track to play to your handicap. Choose your tee boxes carefully as this will add to your enjoyment immensely. A must play if you are a fan of links golf."

Portmarnock Resort & Jameson Links

Location: Portmarnock, Co. Dublin

Golfshake Rating: 4.11

Green Fee: €275

Review Comment: "Renovations have certainly strengthened some of the weaker areas of the course. The fact that talks are underway to create a golfing package encompassing Jameson Links, Old Portmarnock, The Island and Royal Dublin suggests the resort is well and truly sitting at the same table as the region’s elite."

Portsalon Golf Club

Location: Portsalon, Co. Donegal

Golfshake Rating: 4.43

Green Fee: €150

Review Comment: "True test of links golf. If you find yourself in Donegal playing various courses, It's well worth playing Portsalon. Quality venue, friendly staff. Course in fabulous condition."

The Royal Dublin Golf Club

Location: Bull Island, Dublin

Golfshake Rating: Not Yet Rated

Green Fee: €220

Connemara Golf Links

Location: Ballyconneely, Co. Galway

Golfshake Rating: 4.46

Green Fee: €180

Review Comment: "Was pleasantly surprised by this course, as didn't know much about it in advance. Front nine was brutal, with all but one hole playing into the wind. The back nine was brilliant, with some fantastic driving holes. Signature par 3 was an experience in itself."

Northern Ireland

Royal County Down Golf Club (Championship)

Royal County Down

Location: Newcastle, Co. Down

Golfshake Rating: 4.96

Green Fee: £425

Review Comment: "It is one of the best golf courses in the world, steeped in history and prestige. The design, condition, including impeccably manicured grounds, the layout, and challenge are first class and make it one of the greats in the world."

Royal Portrush Golf Club (Dunluce Links)

Royal Portrush

Location: Portrush, Co. Antrim

Golfshake Rating: 4.90

Green Fee: £340

Review Comment: "The views were stunning and the course was in excellent condition when I played in late October. The greens were fabulous and playing on the course had a real Open Championship feel to it. The starter was an entertaining guy and the clubhouse had a real sense of history. The view as you walk onto the 5th green is breathtaking. It was fairly tough and expensive to play the course, but it was worth it to play one of the top ten golf courses in the world."

Portstewart Golf Club (Strand Course)

Location: Portstewart, Co. Londonderry

Golfshake Rating: 4.84

Green Fee: £275

Review Comment: "Undoubtedly a great course, particularly over the first few holes that weave through the dunes. Like all links courses you have to pay for the privilege and accept it's going to be busy. But it's a slick operation and marshalls keep everybody moving. The clubhouse and pro shop match the course in expectation and I can't imagine anybody going home without having had a good day's golf."

Lough Erne Resort (Faldo Course)

Location: Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh

Golfshake Rating: 4.10

Green Fee: £175

Review Comment: "An absolute gem of a course with magnificent views, great holes and in great condition. I'd play again in a heartbeat."

Castlerock Golf Club (Mussenden Links)

Location: Coleraine, Co. Londonderry

Golfshake Rating: 4.22

Green Fee: £145

Review Comment: "A great course to play links golf without spending loads of dosh. The greens were in fantastic nick and the course is really beautiful with lovely views. Wind plays a huge hand. A real challenge. The tee boxes and fairways are not in quite the same nick as the signature courses. A fantastic course all the same."

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