A Breathtaking Challenge - The legendary Tom Watson described the glorious links at Ballybunion Golf Club as the best in the world. High praise indeed for this magnificent test of golf which meanders menacingly through massive dunes on the shores of the Atlantic. Ballybunion Golf Club actually boasts two separate courses. The Old Course (Par 71, 6,598 yards) and the Cashen Course (Par 72, 6,306 yards), which was created by golf architect, Robert Trent Jones Senior. The Old Golf Course, consistently ranked as one of the world's top ten golf courses, features a graveyard by the first tee, which some say is a warning to golfers who breeze through the first five holes only to come face to face with the ever challenging 6th, the fiendish 8th, the daunting par four 11th and the devilishly tricky 15th. Top100Courses.co.uk – consistently ranks Ballybunion Old as No. 1 in Ireland, find out why!
Dooks Golf Links
Golf has been played at Dooks since 1889. It was introduced to the local aristocracy by officers from the Royal Horse Artillery attending compulsory training at the nearby Glenbeigh Artillery Range. The golf course is set out on one of three stretches of sand dunes at the head of the Dingle Bay. In the fore ground are the sand-dunes peninsulas of Rossbeigh and Inch, and just a few miles away the whitewashed houses of Cromane Fishing Village provide an eye catching distraction. South eastwards are the famed McGillicuddys Reeks. To the south-west are the lovely Cooms and hills of Glenbeigh and across the bay to the north are the Slieve Mish Mountains. Dooks is a traditional links course. As such it has a special place in the annuals of the links golf and must be preserved at all costs. Its character typifies the true meaning of what this form of game should represent. It exists to give enjoyment and challenge without resorting to undue length and so for the golfer, who is seeking a beautiful and tranquil environment to enjoy good golf, Dooks will make you glad you came to Ireland! Hole no 13 best illustrates the charm and magic of Dooks. It is a throwback hole to the time when golf began. Greens lay where they fell, and were the better for it.
SAT - Depart from the US for your overnight flight to Shannon(SNN) - Flight not included in package
SUN - Arrive Shannon International Airport & Transfer to Hotel. Group Dinner and overnight at Trump International Hotel & Golf – Doonbeg
MON - Play Trump Doonbeg, Group Dinner & overnight at Trump International Hotel & Golf – Doonbeg
TUE - Play Ballybunion Golf Club – The Old Course after golf continue to Killarney and overnight at The Malton Hotel – Killarney
WED - Tour Day: Muckross House and Gardens, Ladies View and Torc Waterfalls overnight at The Malton Hotel – Killarney
THU - Tour the Ring of Kerry and play Waterville Golf Club, overnight at The Malton Hotel – Killarney
FRI - Play Dooks Golf Club and have afternoon free to enjoy Killarney Town. overnight at The Malton Hotel – Killarney
SAT - Visit the Dingle Peninsula, play Dingle Golf Links & explore Dingle Town, Group Dinner & overnight at the The Malton Hotel – Killarney
SUN - Tour Day: Blarney Castle & Woolen Mills and on to Kinsale. Overnight at The Trident Hotel - Kinsale
MON - Play Old Head Golf Links and overnight at The Trident Hotel - Kinsale
TUE - Play Old Head Golf Links and overnight at The Trident Hotel - Kinsale
WED - Tour Cobb Heritage Center, Jameson Distillery & Powerscourt. Group Dinner & overnight at Powerscourt Resort & Spa – Enniskerry
THU - Play The European Club and that night enjoy a Farewell Group Dinner and overnight at Powerscourt Hotel Resort & Spa – Enniskerry
FRI - Depart Powerscourt for Dublin International Airport (40 minute drive)
The par-72, 6,696 yards of pastoral golf holes are welcoming and walkable, spilling down from the clubhouse across the open, visible land. A burn winds throughout the course and the routing takes full advantage of it, strategically bringing it into play on many of the holes. Truth be known, the holes don't even need the burn, because the shot values, presentation and challenge are entirely fulfilling. While better-known courses on many tourist "rotas" such as Ballybunion, Tralee, Waterville and the Old Head of Kinsale play directly along the ocean, Dingle Golf Links, though surrounded by ocean, is set back from the sea. Visible still, is the ocean, Dingle Bay and the Blasket Islands. Golfers will embrace a sense of timelessness at Dingle Golf Links because nothing other than bare mountains, ocean visits and pure golf are visible. The two-story clubhouse, though at the highest spot on the property, is built into the hill and tastefully low profile. Dingle Golf Links overpowers one with a sense of heavenly quiet and pleasant subtlety. The course is not as hilly as Lahinch and Ballybunion yet offers just as much spectacular coastal scenery and a thoughtful well designed layout. It is a course that is not to be missed!
Ireland is the greenest country on the face of the earth. The countryside gives off an emerald glow, and the effect is stunning. Its terrain features rolling hills, rugged seascapes, mountains and lakes. Ireland is also blessed with glorious green gems in the form of championship golf courses.
Amongst these gems is the pride and joy of Ireland’s southwest region, Ballybunion, which is 36 holes of pure golfing gold. The magnificence of this golf treasure is only complimented by other fine links courses that we’ll play Lahinch, Dooks, Waterville, Old Head and the European Club. Our group will enjoy 8 rounds over the course of 13 days. You will experience the Irish traditions and character, as this trip combines the perfect blend of golf and sightseeing. And best of all, you’ll have one of the best driver/guides in Ireland who will teach you a bit of Gaelic, discuss Irish history & culture, assist with your bags and chauffeur you around in a private coach for the entire trip.
There are a couple items worth mentioning:
The European Club Golf Links
The links of The European Club was designed by Pat Ruddy and is owned and operated by him with the help of his family. Ruddy is a golf-writer and golf course designer whose work will be found also at such highly regarded venues as Ballyliffin, Druids Glen, Druids Heath, Rosapenna, Portsalon, St. Margaret's, Donegal (Murvagh) and Montreal Island Golf Club. Ruddy discovered the property when he surveyed Ireland's coastline by helicopter in search for a classic golf location. The result is a magnificent addition to the world's short supply of approximately 160 true links (51 of these are in Ireland). Champions from all over the world have discovered The European Club and Tiger Woods currently holds the course record of 67. The European Club hosted the Irish PGA Championship in 2007 and 2008 specifically to prepare Padraig Harrington for the British Open in the following weeks. It worked so well he won both the Irish and British titles both years! The European Club has been recognized by Golf World UK, Golf Magazine, The Golfers Companion, Golf Monthly and Golf Digest as a top 100 course worldwide and is certainly one of the finest links courses you can play in Ireland!
Dingle Golf Links (Ceann Sibeal)
Dingle Golf Links or Ceann Sibeal as it was originally named, was founded in 1924. The great Irish architect Eddie Hackett, who passed away in 1996 at the age of 86, is credited as the architect, who designed other favorites such as Carne, Enniscrone, and the acclaimed Waterville Golf Links. Ireland's beloved Ryder Cup hero Christy O'Connor Jr. oversaw a modern-day update in the 1990s. The links look as if they were laid out by Mother Nature herself, who makes presence known most every Dingle day in the forms of wind, mist, fog, rain, and majestic clouds.
Trump International Doonbeg
Trump International Golf Links & Hotel - Doonbeg has been named the #1 Resort in Europe by Condé Nast Traveler, Trump International Golf Links & Hotel Ireland (formerly the Lodge at Doonbeg) awaits travelers with spacious accommodations, fine amenities and discreet service. A trip to Doonbeg is an unparalleled opportunity to experience luxury accommodations set against a magnificent backdrop of rugged landscape, rolling waves and sand dunes with thousands of years of stories buried within them. Appealing to city-escapees, families and surfers as much as to the discerning golfer, the suites are uniquely crafted to ensure space, comfort and privacy. Trump Doonbeg guests will enjoy the utmost in old-world luxury and refinement in 5 star hotel suites, beautifully appointed with curated furnishings, art, and antiques. The first 8 couples who register will share two luxurious four bedroom suites, with four private bedrooms/baths and a common area in each four bedroom suite.
The Malton Hotel
This is one of the finest hotel’s in Southwest Ireland and your guest rooms will be upgraded deluxe junior suite bedrooms. Each is designed to provide an absolutely luxurious setting for your stay. Malton Junior Suites are truly spacious, with up to 500 square feet of living space, a special dressing area, and a large sitting room section for relaxing in a soft chair or sofa. Malton Junior Suites offer plenty of special extras - slip into a soft bathrobe and slippers, curl up and read on the sofa and let your mind wander to music on a stereo system with CD player. Delight in an afternoon nap on crisp, cool bed linens in our large king sized beds. An in-room refrigerator can be stocked as a mini-bar on request, or kept free for chilling your own drinks and storing goodies. Junior Suites are also great for getting a bit of work done with writing desks for laptops & tablets helping you with planning your holiday online or keeping in touch via email and social networking.
The Malton Hotel has been welcoming visitors since 1854 and continues to use the same high standard of quality and service to welcome its guests today. The Malton provides the best of both worlds; situated on its own 6 acres of secluded landscaped gardens yet ideally located in the heart of Killarney town. The Bedrooms ooze opulence with luxuriously plush fabrics. The Main House bedrooms offer classical style with high Victorian ceilings and impossibly tall windows while the newer Garden Wing offers contemporary comfort and style. The hotel has a main dining room which is renowned for its good food and spectacular architecture, or the Malton room, which features the very best French cuisine in a refined setting. This is a traditional ivy clad building with separate annexes at the side of the hotel. The lobby has recently been remodeled and is large with a reception desk, chesterfield sofas and an open fireplace. The new decor is very elegant and sophisticated. The hotel has a full service spa, including swimming pool, sauna and gym. The best thing about this hotel is its close proximity to Killarney’s many Pubs & Taverns.
The Trident Hotel
The Trident Hotel in Kinsale has an enviable location on the waterfront in Kinsale County Cork and is probably one of the most spectacularly located Hotels in all of Ireland. Our participants will stay in Deluxe Harbour View Junior Suites. The Junior Suites are quite roomy and all have breathtaking views of Kinsale harbor. They are furnished to the highest standards with no less than ‘Super King-size’ Beds. The very large Spanish marble bathrooms with bathtub and separate Power Showers can be a real treat after a wet round of golf. All suites offer air-conditioning as standard and also feature flat screen interactive TV’s and mini bars. The newly refurbished award-winning restaurant, Pier One has breathtaking sea views and even boasts a Wine Cave while the more traditional Wharf Tavern is always cozy, warm and welcoming.
Kinsale is one of Ireland's most picturesque towns; it is steeped in history and has a charming old world atmosphere. Only a 5 minute walk from the city center the Trident Hotel is an excellent base to explore the winding streets with the many shops, cafes and restaurants for which Kinsale is famous.
Powerscourt Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort
Prepare to leave the world behind at the luxurious five star Powerscourt Hotel Resort & Spa. Located on the famous Powerscourt Estate, one of Ireland's finest estates, with its historic house, beautifully manicured garden and its waterfall, the highest in Ireland, you may be just half an hour from Dublin but it could be a million miles away. Outstanding among luxury five star hotels in Europe and set amidst one of the most scenic and historic estates in the country is Powerscourt Hotel, is a 200-room resort showcasing Palladian-style architecture. The resort’s opulently furnished rooms all have marble baths, separate rainforest showers and featherbeds. Many rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows, panoramic views and terraces. All have a seating area and free Wi-Fi. Resort guests can enjoy a host of amenities. Two championship golf courses, a 30,000-square foot luxury spa by ESPA, a signature restaurant and traditional Irish pub are among this luxury hotel’s distinctive attractions. Powerscourt Hotel Resort & Spa offers guests a choice of 3 delectable dining options. Named after the Japanese deer introduced to the estate by Lord Powerscourt in 1860, Sika Restaurant carries on a long tradition of making the most of local, seasonal ingredients. True 'foodies' can avail of the Chef's Table, an exclusive opportunity to dine in the kitchen and observe our master chefs at work. The Sugar Loaf Lounge gives a window into the elegant, Georgian parlour experience, with Afternoon Tea a specialty. Light meals and cocktails are also served in the Sugar Loaf's gentile ambience. Those who enjoy a more rustic experience can prop up the bar at McGillsIrish pub with a 'Pint of Plain' and their choice of traditional fare - the perfect atmosphere for recounting the events of the day gone by, or planning for the day to come. Despite being so popular with locals and visitors alike, Powerscourt Estate has a great sense of calm and space. Enniskerry, the former estate village, has retained its old-world atmosphere. A stroll among its cafes, bars, artisan shops, antique vendors and boutiques is a must for any visitor. Located about 45 minutes from Dublin International Airport, we recommend a late morning or early afternoon flight home.
Waterville Golf Club
Make no mistake about it; Waterville Golf Links in Kerry is one of the finest links golf courses in the world, never mind Ireland. Located on the Ring of Kerry, the surrounding scenery and quality of golf holes is breathtaking to say the least.
Waterville has enjoyed great popularity and has hosted some of the world’s leading professionals from Faldo and Floyd to Stewart, O’Meara and Woods, all of whom have been captivated by the course. Raymond Floyd subsequently wrote of his experience: “this is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen it has some of the finest links holes I have ever played”. The late Henry Cotton, three times British Open Champion, probably said it best when he commented: “Waterville has to be one of the greatest golf courses ever built. If it were located in Britain, it would undoubtedly be a venue for the British Open. I have never seen a more consistent succession of really strong and beautiful golf holes than here.” Now that you’ve read what these guys had to say, don’t you want to see for yourself??? Oh and by the way, GOLFWORLD has ranked Waterville Golf Links #34 in the World.
Old Head Golf Links
"The most spectacular golf course in the world" - (Links Magazine)
Unrivalled in terms of the magnificent beauty and setting of the site, Old Head Golf Links continues to take the golfing world by storm. The brainchild of John and Patrick O'Connor, the Club has developed into one of the most recognized and sought after golf experiences anywhere on earth. The Course is 20 minutes from the Trident Hotel in Kinsale...
Old Head is a remarkably dramatic piece of Ireland, built on a 220-acre diamond shaped piece of land, jutting out over two miles into the Atlantic Ocean. The promontory is almost an island with numerous caves running beneath your feet as you play the course. The links and practice area occupy 180 acres and the remaining 40 acres of unspoilt cliff (rising in places to over 300 feet) frame the course. Old Head’s par 72 layout is comprised of five Par 5s, five Par 3s and eight Par 4s – stretching to over 7,300 yards from the tips - with a minimum of six tees per hole. Nine holes play along the cliff tops, and all eighteen holes provide stunning ocean views. With the ever-changing sea breezes, the course provides a stern test to the touring pro and the high handicapper alike.
Here’s what Tony Gallo, a member of the Carolina’s Golf Association who recently went on our tour, had to say about Old Head: “I’ve had the pleasure of playing Pebble Beach and Old Head, both of which are on most lists of the top 100 courses in the world. While Pebble Beach is more noteworthy due to its history of being the site of many United States major championships, I would vote for Old Head as my favorite course. While Pebble Beach is noted for its lone cypress tree and beautiful ocean side 18th hole, Old Head has many beautiful ocean views since it is built on a peninsula of land sticking out over two miles into the Atlantic Ocean. The total perimeter of the peninsula is made up of a continuous series of cliffs, some over 300 feet from the sea. A working lighthouse sitting on the western end of the course can be seen from all parts of the golf course. When I played Old Head, the fairways were in excellent condition and the greens were fast and true. While the course is prone to occasional showers and walking can be a bit tiring, I would chose Old Head as my favorite course in terms of playability and scenic enjoyment. It should be on every golfer’s bucket list.” We feel the same way and hope you’ll take the opportunity to cross it off your bucket list when you join us on our next Ireland Trip!
Ballybunion Golf Club (Old Course)
Emerald Isle Golf Adventure
The Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher in County Clare are Ireland’s most visited natural attraction with a magical vista that captures the hearts of one million visitors every year and are a Signature Discovery Point in the heart of the Wild Atlantic Way. They stretch for 8km (5miles), as the crow flies, along the Atlantic coast of County Clare in the west of Ireland and reach 214m (702 feet) at their highest point at Knockardakin just north of O’Brien’s Tower. Here you can have a world class one in a million visitor experience.
At the southern end of the Cliffs of Moher stands Hags Head, a natural rocky promontory that resembles a seated woman when viewed from the north. In the ancient Gaelic language, the word Mothar means “ruined fort” and a 1st century BC fort stood where Moher tower now stands. Therefore the Cliffs of Moher means the cliffs of the ruined fort and although there is no trace remaining of this two thousand year old fort it has given name to the cliffs which are visited annually by almost one million visitors.
The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience is located almost midway along these spectacular cliffs and the site is home to an environmentally friendly visitor center set into the hillside, O’Brien’s Tower – a 19th century viewing tower, and 800 metres of protected cliff side pathways, viewing areas and steps.
The Dingle Peninsula stretches 30 miles (48 kilometres) into the Atlantic Ocean from Ireland's south-west coast. The peninsula is dominated by the range of mountains that form its spine, running from the Slieve Mish range to Mount Brandon, Ireland's second highest peak. The coastline consists of steep sea-cliffs, broken by sandy beaches, with two large sand spits at Inch in the south and the Maharees to the north. The Blasket Islands lie to the west of the peninsula. We’ll see the famous Beehive Huts, Dunbeg Promontory Fort, enjoy views of the Blasket Islands, visit Gallarus Oratory and more. The peninsula has something to offer to everyone. Among other things: sandy beaches safe for swimming, walking routes for all abilities, a thriving Irish language community, a rich musical tradition, fine dining, sea angling, arts and film festivals, talented crafts persons and some of the best surfing in Ireland.
Ring of Kerry
The Ring of Kerry is considered one of the finest drives in the world. From rugged cliffs to golden beaches, small villages and pastures green to peat bogs and picturesque mountain ranges. This peninsula illustrates all that is beautiful, wonderful and wild in our beloved motherland.
The variety of sites makes this one of the most diverse and interesting day tours that one is likely to experience in their travel adventures. From ancient stone forts to landscapes carved out of rock by the Ice Age, from sparkling lakes to winding mountain passes our day trip shall be a highlight and shall ensure lasting memories of the beautiful Kingdom of Kerry.
Blarney Castle & Woolen Mills Outlet
We begin the day with a scenic drive to Blarney. We allow plenty of time in Blarney to give you the chance to visit the world famous Blarney Castle and gardens, and to kiss the Blarney Stone and take home the gift of the gab. We can also explore the magnificent gardens and visit the witch of Blarney. Admission to the castle is included. After a visit to the castle you will have time shop at Blarney Woolen Mills Outlet. What was once a small souvenir shop in a thatched cottage on wheels is now the largest Irish store in the World. Located in the small village of Blarney which is famous for the Blarney Castle, Blarney Woollen Mills now occupies a space of 60,000 square ft and is a key feature of the renowned Irish village.
The Old Midleton Distillery – The Jameson Experience
Jameson Irish Whiskey is world renowned and its history can be traced on guided tours through the Irish Whiskey Visitor’s Center. The Jameson Experience tour commences with an informative audio-visual presentation. Guests are accompanied by a tour guide and follow the Old Distillery Trail through the various historic and architecturally unique distillery buildings such as - Mills, Malting Houses, Corn Stores, Still-houses, old Offices and atmospheric Warehouses. The visitor can encounter superbly restored machinery and dramatic recreations of many of the steps in Irish whiskey production, going back in time to when farmers would have delivered sacks of locally grown Irish barley by horse and cart to the finished product that is now the world renowned Jameson Irish Whiskey.
Visitors can see the largest original Pot Still, with a capacity of 32,000 gallons and the Old Waterwheel manufactured in 1825 to provide motive power prior to the days of electricity, and still turning today. The secret of the Jameson Irish Whiskey lying in the triple distillation, where the spirit was kept for many years in maturing oak barrels imported from Spain, Portugal or America where they would have contained, Port, Sherry or Bourbon previously and this then would give the whiskey its characteristic flavor. Each visit to Midleton Distillery culminates in the Jameson Bar with the Irish Whiskey tasting session when you may have the opportunity of becoming a qualified Irish Whiskey Taster with a presentation diploma!
Voted No. 3 In the Top 10 Gardens of the World - by National Geographic!
One of the world's great Gardens, Powerscourt is situated 20km south of Dublin City Centre in the foothills of the Wicklow mountains. The Garden was begun by Richard Wingfield in the 1740's and stretches out over 47 acres. It is a sublime blend of formal gardens, sweeping terraces, and ornamental lakes together with secret hollows, rambling walks, walled-gardens and over 200 varieties of trees and shrubs.
The House was gutted by fire in 1974 but recently has been reborn as an exceptional tourist destination. An audio visual brings to life the rich history of the Estate, while the double height Georgian Ballroom has been restored and hosts wedding and special events. The House is now home to the best in Irish design in gifts, clothes and furniture in the Avoca Stores and Interiors Gallery.
Treat yourself to lunch at the Terrace Cafe where you can enjoy exceptional food, from each loaf of Irish bread to Mediterranean tarts or extraordinary salads. Come and explore all that Powerscourt House & Gardens has to offer, there's something for everyone from little explorers to garden enthusiasts!
Trump Doonbeg Golf Links
Anyone who has been to these lands, who has felt the impressive power of the Atlantic Ocean forcing its way along the rugged Clare coastline or smelled its rain-washed air knows why this land at Doonbeg is so unique.
Spanning 1.5 miles of crescent shaped beach and sand dunes, the Dr Martin Hawtree newly re-designed course at Trump International Golf Links Ireland is a stunning sight to behold and offers views of the Atlantic from 16 of 18 holes. The average time taken for a round of golf is four hours and thirty minutes. The par-72 layout features a single loop of nine holes out and nine back, playing 7,026 yards from the back tees. In line with Norman’s philosophy of ‘least disturbance’, the most natural route was taken in laying the course out through the sand dunes. As a result, the course has a unique combination of five par 3s and five par 5s. "Top 100 Courses in the World 2010" - Golf Magazine
As early as 1892, officers of the Scottish Black Watch Regiment considered Doonbeg an ideal setting for links golf. In the early 1990s, the Doonbeg Community Development Company began promoting the concept of a golf course at Doonbeg. With urging from that group, Shannon Development obtained purchase options for 377 acres of links-land from four local farming families. Doonbeg Golf Club Ltd., an Irish entity created by the partners of Kiawah Development Partners, acquired the options from Shannon Development and closed the sale in December 1999. Construction of the golf course commenced in December 1999.
The course opened on July 9, 2002, when Greg Norman defeated Irish Ryder Cup star Padraig Harrington by 2 to 1 in an exhibition match, but much interest and activity predated the event. In February 2014 the course was purchased by The Trump Organization. It has been renamed Trump International Golf Links Ireland. Since then Trump Doonbeg has been transformed by Dr. Hawtree to one of the 'must play' golf courses on the international circuit. He has allowed the character and soul of the land flourish while enhancing the playability tenfold. Every hole has its own identity which will both reward and challenge each golfer.