Duration : 07 Nights / 08 Days
Destinations : Lahinch, Westport, Donegal
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7 Nights 8 Days
Day 1 : Donegal – Arrive in Dublin and Enjoy a Scenic Drive to Donegal
Dublin has personality, with charming cobbled lanes, Georgian architecture, and antique shops. The ambience promotes an air of sophistication and elegance blending with historical pubs, jovial cultural music, and the aromas of traditional dishes made with a contemporary twist. Your private transfer greets you at Dublin International Airport upon your arrival, escorting you north to the town of Donegal. The scenic drive provides ample insight into the gorgeous landscape of the countryside. The emerald grasses spread across plains and rolling hillsides. The rugged northern coast offers a unique escape in its isolated atmosphere punctuated by the Derryveagh Mountains which frame the glowing valley. Surfers catch the breaking waves near the town of Bundoran. Lakes shimmer on the fringes of the landscape and lead to the gorgeous azure waters of the Northern Atlantic.
Locals speak Irish as much as English. The Blue Stack Mountains act as a backdrop to the town of Donegal, situated at the mouth of the eponymous bay. A well-preserved castle rises out of the encircling grass with silver streaks on the historical stone. Glenveagh Castle was modeled after Scotland’s Balmoral Castle in the 19th century, and the storybook estate encompasses more than 40,000 acres of woods filled with red deer and lakes brimming with fish. One of the rooms in the round tower is encrusted with pink candy-stripes. Actress Greta Garbo demanded to stay in the flamboyant room whenever visiting Northern Ireland. The gardens feature lovely terraces and an Italian design lined with blossoming carnations and geraniums.
Day 2 : Donegal – Relish your First Round of Golf at Donegal Golf Club in Murvagh
You have an early breakfast at the hotel, enjoying the refreshing aroma of herbaceous black tea. The scent of sizzling sausages accompanies fried eggs and bacon for a full Irish breakfast. After the meal, you set out onto the course that was founded in the early 1970s, but that carries on the traditions of championship golf. The entire course spans nearly 7,300 yards, with a total par of 73. The club stands at the edge of remarkable Donegal Bay and the peaks of the Blue Stack Mountains roll across the horizon. Eddie Hackett, a master of Irish golf course design and architecture, planned the course, following the Scottish influence brought by settled army regiments.
The course follows two loops of nine holes isolated from the mainland by woodlands. You reach the fifth hole, which measures over 190 yards and you spot the green situated on a plateau in the distance. A well-played shot could land you close to the flag in a single shot; however, if played poorly, the shot could land you in the bunker on the side of the green. Irish hares forage in the scattered brush alongside the course and gray geese linger in the ponds. You choose a club that can carry the ball to the top of the plateau and account for the sporadic gusts of wind. Square your shoulders, breathe, and swing. You connect with the ball and watch it fly, falling just short of the green but protected from the untamed surrounding tufts.
Day 3 : Westport – Delight in a Full Round of 18 Holes at Rosses Point Golf Club
In the morning, the aroma of fresh scones fills the dining room. Black currant and raspberry jams sit on the table as perfect accompaniments to a flaky and buttery pastry. You set out for a new adventure in County Sligo which is known for offering the best 18 holes in all of Ireland. The historic course was founded in the late 19th century and was refurbished in the 1920s. The grounds span over 6,600 yards for a Par of 71. George Combe, the founding secretary of the Golfing Union of Ireland, designed the original front nine, with the back nine crafted by Harry Colt.
The course has housed the West of Ireland Championship since 1923. Emerald grass mixes with white sand beaches and azure waters of the Atlantic, and the rugged Benbulben Mountain sweeps across the edges of the course framing the bay at the 11th hole. The par four creates a welcomed challenge in terms of its distance, which reaches over 400 yards. You aim down the left side to protect the ball from the tufts and wind.
An early Victorian home decorates the plain. Famous Irish author WB Yeats often vacationed on the estate. After the game, you have time to explore the county at your preferred pace, making your way to the town of Strandhill on the coast. Surfers take to the waves enjoying enjoy the splashing mist of the Atlantic. The scent of the sea fills the air and is accompanied by the aroma of fish and chips. Thatched-roofed cottages line the quiet lanes in town, while the megalithic tombs of Carrowmore decorate the countryside.
Day 4 : Westport – Discover the Subtle Differences in Scenery and Style at Carne Club
Sunlight washes over the Georgian architecture of Westport. Trees line the cobbled lanes and storefronts stand over the trickling waters of the Carrowbeg River. Arching stone bridges connect to the charming historical cottages and homes, and the scent of frying bacon emanates from the dining rooms. The sleepy town wakes to the sounds of the opening markets. You venture to a different course to experience the front nine.
Eddie Hackett designed the course in 1925 to reach more than 6,700 yards, and it remains a hidden gem for golfer enthusiasts eager to enjoy the westerly points of Ireland, the tranquil ambience of the Atlantic, and the unique contours of the landscape. The holes utilized the land rather than transforming it, adding natural majesty and the challenge of towering dunes and low-lying valleys. Isolated fairways give way to idyllic plateaus from which the green overlooks the pristine coastline. The first hole is a par four, setting the mood of the entire course by shifting dramatically 90 degrees to the right.
The green is set on a ledge surrounded by mounds and tufts of grass. The blind spots provide a thrill as you search lay-up, searching for the pin in the distance. In the afternoon, you head to Ballintubber Abbey, a cathedral in Castlebar. The foundations were laid in the 13th century over an earlier church when engineers quarried the stones from Patrick Croagh. Founded by an Irish king, the abbey has provided mass to the town and surrounding villages for nearly 800 years.
Day 5 : Westport – Enjoy Nine Holes before Taking a Luxury Tour of County Mayo
Sunlight washes over the emerald grasses and the fluttering flags of the Enniscrone Golf Club. The course was founded in 1918 and consists of nearly 6,900 yards with a full par of 73. The little-known but classic course overtakes dramatic dunes and magnificent greens for unforgettable views of the land and sea. The course was not extended to 18 holes until the 1970s, allowing you to experience the original nine holes in all their glory. The dunes, hallows, and rough grasses offer a sense of the landscape from centuries ago, untamed by the greens and fairways of the course.
Hole five, known as Ox Mountains, reaches 450 yards for a par four. You drive down the left side where the fairway offers a good view of the green. A bunker stands a little past the halfway marker adding an extra challenge to your long drive. The tranquil scenery provides the perfect ambience for a morning on the front nine. After the round, you venture to Ballylahan Castle on a luxury tour across the remarkable county. The castle was erected in the 13th century and retains one of its two circular towers stand at nearly 40 feet tall and are surrounded by a hexagonal bawn, a traditional Irish defensive wall.
Day 6 : Lahinch – Play Nine Holes in Connemara and View the Cliffs of Moher
You depart early for the fairways of your next club located along the Cliff Coast of the Wild Atlantic Way. The course was designed in the 1970s as a par 72 spanning more than 7,270 yards. The fairways and greens reflect the beauty of the surrounding Connemara landscape. The course remains an underplayed treasure, offering you the freedom to move at your preferred pace while enjoying the views of the Atlantic coastline. The architecture of all 18 holes creates variety and excitement for any enthusiastic golfer.
The sixth hole is a treacherous par three peppered with bunkers. You have no clear shot from the tee unless you hit the green directly. While putting the ball, it can roll at lightening speeds, causing the ball to overshoot the hole at the slightest tap. You continue to the town of Lahinch after the game, stopping at the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Center for a view of the fascinating landmark. The wind sweeps across the grass along the trail edges at the top of the cliffs. The steep bluffs reach heights of up to 700 feet above sea level, and the waves crash over the rugged rocks at the base. You are glad there is not a course having to deal with the unique and complex contours of the Cliffs of Moher.
Day 7 : Lahinch – Discover Lahinch Golf Club with a Round overlooking the Atlantic
The town of Lahinch stands over Liscannor Bay and has been drawing beachgoers to its shores since the first tourism boom of the 19th century. Today, Lahinch caters to the burgeoning surf scene with schools and stores clustered along the seaside promenade. After breakfast, you reach the fairway of Lahinch Golf Club, which first opened in the 19th century with a total distance of almost 7,000 yards for a par 72. The club is one of the oldest in Ireland and allows the breeze from the Atlantic to refresh you and change the direction of your shot. Nature’s elements continue to shape the course through sand dunes and undulating fairways.
Goats roam the shabby tufts of grass and graze on the delicious greenery. Locals use the goats as weather forecasters, noting whether the goats are grazing on the dunes or hiding from the coming rain in the shade of the clubhouse. You reach the fourth hole, a par five spanning 475 yards. A scenic valley spreads in front of the tee, demanding a blind second shot over a magnificent dune. You aim to the right edge of the fairway attempting to use the natural shape of the fairway to guide your second shot. You take a lesser club and hit low into the valley but clearing the hill. A bitter-sweet feeling washes over you when you sink the ball and make par on the 18th, bringing an end to your game in Ireland.
Day 8 : Shannon – Depart for Home
At breakfast, you think back to your time on the courses across Ireland, rating your favorite clubs, favorite holes, and most memorable shots. The scent of black tea fills the dining room, accompanied by the aroma of frying bacon and sweet raspberry jam. Sailboats pass the limestone ridges of Inishbofin Island, and surfers take to the waters for a morning splitting the breaking waves as the turquoise Atlantic brushes over the white sands of the beach. You could certainly stay in Ireland longer to discover the local culture and historical customs of hidden villages and bustling cities. When you are ready, your private transfer greets you at the hotel and escorts you to Shannon International Airport for your flight home.