Fairways to Heaven Golf’s resident Ireland expert, Michael O’Toole gives you his top five “undiscovered” courses in Ireland
While you may not have heard of these courses before, they provide a world class links golf experience many times at a fraction of the cost of their more well known brethren. Take a look at Mike’s Top Five and then give us a call and let Fairways to Heaven Golf help you “discover” Ireland.
Located along the County Mayo/County Sligo border, Enniscrone Golf Links offers a stunning 18 hole track. Originally designed by Eddie Hackett and refined by Donald Steele, this wonderful links provides a true “Out” and “In” experience. Twelve of the eighteen holes wind through some of the tallest dunes along the coast, creating an awe inspiring round of golf.
A relative newcomer to the Ireland golfing scene, the Sandy Hills Course at Rosapenna opened in 2003 followed by a redesign in 2013. What has emerged is a stunning links golf experience in Donegal, set amongst some of most extensive dunes complexes in the world. A must play when visiting this remote and rugged part of Ireland.
Largely overshadowed by neighborhood heavyweights such as Ballybunion, Waterville and Tralee, the Dooks offers a stunning links golf experience along the shores of Dingle Bay. Over 125 years in the making, and with a relatively recent makeover by Martin Hawtree, the Dooks is a brilliant test of links golf not to be missed when visiting the Kingdom of Kerry.
Home to Shane Lowry’s stunning win of the Irish Open as an amateur a few years back, County Louth (or Baltray to the locals) is a classic Irish links set alongside the Irish Sea on 190 acres of unspoiled dunes. Located just north of Dublin, County Louth annually plays host to the East of Ireland Championship, one of Ireland’s most prestigious amateur events.
Along the north coast of Northern Ireland, Castlerock Golf Club sits amongst more well know clubs like Royal Portrush and Portstewart. However, it should not be overlooked. From the first hole to the last, the course provides a stiff test of links golf on par with many of the great Irish links of today. It is a must play when in Northern Ireland.
Michael has traveled extensively throughout Ireland over the past 15 years building a wealth of first hand knowledge about Ireland and what it has to offer the visiting golfer. In the summer of 2007, Michael embarked on a 70 day journey playing 56 rounds of golf over that time, while writing the O’Toole’s of the Trade blog on Footjoy.com. With his family roots hailing from the west coast of County Mayo, his passion for Ireland and its golf is no surprise.