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Golfing the Wild Atlantic Way

  • Ireland
  • OVERVIEW
  • ITINERARY
  • HIGHLIGHTS


Golfing the Wild Atlantic Way

13 Days

The Wild Atlantic Way is one of the world’s longest defined coastal touring routes, stretching for 2,500km along Ireland’s western seaboard. It’s a place where the wild Irish landscape collides with the dramatic Atlantic seascape, making it the perfect setting for stunning links courses.

Links land is a geological rarity. With a wind-swept coastline, the natural conditions on the Wild Atlantic Way mean some of the greatest and most challenging links courses in the world are found here.

 

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HOLIDAY ITINERARY



Day One: Arrival to Donegal

Day Two: The 1st Tee, Ballyliffin Golf Club

Day Three: The 2nd Tee, Co. Donegal

Day Four: The 3rd Tee, Donegal Golf Club

Day Five: Connemara with your guide

Day Six: Galway

Day Seven: The 4th Tee, Trump International Golf Links

 

Day Eight: The 5th Tee, Lahinch Golf Club

Day Nine: The 6th Tee, Ballybunion

Day Ten: The 7th Tee, Tralee Golf Course

Day Eleven: The 8th Tee, Waterville Golf Club

Day Twelve: The 9th Tee, Old Head Golf Links

Day Thirteen: Homeward Bound

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HIGHLIGHTS

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Day One: Arrival to Donegal

On arrival at Derry Airport, you will be met and greeted by your experienced chauffeur-guide who will accompany you for the duration of your time in Ireland.

Travel directly to your accommodation which is set in tranquil wooded grounds overlooking Lough Swilly at the northern tip of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way coastline; the property’s surroundings are best described as idyllic. The original house was built around the 1760s; in the 1800s it became the country residence of the Batt family, founders of the Belfast bank.

 

Day Two: The 1st Tee

Your Irish golfing journey commences with a round on the Old Links at Ballyliffin Golf Club, considered one of the very best golf resorts in the world. (No handicap required)

It is Ireland’s most northerly golf course and provides incredible panoramic views of countryside, coastline and ocean at every turn.

The Old Links undulates in the glory of its natural terrain, presenting an immensely enjoyable challenge to every golfer. Renowned golfer Nick Faldo was enthralled on first playing the links, saying it was “one of the most natural courses I have ever played”. Work undertaken by Faldo and his team has further strengthened The Old Links and brought much acclaim.

 

Day Three: The 2nd Tee - Co. Donegal

Tucked away in the southwest corner of Donegal, Narin and Portnoo Golf Club is situated in a beautiful seaside resort, and is considered one of the finest natural and scenic 18-hole links courses in Ireland, with sweeping views of Gweebarra Bay.

Opened in 1930, it is pleasantly old fashioned with a meandering routing over and around the dunes. The course has recently been re-developed and the new par 73 layout offers a range of teeing areas and challenges to suit all golfers. There are many memorable holes, but it is said that the 190-yard par three 5th, called “The Tank”, will stay in players’ memories for a very long time. (No handicap required).

Alternatively, visit Bundoran Golf Club. Founded in 1894, it is one of the oldest golf clubs in Ireland. With views of the vast Atlantic Ocean in one direction, and the splendid Dartry Mountains in the other; it is a wonderfully scenic course to play. With a clifftop position overlooking Donegal Bay on the Wild Atlantic Way, golfers are often lucky enough to catch a glimpse of dolphins and seals in the waters below.

 

Day Four: The 3rd Tee

Play Donegal Golf Club. Situated in the North West of Ireland, this challenging Championship Links golf course – one of the longest in Ireland and Europe – occupies the magnificent Murvagh peninsula in Donegal Bay. For this reason, it is known to locals as ‘Murvagh’.

It has been described as the ‘Muirfield of Ireland’, similar in terrain with two loops of nine holes, the first nine the outer loop and the second, inner loop running in the opposite direction.

 

Day Five: Connemara

Spend the day exploring Connemara with your chauffeur-guide. Located in the west of County Galway, it is one of Ireland’s most iconic destinations and is celebrated for its ethereal beauty.

Oscar Wilde described it as a ‘savage beauty’ and its patchwork of brooding lakes, rugged coastline, mountains, and windswept bogs certainly gives a sense of splendid isolation. But the region is also home to some of Ireland’s finest beaches, with wide stretches of pure white sands lapped by turquoise seas, and to picturesque fishing villages, tranquil coves, dramatic islands and some of the richest culture and traditions in Europe.

This afternoon see stunning Lough Corrib, Ireland’s second largest lough, from aboard a privately reserved 40-foot luxury motor-yacht. Whether you choose a leisurely pace, or prefer to cruise at high speeds with the wind in your hair, there is no better way to experience the water.

 

Day Six: Galway

There can be no better way to discover the city and to get a taste of Irish culture than with a culinary walking tour, led by a specialist local guide. Explore the famous Galway Market and sample a delicious array of local produce from cheese and seafood to sweet treats and local beers.

Visit some of the city’s best known food destinations and award-winning restaurants alongside some lesser known gems. Your guide’s insider knowledge will ensure a unique, and not to mention delicious, experience.

Continue south. Close to the village of Doonbeg, out on the water’s edge, sits one of Europe’s most distinguished 5-star destinations, your accommodation for two evenings.

 

Day Seven: The 4th Tee

Play a round on Trump International Golf Links, Doonbeg.

Spanning 1.5 miles of crescent shaped beach and sand dunes, the Dr Martin Hawtree newly redesigned course at Trump International Golf Links Ireland is a stunning sight to behold and offers views of the Atlantic from all bar two holes. (No handicap required)

Day Eight: The 5th Tee

Travel south to Lahinch Golf Club.

This is an enchanting place to play golf. Started by Old Tom Morris in 1894, he believed that Lahinch was one of the finest natural courses he had ever seen. In 1999, famous English golf architect Martin Hawtree gave the greens more size and slope, adding bunkers and reshaping fairways, which modernised the course to present a new challenge in the modern era.

The result is a remade masterpiece that will gladden the heart of 16-handicappers and Tour pros alike, with Phil Mickelson calling it his favourite links course.

Keep an eye out for the goats who roam across the links. It is said that if they are seen hovering around the Club House then the weather prospects are not looking promising! (Required handicap: 24 (M) & 36(F))

Day Nine: The 6th Tee

Play the Old Course, Ballybunion. Today the course requires little introduction, but it wasn’t until the 1980s when it enchanted Tom Watson that the world took notice.

The legend, Tom Watson, captain of USA in the Ryder 2014, is another lover of Irish links golf and was captain of Ballybunion in 2000, the club’s centenary year.

Upon playing here for the first time he said, “A man might think the game of golf originated here. There appears to be no manmade influence. It looks like the course was laid out in the 10th century” and “I am now of the opinion it is one of the best and most beautiful tests of links golf anywhere in the world.” High praise indeed; the 11th hole has been named Watsons in his honour.

Against fantastic sea views, enjoy a challenging 18 holes over undulating fairways lined by dunes and covered in long grass. (Required handicap: 24 (M) & 36(F))

This afternoon, take in the spectacular Wild Atlantic Way from the sky. Aboard a privately chartered helicopter, take in the spectacular Cliffs of Moher. Selected as one of the Signature Experiences of the Wild Atlantic Way, they are a breath-taking sight; the crowning glory of the County Clare coastline.

Day Ten: The 7th Tee

Play Tralee Golf Course. When it opened in 1984 it was the very first European golf course designed by the legendary Arnold Palmer, who stated “I have never come across a piece of land so ideally suited for the building of a golf course”. According to golfing folklore, Palmer created the first nine and Mother Nature did the rest; today, it still remains considered one of the finest links courses in the world. (Required handicap: 28 (M) & 36 (F))

The 2nd hole with the spectacular view of Inch beach to the right in considered a joy and is reputed to the location of the beach scenes in the epic 1970 movie Ryan’s Daughter, which won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography.

Day Eleven: The 8th Tee

Waterville Golf Club is one of the oldest in Ireland; golf has been played here since 1889. The original nine holes were reconfigured and expanded to create today’s front nine. Its layout was designed as a contrast to the more rugged and exposed back nine, yet it quickly introduces the player to the complexity and beauty of links golf.

It will provide the player with a truly mystical experience. Surrounded by the sea it combines the beauty of classic links land which is forever challenged and shaped by the elements. It is consistently rated among the top 20 links courses in the world. (Required Handicap: 28 (M) & 36 (F))

Prior to returning to your hotel, perhaps explore part of the coastline of the Iveragh Peninsula.

The Ring of Kerry is possibly Ireland’s most famous scenic drive. It encounters some of the country’s finest landscapes, weaving around a breath-taking mosaic of rugged, storm-weathered coast, steep mountains, medieval ruins, slate-coloured glacial lakes and welcoming towns and villages. As you might expect, there are many wonderful photo opportunities.

Day Twelve: The 9th Tee

Continue to the Old Head of Kinsale; the breath-taking headland is home to world-class golf course and luxury members’ accommodation. Your suite offers stunning views across the 18th green onto the Atlantic Ocean. Elegantly decorated and complete with a private patio, there is no other accommodation like it.

Play the Old Head Golf Links. The course has been ranked #1 in Links Magazine’s listing of the most spectacular golf courses on the planet. It’s built on a diamond of land, jutting out over two miles into the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a must-play for any golf fan at least once in their life.

 

Day Thirteen: Homeward Bound

Your chauffeur-guide will accompany you to Dublin Airport, where you will arrive in plenty of time to board your flight for onward travel.

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HIGHLIGHTS

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THINGS TO DO

OLD COURSE BALLYBUNION

This is links golf in its purest, most natural form which just happens to play over stunning dunes.

WATERVILLE GOLF CLUB

Is one of the oldest in Ireland; golf has been played here since 1889.

LAHINCH GOLF CLUB

Started by Old Tom Morris in 1894, he believed that Lahinch was one of the finest natural courses he had ever seen.

TRALEE GOLF COURSE

Opened in 1984. It was the very first European golf course designed by the legendary Arnold Palmer.

TRUMP INTERNATIONAL GOLF COURSE

Spanning 1.5 miles of crescent shaped beach and sand dunes at Doonbeg.

THE OLD HEAD GOLF LINKS

Has been ranked #1 in Links Magazine’s listing of the most spectacular golf courses on the planet.

PLACES VISITED

GALWAY

Galway is the official European Region of Gastronomy 2018. The region stretches from green fields and rich farmlands to the unique karst landscape of the Burren and into Galway city, the trout fishing capital of Europe, and along the wild, rugged Atlantic coast. Galway has one of the highest densities of restaurants in Ireland and includes two of the country ‘s Michelin Star restaurants: Aniar and Loam. Galway is a city with a proud seafaring tradition and Galway Bay is one of the most celebrated oyster fisheries, where the native Irish oyster is widely prized as a delicacy in the later months of the year.

THE RING OF KERRY

Is possibly Ireland’s most famous scenic drive. It encounters some of the country’s finest landscapes, weaving around a breath-taking mosaic of rugged, storm-bashed coast, steep mountains, medievalruins, slate-coloured glacial lakes and welcoming towns and villages. As you might expect, there are many wonderful photo opportunities.

CLIFFS OF MOHER

Selected as one of the Signature Experiences of the Wild Atlantic Way, the Cliffs of Moher are a breath-taking Discovery Point. They are the crowning glory of the Co. Clare coastline. Like a viewing platform for prehistoric giants who wish to peer over the edge of Europe, they provide an unrivalled view across the vast boiling wildness of the Atlantic Ocean

COUNTY DONEGAL

Co Donegal located in the very northwest corner of Ireland is the fourth largest county in Ireland. Here, see some of the country’s wildest scenery – windswept peninsulas, precipitous cliffs and rocky headlands abound the rugged coastline.

 

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

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