Golfer’s paradise: 17 beautiful courses on Ireland’s east coast

We’ve teamed up with our friends at golfscape to reveal hidden gems and shining stars on the island’s majestic east coast. Enjoy spectacular views and feel the glory of traditional links golf on some of Ireland’s most epic fairways…

Laytown & Bettystown Golf Club

Founded in 1909, Laytown & Bettystown Golf Club boasts a stunning traditional links course. With its undulating greens and narrow fairways, the course hides unexpected hazards and challenges. Set by the sea in the beautiful village of Bettystown, the course is a must-visit spot when in the Dublin region. Golf is just one of the ways you can get off the beaten track on your visit to Dublin.

Seapoint Golf Links

Measuring 7,150 yards, Seapoint Golf Links is a challenging test for even the best golfers. The ever-changing weather conditions conspire to ensure that every round is different and unpredictable. This relatively young links course has already hosted the Irish PGA twice and a European Tour event in 1998.

Arklow Golf Links

With its rugged sand dunes and elegantly meandering fairways, Arklow Golf Links is the ultimate traditional links course. Formed by Hawtree and Taylor in 1927, it has evolved with additional inputs from Eddie Hackett and Eddie Connaughton. Incorporating Wicklow’s evergreen beauty and boasting stunning views of the Irish sea, Arklow Golf Links is where you can play some of the best golf Ireland has to offer.

Blainroe Golf Club

Offering spectacular views of the Irish Sea and with the Wicklow Mountains as a beautiful backdrop, Blainroe Golf Club boasts an 18-hole championship course. Blainroe enjoys its own micro-climate which makes it a unique spot for golf all year round. This par 72 course carries the prestigious Hawtree & Son design signature and includes tricky fairway bunkers and sand-based greens. The course is well-known as one of the finest golf courses on Ireland’s east coast.

Mount Juliet

Mount Juliet Estate golf course, a masterpiece of Jack Nicklaus, opened in 1991 and has established itself as one of the best golf courses in Ireland. The layout is gloriously positioned amongst the woodland and rolling pastures and its beautiful accommodation incorporates the true meaning of Irish hospitality. The course has played host to legends like Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia, and Tiger Wood, who declared the course at Mount Juliet Estate presented “perfect fairways” and the “best greens we’ve putted on all year”.

Slieve Russell Hotel & Country Club

Splendidly wrapped around the drumlins and lakes of the landscapes of county Cavan, Slieve Russell Hotel & Country Club boasts a magnificent 18-hole championship course. The luxury and comfort of the hotel’s rooms, and the dreamy views of the lakes, guarantee an unforgettable stay, whilst the tricky greens of the course promise a worthwhile round of golf. The course has hosted major championships such as The Irish PGA Championship and a PGA Pro-Am tournament.

The Heritage Golf Club

Within the rustic landscapes of the Heritage Golf Resort lies a splendid course co-designed by the Ryder-cup legend Seve Ballesteros and renowned golf architect Jeff Howes. The two created a little piece of heaven for golfers that offers the challenging golf experience that Ireland’s golf courses are well-known for.

Carton House Hotel & Golf Resort (O’Meara and Montgomerie Courses)

Situated in the midst of a private parkland in County Kildare, Carton House Hotel & Golf Resort is home to two stunning championship courses. The O’Meara course is a classic parkland positioned on the banks of the River Rye, meandering through lush woodlands. The majestic Montgomerie course will take you on a journey across impeccable greens, against the stunning backdrop of the resort. The 36-hole Carton House has been the proud host of three Irish Opens as well as the World Amateur Team championships. The best thing about a vacation in Ireland, you don’t have to travel far to find lots of hidden gems off the usual tourist trail.

Mount Wolseley Hotel & Golf Resort

The course at Mount Wolseley Hotel & Golf Resort is a grandiose 18-hole championship course designed by Christy O’Connor Jr. With its unforgiving rough, testing water hazards, and lush greens – this par 72 course will not disappoint even the most discerning player. The resort offers exceptional comfort and guarantees a memorable stay whilst the layout promises an idyllic experience of golf in Ireland.

Knightsbrook Hotel & Golf Resort

With picturesque views of its carefully curated fairways, challenging greens, and water hazards, the Knightsbrook Course is a popular destination for golf holidays in Ireland. Equipped with excellent facilities, a swimming pool, sauna, and a jacuzzi, Knightsbrook Hotel & Golf Resort is a perfect place where you can escape hectic daily life.

New Forest Golf Club

Both a testing terrain for golfers and a joy to the eye, New Forest Golf Club is a truly amazing Irish parkland golf experience. With the forested surroundings and undulating beauty of its fine fairways, tees and putting surfaces, the course is one of the best in the country. The layout is positioned over gently rolling terrain, and encircled with woodlands that give the property a traditional feel.

Glasson Country House Hotel & Golf Club

Situated outside Athlone, Glasson Country House Hotel & Golf Club is a golf experience that ought not to be missed. Internationally recognised as one of the most scenic and challenging golf courses in Ireland, the course is designed so that you can enjoy either a testing game on a championship level or a relaxing tee time while soaking up the amazing atmosphere. Carrying the signature of the Ryder Cup star, Christy O’Connor Jr, the course boasts stunning lake views from every hole.

Concra Wood Golf and Country Club

Situated on Ireland’s Ancient East, Concra Wood is the only golf course designed by the legendary Irish duo – Christy O’Connor Jr and Christy O’Connor Sr. Boasting a fantastic mountain backdrop, the course has hosted major tournaments such as the European Challenge Tour and three Europro Tour events.

Bunclody Golf Club

Bunclody Golf Club is becoming another glittering jewel in Ireland’s crown of fine golf courses. Running over 7,000 yards of breathtaking parklands, the course carries the signature of Jeff Howes. The town of Bunclody enchants visitors with Adare-Style rustic charm, which can be felt throughout the course’s layout.

Macreddin Golf Club

Situated within the 160 acres of a striking natural setting at Macreddin Valley, the course represents the debut design of Paul McGinley. Alongside co-designer, the legendary Roger Jones, McGinley has showcased his talent throughout the visually appealing and challenging 7,172 yard par 72 “golfing pilgrimage” in the Wicklow countryside.

Woodenbridge Golf Club

For those wishing to play a round of golf in Ireland, Woodenbridge Golf Club is a hidden heaven that’s waiting to be revealed. This par 71 course was designed by Patrick Merrigan. It boasts two rivers that come into play on no fewer than ten of the course’s holes.

Rathsallagh Golf Club

Rathsallagh Golf Club was first opened in 1994 and is the joint masterpiece of Peter McEvoy and Christy O’Connor Jr. Rathsallagh is situated in beautiful County Wicklow parkland, with fairways lined with mature woodland. Its testing burns, ponds, and ditches make it a course to enchant and to challenge.

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Ireland? Check out our guide to the 9 most Instagrammable stops on the Wild Atlantic Way, and book your trip today on 

Note: this post was originally published in December 2018. It was updated in July 2019, and further updated in June 2020.