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Blue water at Ballyliffin Golf Club

North West Ireland’s Best Golf Courses: Links, Lakes, & Legends

October 13, 2023
Northwest Ireland

The golf courses of North West Ireland are quite spectacular, tucked away in a secluded and striking wilderness littered with hidden gems and natural wonders.

Home to many world-class links layouts, North West Ireland is lined with beautiful beaches, overflowing with lush greenery, and built upon dramatic landscapes – resulting in a unique and challenging golf trip.

The region also showcases a charming and unspoilt lifestyle, where you’ll be welcomed with open arms to enjoy its traditional music and cuisine, and the infamous Irish hospitality.

Carne Golf Links, Belmullet Golf Club

Carne Golf Course weaves through naturally undulating terrain, with holes snaking up and down its towering dunes. Opened in 1992, it’s widely considered to be one of the world’s greatest links courses, with a landscape so suited to golf, little was moved during the construction. 

Positioned in an isolated spot on the Atlantic edge of County Mayo, the club sits on a peninsula almost 450 feet above sea level. The serenity of the environment, the beautiful landscape, and the magnificent views provide a truly unforgettable golfing experience.


Belmullet – a town on the north west coast of County Mayo. Belmullet has everything you could possibly want from a coastal resort, including beautiful white sandy beaches with crystal clear waters, wind-swept coasts and spectacular cliffs – as well as traditional cozy pubs and excellent restaurants.

Course Details

Established: 1992
Length: 6,702 yards
Par: 72
Designer: Eddie Hackett

Dunes at Carne golf links

The Dunes, Enniscrone Golf Club

The Dunes at Enniscrone Golf Club is one of Ireland’s top-ranked championship links. This unusual course is often described as a ‘moonscape’, thanks to its dramatic landscape that features some of the tallest dunes in the world – creating elevated tees and plateau greens.  

The course is located on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, and enjoys amazing views of Killala Bay, as well as the incredible Ox Mountains and Nephin Beg Range. 


Enniscrone – a small seaside town in County Sligo. A hidden gem along the Wild Atlantic Way, Enniscrone has plenty to offer visitors. Enjoy surfing, finish, and coastal walks, visit the various places of archaeological and historical interest, and sample the local cuisine at one of the many bars, restaurants, and cafes.

Course Details

Established: 1918
Length: 7,029 yards
Par: 73
Designer: Eddie Hackett, Donald Steel

St Patricks Links, Rosapenna Golf Resort

St Patrick’s Links at Rosapenna held its much-anticipated grand opening in 2021, and immediately entered the World Top 100. Designed by Tom Doak, the course routes beautifully through a terrain of grand dunes, offering stunning views along the way.  

Golf at Rosapenna dates back as far as the 1800s. The St Patrick Links Course is accompanied by the Old Tom Morris Links and Sandy Hills Links, forming a fabulous stay-and-play trio.


Downings – a pretty coastal village on the Rosguill Peninsula in County Donegal. Its beautiful beaches enjoy incredible views across Sheephaven Bay to Muckish Mountain and the Ards Peninsula. Downings is nestled into Sheephaven Bay – well-known for water sports, sailing, and deep sea angling. It’s also a stop on the stunningly scenic Wild Atlantic Drive.

Course Details

Established: 1921
Length: 6,930 yards
Par: 72
Designer: Tom Doak

Sandy dunes at St Patricks Links

Championship Links, Donegal Golf Club

Donegal Golf Course (known as ‘Murvagh’ within the golf community) was designed by two of Ireland’s finest links golf architects, Eddie Hackett and Pat Ruddy. The spectacular course is located on the Murvagh Peninsula, set against the striking Donegal Bay, and the dramatic Bluestock Mountains. 

The course has five par 5s, four par 3s, and nine par 4s – with the outward nine looping anticlockwise, and the inward nine playing clockwise. Donegal’s large championship layout and incredible setting make it a key feature on our North West Ireland Golf Tour.


The Murvagh peninsula in Donegal – one of the most scenic areas in Ireland. Explore its rugged landscapes, staggering cliffs, beautiful white beaches, spectacular mountains, and serene lakes. Or drive to one of the many traditional villages, historical sights, castles, or iconic landmarks. There really is something for everyone to enjoy in this charming part of the country.

Course Details

Established: 1959
Length: 7,4536yards
Par: 73
Designers: Eddie Hackett, Pat Ruddy

Mist over Donegal Golf Club

Glashedy Links, Ballyliffin Golf Club

Ballyliffin sits on the northern coast of Ireland, and offers golfers a choice of three spectacular courses – Glashedy Links, The Old Links, and a newer 9-hole Par 3 by Pat Ruddy. While both the 18s should feature on any North West Ireland Golf Tour, Glashedy Links takes our top spot. 

Opened in 1995, this exciting and challenging course twists and turns around huge sand dunes that have been created by the north Atlantic winds, offering a true links course – and presenting an enjoyable test for any player.


Ballyliffin – a small village on the north-western tip of Inishowen in County Donegal. Ballyliffin is a truly beautiful place to visit, with spectacular natural beauty, and incredible views over the Atlantic Ocean. In Inishowen, you can find fantastic food, activities, and attractions, as well as award-winning beaches, a rugged coastline, captivating woodland, and beautiful rivers.

Course Details

Established: 1995
Length: 7,423 yards
Par: 72
Designers: Pat Ruddy, Tom Craddock

Book Your North West Ireland Golf Tour

Plan your trip in advance to ensure you play your preferred courses, visit the most captivating attractions, stay in the best hotels, and enjoy the finest dining. Find out more about our North West Ireland Golf Packages and how Premier Golf can create an unforgettable experience.

North West Ireland Golf Tour FAQs

There are roughly thirty golf courses in North West Ireland, all featuring spectacular scenery, and each with its own challenges.

There are approximately 400 golf courses on the island of Ireland, accounting for around 11.5% of the total golf courses in Europe. In fact, Ireland is ranked fourth in Europe for the number of golf courses.