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Old Head Golf Links

Downmacpatrick, Kinsale, Co. Cork, Ireland

The spectacular Old Head Golf Links is one of the world’s most recognized and highly rated courses. Overlooked by a distinctive black and white striped lighthouse, and perched on a diamond-shaped headland with steep cliffs on all sides, it is one of the most dramatic settings in which to play golf.

Opened in 1997, Old Head Golf Club was created by a world-class design team assembled by John and Patrick O’Connor, who purchased the land in 1989.

Built in the modern era, but designed as a walking course, the Old Head golf course of Ireland features nine holes played along the cliffs, with the entire course enjoying views of the sea. It can also be enjoyed as part of the South West Ireland Golf Tour, allowing you to explore more of the region’s best courses.

Course Details

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Top 100 Golf Course in UK & Ireland
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Tees from 5,782 – 7,137 yards
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Spectacular Scenery
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Opened in 1997
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Ideal Location for South West Ireland Tour
Hole 12 at Old Head

Old Head Golf Links, Kinsale

If coming from Dublin airport, Old Head Golf Links, Kinsale, makes a perfect first stop on your Southwest Ireland golf adventure.

It is a true collaboration of a talented design team and to the club’s credit, they are all recognized for their efforts in doing justice to this ancient land. The group included Ron Kirby, who was a Jack Nicklaus design associate; Joe Carr, Ireland’s favorite son and storied amateur golfer; Eddie Hackett, a former pro and passionate golf course architect from down under, Paddy Merrigan, an Australian golf architect; and Liam Higgins, a southwest Ireland golf legend as Waterville’s first and only golf professional and successful Senior Golf Tour professional.

Built in the modern era, but designed as a walking course, the Old Head links course features a memorable collection of five par 5s, five par 3s and eight par 4s – nine holes play along the cliffs and all feature views of the sea.

While the neighboring town of Kinsale is a charming seaport and recognized as “the gourmet capital of Ireland” the five-star dining, spa and suite accommodations on property at Old Head rival the best food and lodging in Ireland. Be sure and have a pint of Guinness in the Lusitania Bar, named after the passenger steamship, that was infamously sunk off the head by a German U-boat in 1915. The bar also features artifacts from that fateful event whose loss of over 1,900 souls led to the United States’ entry into The Great War.

With an active membership hailing from both Europe and the United States and events for those members throughout the summer, those limited visitor tee times tend to be booked well in advance. And once they are all reserved the diary is closed to visitors, unlike the Old Course at St Andrews that holds out most times for a daily ballot. If the Old Head golf course is on your bucket list, it is suggested to plan your visit at least a year or more in advance not to be disappointed.

Location

old head golf links

Old Head Gallery

A path between the dunes at Lanich golf course

Take a South West Ireland Golf Tour

Play Old Head Golf Links as part of a South West Ireland golf tour. Include Ballybunion, WatervilleLahinch, Doonbeg and Tralee, on a golf package filled with the best coastline golf courses that South West Ireland has to offer.

7 nights accommodation and 6 rounds of golf

From $5,945 per golfer

From $2,673 per non-golfer

Old Head Reviews

Perfect Trip!

Rated 5.0 out of 5
July 8, 2024

I want to thank the Premier Golf team for a wonderful week…most especially, for this great weather! Wow did we ever luck 🍀 out!!! Heading back to the States in a few but all of us in the group had an amazing time and made memories that will last us forever. The golf seemed to get better each day, although it’s hard to trump Old Head. Tralee ran a very close 1A. All of the courses were fantastic and unique in their own way. Couldn’t have put together a better lineup.

Anonymous

Excellent all around

Rated 5.0 out of 5
June 22, 2024

We just returned from the Ireland trip, which was amazing. Old Head Golf Links and Ballybunion were awesome. We plan to go back there in July next year for a month and are looking forward to it. Having Connor from Premier Golf waiting at the airport us was a major plus!!

Andrew Y

Great time

Rated 4.0 out of 5
May 18, 2024

We played Old Head in slight rain but the location was magnificent. Waterville was good as the weather cooperated! Bally bunion was a trip. 50 mph gusts and drizzle! My caddie said he had been there for 17 years and had never seen a tougher day. But it was a great time.

Adare Manor was a real treat. What a great course!!

Mark C.

Exceeded My Expectations

Rated 5.0 out of 5
September 26, 2023

I was with Mark Osborne, so had much of the same experiences. The 7 courses we played would be hard to beat: Old Head, Waterville, Tralee, Ballybunion (Cashen)/(Old), Lahinch, and Doonbeg. We ended up eating at all of the recommended restaurants and we pleased with all. We had 8 golfers, so making reservations as early as possible is highly recommended. We often had chowder for lunch after our rounds. The chowder at Lahinch is not to be missed.

Mike Taylor was our driver and was perfect. Helpful, prompt, informative, funny, and professional are some of the adjectives to describe him. The coach was large and accommodating with everyone having more than enough room. Most importantly, Mike got us to our destinations on time and safely.

We experienced every type of weather imaginable. One day was a shorts day with plenty of sunshine and only moderate wind (2 extra clubs). The other days had winds which required shots with 4+ extra clubs. We did get the remnants of two hurricanes which added to the rain and wind.

Five of the caddies we had were off the charts good (clubbing, finding balls. humorous and reading putts). The other younger caddies were better than average but compared to the older caddies, were not as proficient. One day we rode in carts and our fore caddy was awesome. Caddies made a huge difference and I do not see how we could have played decent golf without them.

They’re those who will bypass Doonbeg because of the Trump name. They will have deprived themselves from a great experience. The course conditions were the best of the 7 courses we played. The clubhouse was easily the best.

We had researched a number of companies, before choosing Premier. We obviously made the right choice.

Mike Carlson

The seven day test.

Rated 5.0 out of 5
September 26, 2023

The golf on Old Head was scary good. Waterville was a tough beauty even without the wind gusting over 40. I want another shot at Tralee without the rain and 35 mph winds (we wimped out after nine holes). Ballybunion Cashen was extremely demanding and unique. Ballybunion Old exceeded expectations and had a couple of crazy holes that were even more fun. Lahinch was spectacular. No matter what you think of Trump, he runs a hell of a course at Doonbeg.

If you’re game isn’t sharp or you’re advancing in years, don’t be afraid to move to more forward tees. The caddies will love you for it. BTW, if given the choice, always take a caddie….worth ever penny as entertainment and as a stroke saver.

Our coach driver, Mike was THE BEST. You need not worry about anything with him in charge.

Our hotels were top notch. No cookie cutter facilities were they. It was sometimes difficult to get a full breakfast if we had an early tee time.

All in all Premier puts together a spectacular package to Ireland.

Mark Osborne

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Old Head Golf Links FAQs

To book a tee time at Old Head Golf Links, one of the most renowned golf courses in Ireland, you can conveniently arrange it through Premier Golf as part of a Southwest Ireland golf package.

As per the latest information the green fee is from €395 (2023). At Premier Golf the green fee is always included in the premium packages.

The closest airport to Old Head Golf Links is Cork Airport, located approximately 20 miles away. There are no direct flights from the USA to Cork Airport, though. The most convenient option is to fly directly to Shannon Airport, which is approximately a 2.5-hour transfer from Old Head Golf Links. From Shannon, you can arrange ground transportation to reach your destination.

On the Premier Golf Southwest Ireland Tour, we include either a self-drive automatic rental car, or transfers or chauffeur driven van from the airport.

Yes, we recommended to have a caddie when playing at Old Head Golf Course, as well as on other Irish courses, to enhance your overall experience. With their assistance, you can navigate the course more effectively, make informed decisions, particularly if you’re playing it for the first time.