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.
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.
Play Old Head Golf Links as part of a South West Ireland golf tour. Include Ballybunion, Waterville, Lahinch and Tralee, on a golf package filled with the best coastline golf courses that South West Ireland has to offer.
6 nights accommodation and 5 rounds of golf
Prices starting from $4,100
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.