The Grand Golf Vacation to Ireland: Tralee, Kinsale & Ballybunion

A 8 day trip to Ireland 
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Dunes poke out of the long stretches of unadulterated fairway. The wind pushes against your back bringing the sea salt aroma from the Atlantic Ocean. White sand beaches turn into remarkable cliffs where you find a secluded golf course overlooking the water. Practice your swing and watch the ball carry across a course designed by Arnold Palmer. Indulge lakeside with 36 holes of golf to play. Your custom tailored tour of Ireland is a golfer’s delight, taking you beyond the world-famous landscape into the tangible realities crafted from distinguished golfers’ imaginations.

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General Information

Photos
Photo by tiarescott
House and gardens, Killarney.
Photo by Sydneysailor
Photo by tiarescott
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Lahinch, Doonbeg, Ballybunion, Waterville, Killarney National Park, Killarney, Tralee, Kinsale

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departure.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Touching Down on the Fairway

Your luxury travel in Ireland begins as your private transfer meets you at the Shannon airport. The country is known for its sweeping verdant grasses and towering seaside cliffs. Dunes slope upwards from the beach and undulate across golf courses throughout the countryside. Once in Lahinch you find a seaside town popular for its beaches, surf, and coastal ambiance. Dough Castle stands in ruins outside of town overlooking the dale. The tower dates back to the 14th century. A calm, pristine white sand beach stretches over one mile near Spanish Point, named for a 16th century sunken ship from the Spanish Armada. Settle into the town before being escorted to the world-renowned Lahinch Golf Club.

The course is one of Ireland’s oldest, running 6,950 yards, adjacent to the Atlantic. The current course was created in the 1920s. From the tee, you can see the village in the distance, edged against the calm wake of the ocean. Hole Three is a par 4 reaching 420 yards long. The green sits atop a 30-foot tall dune. The wind brushes the bordering long strands of grass. Depressions of tufts of grass stand between you and the green, where a hidden bunker lays in front of the hole. The natural beauty of the landscape offers an enticing welcome. The challenge of the course offers a captivating enrichment to the surrounding splendor.

What’s Included: transfer, tour, accommodation

Day 2: Elegant Spread

The aroma of a full Irish Breakfast entices you in the morning. You hold your mug of fresh brewed hot tea and the herbaceous aroma drifts upwards with the steam. Bacon sizzles on the plate, and you devour your meal to fuel your impending round of golf at nearby Doonbeg Golf Club. The course is set near the powdery white sands of White Strand beach. People laze on the hot, soothing coastline and dip their toes into the cold azure water. The course officially opened in 2002 and has a Standard Scratch Score of 74, with a length over 6,800 yards. The links course is tough and uncompromising, yet elegant and charming.

The dunes begin at the edge of the beach, rolling through the alongside and across the fairways. Hole Fourteen is the most notable hole of the course measuring 111 yards at a par 3. The ocean reaches beyond the green, splashing in the short distance. The wind sweeps up randomly affecting your decision of which club to choose. Rumor has it that one person hit the green with a sand wedge. A deep valley of dense tufts separates you from the green. The hole perches high at the edge of the coastline on the three-tiered green. The wind calms, you pick your three iron and watch the ball sail over the small valley to safety. 

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 3: Established Popularity

A morning marine layer evaporates from the undulating dunes. A sheet of dew remains, slowing the trajectory of putts and adding a layer of slickness to the fairway. You leave behind Lahinch and make your way to Ballybunion, a seaside resort filled with history. The links course was founded in 1893 and hosted the Palmer Cup in 2004. The Atlantic water is warm, and a series of jovial, musical pubs line the main road known colloquially as high street. A statue situated in the foreground of a building painted sky-blue commemorates former United States President Bill Clinton during his golf visit to the town in September of 1998.

The sheer sense of history arises from the glistening fairways stretching a total of 6,802 yards long. Hole Eleven is a par 4 and the most famous hole of the course. The fairway edges the beach, slightly elevated from the sand, separated by a small rocky slope. Wild parcels of land interrupt the fairway. The wind prevails taking away the opportunity of a long shot. You aim your tee along the boundary. On your second shot you aim straight for the tee hoping to get enough force to add distance going into the wind. After your round on the historic Old Course you have the opportunity to play a second round on the Cashen Course to explore every crevice of golf glory at the club.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, transfer, accommodation

Day 4: Swinging Inside a National Park

Killarney is a town located inside Killarney National Park, situated near mountain peaks rising 3,300 feet above sea level. Lakes sparkle against the clear sky and waterfalls trundle down the mountains. Remnants of Bronze Age settlements underscore the wealth of history around the woods and 17th-century relics account for a lakeside resort-style establishment in the area. Ross Castle was constructed in the 15th century and stands on the lake’s shores. The stone parapet is constructed to allow archers or gunmen to fire while hiding behind crenellated wall. You are escorted to Waterville Golf Club with a Scratch Score of 72.

Renowned American architect Tom Fazio revamped the course but was originally established in the late 19th century. The dune-like contours were added to create more consistency in the terrain between the front and back nine. The course has been ranked the number one links course in Ireland. Hole Ten is 475 yards and slightly uphill. Dunes surround green. The water laps at the sandy shore to your left. You try to keep the ball away from the encroaching tufts on either side of the fairway. You have to gain height to reach the green separated from the manicured fairway by ridges. The brisk air adds levity to the day and the courses consistent challenges.   

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 5: Golfing Gauntlet

Your morning begins early, ready to take on a gauntlet of golf with 36 holes across two courses. You eat a hearty Irish breakfast to prepare you for the day, complete with potatoes, bacon, a variety of sausages, eggs, and vegetables all cooked in creamy butter and accompanied with soda bread. You feel ready to take on the challenge ahead of you. The crisp air brushes your cheeks and the morning mist settles into the grass. Arrive at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club, away from the rolling dunes of links courses.

You step onto the first hole of Kileen, the club’s flagship course, which held the Curtis Cup in 1996. The club was founded in 1893 and continues its tradition of excellence in both course design and surrounding scenery. Across Killeen Course, you notice the long fairways and meandering streams running into Killarney’s largest lake, Lough Leane. The course runs 7,121 yards long and with a Scratch Card of 72. Your second course at Mahony’s Point is 6,780 yards long, also with a Scratch Card of 72.

Mahoney’s Point is remarkably scenic, lined with fine trees and large plantations. Hole Sixteen is a par 5 and slopes downhill towards the lake. A stream runs through the center of the fairway and along the left bank of the tee. The air is still. The course is pristine. You grab a wood intent on going for distance in the calm ambiance of the course and the large green 458 yards away. Across the lake verdant trees rise along the layers of mountains. The placid water frames the hole and you can see the pin waiting.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 6: Playing with Legends

Tralee maintains a tremendous connection to its 13th century Norman heritage, filled with oral histories scattered across the town and countryside outside of Limerick. 18th-century buildings decorate the oldest remnants of town around Denny Street and Day Place. A stone bridge crosses over the River Lee near an opulent white windmill. The mountains slope downward into the peninsula. You arrive at the Tralee Golf Club and find 6,890 yards of immaculate links course on the shores of Barrow Bay. A legendary air emanates from the course, stemming from its design by the great Arnold Palmer and situated near the shoreline.

Set the tee on Hole One and find a fairway, reaching towards the water. By Hole Two you have a sensational view of the surrounding landscape. A par 5 with 596 yards of space, the fairway narrows before hitting the green, sheltered on a cliff the locals have dubbed “little corner.” The breeze blows at your back and can carry the ball farther down the course. The aroma of manicured grass is striking when combined with the splashing ocean waves against the rocky coast. You realize you won’t be able to cut the doglegging corner and instead play it safe, mentally preparing for par.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, transfer, accommodation

Day 7: A Fine Head

The town of Kinsale has winding narrow streets lined with cobblestones. Colorful, artsy shops line the walkways. Bars and restaurants fill with locals and visitors alike laughing the day away. Boats drift along the harbor, from elegant yachts to small fishing boats painted with vibrant reds, blues, and yellows. A 17th-century fortress that is shaped like a star guards the bay. After breakfast, you make your way to Old Head Golf Links located on the rocky outcrop protruding from the island. The course is located at the edge of the three-mile long peninsula perched above the Atlantic Ocean. The Scratch Card is 72 encompassing 6,756 yards of panoramic views. The course changes daily, repositioning the holes on the green for dramatic challenges.

The crashing waves and whisking wind creates an unforgettable soundtrack to your game. Hole Eight, know as God’s Acre, looks like a fairly straightforward par 5, however, strategically placed bunkers create hidden challenges. Roughs encircling the green add another unforeseen hazard. The hole partially curves left and reaches 549 yards in length. The entire course makes you feel as though you have inhabited an island, surrounded on all sides by the Atlantic, breeze filling the air with mist. When you find the fairway on Hole Eighteen, you understand why the hole is named “The Sanctuary.”

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 8: Open the Cork

Locals refer to Cork as the real capital of Ireland. Unique waterways encircle the city, and dedicated gastronomes frequent the delicious array of restaurants. The River Lee intersects the city center around 17th-century alleys and celebrated modern architecture. After breakfast, you venture through the city on your way to the airport. You can spend some time wandering along St. Patrick’s Street, winding through the narrow streets filled with charming pubs and chic cafes. Soon you will arrive at the airport for your flight home but your golfing excursion doesn’t have to end yet. There are always more courses to see and more of Ireland’s legendary landscape to witness. 

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer

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Price

Starting Price 

$3,195
This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.