2018 was the year when one of Ireland’s hidden gems was brought to the attention of the golfing world. Ballyliffin Golf Club, nestled amid spectacular scenery, hosted the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. Ballyliffin has long been a favoured course of Nick Faldo and Rory McIlroy, so it came as little surprise when a television commentator remarked during the event “It’s like God built this place with a links course in mind.”
It is, however, not the only top class course in Inishowen; in fact there are five other superb courses. Buncrana has two links courses; the Northwest Golf Club (18 hole) and the Buncrana Golf Club (9 hole). On the east coast, Greencastle Golf Club also has a links course (18 hole) while the Redcastle Hotel has a parkland course (9 hole).
Renowned for quality accommodation, excellent value and warm hospitality, Inishowen is the perfect destination for a golfing break.
Ballyliffin Golf Club
Ballyliffin Golf Club consists of two outstanding, contrasting links courses and 36 wonderful holes, making up one of the finest golf resorts to be found anywhere in the world. The expansive panoramic views of countryside, coastline and ocean savoured by these magnificent links courses will not easily be forgotten.
The Old Links undulates in the glory of its natural terrain, presenting an immensely enjoyable challenge to every golfer. Work recently undertaken by Nick Faldo has strengthened the Old Links and brought much acclaim from members and visitors.
The new Glashedy Links is a Pat Ruddy and Tom Craddock masterpiece fashioned around the incredible dunes, and is rated amongst the best links tracks in the world. Ruddy cherishes Glashedy as his own and has returned in recent years to fine tune the stunning bunkering of this magnificent links. Craddock and Ruddy are also credited with much of the improvement carried out to the old links in the course of constructing the Glashedy links.
Pat Ruddy is the owner of the European Club and is regarded as one of the greatest golf architects of modern times.
The Glashedy Links hosted the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in 2018, the Irish inter-provincial championships in 2006, the European Tour, North West of Ireland open in 2002 and the Ladies European Tour, Ladies Irish Open in 1998. The Old Links hosted the European Seniors Tour in June 2008 – The Irish Seniors Open.
The home to two championship links courses and one of the warmest welcomes in golf – this is a must when putting together an Ireland golf package with your friends.
“Ballyliffin’s two courses are a must play on any golf trip to Ireland” – Rory McIlroy
Northwest Club, Buncrana
North West Golf Club is situated in Lisfannon, just 3 km south of Buncrana, in an area of outstanding natural beauty. The Club dates back to 1891 where it was one of the founding members of the Golfing Union of Ireland (G.U.I). Measuring over 6300 yards (5760m), the links course is nestled beneath the so called “Mouldy Mountains” on the shores of Lough Swilly.
The ever changing light patterns ensure that the surroundings are stunning throughout the seasons. Very much like the old course at St.Andrews, the North West fairways have many humps and hollows and extremely good fescue greens with concealed run off’s that are not always visible from the fairway.
The North West is rich with success along its 127 year path through history, the latest of these successes coming from Brian McElhinney, winning the European Amateur Championship in 2003 and British Amateur Championship in 2005 to name a few of his achievements.
The club also won the All Ireland Senior Cup in 2005 and has competed well at local level in all teams events.
The course prides itself on being a true links with smooth and true fescue greens, fast running fairways, wispy rough with strategically placed riveted bunkering throughout the course. The “St.Andrews of Ireland” is a phrase that has been used to describe the scenic Links at Lisfannon and visitors to the club will not be disappointed when they tee it up at North West.
The Club has also seen the opening of the new 4th hole in recent times (2016) a new hole constructed along the coast which mirrors one that fell victim to coastal erosion.
Buncrana Golf Club
A secret delight and one of the lesser known golf clubs in the area, Buncrana Golf Club is a coastal 9 hole links course, offering superb views all around. The course is situated overlooking the beautiful ‘White Strand’ on the shores of the Lough Swilly and offers a challenging round of golf to players of all handicaps.
The Buncrana Golf Club is the oldest 9 hole links course in Ireland and is maintained to the highest standard. There is always a friendly welcome for new members and visitors alike.
Location: Approaching Buncrana from Lisfannon, take the 1st left after Inishowen Gateway Hotel, next to the tourist information office.
Greencastle Golf Club
Greencastle Golf Club is a beautiful 18 hole links course nestled in the idyllic surroundings of the Inishowen Peninsula. It is a member owned course situated in the north east of the peninsula on the banks of Lough Foyle with superb views across the water.
The club was founded in 1892 as a 9 hole course till its centenary year when a further 9, very challenging holes were opened.
The course is 5293 m in length, par 69 with an S.S.S. of 68 from the competition tees. The ladies course measures 4675 m, par 69 with an S.S.S. of 70. There are 6 par three holes and a stream / drain comes into play on 3 holes
Redcastle Hotel Golf Course
Popular with individuals and groups, The Redcastle Hotel’s very own 9 hole parkland golf course has the perfect location for golfing breaks in the north west of Ireland.
Enjoy some of the most breathtaking views in the world on a course that follows the contours of Lough Foyle.
The magnificent parkland fairways are dotted with trees and strategically placed traps.
There is also a fully equipped gym, a heated swimming pool and relaxing spa treatments available, all designed to make your golfing break at the Redcastle Hotel complete.