Golfing in Dublin Ireland

Travelling to Dublin, Ireland and where to play golf? First off, would you like to play golf links courses or parkland golf courses? The main differences between Links Golf and Parkland Golf are that links golf is located next to the sea and the course is built on sand dunes. Parkland golf courses are inland, tree-lined courses which are typical course type in every country. Typically most golfers travelling to Ireland would like to play true Irish links golf.

Golfing in Dublin Ireland

Golfing in Dublin Ireland

Which leads to the next difference. Price! There is a higher cost to play a golf links course compared to playing a parkland golf course. Golf courses such as Portmarnock Golf Club and the European Club charge more to play than compared to Druid Glen and The K-Club. All of the four courses mentioned are great courses to play. However, each course has a very different layout and service offering.

My Top List of Courses to play in Dublin

Irish Golf Links Courses  Parkland Courses 
1 Portmarnock Golf Club Druids Glen Golf Resort
2 The European Club The K-Club Palmer Course
3 County Louth Golf Club Powerscourt Golf Club
4 Royal Dublin Golf Club Palmerstown Golf Club
5 The Island Golf Club Dun Laoghaire Golf Club
6 Portmarnock Golf Links Resort Hermitage Golf Club
7 Laytown & Bettystown Golf Club Castleknock Golf Club
8 Seapoint Golf Club Elm Green Golf Club
9 Corballis Links Golf Club Carton House Golf Resort
10 St Annes Golf Club Balbriggan Golf Club

***There are more golf courses to play in Dublin than what I have listed.

How to Book Golf in Dublin

Essentially, search online and find the golf course that you want to play. Please note that tee times can be booked online or contact the golf club directly. However, please note that Saturdays and Sunday can be members days and some courses do not have times available for outside play on weekends. Therefore, plan to play the resorts on weekends, such as Druids Glen, Portmarnock Links Hotel or Carton House.

Finally, please feel free to contact us (CLICK HERE) if you have any questions or submit your email address to receive monthly emails on Irish and Scottish Golf.

Written by John Dooley Concierge Golf Ireland


Royal Portrush Golf Club

Golf in Portrush

The British Open week at Royal Portrush Golf Club will be from the 14th of July to the 21st of July 2019. However, since not all of us are good enough to play! The following is a list of golf courses to play in the Portrush area during the Open Championship.

  • Ballycastle Golf Club
  • Ballyliffin Golf Club
  • Castlerock Golf Club
  • City of Derry Golf Club
  • Malone Golf Club
  • Portstewart Golf Club
  • Roe Park Golf Resort
  • Royal Belfast Golf Club

Notably, there are plenty of Irish Golf Links courses to play in the neighbouring county of Donegal. Please click on this link to see a list of Donegal Irish links Golf courses to play.

Royal Portrush Golf Club
18th Green at Royal Portrush Golf Club

Suggested Hotels

The downside, there won’t be an economical Hotel room to be found during the week of the Open Championship. However, the following number of hotels to consider using for future trips to the Portrush area.

Notably, there are bed and breakfasts, guest houses in the Portrush area. Also, please consult your favourite search engine to locate the room type of your choice.


 Thing to Do

One must visit the Giants Causeway, Dunluce Castle and if you like whiskey? There is a lovely whiskey tour around the Bushmills Inn whiskey distillery. Additionally, the coastal drive from Portrush to Cushendun is beautiful. Along, consider stopping at the coastal towns for a tea, coffee or a pint. The towns are lovely places to visit, and the views will provide plenty of photo opportunities. Finally, if you have the time, take the ferry from Maligan Point to Greencastle and visit the famine village near Ballyliffin Golf Club.

Dooley Noted on Royal Portrush Golf Club

The course is fantastic, and indeed, the Royal Portrush Golf Club is a bucket list golf course and a real test of golf. Also, from my experience, I did like the caddy program at Portrush, whereas I found that golfers too enjoyed excellent caddies at Royal Portrush. Therefore, our advice is to hire the services of a caddy. To fill up a seven-day golf trip to Nothern Ireland, may I would suggest a three-part plan to start working on:

  • Firstly, map out the golf courses that you want to play and book early!
  • Secondly, spend a couple of nights in the Portrush area. Perhaps, use Belfast as the alternative base of operations to travel back and forth to Portrush.
  • Finally, move on to play the Rosapenna Golf Resort and around the Wild Atlantic Way in Donegal.

The post was written by John Dooley | Concierge Golf Ireland | email: 


Lahinch Golf Club 2019

Golf Ireland | Lahinch Golf Club | 17th Green

2019 Lahinch Golf Club.

A busy year in store for Lahinch Golf Club 2019. Note the following dates for planning golf trips to Ireland for 2019. Lahinch Golf Club is certainly one of the best Irish Links courses not to be missed by any golfer.

Lahinch Golf Club, dates to note:

  • 4th July – 7th July the course will be closed for the DDF Irish Open.
  • 24th of July – 28th July The South of Ireland Amateur Open Championship will be played
  • 1st of Aug – 18th Aug Lahinch Golf Club Members’ Festival of Golf.
  • 9th of Sept to 13th Sept Home Internationals.

For more information on each of the golf events. Please click on the following links. CLICK HERE Irish Open | The South of Ireland | Home Internationals |.

Indeed, the August event is only for club members, and those dates are not available for outside play. Whereas the home internationals is open to anyone to watch the best amateur International golfing teams from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales compete against one another. The Home Internationals is one of the Top Amateur golf events in Great Britain and Ireland.

Dooley Noted:

Notably, tee times will not be available for outside play during those above dates possibly other dates. However, there are other courses to play in the area such as Trump Doonbeg, Dromoland Castle, Ballybunion Golf Club, Tralee Golf Club, Ennis Golf Club, Castletroy Golf Club in Limerick. Finally, please contact us if you require any further information.

Written by John Dooley PGA

Reviewing Irish Golf Courses

As Autumn moves in and the weather starts to cool and the rain returns in buckets! I have gathered my thoughts from the last number of months about golf courses played and the services provided. Therefore, it’s time to start Reviewing Irish Golf Courses played during 2018. The following opinion is mainly from my insights into golf, and my golfers feedback from the golf courses they have played in 2018.

Reviewing Irish Golf Courses | Golf Ireland
Standing at the Stone of Accord at Old Head Golf Links looking back at the clubhouse.

Adare Manor Resort

Adare Manor Resort played great. The forty green staff provides a golf course in pristine condition, and they work hard at keeping Adare the best-conditioned course in Ireland. Adare is by far the most impressive manicured golf course to play in Ireland. There is room to hit the ball around off the tee and the challenge to score is around the greens. The greens are mainly raised platforms with severe undulations to read. The bunkers are deep and very playable, and the green side run-offs are kept as good as most greens that we would play in any given year. The newly refurbished Resort Hotel is again the best property to visit in Ireland and not soft on the pocket.

Ballybunion Golf Club

Ballybunion has undergone a whole host of recent upgrades and changes to the Old Course a few years ago. All eighteen greens were rebuilt, and a new fescue grass forms the bases for those greens. The drought affected the fairways that the club dramatically and the powers that be decided to overseed the fairways with a new grass to prepare for 2019. Thus, right now the fairways are bare in places the lies are quite tight, but playing from the fairways is not as bad as they look. However, that is my observations, and I would be keen to learn about your Ballybunion experiences from 2018.

Also, golfers found that playing the hard and dry golf courses was challenging to manage for many reasons. Such as:

  • Difficult to hit shots off the hard fairways. Typically the clubhead bounces off the hard turf sending the golf ball off target.
  • When an approach shot missed hitting the green, the balls bounced rolled into the ticker rough, which was extra hard to get up and down

Trump Doonbeg

From the early part of the golfing season, the drought affected most of the links golf courses. Some courses let nature take it courses and others watered the course daily such as Doonbeg. Golfers enjoyed playing Doonbeg this year more than previous years due to the quality of the fairways compared to other courses. Perhaps, the dry weather caught some golf courses off guard, but it is my view that golf courses and operators should be able to deal with such problems.

Reviewing Irish Golf Courses
The left of the 12th Hole at Old Head Golf Links

Old Head Golf Links

To the team at Old Head Golf Links, please take a bow for excellence. The set of the course, fairways, greens and tee boxes all played very well each time I played this year. The greens rolled smoothly, and it’s a toss-up between Adare & Old Head for the smoothest surface played. Also, my customer feedback noted that the Old Head’s is ranked number three from their caddie experiences. The caddie service was engaging with the golfers, friendly, funny jokes and offering sound advice.

Royal Portrush Golf Club

I am not surprised that all the tickets are sold out for the British Open Championship at Royal Port Rush Golf Club, 2019. The Open Championship is expected to be a great buzz and fantastic for the Portrush and surrounding areas. Please note that accommodation costs in those areas are higher due to that event.

The club is doing what they can to ensure that the course will be in the best condition possible for the Championship next year. Such as, golfers must play off mats in May next year, and the course closes for play in June. Yes, indeed the course is indeed a great test of golf, thankfully there are not as many blind shots off the Tee comparing to Royal County Down. However, accuracy and hitting the ball into the right section of the green is the challenge at Portrush.

The club caddies performed good, the information was good, and the caddies were very engaging. Certainly, golfers prefer the service from a single caddie rather than a double caddie. The main reason is the caddie service for just one person is better than a shared service. For example, looking for one golfer’s ball per hole and not two golfers at the same time! The caddie is providing golf shot information on demand rather than waiting for the other player to play, etc.

Portmarnock Golf Club

I played nine holes recently in an unplayable storm force wind at Portmarnock. I was disappointed that the weather was for crazy golf and crazy for golfers to play. But there will be another time. However, I have played Portmarnock a number of times and I did see a number of upgrades and changes. The Club has updated the course and did a lot of work on the bunkers, greens, tees and removed some of the scrubs in places. The work was undertaken to prepare for Royal and Ancient Amateur Championship to be hosted by Portmarnock Golf Club in 2019.

The tee boxes and fairways were well defined. But, the fairway turf is hard and dry, notably, from tee shots, the ball will run more than you think. Therefore, leave more room to chip and run the ball off the greens. Also, be careful about aiming at the bunkers as the ball may run out into that bunker.

The course played great, the green looked and rolled as expected fine until the wind blew the ball off the greens. For the time spent with the caddies, they were entertaining and provided good advice.

I will update this review again in the coming months after another game at Portmarnock.

After playing Hogs Head Golf Club

Hogs Head is a new course build on the foundations of a course that was called Skellig Bay in the Waterville area in the South West of Ireland. I thought the new course was good fun to play and I am sure as the course matures there will be more improvements.

Indeed, on the day that I played, the course was in good condition. Additionally, I enjoyed the course, it was cool, fun, lovely views and a challenging course to play. Whereas, Waterville is very close to Hogs Head and it is less than a 5-minute drive from door to door. It is worth noting that Hogs is an easier course to score on than Waterville Golf Links.

Notably, I believe it is essential to describe the course as I see it. Hogs Head is not a representation of  “The Irish Golfing experience” or a traditional Irish golf course, which is all fine, the golf course and facilities offer a different type of experience than mentioned. The golf course is kept in great shape, the Hotel and Lodges are at a 5* standard, and the customer is prompt.

To summarise, I would suggest that the Hogs is for golfers that like luxury accommodation, prompt customer service, a playable course and not much pressure to play on time.

Royal Dublin Golf Club
Royal Dublin Golf Club

Royal Dublin Golf Club

I played Royal Dublin early October 2018. Notably, I did enjoy playing the course and I have the following points about the Royal Dublin Golf Club;

  • 1885 was the year Royal Dublin Golf Club became affiliated an 18 hole golf course and the 2nd oldest club in Ireland.
  • Royal Dublin offers single caddies before double caddies which is a good policy for the golfers requesting single caddies
  • The course is located from 30 minutes from Dublin airport and 20 minutes from downtown Dublin City centre.
  • Fairways are tight and golfers need to hit accurate tee shots to keep the ball on the short grass.
  • The greens are slim and not that wide, whereas accurate approach shots are crucial.
  • There are slopes to deal with around and on the greens.
  • However, I found that there are all kinds of shots you can play from around the green. Such as the chip and run. Putter, chip shot, lop shot and any other shot you can think of.

Indeed, the club is very welcoming to visitors and the Pro-Shop is generally the area to check in on arrival. Finally, I enjoyed a nice meal before departing that evening. Therefore my reflections on the day were, good services, a lovely experience and yes indeed, please put the course on your list of courses to play

Dooley Noted Reviewing Irish Golf Courses

We all have our views on what is and what is not a good or great golf course to play. I identify the quality of the course by the following categories:

  • The condition of the course
  • Playability of the course
  • Caddie services
  • Booking, checking in and the customer service journey from start to finish
  • Club House facilities
  • Quality of food provided relative to the offering
  • Club communications
  • Problem-solving should problems arise

For some golf courses I feel I need to write and write to explain my viewpoint, however, golf is easy to enjoy, hit the ball, find it and hit it again. Or as I coach the game, my taglines are “keep the game simple, but we need to work on some technical information to keep the game simple”.

Please feel free to contact me about my views on Reviewing Irish Golf Courses. My contact info is located at CLICK HERE.


Golfing in Cork, Ireland

5-Day Golf Tour South West Ireland | Golfing Cork Ireland


 Why golf in Cork, Ireland?

Cork City is a small and wonderful city for people all over the world to visit. There are plenty of historical places to visit with very interesting stories to match, such as Blarney Castle and visit Spike Island. There is also the Jameson experience located in Middleton, Cork Gaol (an old jail), lunch in the English Market, visit Crawford Art Gallery and the list of great things to do is long! However, this blog post is about three great hotels to visit and three golf course to play while visiting Cork City!

Hospitality in Cork City.

I picked out three hotels that are unique and offer great services over three hotel standards. Hayfield Manor is a five-star hotel located in Cork City, its a manor style property, opened in 1996 and remains a family run business. As you would expect, the restaurant and SPA are excellent and the one-hour deep tissue massage is a lovely treatment to book.

The second hotel is the Montenotte four-star hotel. Notably, since 2016 the hotel has made a significant investment into the hotel rooms and hotel apartments. What I find unique and fun about the hotel is the type of experience available. My example is to arrive at the hotel, enjoy a coffee and as you walk around the Victorian sunken garden.  Followed a really nice meal at the terrace restaurant and a movie at the Cameo Cinema after dinner.

The third hotel is the three-star Metropole Hotel. The Met is located in the middle of Victorian Cork and minutes away from all the Cork nightlife. Also, in 2017 the hotel invested a significant amount into their 108 hotel guest rooms and interior decor. Also, the concierge service at the Metropole hotel is one of the best in town. The head concierge, Mr John Coleman and his team provide all sorts of information and guidance for the hotel guests. Essentially, the concierge team is so enthusiastic that the hotel guests comment on how much better they enjoyed Cork City from John’s advises.

The following is a video created by Concierge Golf about three hotels recommended for Cork City.

Golfing in Cork.

Namely, there are fourteen parkland golf courses to play within forty minutes drive from Cork City. The three most notable golf courses to play are Old Head Golf Links, Cork Golf Club and Fota Island Golf Resort.

Old Head Golf Links is known as one of the most scenic golf courses in the world. Whereas, Cork Golf Club was redesigned by Allister MacKenzie and Fota Island Golf Resort has hosted the European Tour’s Irish Open on a number of occasions. Each course is unique and they are all a must play golf courses whilst visiting Cork, Ireland.

John Dooley created this video talking about three of the best golf courses to play in Cork, Ireland.

Dooley Noted

Finally, the tips! Book Old Head Golf Links eight months to a year in advance of playing. Old Head is a very busy golf course and yes indeed, Old Head is the number one course to play in Cork, Ireland. Notably, Cork Golf Club is accessible on most days except, Thursdays, Saturday and Sunday mornings. Golfers can book golf tee times Fota Island from the main website.

Hotels are easy to book, but sometimes hotel rates can rise quickly. Please, book early to secure good rates and avoid been caught out by seasonal events that can be hosted in Cork City. Which will add to the cost of rooms, so, don’t delay and book today!

Lastly, transportation. There are the usual car rental brands (Avis, Hertz) located in Cork City and Cork Airport. Also, there are a number of private transport providers that can transfer the golf groups from the golf courses to hotels daily.

Essentially, Concierge Golf Ireland offers a service to book and manage tee times, hotels, transportation, restaurants and things to do. Also, Concierge Golf will manage the payment process for each service selected. The hard part is to select what golf courses to play, hotels, things to do. Then, Concierge Golf will take care of the rest of the details and providing the best customer support services available. Feel free to contact us for more information about golfing in Cork, Ireland. Golfing Cork Ireland.

Contact us:| Web: | Tel: +353212427913 | John Dooley Concierge Golf Ireland & Golfing Cork Ireland.

Adare Manor Golf Resort a quick review

Adare Manor Golf Resort

Adare Manor Golf Resort 15th Hole

Adare Manor is truly a wonderful golf course and WOW is this course in good shape! With approximately fifty greenkeepers taking care of the course daily, Adare is by far and above the most manicured course currently in Ireland.

The most noticeable changes to the course are that all eighteen greens are completely different than the Old Adare. The layout from holes one through eighteen has not really changed, but as I have said, it’s mainly the greens are significantly different. Notably, if you can remember the fairway shot into the 5th green? It was, for the most part, a blind second shot. Now the 5th green has been lowered into a bowl shape green. Thus meaning that if you miss your shot slightly to the left or right, the green side bank will more than likely bounce the ball back onto the green.

Also, beware of overplaying approach shots. Thus, meaning that if you hit your approach shots either too long or too short. The wonderful greenside aprons are cut soo tightly. Which means gravity will send the ball running back down the hill into a swale or run off the green into the water!


Adare Manor Golf Resort
Back of the 6th green, note how tight the apron looks and say bye bye golf ball…

The 18th Holes

The runoffs are a feature to most of the greens, such as the front of the 10th green, 12th green, 15th and more the front of the 17th. However, the 18th hole will be a hole to be remembered. There is a river running parallel to the left of the fairway and golfers will have to cross over the river to play for the green or laying up to the front of the green. There is plenty of room to the right off the tee to avoid the river. However, the layup shot may be a problem dealing with a tall tree should your ball end up too far to the right off the tee shot. Ideally, the line off the tee is straight at the right side of the crossing bridge in the distance.

The 18th green is approx. 43 yards in length. The green is significantly raised 18th green with sharp/steep runoffs to the left side and at the back of the green. Leaving a really hard chip back onto the green. Also, since the green is mainly sloping towards the river! Dooley says; the best play is avoiding hitting a low shot into the green. Consider, laying up to the 75 – 100 yard marker and play a high shot into the green for the best chance to make BIRDIE!

Adare Manor Golf Resort
Adare 18th Hole – sloping towards the river – Adare Manor Golf Resort

What I liked about the course:

  • The Fairways: The ball sits up consistently on the fairways and the soil texture felt great hitting from the short grass.
  • The Greens: Green speed will be challenging and the slopes can be difficult. But I found the slopes were not at all too difficult to manage and read. However, if you miss a green and your chipping is suspect? I would suggest using the putter if the rough is not in the way.
  • Tee Boxes: Not a blemish and perfect.
  • The Caddies: The caddies in our group were excellent. Indeed, they were nice guys, good green reads, good yardages, and no second guesses.
  • Bunkers: Nice sand to play from and expect tough bunker shots.
  • General Holes: Yes the holes are a similar layout to the previous Adare. However, my view is that Tom Fazio has improved on the previous RTJ design.
  • Standout Features: What stood out from my first impressions, was how much work was completed clearing all the scrub along the 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th & 17th holes. Finally, all 18 greens are all new but, the 1st, 5th, 17th & 18th are really different. Be concerned that the operation is quite new and pace of play will be an issue at times.

Dooley Noted:

Adare is beautiful and just short of being a perfect presentation every day of the week. The course is a whopping 7509 yards from the Tournament tees with a slope rating of 131. Whereas the white/medal course plays 6505 yards with a slope of 124 and forward green tee measures approximately 5860 yards and a slope of 117. Therefore, the course can play a range of lengths ensuring that golfers can play the length of the course suited to their enjoyment.

Notably, that day I played the weather was overcast and damp, however, I did really enjoy playing the course. If you are looking for a golf course that is manicured close to perfection then Adare Manor is for you. However, if you are looking for a typical Irish Golf Club with its own identifiable personality? Adare is just opened with an emphasis on premium service. For this reason alone, service is great but it can be quite formal. Again, this is great if you prefer a formal service offering.

Check out Adare Manor Golf – Click here | Contact Concierge Golf Ireland at CLICK HERE | Adare Manor Golf Resort | 5* Luxury golf in Ireland.



My Favourite Hole at Royal County Down

Royal County Down

Royal County Down

My favourite Hole at Royal County Down is the 3rd hole.  The hole is brilliant, hard to play and Dundrum Bay is on your right. Also, the hole is a total beast!

Off the Tee:

I can best describe how to play the hole from the point of view of the long hitter and the shorter hitter. Indeed, depending on the set of tee blocks that you are playing from. I would recommend, play a tee shot to hit between the two fairway bunkers allowing for a kind bounce to the right side of the fairway. The bigger hitters should aim to carry the left-hand bunker to the plateau. This should give the player a good line into the green. However, please do consult the yardage book or your caddy to identify how far you need to play the shot.

The Fairway:

No matter where you are on the fairway, the approach shot to this green is tough and challenging to play. The factors to consider are; distance for your approach shot, wind, rain and how your ball is lying. If you’re shot is short then there is a knuckle guarding the front left of the green. Also, there is a bunker to deal with on the right and depending on how good the lie is, a good bunker shot out is pin high right.

Royal County Down
The runoff at the end of the fairway

The Green:

Notably, The 4th green is one of the flatter greens to play on. However, reading this green is not easy at all and do take a few seconds to view the putt from both sides.

Indeed, the best score at this hole for me is par, but I would like to birdie the hole sometime.  Finally, please do watch out for the rough, it’s thick and even with a good lie, try playing a 9 iron or a wedge back into play. This is a flyover view of the 3rd hole: CLICK HERE to see the flyover:

Enjoying Golfing in Ireland with | Email: 

Royal County Down Golf Club

Royal County Down Golf Club (RCD)

Concierge Golf Ireland
Mourne Mountains on the 16th Hole at RCD

Royal County Down Golf Club or otherwise known as RCD has been ranked by various authors as the number one golf course to play on the Island of Ireland. Indeed, the setting and location of the golf course are both beautiful and unique. The course borders Dundrum bay along with the backdrop of the Mourne Mountains. The most iconic setting is certainly walking from the ninth tee box over to the fairway. Also, from the back of the 4th tee box and the 15th tee. In fact, the course is full of beautiful vistas from just about every hole. Did you know that in 1939 Cork Golf Club’s Jimmy Bruen set the course record posting a score of 66. Jimmy Bruen was Ireland’s first golfing superstar.

Royal County Down

Walking to the 9th fairway


Royal County Down Golf Club
RCD Scorecard

Golf Course Length:

You can see from the scorecard that the Blue & White course is quite long to play. Indeed, depending on your handicap you could enjoy the course playing from the green and yellow tees.

Prices for Golf at Royal County Down for 2019:

From May to October 2019

Weekday Mornings £240.00 pounds per round
Weekday Afternoons £230.00 pounds per round
36 holes in one day £350.00 pounds per round
Sunday Afternoons £250.00 pounds per round
Days of the Week Open for Play
Mon, Tue & Fri Morning & Afternoon
Thursday Morning only
Sunday Afternoon only


How to Book Golf Tee times at RCD: 

We can book Royal County Down as part of a golf tour for 2019 by contacting us at or contact the club directly. CLICK HERE for more RCD visitor information.

Suggested Hotels in Newcastle:

Slieve Donard Resort is right next door to RCD and CLICK HERE to view the hotel’s website. I like the hotel for a number of reasons. Firstly, the 4-star hotel is walking distances to the first tee at RCD. Secondly, the SPA is great! Also, the food and beverage services are as you would expect at a good four-star hotel. Also, there is the Burrendale 3-star hotel and the Burrendale is located no more than a mile from the front gates of RCD.

Things to Do: 

Other Golf Courses to play; Ardglass Golf Club, Malone Golf Club or Royal Belfast Golf Club. Or hill walking along the Mourne Mountain trails. Consider, spending the day in Belfast touring around the city centre, Stormont Castle and the Titanic Experience. Certainly, there is the option to spend the day in the SPA at Slieve Donard Resort.

CLICK HERE to be directed to view a sample Golf Tour with Royal County Down acting as the star of the show.

CLICK HERE to view a current offer for 8 golfers for a September 2018 golf trip.