This course is set among the dunes and often blessed with a bracing breeze straight from the sea. The club was founded in 1888 and located near the Giant's Causeway. This is (and will for some time remain) the only Irish course to stage the British Open. The course itself needs very accurate driving and is geared towards the technically excellent player.
These are Ireland's most northerly links, nestled in dramatic landscapes and often sporting no less dramatic skies. Glashedy Course was designed by Pat Ruddy and Tom Craddock and is regarded as one of the best courses in the British Isles by experts. The neighboring Old Course is still in use. It challenges players with very irregular fairways.
Lahinch is sometimes known as the "St Andrews of Ireland". The golf course was established in the 19th century and was a design of Old Tom Morris. This was partly preserved with an eye on "anachronistic" holes - the blind shots of "Klondyke" and "The Dell" are definitely unusual today. Comprehensively redesigned by Dr. Alister MacKenzie in 1927, the course is on dunes generally considered unsuitable for golfing. Lahinch these days also known as a surfer's paradise.
The course is surrounded by the sea on three sides and only ten miles from Dublin's city center. The clubs greatest hazard is long gone, however - this was the now legendary cow of Maggie Leonard, managing to swallow hundreds of golf balls. Playing here is regarded as true links golf, the course requiring a creative attitude to play. Hard to book and a letter of introduction needed - a ready (if less glamorous) alternative would be the nearby Portmarnock Hotel Links designed by Bernard Langer.
This course adjacent to the 4-star hotel was designed by Paddy Merrigan and opened in 1992. It is essentially a parkland course amid the lakes and drumlins of Cavan. Water is a constant hazard in play. Though maybe not quite as glamorous as the K Club, the Slieve Russel has attracted PGA tournaments and is known as a remote retreat offering a very comprehensive range of facilities.