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The Greens on the Emerald Isle: Golfing in Ireland

Known for its beer, its green grass, and its culture that is celebrated worldwide, Ireland is also home to hundreds of renowned golf courses, which only add to its appeal. When people think of this historical island, they nary think of golf, but like its eastern relatives in the United Kingdom, the game of golf dates back to before the 1800’s in Ireland. Anyone who seeks a memorable trip to an country rich in history, beer and golf, look no farther than Ireland and Northern Ireland.

What sets it apart is the variety of terrain for golf courses. Some are on the ocean, while others are in the foothills of a mountain range. Lakes and wooded areas, and at the outskirts of cultural hubs, there is a golf course for any type of player and any type of desired course type. Although the weather can be unpredictable in Ireland, few droughts make the land lush and green, which makes for some beautiful golf courses. Depending on the area a golfer desires, there is the scenery and the course for any level of golfer.

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By the Ocean: Rosapenna

Rosapenna features two courses, literally at ocean’s edge. Sandy Hills and Old Tom Morris have some spectacular views that are unparalleled by few other courses in the country. With two courses at the one club, it makes for a great destination in the northern part of the country where the blues skies seemingly stretch on indefinitely.

By a Lake: Massereene Golf Club

Set on the bonny banks of Lough Neagh, Massereene is a luxurious course over a century old. Located in central Northern Ireland, the club was formed in 1895, and is a long 6,605 yards with narrow fairways and plenty of trees to make it both beautiful and an easy course that is particularly enjoyable for women.

By a River: Malone Golf Club

Beautiful, yet somehow often overlooked, Malone is one of the best parkland courses, which is located in Northern Ireland. Just outside of Belfast, the club was formed in 1962, and sits in a bend of the Lagan River, which has proved to be a rambunctious nemesis to the course in years past, but helps to maintain the luscious greens.

By a Forest: New Forest Golf Resort

While many courses in Ireland have been around since before modern time, New Forest lives up to its name as one of the newer courses, as it was opened in 2006. The course is designed in a parkland style, and is located in the Irish Midlands. It’s beauty comes from being woven into the trees and marshland that surrounds the course.

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By the Mountains: Gort Golf Club

Another of the newer courses in Ireland, Gort was founded in 1996, but maintains a close proximity to the ancient monastery called Kilmacduagh. Golfers playing this course enjoy views of the Slieve Aughty Mountains, as well as the hills of Clare. On the western side of the country, it maintains a reasonable distance to the ocean which makes it a desirable place to visit for those trying to see a little of everything.

By a City: Castle Golf Club

What is a trip to Ireland without a trip to Dublin? Castle Golf Club was born out of the estate of Rathfarnham Castle in 1912, and is located just outside of the city of Dublin. The Castle remains as a National Monument next to this historical parkland course, which spans 6,270 yards. The course was updated from clay to sand in 2001 and remains a stellar course to visit.

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There are some of us who have been encouraged to play golf since we were young children, playing with the tiniest and most adorable set of child’s golf clubs you’ve ever seen, so as you grow you end up knowing how to use them just as well as you do a fork and knife.

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