Ireland Golf Tips
Besides the unparalleled scenery and changeable weather, the rules and etiquette of playing golf in Ireland are similar to those in the United States or Canada. While green fees tend to be high across the globe, Ireland attracts golfers of various levels because, in comparison, it is still affordable. Additionally, it is easy to arrange games on various courses as long as it is reserved ahead of time, especially during the peak seasons.
When putting together your vacation plans to Ireland, it is best to first decide what part golf will play in your overall itinerary. Some avid players will base their entire trip on the game, while others will be delighted to tee off anywhere.
As with any itinerary, your route will be affected by budget and the amount of time you have to travel. Oftentimes, a regionally focused golf itinerary proves the best choice, giving you a greater amount of time to enjoy an area rather than hauling your clubs (and perhaps family) around the entire island.
When e-mailing or calling up a golf course in Ireland, ask if there are any special considerations. Some require certain attire above the norm, have handicap minimums, or do not allow carts. The less-expensive courses tend to have less-stringent regulations. Moreover, reserving your round midweek will save you the most money.
Keeping your luggage to a minimum (as discussed in Chapter 5) and bringing along a set of golf clubs might seem oxymoronic. On the contrary, while all of the necessary golf items are available in Ireland, if you own them, bring them along. Forgetting any of the essentials (aside from a few items) will be slightly expensive to replace.
Golfers should not forget:
Protective travel bag cover
Golf balls and tees
Sports rain jacket
A protective travel cover will ensure your clubs are securely fastened, protected, and airline compliant. Quality cases enclose the club set in padding and make the case more manageable to carry. Hybrid cases, usually composed of hard plastic, conceal only the top portion of the golf bag; the bottom half of your container will be exposed to the elements of travel.
When considering a travel case for your clubs, opt for a fully enclosed carry case if possible. Baggage handlers and conveyor belts are not fabric friendly (even with today's strong nylons), so having a protective layer between equipment and the elements is important. If you travel with secondary clubs, then a hybrid case is the more-affordable option.
For enthusiasts who do not want to bother with bringing their own clubs, renting is an easy alternative. When inquiring about reservations, ask about the rental fee. It might prove cheaper and less burdensome than paying for and carrying the extra weight. You can still bring along certain items such as gloves, glasses, and balls. Rental clubs generally range from 25 to 50 per day.
Weather for Golf
Unless you are lucky enough to have only sunshine on your trip, expect some rain if you will be playing a lot of golf. The Irish will keep on playing through drizzle and even bouts of light fog. During more severe periods, such as summertime thunderstorms, take cover until the inclement weather passes.
Ladies Golf in Ireland
The Irish Ladies Golf Union (
Left-handed golfers are well represented in Ireland thanks to the formation of the National Association of Left Handed Golfers (