Golf Tour

Golf Vacation: Southwestern Ireland

9 days / Golf Vacations
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About This Experience

Southwestern Ireland is a course designer’s dream. The country’s rugged natural landscapes come together to create some of the most challenging tests of links golf in the world. As you make your way from County Clare to Limerick and County Kerry, you’ll play rounds at Ireland’s best courses, including Lahinch, Killarney, Tralee, Waterville and Ballybunion.

You Should Know: Motorized carts are unavailable at some of the courses on this itinerary. See course-by-course details in the above Course Details tab.

Alternate Sightseeing Itinerary

Bring family and friends—while you play, they can sightsee on specially priced tours designed for those who are more interested in exploring than golfing. View sightseeing itinerary.

To book a sightseer, call 1.800.590.1170

See Itinerary

Your Tour Includes

  • Round-trip airfare & transfers

  • 7 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 3 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Guided sightseeing

  • Expert Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Green fees at 5 included courses

How's the weather?

  • Lahinch, Ireland
  • Killarney, Ireland
  • Limerick, Ireland
  • Dublin, Ireland
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Overnight Flight1 night

Day1

Drivers, putters, wedges—check your finest gear and get excited

Your golf vacation begins with a regularly scheduled overnight flight to Shannon aboard an internationally recognized airline.

Lahinch2 nights - hotel info

Day2

Settle down in County Clare and share a pint with fellow golfers

Breakfast (in flight), Dinner

Welcome to Ireland. A Go Ahead representative greets you at the airport and escorts you to your hotel in Lahinch. This evening, meet your fellow travelers at your welcome dinner.

Day3

Morris and Mother Nature are to thank for the giant dunes at Lahinch

Breakfast

Cliffs of Moher, the Burren

Tee off at Lahinch this morning. Sometimes referred to as “the St Andrews of Ireland,” Lahinch is ranked as one of the top 50 golf courses in the world by Golf Magazine. As you play, you’ll encounter the dramatic seaside course’s rippling fairways, which meander over and around some of the most impressive dunes in all of Ireland. In the afternoon, trade the course for some of the Emerald Isle’s most iconic landscapes on visits to the towering Cliffs of Moher and the rocky landscapes of the Burren.

Killarney4 nights - hotel info

Day4

Experience the all-natural allure of Greg Norman’s Doonbeg

Optional Excursion - Doonbeg Golf Club

Breakfast, Dinner

Spend the morning soaking in the local culture on your own or choose to keep pace with the Irish style of play at Doonbeg, a spectacular links layout designed by two-time Open champion Greg Norman. In the afternoon, make your way to Killarney.

Optional Excursions

Doonbeg Golf Club $249* pp

The youngest course on this tour, Doonbeg’s Greg Norman-designed layout required little earth moving. But its classic in-out loop of holes reveals a major departure from traditional links golf: the untamed fescue just off the fairways renders wayward shots almost unplayable, making Doonbeg more of a target golf experience than any other course on this vacation. Though the fairways are wide at Doonbeg, the fescue is nearly impenetrable, and errant drives are usually not worth searching for. For all the trouble off the tee, the true test at Doonbeg maybe lie in its pot bunkers, where the conservative play is almost always the right one.

Day5

Discover why the some call Killarney’s 13th the “Tiger Hole”

Breakfast

Killeen is one of the marquis parkland courses in Ireland and has hosted a number of Irish Opens. As you make your way around the course this morning, take in pristine views of the nearby lakes and the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks, home to the tallest peaks in Ireland. This afternoon, get to know the surrounding area with a guided tour of Killarney.

Day6

Nature sets the stage for Tralee’s sprawling championship course

Breakfast

Take on Tralee, one of Arnold Palmer’s greatest. Winding through massive sand dunes along the seashore, the course serves up unparalleled views, as well as some of the country’s most impressive shot-making challenges. After your round, you’re free to continue enjoying the scenery or spend the day as you like.

Day7

The game comes down to you versus the elements at seaside Waterville

Breakfast

Take in the waterside views of this highly acclaimed course. Situated at the mouth of the River Inny, Waterville challenges players with tall native grass and famously unpredictable ocean wind and weather. The front nine welcomes golfers with relatively flat grounds, while the back nine features tall dunes that challenge players’ bump-and-run game.

Limerick1 night - hotel info

Day8

Once a hidden gem, now known the world over, this is Ballybunion

Breakfast, Dinner

Situated on a remote stretch of the Irish coast, Ballybunion lived in anonymity for decades, until 1971, when golf writer Herbert Warren Wind called the course the finest seaside links he’d ever seen. Since then, the Old Course has topped Ireland’s rankings. Later, head to Limerick, where you’ll enjoy a farewell dinner with your group.

Flight homefor a day

Day9

YOUR TRIP REACHES ITS FINAL ROUND AS YOU MAKE YOUR WAY HOME

Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

A Go Ahead representative escorts you to Shannon Airport for your flight home.

Pace of Play in Ireland

The Irish play the game a bit more quickly than most visitors are used to, so be prepared to keep pace with the locals. Match play is the standard in Ireland, so consider playing a hole-by-hole match against your friends rather than counting each shot as in stroke play. This will help you play quickly and ensure a fun-filled round.

Handicap Cards

Your USGA Handicap Card is your passport to the courses on this tour. If you’re unable to provide your card, please bring a letter from your local pro providing your on-course proficiency.

Caddies & Cart

Motorized golf carts are referred to as “buggies” in Ireland; “carts” refer to pull-carts. Both caddies and pull-carts are available at all courses for an additional fee. Motorized golf carts are available at some courses for an additional fee and require a note from your healthcare provider. If you need a motorized cart for medical reasons, please call Go Ahead Golf prior to departure, so we can accommodate your medical needs.

Baggage Allowance & Club Transport

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage, and some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. The cost of checking your golf bag is additional, and is not included in your final invoice. You should expect to pay an additional fee at the airport. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage and golf bag transport policies. Airlines do permit one carry-on bag, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height), as well as one personal item such as a purse. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on baggage. The porterage provided on your tour includes one suitcase and one golf bag per person. Please note, however, that there may be times when you’ll have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight baggage provides a distinct advantage.

Dress Code & etiquette

You should pack:

  • Soft spikes—These will be required at all the courses on your itinerary.
  • Extra balls—Buying these abroad tends to be more expensive.
  • Collared golf shirts
  • Tailored pants or Bermuda shorts
  • Sports jacket—Some clubs may require jackets in certain clubhouse rooms.
  • Rain gear—Ireland’s weather is famously unpredictable and a waterproof jacket, pants and shoes are essential.

You should know:

  • Certain courses don’t allow clothing featuring logos. Hats can have golf-related logos only.
  • Cellphone use is prohibited at Tralee and may be discouraged at other courses.

Passport & Visa

In order to enter Ireland, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you’re not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact the consulate for your specific entry requirements.

Health

There are no major health risks associated with traveling to Ireland. Be sure to check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and overseas travel requirements.

Electricity

Ireland operates on 240 volts.

Transportation / Walking on tour

Round-trip flights arrive in and depart from Shannon. Included transportation is by private motor coach. All of the cities and towns on this itinerary are accessible on foot, but you may want to break up periods of walking by using public transportation.

Time Zones

Ireland falls on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which is five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST). When it’s noon in New York, it’s 5pm in Ireland.

Currency

The euro is the currency you’ll be using on your tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in Ireland, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We advise that you take a combination of bank/ debit cards and credit cards. ATMs are widely available in major cities (mostly on the Cirrus and Plus international networks). We suggest informing your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so they don’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalency of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalency of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping. Additionally, if you take a caddie, plan to tip at least the equivalent of $25 per round (more if the caddie’s done an outstanding job or saved you strokes).

great vacation

Perfect tour for golfers and non golfers alike. We had a wonderful time.The golfers enjoyed the golf that was included and my friend and I loved the sightseeing alternatives. Our tour guide, John and our driver, Keith were amazing. This was our first tour with Go ahead and I have to say it was first class all the way. The hotels were great and centrally located. The included meals were all great. The tour was a nice pace, plenty to do with enough free time in the evenings to relax and enjoy the towns we were in. We are definitely looking forward to traveling with Go ahead in the future.


5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/28/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: PA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

A Dream Come True

From the moment we stepped off the plane and we were met by our Tour Director, Mansel, and our bus driver, Keith, our trip was off to a great start. As tired as we were Mansel suggested a trip to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park with lunch at Durty Nelly's. What a great way to spend our first day in Ireland. After checking into our centrally located hotel, Lahinch Golf and Leisure Hotel, we walked to the beach to explore this lovely little town. The next day the games began! Greeted by a beautiful rainbow on the first tee at Lahinch, a very nice caddy master and starter, we began our quest to play 5 courses in 6 days. What beautiful scenery we saw on all five of our courses: Lahinch, Killarney's Killean's Course, Tralee, Ballybunion, and Waterville. The people at all of the courses were so nice getting us set up with caddies, buggies, or pull carts. We were a group of 6 with 5 golfers and one person sightseeing. Our tour director and bus driver took our lady sightseeing while we were golfing. After golfing we were also able to enjoy trips to the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren, Muckross House, and Killarney National Forest. This trip was for golf, but we were able to see a lot of the scenery of Southwest Ireland. We were also blessed with good weather on the days we played golf (unusual for Ireland). A little rain on a few holes at Lahinch and Tralee but it nothing to dampen our spirits. This trip was a dream of a lifetime for myself and my husband. Thanks to a wonderful tour director and bus driver everything ran smoothly from beginning to end.

review photo review photo review photo review photo

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/7/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: PA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

GAT Service

Outstanding from landing to takeoff.

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/22/2012

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

LAHINCH–OLD COURSE

Lahinch, County Clare www.lahinchgolf.com

Originally laid out by Old Tom Morris on what he called “the finest natural setting ever seen,” Lahinch underwent an extensive Alister Mackenzie redesign in 1927. Built before course designers could manipulate terrain, Lahinch is touted as one of the most natural links courses in the world. Lahinch was ranked as Ireland’s No. 4 course by Golf Digest in 2012.

    Course Details:
  • Max. Handicap: 28 men, 36 women
  • Club Rental: €30
  • Caddie Cost: €25-40, pre-booked
  • Pull Carts: Available
  • Motorized Carts: Available with medical certificate only
    Course Highlights:
  • Ranked No. 42 in the world by Golf Magazine in 2012
  • Ranked No. 6 in Ireland by Golf Digest in 2012
  • Originally Designed by Old Tom Morris, architect of St Andrews

KILLARNEY–KILLEEN COURSE

Killarney, County Kerry www.killarney-golf.com

The Killeen Course is one of the marquis parkland golf courses in Ireland, and has hosted a number of Irish Opens. Adjacent to Killarney National Park, 25,000 acres of pristine mountains, moorland and woodlands serve as the course’s backdrop.

    Course Details:
  • Max. Handicap: 28 men, 36 women
  • Club Rental: €40
  • Caddie Cost: €40, pre-booked
  • Pull Carts: Available
  • Motorized Carts: Available for €40
    Course Highlights:
  • Hosted 2010 & 2011 Irish Opens
  • Hosted 1996 Curtis Cup
  • Gained international attention after being featured on Shell's Wonderful World of Golf

TRALEE

Barrow, County Kerry www.traleegolfclub.com

There’s only one word that can adequately sum up Tralee: dramatic. As Tralee architect Arnold Palmer once said, “I may have designed the first nine, but surely God designed the back nine.” The course runs along rugged coastline and is set on top of cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Tralee was ranked as Ireland’s fifth-best course by Golf Digest in 2012.

    Course Details:
  • Max. Handicap: 28 men, 36 women
  • Club Rental: €45
  • Caddie Cost: €25-40, pre-booked
  • Pull Carts: Available
  • Motorized Carts: Available only with medical certificate
    Course Highlights:
  • Arnold Palmer's first course design in Europe
  • Ranked Ireland's No. 7 course by Golf Digest in 2012
  • Views of Atlantic Ocean on every hole

BALLYBUNION

Ballybunion, County Kerry www.ballybuniongolfclub.ie

Carved out of a remote stretch of the western Irish coast, Ballybunion’s Old Course offers sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean. Despite its remote location, the course has earned a loyal following and is a perennial favorite of five-time Open champion Tom Watson. Golf Digest ranked Ballybunion as Ireland’s third-best course in 2012.

    Course Details:
  • Max. Handicap: 28 men, 36 women
  • Club Rental: €40
  • Caddie Cost: €40, pre-booked
  • Pull Carts: Available
  • Motorized Carts: Unavailable
    Course Highlights:
  • Ranked Ireland’s No. 5 course by Golf Digest in 2012
  • Frequently visited by 5-time Open Champion Tom Watson
  • Ranked No. 17 in the world by Golf Magazine in 2012

WATERVILLE

Waterville, County Kerry www.watervillegolfclub.ie

Surrounded by water on three sides, Waterville is situated on a peninsula at the mouth of the River Inny. A study in contrasts, the scenic course’s opening holes feature rolling dunes along the Inny Estuary, while the finishing three are so close to the Atlantic you’ll hear the crash of the waves on the beach.

    Course Details:
  • Max. Handicap: N/A
  • Club Rental: €50
  • Caddie Cost: €25-40, pre-booked
  • Pull Carts: Available
  • Motorized Carts: Available for €50
    Course Highlights:
  • Ranked Ireland's No. 2 course by Golf Digest in 2012
  • Originally designed by Eddie Hackett
  • Used by PGA Tour pros as a warm-up venue for the British Open

DOONBEG

Doonbeg, County Clare www.doonbeglodge.com

Doonbeg is one of two-time Open champion Greg Norman’s signature designs. Delicately woven into an existing 1.5-mile stretch of beach and dunes, this seemingly untouched links course looks as if it’s been in existence for hundreds of years. Accommodating the land’s natural topography, the course boasts a rare layout, featuring five par-threes and five par-fives.

    Course Details:
  • Max. Handicap: 24 men, 36 women
  • Club Rental: €40
  • Caddie Cost: €40, pre-booked
  • Pull Carts: Available
  • Motorized Carts: Available
    Course Highlights:
  • Designed by 2-time Open Champion Greg Norman
  • Ranked a world top-100 course by Golf Magazine in 2010
  • Features nearly 100-ft tall dunes
Q&A