When to play Golf in Ireland?
Year round golfing in Ireland is perfectly feasible – provided you have suitable wet weather gear! – but conditions are best between April and October.
During these months you can expect to be able to play up to 7pm in the evening at least, with many courses playable until 10pm or 11pm during the months of June-August. You may even fit two games into a single day.
For best value aim to play as early as possible in the day and preferably on a week day. In many golf clubs there are few if any tee times available to visitors at weekends during the summer, so if you must play at the weekend book well in advance.
Ireland’s best golf courses are very challenging and if you are serious about tackling them you will need to have a full set of clubs. If you can’t face hauling your own on a long journey, or incurring the extra luggage charges that can entail, almost all larger clubs will have equipment available for rental but fewer smaller clubs will.
Clubs4Hire.com is an excellent service that allows you to rent clubs online before you get here, which they will deliver to your hotel, any golf club or to the airport. You’ll have much more choice than you will at any club and can put together a set of clubs that quits you perfectly.
Motorised golf buggies are not common on any but the larger courses and are totally absent on almost all links courses. Even where they are available they are few in number and will need to be booked in advance.
What to Wear
An umbrella is a good idea year round, although on links courses it may well be useless in strong sea winds! You will need warm clothing and waterproofs. As the weather can change several times during the course of a single round – and often will – wearing layers which you can add and remove as conditions alter is a sensible approach.
Don’t for a moment imagine you won’t need waterproofs in Summer – you will!
Club house dress codes are fairly relaxed – smart casual is the norm though at some larger clubs jacket and tie for men and somewhat smarter attire for women may be required for evening events.
Soft studs are now required at many golf courses. If your shoes have metal studs the club professional’s shop will usually be able to change them to soft for you for a small charge.
A round of golf at some of the prestige courses will cost from about €90 upwards in off peak months or more than €200 in some cases in the summer months. Yep, it can get expensive.
Many local or less well known courses are much more affordable, will provide you with excellent golf and are often overlooked by visitors.
A good website to take a look at is TeeTimes.ie, which allows you to find and book available times at a range of courses around the country, some well known, some less so.
What’s with all the Links courses?
About 40% of all true links courses in the world are in Ireland and they are almost all of a very high standard. Many golfers come here specifically to experience true links golfing.
It’s very serene and calm looking on the left, but don’t be fooled, it definitely isn’t always like that!
Situated on open sites close to water and with lots of sand, these courses are buffeted by nature and present a real challenge to visitors more used to sheltered parkland golfing – but be careful, playing them is highly addictive!