Northwest Ireland: Arguably the best value UK and Ireland golf trip you can take

County Sligo

Demand for golf trips to the United Kingdom and Ireland has never been higher.

They say we all want what we can’t have, and when the ability to be able to travel overseas was taken away from golfers during the pandemic it was like it lit a fire under golfers to finally book that bucket list trip that they had been putting off.

Fast forward to today, and that demand has continued to stay at an all-time high.  The booking window to visit these world-class destinations continues to expand, and if you and your crew are considering a trip to these legendary locations you need to get started as soon as possible.

As marquee locations like Royal Portrush, St. Andrews, Adare Manor, Royal County Down, and Kingsbarns continue to thrive, it’s allowed some of the hidden gems in the United Kingdom and Ireland to finally get their due as golfers continue to dig for value on a golf trip across the pond.  One place where that exists is in Northwest Ireland.

Similar to the boom that the Southwest of Ireland saw about 20 years ago when courses like Ballybunion, Portmarnock, Tralee, Lahinch, Waterville, and Dooks Golf Club started to make their way onto more golfer’s itineraries, Northwest Ireland is starting to make some hay as golfers are now starting to see that they can get great value and unforgettable golf experiences in this hidden gem of a region.

Rosapenna-St. Patrick’s Links

When it comes to booking your golf trip to Northwest Ireland, one of the courses that must be near the top of your list is Rosapenna-St. Patrick’s Links.  The course opened in 2021, but you’d swear that it has been here for decades as it naturally blends into the terrain and oozes all the attributes that you are looking for in an Irish golf experience.  Rosapenna-St. Patrick’s Links has recently been ranked No. 49 on’s list of the 2023-2024 Top Courses in the World ahead of some heavy hitters such as Cape Kidnappers, Portmarnock Old, and Kingsbarns.  This incredible course was once the site of a 36-hole facility that Rosapenna Golf Resort (Old Tom Morris Links, Sandy Hills Links and St Patrick’s Links) acquired in 2012, and it brought in the genius Tom Doak of Renaissance Golf Design to reimagine this land into an 18-hole layout that is one of the best modern golf course designs in the world.

St. Patrick’s Links

Enniscrone Golf Club: The Dunes

If you’re looking for a golf course that is the definition of a hidden gem, then look no further than Enniscrone Golf Club.  This course screams authentic, links-style golf.  With incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean and gorgeous mounding throughout, it is covered with thick fescue grass that you’ll want to avoid at all costs.  It is a true test from tee to green, and accuracy means as much as power here if you want to score on this links legend.  See below for our exclusive drone footage of the course to get a sense of what you’ll encounter here.

Narin & Portnoo Links

Located along the Donegal coast, Narin & Portnoo Links was originally founded in 1905 but was recently redesigned by the iconic duo of Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner to reestablish this incredible layout of links golf into one of the best courses in the whole of Ireland.  They have not only redesigned the course, but they have also completely renovated the clubhouse to bring it in line with some of the best clubhouses in the Southwest or Ireland.  They hired a new head chef recently and the food is magnificent, and a meal comes complimentary with a tee time at Narin & Portnoo.  What’s not to like!?

Narin & Portnoo Links

Cruit Island Golf Club

You’ll never find another 9-hole golf course like this anywhere in the world!  Typically played twice to play as a par-68 18-hole golf experience, Cruit Island Golf Club provides you with breathtaking panoramic views along the ocean and among the cliffs that are simply phenomenal.  And with golf topping out at 60 pounds to play 18 holes here, you’ll be blown away at the experience for the price you pay here.   If you’re on a tight timeframe from Dublin, there are daily flights from Dublin to Donegal Airport that will cost you next to nothing.  Worth going for the flight alone, Donegal Airport has been voted the most spectacular airport in the world.   You can fly up there and play Cruit Island, which is only 20 minutes from the airport, as well as St. Patricks Links with a one-night stay and it may be one of the best 2-day golf trips you’ll ever take in your life.

Cruit Island

County Sligo Golf Club – Colt Championship Links Course

As the home of the West of Ireland Championship that has yielded winners such as Rory McIlroy, Shane Lowry, and Padraig Harrington, this beautiful links design was reimagined by Harry Colt in 1927 to prepare it for championship golf, and that he did.  We could do our best to describe the experience for you, but we’d rather leave it to the words of one of the game’s legends Mr. Peter Allis who said the course “…is a gentle sleeping giant and one will marvel at its beauty, it can be a tremendous test for the highest quality player and great fun for the modest player, and stands at the top of great Irish courses.”



We’ve highlighted a few of our favorite courses in the region here for you, but please note there are many more courses to enjoy here.  You can certainly get the most bang for your buck when you’re looking to book a trip to Ireland in the Northwest region.  When it comes to booking, we highly recommend taking advantage of utilizing a Tour Operator in the region as they can advise you on everything from golf courses, accommodations, transportation, and sightseeing during your visit.  While there are many great companies that offer these services, we highly recommend utilizing as their team is extremely knowledgeable in the area and has relationships with all these facilities to get you set up for the perfect golf experience.  And as if that wasn’t enough, the company’s founder Joe Lyons is one of the winners of the West of Ireland Championship and has his name alongside the legends that we mentioned earlier!