Best golf courses: Ireland - North

Golf courses in Ireland North are an exceptional mix of wild links beauties and stunning green championship parklands. Each one offering a different challenge and setting. Towering dunes, cliff top views and lush parkland all featured beautifully in this country.

Make the most out of your golf trip to the north of Ireland. Look up the location of the golf courses on the map; it will help you with your planning to play the best during your holidays. To each golf course visited we have applied a rating. The scale, 5 (highest) to 2 (lowest), attempts to provide an indication of the golfing experience you can expect at each rated course. Hover your on-screen mouse pointer above the rating key hereafter to read our definitions.

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Wkends restrictd
Belfast
Jones, David

Visitors?

Wkends restrictd

Nearest city

Belfast

Designer

David Jones

4-PLUS: Must play course - excellent standard; worthy of 4½ stars.
Visitors welcome
Derry
Ruddy & Craddock

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Derry

Designer

Pat Ruddy & Tom Craddock

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Visitors welcome
Derry
Hackett, Eddie

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Derry

Designer

Ballyliffin's original nine-hole course dated back to 1947. Between 1970 and 1973 a "new course" was brought into play on neighbouring ground, replacing the original nine holes. This new layout (now known as the Old Links) was designed by Eddie Hackett with input from local agricultural adviser Martin Hopkins, and English course architects Frank Pennink and Charles Lawrie. Recent modifications to the Old Links were made by Nick Faldo (2005). The Glashedy Links dates from 1995.

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Not Saturdays
Belfast
Colt, Harry

Visitors?

Not Saturdays

Nearest city

Belfast

Designer

Harry Colt

3-PLUS: Good course - several memorable features; worthy of 3½ stars.
Visitors welcome
Sligo
Vardon, Harry

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Sligo

Designer

Original nine-hole layout by George L. Baillie (1894). Later revisions by Cuthbert Butchart and then by Harry Vardon (1927).

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Visitors welcome
Coleraine
Sayers, Ben

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Coleraine

Designer

Original design of the 18-hole Mussenden course by Ben Sayers. Later modifications by Harry Colt (1926) and Martin Hawtree (2018).

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Visitors welcome
Dundalk
O'Connor Sr & Jr, Christy

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Dundalk

Designer

Christy O’Connor Sr & Jr

4-PLUS: Must play course - excellent standard; worthy of 4½ stars.
Visitors welcome
Sligo
Colt, Harry

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Sligo

Designer

Original 18-hole layout by Capt William Campbell (1906); substantially redesigned by Harry Colt (1927-31).

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Visitors welcome
Derry
Doherty, Michael

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Derry

Designer

Michael Doherty, long-time golf professional at City of Derry Golf Club.

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Visitors welcome
Sligo
Hackett, Eddie

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Sligo

Designer

Original design by Eddie Hackett, with later modifications by Pat Ruddy (1998).

3-PLUS: Good course - several memorable features; worthy of 3½ stars.
Visitors welcome
Derry
Vardon, Harry

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Derry

Designer

Harry Vardon (six-time winner of the Open Championship, and golf course designer).

4-PLUS: Must play course - excellent standard; worthy of 4½ stars.
Visitors welcome
Sligo
Hackett, Eddie

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Sligo

Designer

Eddie Hackett designed the expansion from nine to 18 holes (1974). Donald Steel added a further nine holes (1999).

3-PLUS: Good course - several memorable features; worthy of 3½ stars.
Visitors welcome
Coleraine
Gidman, Simon

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Coleraine

Designer

Simon Gidman

3-PLUS: Good course - several memorable features; worthy of 3½ stars.
Visitors welcome
Belfast
Braid, James

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Belfast

Designer

James Braid

3-star: Good course – an enjoyable test for your game.
Not Saturdays
Belfast
Colt, Harry

Visitors?

Not Saturdays

Nearest city

Belfast

Designer

Current course designed in the early 1920s by the firm of Colt, Mackenzie & Alison (Harry Colt, Alister Mackenzie and Charles Hugh Alison).

3-star: Good course – an enjoyable test for your game.
Visitors welcome
Sligo
Carroll, Tony

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Sligo

Designer

Tony Carroll

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Visitors welcome
Sligo
Faldo, Nick

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Sligo

Designer

Nick Faldo

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Visitors welcome
Belfast
Hawtree, Fred

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Belfast

Designer

Original course at this location designed by Commander John Harris from C.K. Cotton & Assocs (1962). Later modifications by Hawtree & Son (1965).

4-PLUS: Must play course - excellent standard; worthy of 4½ stars.
Visitors welcome
Derry
Various

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Derry

Designer

The layout evolved over the years from a nine-hole layout (1930) to a full 18 (1965), with inputs from Hughie McNeill, Leo Wallace and various members. Improvements made by Eddie Connaughton (2004). Significant modifications by Gil Hanse & Jim Wagner of Hanse Golf Design (2018).

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Visitors welcome
Derry
Thompson, Charles

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Derry

Designer

Original design by Charles Thompson (golf professional at Portrush GC).

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Visitors welcome
Derry
Thompson & Ruddy

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Derry

Designer

Original design by Charles Thompson (golf professional at Portrush GC); substantial improvements designed by Pat Ruddy (2000).

4-PLUS: Must play course - excellent standard; worthy of 4½ stars.
Visitors welcome
Coleraine
Park Jr & Giffin

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Coleraine

Designer

Strand course: original design by Mr. A.G. Gow (of Portrush; 1907); modifications by Willie Park Jr (early 1920s) & Des Giffin (schoolteacher and club member, 1986).
Riverside course: original nine holes designed by Des Giffin (1986); extension to 18 holes by Bernard Findlay (course manager) & David Avery (past captain) (1999).
Old course: designers of original nine-hole course unknown (1894); enlarged to 12 holes (1918); extended from 12 to 18 holes by Mr. R.C. Davison & James Rea (1934).

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Visitors welcome
Derry
Morris & Ruddy

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Derry

Designer

Front-nine (Strand-nine) designed by Pat Ruddy (2009). Back-nine (Valley-nine) originally designed by Old Tom Morris (1893), with later modifications by Harry Vardon & James Braid (1906), and Harry Colt (1911).

4-PLUS: Must play course - excellent standard; worthy of 4½ stars.
Visitors welcome
Derry
Ruddy, Pat

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Derry

Designer

Pat Ruddy with input from owner Frank Casey Snr.

5-star: Fabulous – courses don’t get much better than this.
Visitors welcome
Derry
Doak, Tom

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Derry

Designer

Tom Doak and lead associate Eric Iverson.

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Visitors welcome
Belfast
Colt, Harry

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Belfast

Designer

Harry Colt

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Visitors welcome
Belfast
Unknown

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Belfast

Designer

Annesley Links was first mentioned (in the R&A Handbooks) in 1929. It was described as a nine-hole "relief" course to the main 18-hole championship course. By 1932 it had grown to a full 18-holes, again with no mention of who designed the holes. Significant modifications were made by Donald Steel (1997), and Martin Ebert of Mackenzie & Ebert (2014).

5-PLUS: In the world’s elite - has few peers; one of our top-rated 5s!
Not Weds or Sat
Belfast
Morris, Old Tom et al.

Visitors?

Not Weds or Sat

Nearest city

Belfast

Designer

Championship Links: original nine-hole layout by Scottish schoolteacher, keen golfer and Honorary Secretary of Royal Belfast Golf Club, George L. Baillie (1889). Extended to 18 holes by Old Tom Morris (1889/90). Various modifications (early 1900s) made by George Combe (Club Capt), James Braid, J.H. Taylor, Harry Vardon and Ben Sayers. Harry Colt made further modifications (1925), creating the famous par-3 4th and par-4 9th holes. Further changes by Donald Steel (1997 & 2004).
Annesley Links: originally laid out by Old Tom Morris.

5-star: Fabulous – courses don’t get much better than this.
Visitors welcome
Coleraine
Colt, Harry

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Coleraine

Designer

The current Dunluce Links layout is largely the work of Harry Colt's 1929 redesign.

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Visitors welcome
Coleraine
Colt, Harry

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Coleraine

Designer

Harry Colt (1932).

3-PLUS: Good course - several memorable features; worthy of 3½ stars.
Visitors welcome
Sligo
Merrigan, Paddy

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Sligo

Designer

Paddy Merrigan

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.
Visitors welcome
Sligo
Hackett, Eddie

Visitors?

Visitors welcome

Nearest city

Sligo

Designer

Original 9-hole layout (1931) redesigned by John McAlister from Dublin (1939); course extension to 18-holes by Eddie Hackett (1973).

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Tournaments

Ryder Cup: Rome plays host to the first ever Ryder Cup to be staged in Italy, with the USA defending golf’s greatest team trophy at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club (Sept 29-Oct 1).

Solheim Cup: also in September, also in southern Europe, the 18th Solheim Cup will be contested at Finca Cortesin on the Costa del Sol, with Europe defending after their surprise win in Toledo, Inverness Club (Ohio) in 2021 (Sept 22-24). 

AVIS CAR RENTAL

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Who's Who

Céline Boutier: with many successes as both an amateur and professional golfer, Boutier added a major championship title to her impressive résumé at this year’s Evian Championship.

Alex Cejka: buffeted by rain and high winds, especially on the high-scoring final day, Čejka prevailed over Pádraig Harrington in a playoff at Royal Porthcawl, to scoop the Senior Open Championship title.

Marco Simone Golf & Country Club

Marco Simone Golf & Country Club: With a clubhouse that might befit a Roman Emperor, and a golf course to match, you can be sure of a memorable outing at Rome's most talked about golf facility.

Jim Fazio's original layout was much changed to create a modern Ryder Cup course ... now one of the Eternal City's (and Italy's) most revered.

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