Looking to plan a trip for next July and trying to decide between the two. Anyone done both and can compare?
I've done both many times. Southwest still wins for me.
I’ll let you know in mid October. Playing Dromoland, Doonbeg, Tralee, Lahinch, and Ballybunion the end of September.
UK subforum is full of loads of such comparos.
SW for me.
Yeah...SW has so much more to offer. I lived there many years and probably was 4 or 5 to 1 SW for my trips.
Depends on how much time you have but it would be a pity to miss Portrush and County Down if you are in Ireland and have the money and the time. So Day 1 Arrive in Dublin, drive to and play RCD, Day 2 drive to and play Portrush, Day 3 be up early to drive to and play Enniscrone, Day 4 drive to and play Lahinch, Day 5 drive to and play Ballybunion, Day 6 drive to and play Tralee, Day 7 drive to and play Waterville, Day 8 drive to The European Club, long drive, maybe play next day, Day 9 play EC and drive to Portmarnock, Day 10 play PM and go. That is close to what I did with a buddy 2 years ago. Of course you may want to do less driving, play less golf or play other, less expensive courses, up to you. But its doable.
Both are great. Not knowing the number of days you could do northern (RCD, Portrush, Port Stewart) and then Dublin and vicinity (Portmarnock, Ardglass, Island and evening European). Both are great. SW will usually have more visitors.
The tentative itinerary is RCD, Portrush, Portmarnock, Portstewart, Ardglass and The Island
Might as well include Baltray(Co Louth) in that rota. It's same area as Island.
Agree with this. It is probably one of the most underrated courses I've played anywhere in the world as well. Just an absolute fun round of golf.
Fair call but as others have said Baltray is a superb Irish links and complements Portmarnock and The Island. They also have a Dormy House so you can stay on-site and fall upstairs from the bar.
Those Baltray recommendations should get The K Club added to the itinerary ;-)
We did Southwest Ireland. Ballybunion x 2, Dooks and Waterville, Old Head, Tralee, Lahinch and the Island. Great trip and we are planning Northern Ireland for 2021. I will say the SW Ireland trip was alot more driving and switching hotels vs the Northern Ireland trip. We are looking for a course on the way to RCD from Dublin. Suggestions.
I've not been to Northern Ireland, but the SW area has a bunch of really good and famous courses. Its probably a great area for a first Ireland visit. a few years ago I spent some time in the northern part of the Republic, including stays at Ballyliffin (played both courses) and Enniscrone (played Enniscrone and Carne), and loved it. Add in a few more spots in County Donegal and County Sligo and you have plenty of golf without a huge amount of driving and moving.
Home is Reston, Virgina, with regular visits to Southern Pines, NC
The gimme is Baltray (County Louth). Solid second choice is Laytown & Bettystown. All things being equal I wouldn't look beyond those two, with all the nearby links options in County Dublin or inland ones in County Kildare.
Baltray is an excellent traditional links course but if you want something a bit different there are good reports about Concra Wood which is just inside the Irish border.
Not sure I would go out of the way to play Concra. Pretty good course with good views on a few holes - I would say half the holes could be any parkland course anywhere and half are 'special'. One of the toughest golf walks in all of ROI.
More difficult than Ballybunion Cashun. That was a tough walk.
Fair enough, I have never played it but its just that he wanted a course en route from Dublin to RCD and the course is only 25km off the highway. There was a pro tournament there a year or two ago and it looked pretty good.
Not as, but it is in the same class
Throw Dooks Golf Links into that category as well.
Dooks is an easy walk IMHO. Layout is a bit funky at the start/end having to cross fairways, but it's not in the same category of the ups/downs at somewhere like Cashen or Carne.
Gotcha - maybe that's because when I played Dooks, I walked with a trolly. Had a caddie at Cashen.
Ya lugging, not-lugging could definitely make a difference when hills are involved :-)
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