Monday, October 7, 2013

Ireland's Top Golf Resorts

A while back I wrote a piece for A Luxury Travel Blog on The Top 5 Luxury Golf Resorts in Ireland.

This month, Golf Monthly magazine brought out their list of Top 50 UK and Ireland Stay and Play Resorts, which included 12 Irish venues.

The question was - how did my top 5 stack up against theirs?

Golf Monthly's top five Irish resorts (overall British Isles-standing in brackets) are as follows:
  1. Doonbeg (3)
  2. Mount Juliet (5)
  3. Carton House (6)
  4. K Club (11)
  5. Adare (12)
My top five are:
  1. Doonbeg
  2. Lough Erne
  3. Mount Juliet
  4. Adare
  5. Carton House
View over the 9th green back to Doonbeg Lodge.
All in all, they're fairly close wouldn't you say. The superb Doonbeg is a no brainer, while Adare, Carton House and Mount Juliet come down to a bit of juggling.

Lough Erne or the K Club?

The only significant difference is Lough Erne on mine and the K Club on the GM list. GM ranks Lough Erne 14th overall and 6th in the Irish rankings so it's there or thereabouts, although I am surprised it didn't make it higher. As a golf course I'd rate it above Mount Juliet and Carton House's two courses. It's one of the newest resorts in the country, boasts (and delivers) a five star experience, hosted the G8 this year, has a heap of awards for the hotel and the food, and has a superb spa...

View of the K Club hotel from the Smurfit course
... and perhaps that's where the difference comes in. I was looking at golf, accommodation and spa combinations, i.e. the full 'luxury' resort package, whereas GM are focusing more on the golf and accommodation. The K Club didn't make my list because they don't have a spa (to speak of). True, I'm no fan of the Smurfit course, but as a resort it's still up there at the very top, and I ate one of the best pieces of beef I've ever eaten in their Byerley Turk restaurant.

For a full breakdown of the articles in this month's Golf Monthly, click here.

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