Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Welcome the West of Ireland Golf Collective

A friendly neighbour will watch you play Connemara.
I’ve banged this drum before… the West of Ireland coastline, from Galway around to Sligo, has some of the most thrilling, beautiful and entertaining golf courses any golfer could ask for. And yet it is difficult to understand why this corner of the world does not receive more credit in terms of the links and seaside courses on offer. Especially when you compare green fees with the big names to the south and north.

Clearly West of Ireland Golf feels the same way. This new ‘collective’ of seven Irish golf courses stretches from Galway Bay Golf Resort, around the Wild Atlantic Way, to
Sligo Golf Club. In between are Connemara Links, Westport, Carne, Enniscrone and Strandhill. Five links and two seaside gems.
Galway Bay's 3rd Hole
Between them, the seven courses have created four packages (three to seven rounds) which should suit the budget and diary of any golfer. What’s more, you don’t have to play them all in one go, so spread them over two or more trips. When you consider the quality of the courses (3 are in my top 10 and Strandhill is some 'hidden gem') and the beauty of the region that’s no hardship… not to mention the hospitality… or the craft beer (Reel Deel, White Hag, Mescan) for that matter!
Approach shot to the par four 17th at Carne.  
As the 2017 West of Ireland drew to a close at Co Sligo Golf Club, it was appropriate that West of Ireland Golf launched only the week before, at Knock Airport. It puts a spotlight on a region that still lures golfers looking for quieter fairways and undiscovered experiences.
The stunning back nine of Enniscrone.
Here’s an interesting fact, Knock Airport has more daily scheduled flights to the UK than any other Irish airport. Who knew! It connects to nine airports in England and Scotland, so the four packages on offer will appeal hugely to the British golfer.

That’s not to say Irish golfers will be any less enchanted. Having recently watched Colin Stafford-Johnson’s remarkable ‘Wild Ireland: Edge of the World’ two-part TV programme (BBC2), it is hard not to be enthralled by the beauty of the west coast. After all, golf trips don’t always have to be about golf. Soaking up the essence (I’m not talking beer, here) of Ireland is just as important and rewarding as striding the fairways.
The crumpled fairways of Strandhill Golf Club.
The four dedicated packages have been organised by the golf courses themselves and they are working closely with hotels and B&Bs to provide the best deals for visiting golfers. To be honest, such efforts are indicative of the attitude over in the west – they’ll do the best they can for you and they’re always happy to help.
Westport's par three 14th fires straight at Croagh Patrick.
I played the wild and enchanting Connemara Links last week with Hugh O’Neill, the club’s Pro, but he does so much more than that for the club and the course. When I asked where he lived he pointed at a house half a mile away. Dominic, the Director of Sales, is just the same, serving in the bar and producing a bite to eat when required. It’s all hands on deck and that for me sums up the spirit of Irish golf.
Connemara Golf Links - views back down the 9th
My visit west also saw me playing Galway Bay Golf Resort, all ablaze with gorse, and it remains another of my favourites. Christy O’Connor Jnr did a fabulous job here, creating such an entertaining seaside course where both nines visit the sea on numerous holes and it’s all on show from the clubhouse.

And that’s just two of the courses. I’ll be playing three more of my favourites (Carne, Co. Sligo and Enniscrone) in July.
Co Sligo Golf Club's 4th green
The four packages are as follows:
The Full Experience. 7 Rounds for €495 per person
(Carne, Connemara, Co. Sligo, Enniscrone, Galway Bay, Strandhill, Westport)

The Links Experience. 5 Rounds for €370 per person
(Carne, Connemara, Co. Sligo, Enniscrone, Strandhill)

The Wild Atlantic Experience. 4 Rounds for €275 per person
(Carne, Connemara, Galway Bay, Westport)

The Yeats Experience. 3 Rounds for €220 per person
(Co. Sligo, Enniscrone, Strandhill)

If you want to find out more contact Jerry Foley (087 2362067) or Dominic Lynch (095 23502) extension 1. Alternatively email  or visit

No comments:

Post a Comment