When most of us think of golfing in Ireland we think of the ring of Kerry, deep in the southwest of Ireland and the wild looking links courses like Ballybunion, Waterville and Tralee.
More recently out thoughts turn to the newly re-discovered Northern Ireland, Royal Portrush being high on the most visit list along with possibly the greatest links of them all - Royal County Down.
As fantastic as those destinations are, Dublin is the hidden gem, just over the fence, below are some reviews and ideas for a great week of golf.
For a golfing week in Dublin we suggest a mix of inner city and semi rural accomodation. Stay at the Croke Park Hotel for something a little different, it's right next to the famous ground and has great facilities. for the golfing component of your trip, we suggest the fishing village of Malahide, its central to the best courses and also full of great restaurants and bars. We recommend the Grand Hotel Malahide, just make sure you request a large room, the room sizes here vary from cavernous to minuscule, it has good facilities, free parking and is within walking distance of all the great bars and restaurants mentioned above.
Portmarnock Golf Club - Founded in 1894, this is considered to be one of the finest links on earth, this is a private club with limited visitor spots.
Portmarnock Hotel Golf Links - was re-vamped by Barnard Langer in the early 90's, some of the old original 9 holes are still in play, it's a twisting links, with doglegs and undulating ground, exceptional fun.
The Island Golf Club - What a track, this course has higher dunes than any in this part of the country, making for dramatic shots. This course also has lovely views across the bay to Malahide, an exceptional links.
County Louth - commonly known as Baltray, this course has hosted The Irish Open, and is again a world class links course, the 14th hole could be the best hole the author has ever played.
Corballis - right next to The Island, this public course and a super links, with some of the best holes you would ever see, hole 2 is s stunner, the value is incredible at around 20 euros for a round.
Guinness Pie is a must, there will be ample opportunity, find a good pub nearby and dig in. In Malahide we tried some excellent restaurants, top of the list was Nautilus, the view is fantastic and the food even better. Also recommended are The Greedy Goose and a great Indian restaurant called Jaipur.
The Guinness factory tour is a must to understand the history of the worlds biggest beer producer. We also recommend a hop-on hop-off bus tour of the city, its a great way to see the sights and get a feel for the place. Also visit some pubs, meet the locals, have a chat over a pint.