1 Nil to Europe (Sort of!)

Solheim & Ryder Cup week update. It’s 1 nil to Europe. Sort of. But not really!

Well, that was a Solheim Cup for the ages this past weekend! The first tie in Solheim Cup history, meaning that Europe as holders retained the trophy. After Europe were hammered 4:0 in the opening foursomes session on Friday, it was difficult to see past a victory for USA. However, Europe’s ladies rallied superbly to draw level heading into Sunday’s singles. Fittingly, Spaniard Carlota Ciganda, fired 2 incredible approach shots on holes 16 and 17 in her singles match to win the point which retained the cup for Europe.

And, what are the chances of a tie this coming weekend when the Ryder cup tees off at Marco Simone in Rome? History would say, very little, as it’s only happened twice. The first time was at Royal Birkdale in 1969 when Jack Nicklaus famously conceded a putt to Tony Jacklin to tie the match and retain the cup for the USA. The Belfry in 1989 was the stage for the second tie when Europe retained the cup. So, it’s 1 tie, 1 retention each for Europe and USA in the Ryder Cup.

On paper, Team USA had higher average world rankings than Team Europe for the Solheim Cup. Same goes in the Ryder Cup. But the matchplay format doesn’t care about world rankings or reputations. The singles matches are 1 to 1 combat while the foursomes and fourball formats present very different challenges to the strokeplay events the world’s elite golfers play week in, week out.

We think it’s going to be a close call. Check out the video to see my chat with Frank Gannon about the tournaments.

Don’t forget, the centenary of the Ryder Cup will be held at Adare Manor in 2027. Get ahead of the crowd and experience this amazing venue and others on your golf trip of a lifetime. Contact us to start planning your next dream golf vacation in the British Isles and Europe.


Ireland’s Hidden Golf Gems!

Much is made of the fact that Ireland has 9 courses in the current Golf Digest World Top 100 courses. And rightly so. The list is a who’s who of Irish golf courses – Royal County Down #1, Royal Portrush #8, Ballybunion #18, Lahinch #41, Waterville #60, Portmarnock #62, Old Head of Kinsale #85, Co. Sligo #91  and the European Club #93.

However, we wanted to shine a spotlight this month on some of our “hidden gems” that may not be on that particular list but are amazing experiences in their own right. Golf in Ireland is concentrated (for the most part) in 4 regions – Dublin area, Northern Ireland, North West Ireland and South West Ireland. You can see the geographical clustering on the map below.

We’ve selected a number of hidden gems in each region that are all top class championship venues. In fact, the list includes Irish Open and Ryder Cup venues, so, perhaps “must plays” rather than “hidden gems” is more accurate in some cases.

ireland golf map. golf courses in ireland. links golf. g golf ireland

Dublin area.
Royal Dublin, Co. Louth (Baltray), The Island, Portmarnock Links, Druids Glen, Mount Juliet, Carton House, Killeen Castle, K Club, Powerscourt.

Northern Ireland.
Ardglass, Royal Belfast, Castlerock, Portstewart, Lough Erne Resort.

North West Ireland.
Co. Donegal (Murvagh), Rosapenna, Portsalon, Ballyliffin, Narin and Portnoo, Co. Sligo (Rosses Point), Enniscrone, Carne, Galway Bay.

South West Ireland.
Adare Manor, Dooks, Killarney Golf Club, Hogs Head, Cork Golf Club, Fota Island, Dromoland Castle.

With over 400 golf courses to choose from and 1/3 of the true links courses in the world, Ireland is a bucket list destination for the discerning golfer. And that’s not even mentioning our world famous hospitality and the “craic” in the “19th hole”! Put playing golf in Ireland top of your golfing to do list!

Time sheets for 2024 are now open and starting to fill. There are also some big events coming down the tracks soon to Ireland – The Open at Royal Portrush in 2025 and The Ryder Cup in 2027 at Adare Manor. If you want to get ahead of the crowd, get in touch to register your interest for 2024 and beyond.

We look forward to welcoming you on your next golf holiday!

Yours in Golf,

G Golf Ireland

Joe Biden’s Irish golf trip!

US President, Joe Biden, is visiting Ireland this week to celebrate 25 years of the Good Friday Agreement which brought peace to Northern Ireland and an end to “The Troubles”. A big winner from the peace dividend is tourism and hospitality, right across the island of Ireland.

President Biden’s itinerary includes stops at Belfast and Dublin as well as his ancestral homelands of Co. Louth and Co. Mayo. As Joe Biden is a golfer, we imagined what his Irish golf itinerary could look like if he had time between official engagements to play a few holes…

DAY 1:
Belfast area. Golf at Royal Portrush, Royal County Down, Portstewart, Castlerock, Royal Belfast or Ardglass. Do the Titanic Experience or take a Black Cabs tour of Belfast after golf.

DAY 2:
Co. Louth area. Top class links golf is available at Baltray (Co. Louth GC), Seapoint or Laytown & Bettystown to name but a few. Try the seafood chowder at Carlingford harbour.

DAY 3:
Dublin area. Spoiled for an amazing choice of world class golf courses. Portmarnock, The Island, The European Club, Royal Dublin, Portmarnock Links, the K Club, Druids Glen, Killeen Castle…and the list goes on. A visit to EPIC museum showcases the tale of the Irish diaspora around the world down through the ages.

Day 4:
Co. Mayo area. In the heart of the Wild Atlantic Way, we recommend golf at breathtaking links venues like Carne, Enniscrone or Rosses Point (Co. Sligo GC). Salmon fishing in the Corrib before a quick hop on Marine One to Dublin airport to catch Airforce One home!

Now, that would be quite the Presidential Irish golf trip! In all seriousness though, it’s great to see Joe Biden reconnecting with his Irish roots and shining a spotlight on Ireland as a welcoming place to visit.

Time sheets for 2024 are now open and starting to fill. There are also some big events coming down the tracks soon to Ireland – The Open at Royal Portrush in 2025 and The Ryder Cup in 2027 at Adare Manor. If you want to get ahead of the crowd, get in touch to register your interest for 2024 and beyond.

We look forward to welcoming you on your next golf holiday!

Yours in golf,

Paddy’s Day 23!

Saint Patrick’s day is upon us, the day where the whole world goes green and everyone is a little bit Irish! It makes us proud to see so many iconic buildings light up in green all around the world in celebration of Ireland’s national holiday on March 17.

And, this year we should recognise the fact that our good friend and most famous Patrick from Ireland when it comes to golf – the one and only Padraig Harrington – has just been inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in the class of 2024! Padraig is Gaelic for Patrick and is a legend in our lifetime. 3 majors, 36 professional wins, Ryder Cup winner, Ryder Cup Captain, World Cup winner, Walker Cup winner and a fantastic Ambassador for Irish golf. Well done Padraig, we are very proud of your achievements! Check out the video below to see what Padraig says about golfing in Ireland!

Speaking of legends, it’s said that Saint Patrick chased all the snakes out of Ireland. We like to imagine that this mass exodus is one of the reasons we have such amazing undulating fairways on our world class golf courses!

There are so many world famous venues and hidden gems to discover in Ireland – more than 400 golf courses, 1/3 of the true links courses in the world and 9 golf courses in the current Golf Digest World Top 100! And, there’s our legendary 19th hole hospitality and stunning landscape with 40 shades of green.

So this Saint Patrick’s day, press the green button, and start planning your unforgettable golf trip to Ireland!

2024 time sheets opening soon!

Last 2023 spaces available, 2024 time sheets are opening! 
Pack your travel case and get your golf shoes on!

Demand for premium golf experiences in Ireland and Scotland is at unprecedented levels. After the covid years, we’re very grateful of the strong bounce back, but, the high demand does cause some issues on the supply side.

However, there is still some space available at the top venues in Ireland and Scotland this summer season. Don’t delay if you want to experience the best golf on the planet this year – contact us to make your plans.

Time sheets for 2024 are now starting to open and the best times will fill fast. There are also some big events coming down the tracks soon to Ireland – The Open at Royal Portrush in 2025 and The Ryder Cup in 2027 at Adare Manor. If you want to get ahead of the crowd, get in touch to register your interest for 2024 and beyond.

So, whether you’re an “early bird who likes to catch the worm”, or you’re more of a “slow and steady wins the race” type, our best advice is to let us worry about the details – Contact us and we’ll make your dreams reality!

We look forward to welcoming you on your next golf holiday!

Yours in golf,

New Year, New Rules

Happy new year, we wish you a healthy and successful golfing year.

As the 2023 golf season tees off we thought it would be useful to highlight some of the rule changes which have just been introduced by the R&A and USGA on January 1st. The changes this year are designed to simplify the rules of golf, with a focus on inclusivity and sustainability.

There is also a video explainer below which was shot on location at the beautiful Portmarnock Links, Dublin, Ireland by the R&A and USGA.
In other news, G Golf Ireland CEO, Joe Shannon, will attend the PGA show in Orlando from Jan 25 – 27. Joe will be on the Tourism Ireland exhibition stand no. 3973. Please reach out to arrange a meeting with Joe or stop by the stand to say hello.

Finally, if you’re interested in a 2023 Irish golf trip please get in touch asap to make plans. Demand for Irish golf is very high this summer season, but there is still capacity available at some of our amazing golf venues right across the Emerald Isle. Check out our brochure here for inspiration!
We look forward to welcoming you on your next golf holiday!
Yours in golf,

G Golf Ireland

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at G Golf Ireland!
As we reach the end of the 2022 golf season, we give thanks and reflect on the good year that was for Irish golf tourism.

This time last year, we were facing into another uncertain winter with ongoing covid lockdowns. Thankfully, 12 months on, we’ve had a solid recovery year at G Golf Ireland and are looking forward with optimism to 2023.

At this time of year, we are especially thankful to the great game of golf for giving us the ongoing opportunity to create new memories with our clients and friends.

As you gather with your nearest and dearest this Thanksgiving, consider pressing the green button to start planning your next golf trip with G Golf Ireland – we would be very thankful if you do!

Contact us today for itinerary ideas and inspiration!

We would like to wish all of our clients and friends a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

Yours in Golf,

Golf Digest – 9 Irish courses in the World top 100!

In conversation with Jamie McConnell

The latest biennial Golf Digest World Top 100 golf courses list has recently been published and 9 Irish courses have made the grade! It’s amazing really that our little country has almost 10% of the world’s best golf courses according to Golf Digest. But, for those of us involved in Irish golf tourism we’re not surprised and also very proud!

To discuss the courses on the list, I caught up with proud Irishman, Jamie McConnell, Director of Instruction at the Claude Harmon Performance Academy in Dubai. To hear Jamie’s take on the latest Golf Digest World Top 100 and his advice on playing golf in Ireland check out the video below. We’re very grateful to Jamie for his time and insight.

Royal County Down has remained at #1 and Co. Sligo (also known as Rosses Point) has made the Top 100 for the first time at #91. The full list including the previous rankings are below. The truth is that there are several other courses from the more than 400 courses on the Island of Ireland that could stake a claim to be included! 

The 9 Irish courses in the 2022 Golf Digest World Top are:

Royal County Down 1 (1)
Royal Portrush 8 (8)
Ballybunion 18 (17)
Lahinch 41 (31)
Waterville 60 (75)
Portmarnock 62 (40)
Old Head of Kinsale 85 (68)
Co. Sligo 91 (NR)
European Club 93 (95)

When we consider that Ireland also has approximately 1/3 of the true links courses in the world, it is no wonder that demand for premium Irish golf continues to grow. If you want to play our world famous courses in 2023 and beyond, contact us without delay to make plans. 

We look forward to welcoming you to the land of Saints, Scholars and world class golf!

Golf in the North West!

The second edition of the Irish Legends Tournament, hosted by the McGinley Foundation, was a tremendous success this August at Rosapenna Golf resort on Ireland’s north west coast.

Ryder Cup Legends and Major Champions teed it up alongside amateur players in this unique format in professional tournament golf. If you’re interested in playing in next year’s Irish Legends event please contact us for details.

Ireland’s north west coastline is a beautifully scenic region where the mountains, sand dunes and Atlantic Ocean frame some of the best links golf courses in Ireland. Check out the video below to hear Paul McGinley’s take on golf in this part of Ireland.

Here are our favourites:

Rosapenna Hotel and Golf Resort – choose from the Old Tom Morris course, Sandy Hills or the recently opened St. Patrick’s Links designed by Tom Doak. All 3 courses have spectacular views of Sheephaven Bay and provide different, challenging tests of your golf skills.

Ballyliffin – The Old course and Glashedy Links are both world class links courses with contrasting styles. There’s also the excellent 9 hole par 3 Pollan course to hone your short game. Host to the 2018 Irish Open tournament, put Ballyliffin on your list of must plays.

Portsalon – Founded in 1891, Portsalon also has the distinction of being one of the 9 original founding members of the Golf Union of Ireland, the oldest golfing union in the world. Redesigned by Pat Ruddy of the European Club in 2000, and tweaked by Paul McGinley more recently, Portsalon is well deserving of the title, “Hidden Gem”.

Narin and Portnoo – Matt Ginella from the Golf Channel’s quote describes it best “So here’s a little story about Gil Hanse & Jim Wagner coming to Ireland to renovate Narin & Portnoo: They worked wonders. The end. And now everyone will come and compare it to Pebble Beach, Pacific Dunes & other seaside spectacles.”

Co. Donegal (Murvagh) – Built on a promontory of 182 acres that extends out into the Atlantic Ocean, Co. Donegal enjoys a spectacular location and a very fair test of links golf. 2011 Open Champion Darren Clarke describes it as one of his favourite courses in the world. And, he should know!

Co. Sligo (Rosses Point) – Home to the elite West of Ireland championship every year, Co. Sligo has made it into the 2022 Golf Digest World Top 100 courses for the first time at #91. Deservingly so. Benbulbin Mountain provides a spectacular backdrop to this world class links layout.

Enniscrone – The links weaves its way through towering, majestic dunes overlooking Killala Bay. Enniscrone is one of the finest pure links courses in Ireland and is a regular host to elite Irish golf tournaments. This is a championship golf course par excellence.

Carne – Wild Atlantic golf at its finest and rawest. Carne is arguably the most spectacular links course in Ireland. Cheek by jowl with the Atlantic Ocean, the holes weave their way through the biggest dune system in the world. Simply stunning.

So, what are you waiting for? DON’T DELAY – 2023 time sheets are open and filling fast. Please contact us to book your golf trip of a lifetime.

Yours in Golf,

Why is Links so Special?

What a tremendous 150th Open championship we witnessed at St. Andrews this July. A stunning final round of 64 from Australian Cameron Smith saw him leapfrog the 54 hole leaders and take home the Claret Jug.

St. Andrews showed off links golf at its bestHard, bouncy surfaces on the fairways and greens, whispy lies in the rough, devilish pin positions and deep pothole bunkers provided a challenging test. The wind didn’t really blow, so, the ultimate defence for a links course wasn’t really a factor in the 150th Open.

So, why is links golf so special? Here are some of the reasons:

Rarity – Of the approximately 250 true links courses in the world, more than 200 of them are in Ireland and the UK. It’s believed there are around 40,000 golf courses in the world so less than 1% are true links!

Lay of the land – links courses follow natural contours through sand dunes and dramatic coastal landscapes. It’s not target golf, you have to get creative in the shots you play and stay patient when you get an occasional unlucky bounce!

Wind – probably the biggest variable with links golf. It is not unusual to have to play anything from a pitching wedge to a 5 wood (or more) when faced with the same shot in different wind directions.

History – It all started at the home of golf at St. Andrews and early pioneers established dozens of now famous names along the coastline of Ireland and the UK. From Ballybunion to Royal Portrush to Royal Dornoch and many more.

So, how do you play links golf shots? Check out a series of videos below from G Golf co-Founders Mark & Frank Gannon showing you exactly how.

But, better still, get yourself over here and experience the real deal for yourself!

DON’T DELAY – 2023 time sheets are open. Please contact us to book your golf trip of a lifetime.

Yours in Golf,