Golf’s global stars have always had a penchant for designing their ideal courses in ireland, too. Take Golf Digest's World Number One Course, Royal County Down: Old Tom Morris and Harry Colt both had a hand in its creation. Then there’s Jack Nicklaus’ Kilkenny parkland, Mount Juliet, a constantly ranked must-play and, of course, the sublime Dr Alister MacKenzie-built Lahinch.
Nick Faldo achieved drama on Fermanagh’s serene Lough Erne; while The Palmer Ryder Cup course in The K Club, Kildare, and Tralee, County Kerry, both enjoy that extra special Arnold Palmer touch. Carne, Connemara, Dooks, Enniscrone, Murvagh and Waterville: Eddie Hackett, Ireland’s ‘Golfing Saint’ turned these greens to golfing gold. And let's not forget Rosapenna and Royal County Down – where the legendary Scot Old Tom Morris embraced the lie of the land. Over a century later, golfers still can’t resist the challenge…
It's not just the designs that host the big names. The courses do, too: Royal County Down, Dublin’s Portmarnock, Kildare’s Carton House, Wicklow’s Druids Glen Golf Resort, Killarney Golf Club, County Kerry, Kilkenny’s Mount Juliet, and Cork’s Fota Island have all hosted the Irish Open; while the exquisite Royal Portrush is the upcoming venue for The Open 2019.