Pro Golf Weekly

Tour Destination: Ballyliffin, Ireland – Where To Stay & Play

The European Tour will be teeing it up this week at Ballyliffin Golf Club for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in the town of the same surname.

Generally considered the best links club in Ireland, boasting two championship links courses – The Old Links and Glashedy Links, the Ballyliffin is Emerald Isle golf at its finest.

The Old Links rolls in the splendor of its natural landscape, offering an immeasurably pleasurable test to all golfers. Efforts recently completed by Nick Faldo has reinforced The Old Links and brought much praise from members and visitors.

The newer Glashedy Links is a Pat Ruddy and Tom Craddock masterwork formed around the incredible dunes, and is consistently rated as one of the best links courses in the world.

Rory McIlroy says, “Ballyliffin’s two courses are a must play on any golf trip to Ireland.”

We agree, wholeheartedly.

THE SKINNY

Ballyliffin Golf Club
Ballyliffin, Inishowen
Co. Donegal, Ireland
Website: BallyliffinGolfClub.com

THE OLD LINKS COURSE:
Architects: Eddie Hackett (1973), Nick Faldo (2006)
Vitals: Par 71/6937 (Blue), 6450 (White), 6261 (Yellow), 5414 (Red)
Rates: €140(eur)/$165

GLASHEDY LINKS COURSE:
Architects: Pat Ruddy and Tom Craddock (1995)
Vitals: Par 72/7210 (Black), 6726 (Gold), 6327 (White), 5640 (Red)
Rates: €160/$185


PLAY TWO MORE…

Portstewart and Royal Portrush, two of Northern Ireland’s premium links courses, are a simple Ferry trip away across Lough Foyle. These two world-renowned championship courses, along with Ballyliffin, will make your trip the north west of Ireland feel like golf heaven.

PORTSTEWART GOLF CLUB

Founded in 1894 and redesigned by Willie Park Jr in the 1920’s this championship links course received its greatest makeover with the purchase of land known as “Thistly Hollow” in 1981. This enabled the club to build a stunning new seven holes through towering dunes between the Atlantic Ocean and the River Bann.

The Strand course is now considered a must-play for those embarking on golf travel in Ireland. Offering breathtaking views, alongside massive dunes, the Strand is a true links course with fast greens that are in excellent condition all the year round.

THE SKINNY

Portstewart Golf Club
117 Strand Road, Portstewart,
Co.Londonderry, BT55 7PG, Northern Ireland
Website: PortstewartGC.co.uk

STRAND COURSE:
Architects: A. G. Gow (1908), Willie Park Jr (1921)
Redesigns: Des Giffin, (1981), Bernard Findlay (1999)
Vitals: Par 72/7004 (Blue), 6606 (White), 5853 (Red)
Rates: £175(pound)/$230 (5/1-9/30); £110/$145 (off)


ROYAL PORTRUSH GOLF CLUB

Quite simply, the Dunluce course at Royal Portrush is one of the world’s finest links courses, and the only course in Ireland to have hosted the British Open (in 1951) – and will host again in 2019.

Fred Daly, the only Irishman ever to win “The Open,” was a Royal Portrush member.

Overlooking the ruins of the 13th Century Dunluce Castle, it is a magnum opus of golf architecture. Famous for its outstanding turf and first-rate holes, many of which require long and accurate drives made all the more difficult by the high winds. Unimaginable rough and tricky greens, thrown with windy conditions make this course an admirable test even for a seasoned golfer.

THE SKINNY

Royal Portrush Golf Club
Dunluce Road, Portrush
Co. Antrim, BT56 8JQ, Northern Ireland
Website: RoyalPortrushGolfClub.com

DUNLUCE COURSE:
Architects: Harry Colt (1932)
Vitals: Par 72/7317 (Blue), 6705 (White), 6476 (Green)
Rates: £205/$270


WHERE TO STAY

BALLYLIFFIN TOWNHOUSE

The award winning Ballyliffin TownHouse Boutique Hotel is a two-minute drive to Ballyliffin Golf Club. Conveniently positioned on the Majestic Wild Atlantic Way, near Malin Head, Fanad Head & Slieve League, with beautiful views of Pollan Bay & Malin Head, this quaint little hideaway is the perfect place to rest and reenergize after a day on the links.

THE SKINNY

Ballyliffin Townhouse
Ballyliffin, Inishowen Co. Donegal,
Ireland, F93 WN93
Website: BallyliffinTownhouse.ie
Distance From Ballyliffin GG: 2 minutes (.5 mile)

Room Types: Twin, Double, Deluxe
Dining: Breakfast (Continental Style); Bar
Amenities: Smart TV, Wifi, Free Breakfast
Best Rate: €114/night


BALLYLIFFIN LODGE & SPA HOTEL

The 4-Star Ballyliffin Lodge and Spa opened in June 2005 and swiftly established itself as one of the foremost hotels in Donegal. Renowned for its character, charm and exceptional service, the family-run hotel also offers a full spa and award-winning restaurant on its property.

The Ballyliffin Lodge and Spa is conveniently located in the heart of the village with panoramic views of Malin Head and Ballyliffin Golf Club.

THE SKINNY:

Ballyliffin Lodge & Spa Hotel
Ballyliffin, Inishowen, Co Donegal,
Ireland, F93XR25
Website: BallyliffinLodge.com
Distance From Ballyliffin GG: 2 minutes (.5 mile)

Bedrooms: 40
Room Types: Standard, Superior, Family, Exec
Dining: Jack’s Bar & Restaurant (Casual, Comfort Fare)
Spa: Rock Crystal Spa
Amenities: TV, Room Service, Wifi, Swimming Pool
Best Flex Rate: €124/night


THE STRAND HOTEL

An authentic warm and friendly Irish welcome awaits you upon arrival at The Strand Hotel Ballyliffin. The family-owned hotel, renowned for its excellent food, relaxed and comfortable surroundings, is located in the heart of Ballyliffin, along the Inishowen 100 and The Wild Atlantic Way Donegal.

Clean ocean air, endless sandy beaches, world-class golf and breathtaking scenery, all within a stone’s throw of the front door, makes Strand Hotel Ballyliffin a special place that draws guests back time and time again.

THE SKINNY

The Strand Hotel
Ballyliffin, Inishowen, Co. Donegal
Ireland, F93XR25
Website: BallyliffinStrandHotel.com
Distance From Ballyliffin GG: 2 minutes (.5 mile)

Bedrooms: 37
Room Types: Ensuite, Family
Dining: The Glashedy Restaurant
Amenities: TV, Wifi
Best Adv. Rate: €168/night


DON’T MISS…

WILD ATLANTIC WAY: NORTHERN HEADLANDS

Intact and virtually uncharted, this jaggedly stunning and isolated region sits at the remote north of the Wild Atlantic Way.

Remarkable and stimulating nature abounds up here, from the pure granite walls of some of Europe’s highest sea cliffs, at Sliabh Liag (Slieve League), to the Northern Lights simmering in the clear winter skies, to the millions of birds making their way through. There’s a stout feeling of community in this lightly settled area; Ireland’s roughest shores are home to its largest Gaeltacht – where Irish is still the mother tongue and traditional culture thrives.

Out here on Ireland’s northernmost headlands, 11 lighthouses gleam out across the sea, and journeys – physical and spiritual – commence. The experience will be good for the soul.


Credits: North & West Coast Links Golf Ireland, John Farren, Ballyliffin Townhouse, Ballyliffin Lodge & Spa, The Strand Hotel, Wild Atlantic Way


Jeff Smith

Jeff is a writer and content producer for Pro Golf Weekly. He is working on a book, documenting the 2017 and 2018 seasons on the major golf tours.

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