Few golf vacations can compare to that of the island of Eire. Ireland and Northern Ireland blend charming hospitality and world-class golf courses for an unbeatable tour.
Most seem to agree that the upper echelon of links in Ireland are as good as, if not better than, Scotland's offerings. The dunesland here seems to be more rugged in many places, setting the stage for more dramatic holes and most memorable scenery. Golf courses like Royal County Down Golf Club, the Old Course at Lahinch Golf Club, Ballybunion Golf Club and Royal Portrush Golf Club are all 19th-century gems worthy of saving room in your golf bag for a camera.
There are several different tours that offer a compact route of world-class golf. Ireland's southwest coast is the most popular tour, while the now Northern Ireland has recently seen a resurgence in tourism. The most rapidly growing, and most affordable, destination of all is the rural northwest. And of course, plenty of golf can be had around Ireland's capital Dublin.
Here is TravelGolf.com's look at some of the best of Ireland and Northern Ireland golf in pictures.
Sea view at Lahinch's 6th in Ireland
The Old Course at Lahinch Golf Club anchors Ireland's most popular golf tour on the southwest coastline.
Royal County Down
Northern Ireland is seeing a rebirth in its golf tours lately. The tour's main attraction is 2007 Walker Cup host Royal County Down Golf Club.
Royal Portrush golf course in Northern Ireland
Ireland's only British Open host is Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland.
Ardglass Golf Club - Northern Ireland
Just around the corner from Royal County Down Golf Club, Ardglass Golf Club stacks up with Northern Ireland's better-known links gems.
Enniscrone Golf Club - No. 14
Ireland's northwest coast is the isle's most rapidly emerging golf destination, thanks to dramatic links like Enniscrone Golf Club.
The Old Links at Ballyliffin in northwest Ireland
Ireland's northernmost golf club: Ballyliffin Golf Club features two remote championship links in the northwest.
Castlerock Golf Club in Northern Ireland
Golfers playing Royal Portrush Golf Club will want to be sure to also stop by the nearby Mussenden Course Castlerock Golf Club on Northern Ireland's north coast.
Radisson Roe Park Golf Resort in Northern Ireland
Roe Park Golf Resort in Northern Ireland features a parkland golf course and easy access to many of the north's links courses.
Courtesy of Radisson Roe Park
Portmarnock Golf Club near Dublin, Ireland
One of the greater Dublin area's classic links clubs: Portmarnock Golf Club, where Arnold Palmer played his first links golf in the Isles.
Connemara Golf Club - Ireland
The northwest coast of Ireland is the most relatively undiscovered and includes hidden gems like Connemara Golf Club.