Donegal Golf Club, Murvagh, County Donegal
Founded 1976. Links Course
Similar to County Sligo, Donegal Golf Club is the ideal golfing stop en-route from Northern Ireland or Ballyliffin to the great links courses of the Irish Northwest. Measuring over 7,000 yards from the medal tees, Donegal was designed by Eddie Hackett and officially opened for play in 1976 although the layout has undergone considerable alterations since, most of which have been carried out under the direction of Pat Ruddy.
There is little pomp or ceremony surrounding this club, it’s just an excellent golf links. Situated in beautiful Donegal Bay and backed by the Blue Stack Mountains, Donegal has been described as the Muirfield of Ireland, similar in terrain with two loops of nine holes, the first nine an outer loop and the second nine an inner loop running in the opposite direction. An excellent test of golf, when the wind blows, this is a fearsome challenge.
Often the path less travelled in terms of golf, this region has much to offer. Galway is a vibrant city with many excellent restaurants, shops and pubs and it’s a great place to spend a few days. Moving west towards Connemara, you will encounter some of the most ruggedly beautiful scenery in Ireland and you should include a visit to Connemara National Park near Letterfrack. Other recommendations include Kylemore Abbey, the Renvyle Peninsula, Aran Islands and the Quiet Man Museum in Cong.
Travelling north from Connemara, Westport is another lively town where you should take some time to visit Westport House, while the more energetic might enjoy a hike up Croagh Patrick, known as Ireland’s Holy Mountain. Another interesting stop is the Ceide Fields Visitor Centre near Ballycastle, while the Slieve League Cliffs and Glenveagh National Park should not be missed when in Donegal.