Fota Island Resort, Cobh, County Cork
Founded 1993. Parkland Course
Located in Cork Harbour just a short drive from Cork City, Fota Island opened for play in 1993 and along with the likes of Adare Manor, Killarney and Cork is one of the finest inland courses in Ireland’s southwest. Southwest Ireland is renowned for its links courses but there is space in any trip for at least one of these superb inland courses. Founded in 1993, the initial layout was designed by Irish Ryder Cup hero, Christy O’Connor Jr. but following extensive redevelopment, the original Deerpark layout reopened in 1999 and the course hosted the Irish Open in 2001 and 2002. Another nine holes were added in 2007 and the Irish Open returned for a third time in 2014 but the original Deerpark layout is the one to play if you find the time for a visit to Fota.
The main attraction of Ireland as a golf destination may indeed be its great golf courses but the overall experience is influenced by many other factors including great accommodation options, restaurants, pubs, people, and not least it’s stunning scenery and superb visitor attractions. Each region offers something very different and with all locations being quite close together, it’s very easy to mix the stunning countryside and coastline with more urban attractions.
We work with each of our clients to recommend what suits their trip best. You may have a full day to spend sightseeing or you may prefer to squeeze in a quick stop on the way to or from the golf course but we will make sure that you maximise your experience at all times. The below is intended as a very general guide to sightseeing in Southwest Ireland.
Offering so much superb scenery, interesting attractions and beautiful little towns and villages, it is impossible to find the time to take in everything in this region of Ireland. The main city is Cork and while in the area, visitors should be sure to include the likes of Blarney Castle, Fota Wildlife Park, Cork City Jail Heritage Centre, Titanic Experience Cobh and Midleton Distillery.
Another area where you are likely to find yourself is Kinsale, a beautiful harbour town south of Cork City and a convenient base from which to play Old Head Golf Links. Known as the gourmet capital of Ireland, Kinsale boasts many superb restaurants but you should also take in a Kinsale Harbour Cruise and visit the stunning Charles Fort just outside town.
Killarney is a particularly popular location for golfers and as a central base from which to play the great courses nearby, Killarney is hard to beat. Whether you have a full free day to take in the sights or a half day before or after golf, there is much to see, including the scenic Dingle Peninsula, Muckross House, Gardens & Traditional Farms, Torc Waterfall (pictured above), the Gap of Dunloe, Killarney National Park, Ross Castle and Kate Kearney’s Cottage.
A typical golfing itinerary in the Southwest would see you spend at least some time in County Clare, from where you can play the likes of Lahinch and Doonbeg. Here again, there are many terrific sightseeing options. If you are travelling with family, a trip to the Aillwee Caves in Ballyvaughan is a great day out, while other locations of interest include the Cliffs of Moher, Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, the Burren Centre and Craggaunowen Living Past.