The Island Golf Club, Donabate, County Dublin
Founded 1890. Links Course
Although its shortage of international recognition may suggest otherwise, be assured that The Island Golf Club is one of the finest and most difficult links courses in Ireland. Nestling amongst enormous sand dunes, the course is surrounded by the Irish Sea, Donabate Beach and Broadmeadow Estuary. Founded in 1890, the course was shaped over the years by the hand of Fred Hawtree and the legendary Eddie Hackett and has hosted many important amateur events over the years, including Irish Qualifying for the British Open on a number of occasions, most recently in 2013. Along with Portmarnock, the Island is one of the finest links courses in Dublin.
A few nights in Dublin is a logical inclusion in many trips. Sometimes flights dictate that you arrive and depart Dublin and it can be easily combined with time spent in other locations. Apart from the great courses in the area, it offers much in terms of sightseeing including the Guinness Storehouse, Old Jameson Distillery, Christ Church Cathedral, the National Museum of Ireland and Kilmainham Jail. A visit to Trinity College Library to view the Book of Kells is also highly recommended.
Just north of Dublin, the Passage Tombs at Newgrange date back to 3,200 BC and provide a fascinating insight into prehistoric Ireland, while just south of Dublin in County Wicklow, you should include a visit to beautiful Glendalough and Powerscourt House & Gardens.
Further south of Wicklow, the likes of Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford are all well worth a visit with many impressive attractions. Kilkenny is a wonderful medieval city with the impressive Kilkenny Castle dominating the town. Waterford is synonymous with Waterford Crystal and you should include a visit to the House of Waterford Crystal, while in Wexford, some recommended options include the Irish National Heritage Park and Enniscorthy Castle.