Top Tips For a Memorable Golf Break in Donegal

So the plan is made and after all of these years your bucket list trip is going to be a reality. A week or two in Donegal with your golfing pals is on the cards and you need to get planning. Once your dates are confirmed and you have booked your flights, have a look at our top tips for your trip to Ireland’s best kept golfing secret and save yourself a lot of time and hassle!

Prepare your game

You may fancy yourself as a bit of a golf guru but if you have never played links golf, you may be in for a surprise. Get ready for howling winds, pot bunkers, knee high rough and 100 foot putts. Before you visit Ireland we recommend a trip to your local pro to get some advice on low punch shots and chip and runs with a 7 iron! This will save a lot of heartache on the challenging links layouts of Donegal.

Visit the Gaeltacht

The Gaeltacht regions of Ireland are like a step into a simpler time. The west coast of Donegal is predominantly Gaeltacht and these villages demonstrate everything that there is to love about Irish culture. From the natural scenic beauty of Kilcar to the bustling pubs of Ardara you will not be short of a welcome in the Gaeltacht. Add to this the mystique of the locals talking in the native Irish tongue and a trip to the Gaeltacht in Donegal will ensure a memorable experience.

Ardara Thatched Cottage

Buy Donegal Tweed

There is no need to introduce the quality or reputation of Donegal tweed. And where better to get your hands on it than from the manufacturer themselves! In Donegal Town you will find numerous authentic tweed suppliers including Magee who have been dressing royalty and celebrities alike for generations. Whether you need a flat cap or a 3-piece suit, make sure you get some of the worlds best tweed while here in Donegal.

Donegal Tweed

Sample Donegal Whiskey 

For the first time in 170 years, Donegal is set to have a distillery based near the imperious cliffs at Sliabh Liag. In the early 1800’s Donegal was thought to have more illegal stills than the rest of the country put together. Since 1841 however, the county has lacked a legitimate distillery but that has now changed. Opening in 2018 the Sliabh Liag distillery will be a welcome opportunity for golfers to take a day away from the fairways. Their Silkie whiskey is already in production and we will be happy to arrange whiskey tastings at your hotel on request.

Play a nine-hole course (Cruit Island)

When a golf course is named as one of the best 9 hole courses in the world by Golf Digest, you need to take notice. Described as ‘One of the most memorable, scenic and quirky 9 holers you will ever play,’ Cruit has a well-earned reputation. Battered by the Atlantic Ocean this 9 holer will offer views that will take the breath away and you can play here for the price of a round of pints at the local!

Cruit Island

Ask The Locals

Ireland is a country where relationships are nurtured over generations and local knowledge is everything. A trip to Ireland without the input of a local expert will certainly be enjoyable but you are likely to miss the deeper experience. Whether it is a detour post golf to a tiny thatched pub up a country lane or an evening meal arranged in the family home of a local host, taking time to chat with a local while here will open doors that are not visible to most outsiders.

Visit the Highest Sea Cliffs in Europe

Another experience that we are lucky to have on our doorstep is the beautiful Sliabh Liag cliffs. Surrounded by history and tradition, these cliffs tower over the Cliffs of Moher at a staggering 609 metres. The cliffs have huge local historical significance and have been the sight of pilgrimages for centuries. The views are quite spectacular, the story is enchanting and the entry is free! What more could you want?

Sliabh League Cliffs 

Experience a Lock In

OK so this part of your trip to Ireland generally comes without any planning. Our recommendation is that if you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere and pass a quiet looking pub, it is worth taking a pit stop! The legend of visitors serving their own pints of Guinness at 4am or leading the ceili at dawn in the local are common in this part of the world. Just make sure you have a designated driver and a friendly local guard!

Late Night Lockin

Hire a caddy

There is nothing quite like local knowledge and a game of golf is always better when banter is free flowing. Visit local courses such as Donegal Golf Club or Ballyliffin and your experience will be greatly enhanced with a local on your bag. Whether they have tales of late nights in the clubhouse, stories of shenanigans from unnamed members or hints on where to find the lock in we just mentioned, 18 holes with a local caddy is a must.

The Caddy Knows!

Book With Green Golf Travel!

OK so we are slightly biased on this one. Having said that, most golfers you speak to that has travelled to Ireland are likely to tell you that using a golf tour operator in this country is a worthwhile option. As well as creating an immersive experience, we can help you navigate local clubs and providers that may not have the most up to date systems or processes.

We ensure that you don’t need to worry about pro shops being closed, tee times being mixed up or arriving at a course to find most holes are closed for maintenance! Our sales team are in touch with every local club regularly and are kept up to date with issues that may affect your trip.  

Overall, your trip to Ireland will be made smoother, cheaper and more immersive by booking with Green Golf Travel. You can build a relationship of trust with your sales agent and share a pint with them before the end of your trip. If you would like to contact Green Golf Travel to arrange your trip you can reach us at info@greengolftravel.com .

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