Fishing & Golf – The Perfect Ireland Vacation
Perhaps no vacation showcases the glory Mother Nature has bestowed upon the Emerald Isle better than a fishing & golf vacation. Ireland is second to none for both pursuits with exceptional links courses and fishing hot spots that make anglers giddy with delight, especially in the southwest of Ireland. Keep reading below for a suggested itinerary with golf clubs and fishing gear in tow.
Day One: Arrive at the Shannon Airport. Check into your accommodations at Perryville House. Situated in the center of the medieval fishing port of County Cork’s Kinsale and overlooking the marina, Perryville House combines the grandeur of the past with the luxuries and convenience of today. Perryville House delights guests from the moment they step inside. Built in 1810, the property was completely refurbished in the late 1990s and is known for its elegant aesthetic, delicious food and close proximity to world-class golf and beaches. Small details such as oil paintings, fresh cut flowers and scented candles add to the Irish country house’s charm.
Day Two: Play Old Head Golf Links. Occupying a peninsula extending into the Atlantic Ocean, Old Head features some of the most breathtaking, panoramic vistas in the game. Whirling winds off the sea and rolling topography create stimulating natural challenges that are all a golfer could ever want.
Named the most spectacular course on the planet by LINKS magazine, Old Head combines jaw-dropping views with a thrilling layout for a truly memorable experience.
Joe Carr – our late founder – was part of the all-star design team at Old Head, which also included Ron Kirby, former designer at Jack Nicklaus’ Golf Design Services; the late, great Eddie Hackett, former Irish golf professional and golf course designer; Paddy Merrigan, Australian course architect and agronomist; Liam Higgins, one of Ireland’s best-known golf professionals; and Haulie O’Shea, building contractor extraordinaire.
“The Old Head’s location, its scenic reality and spectacular terrain remind me of Cypress Point and Pebble Beach,” said Joe. “It is a golfer’s paradise with the potential of being the eighth wonder of the world, in golfing terms.”
The layout is home to one of our favorite par 3s as well as one of Ireland’s most challenging par 5s. The seventh tee box boasts a stunning view from one of the highest points of elevation on Old Head. This all-or-nothing par-3 forces accurate club selection. Miss short and you’ll land in a greenside bunker or end up in the rough. Overshoot the green and you’ll lose your ball in the Atlantic.
Regarded as one of the most intimidating holes in golf, the par-5 12th at Old Head begins with a daunting tee shot over a clifftop to a blind landing area. The challenge doesn’t end there as the fairway dramatically narrows near the green, making laying up difficult and almost impossible. Bunkers and intimidating high slopes guard the right side. Don’t miss left or your ball will be gobbled up by the turbulent sea below. Good luck on both holes!
Day Three: Go fishing in Kinsale. Whether you’re after cod, bass, dogfish or flounder, Kinsale has a spot for you. Some of our favorites are Garretstown Beach, Coolmain Beach, Harbour View, Burren Pier, Courtmacsherry Pier, Courtmacsherry Strand and Broad Strand.
Day Four: Play Dooks Golf Club. County Kerry’s Dooks Golf Club celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2014 and is one of the Emerald Isle’s 10 oldest golf clubs. Home to the 6,586-yard 18-hole links course along rugged Dingle Bay, Dooks derives its name from the Irish word for “dunes.”Dooks is awash with natural beauty with beguiling ocean views throughout and framed inland by Ireland’s highest mountain range, the McGillycuddy Reeks.
Despite the relatively modest yardage, ever-present tricky southwest winds put a premium on the “Old School” method of keeping your shots low to ground. Numerous greenside collection areas await wayward approaches and compel imaginative bumps, chips and pitches.
Golf course architect Donald Steele aptly assessed the course as follows: “Dooks is a rare gem, it has a special place in the annals of links golf and must be preserved at all costs. Its character typifies the true meaning of what this form of the game should represent.”
A nine-hole layout for most of its first 80 years, Dooks was expanded to 18 in 1970. The most recent renovations were completed by renowned golf course architect Martin Hawtree in 2006, elevating Dooks to “must play” status like neighbors Ballybunion and Tralee.
Hawtree, whose resume includes acclaimed makeovers of Lahinch and Royal Dublin, rebuilt all bunkers, relocated tees and fairways, and shaped 16 new greens – 10 in new locations. A sporty par 71, Dooks is a fun test of golf that drips with an endless supply of charm.
Following your round, settle into your accommodations at Waterville House. This 18th century manor house sits on a narrow strip facing the wild Atlantic with beautiful Lough Currane on its eastern perimeter. The Currane River bisects the 50-acre estate as it flows into Ballingskelligs Bay.
Day Five: Go fishing in Waterville. Waterville House has extensive fishing rights on rivers and lakes throughout the region. The Cummeragh River with its five upper lakes – Derriana, Namona, Cloonaghlin, Na Huisce and Coppal – flows into Lough Currane before entering the sea. All these lakes contain salmon and sea trout.
Higher in the mountains there are numerous smaller lakes, rarely fished, containing mainly brown trout. Waterville House guests also enjoy access to the famous Butler’s Pool, which is part of Ireland’s Salmon Research program, supplying critical spawning migration data.
Day Six: Play Waterville Golf Links. Host venue for our famous World Invitational Father & Son and Father & Daughter Tournaments, Waterville is one of the finest links courses in the world. A visual masterpiece set on a 220-acre peninsula alongside the Atlantic, Waterville is one of County Kerry’s brightest jewels.
Consistently ranked one of the best courses in Ireland, Waterville is also a favorite amongst the Carr family as they holidayed there throughout the 60’s and 70’s.
“It’s like playing golf on the moon,” says Carr Golf customer services manager Peter Keighery. “The remoteness, beauty and the way each hole flows into the next all make it a ‘must-play’ course.”
Day Seven: Play Tralee Golf Club. Representing the first European design of Arnold Palmer, Tralee Golf Club is one of the most spectacularly beautiful courses you’ll ever encounter. “I have never come across a piece of land so ideally suited for the building of a golf course,” commented Palmer upon completing his masterpiece.
“I am happy that we have one of the world’s great links here.” With views of the Atlantic and white sandy beaches from almost every hole, this superb layout earns rave reviews from all who play it.
Close out your trip with a night at majestic Dromoland Castle. One of the most famous baronial castles in Ireland, Dromoland was the ancestral home of the O’Briens, Barons of Inchiquin. They were one of the few native Gaelic families of royal blood and direct descendants of Brian Boroimhe (Boru), High King of Ireland in the 11th century.
Step inside this regal estate and you’ll find grand staircases beneath glittering antique chandeliers. Unwind in plush, sink-in sofas in front of large, ornate fireplaces with blazing log fires.
Day Eight: Depart from Shannon Airport.
This unforgettable package includes seven nights’ luxury accommodation with daily breakfast, four rounds of world-class golf and coach and driver throughout your trip, starting from €3,480 per person. Click here to view it in more detail.