Ireland is a world-class golf destination famous for its links courses. The island has over 400 golf courses including close to 40% of the world's links courses. For the serious golfing enthusiast, traditional links golf offers a rich history, sweeping landscapes, salty sea air, rolling hills and rough treacherous enough to challenge golfers of all abilities. For more information on golfing in Ireland, visit www.golf.ireland.ie.
Claunreasc House offers golfers a convenient, relaxing alternative to most golf vacation packages. With your own home base conveniently located in West Clare, Claunreasc allows you play the world’s best courses without having to shuffle between bed & breakfasts with a large bus tour. With three of the world's foremost links courses mere minutes away, and more within reasonable driving distance, Claunreasc House offers a convenient and private home base for your ultimate golf vacation.
Claunreasc House is perfectly located in a golfers' paradise, conveniently situated between the three premier golf courses in Ireland: world renowned Ballybunion, historic Lahinch, and the Greg Norman designed Links at Doonbeg. All three courses are within easy driving distance from Claunreasc House. Also worth the drive are three more of Ireland's premier links courses: Waterville, Dooks, and Tralee. All three courses are approximately a 45 minute to 1.5 hour drive (Waterville a little further) through the gorgeous Irish countryside from Claunreasc House and are definitely worth the drive for the serious golfing enthusiast.
Doonbeg Golf Club is located a mere 2-4 minute drive from Claunreasc House.
Doonbeg was designed by Greg Norman along the towering dunes of Ireland's southwest coast between Lahinch and Ballybunion. Doonbeg was originally considered as a site for a golf course over one hundred years ago, but due to accessibility concerns, Lahinch was chosen instead. Opened in 2002 Doonbeg Golf Club realizes over one hundred years of potential on this challenging and scenic links course. Stewart Cink famously stayed at Doonbeg and played the course repeatedly in preparation for the Open Championship in 2009 which he went on to win.
"...Doonbeg's natural setting is so spectacular that it will surely take it's place as an Ireland "must-play" soon, if it hasn't already." Thomas L. Friedman, Golf Digest
"...among the top five Irish courses, hands down." Mike Purkey, Golf Magazine
"Doonbeg...midway between two Irish shrines, Ballybunion and Lahinch, is poised to become one itself" Brian McCallen, Golf Magazine
"...Doonbeg is destined to become golf's next must-play destination." Alan Shipnuck, T & L Golf
"…The surrounding scenery and ambiance of the place took my breath away." Ivan Morris, Author, Only Golf Spoken Here
"...a monumental stretch of dunes untouched by humankind." Furman Bisher, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"It (Doonbeg) bears comparison with the finest links courses..." David Walsh, The Sunday Times.
Lahinch Golf Club is approximately a 20 minute drive north from Claunreasc House. Among Irish golf courses, historic Lahinch Golf Club occupies a special place. It's location along the Atlantic coast, its history, and its challenging layout all contribute to an unbelievable links golf experience. Located on the edge of the small seaside resort town of Lahinch, the golf club has become an integral part of the local community. Founded in 1882, Lahinch Golf Club provides two 18-hole links courses, the Old Course and the Castle Course, presenting golfers with a combination of unique golfing challenges and the enjoyment of one of the most picturesque vistas in all of Ireland.
Lahinch is one of the world's classic courses with a uniquely Irish setting, a rich history, and superb natural terrain.
Ballybunion Golf Club is approximately a 1 hour to 1hour and 15 minute drive south from Claunreasc House, across the Shannon River via the ferry. Arguably the most famous of all Irish links courses is the world renowned Ballybunion. Situated on the Atlantic coast of County Kerry, Ballybunion offers breathtaking scenery and unparalleled challenge for the avid golfer. Tiger Woods famously plays the Ballybunion course in order to prepare for the annual Open Championship.
"Having played the old course many times since my first visit in 1981, I am now of the opinion it is one of the best and most beautiful tests of links golf in the world." Tom Watson
"Placing golf courses of any kind of order of merit is a highly subjective process. But if sheer pleasure is the yardstick, then Ballybunion gets my votes as the best course in the world. For scenic beauty, peace, playing conditions, and the Irish golfing quality and challenge of nearly every hole is supreme." Peter Dobereiner
Dromoland Castle is approximately a 45 minute drive from Claunreasc toward the Shannon airport.
Dromoland Castle Golf and Country Club has undergone an amazing transformation which has made it one of the premier parkland courses in Ireland. The project, undertaken by the late world renowned, Irish golfing legend, J.B. Carr and one of golf's great golf course architects, Ron Kirby, has produced dramatic results. Dromoland Castle golf resort equals the splendor of the castle setting. Visitors to the course have described it eloquently as "the Augusta of Ireland”.
The following courses are a little further away than the three relatively local courses to Claunreasc House, but considering the breathtaking landscape along the drive and the quality when you arrive; these courses are definitely worth the effort.
Tralee Golf Club is approximately a 45 minute to 1 hour drive south from Claunreasc House across the Shannon River via ferry. Tralee is another wonderful example of Irish links golf at its best. Palmer himself is quoted as saying "I have never come across a piece of land so ideally suited for the building of a golf course". As a part of your golfing experience, Tralee is definitely worth the drive from Claunreasc House. The following are just a selection of snippets from newspaper articles and reviews about Tralee Golf Club.
"In terms of spectacle, the Tralee links is unique, defying comparison overall with any golfing stretch." Dermot Gilleece - Irish Times
"If heaven is not like this, I don't want to go there." Wayne Westner
"Located on sandy seaside turf, this is a rose of a course offering sweeping views of oceans and mountains." Dick Severino - Time Magazine
"The word awesome can rightly be associated with the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, valley girls and the Tralee Golf Club. Tralee is possibly the finest test of golf in all of Ireland." Wasington Post - Golf Supplement
"It is destined to be one of the finest courses in the world. In addition to having the best views of sea and wild sand dunes I've ever seen, Tralee is a tough but fair test of golf. The back nine is one of the best you'll ever find." Chris Falkenhagen - Maryland Independent
"Tralee is a course destined for greatness. Tralee has the potential to take its place among the best courses in the world. It is a setting to match the matchless Pebble Beach. The 12th will some day rank as one of the premier par 4s on the globe." Peter Andrews - American Heritage
Dooks Golf Club is approximately a 1 hour to 1 hour 15 min drive south from Claunreasc House across the Shannon River via the ferry. Dooks is another historic course as golf has been played in Dooks since 1889. It was introduced to the local aristocracy by officers from the Royal Horse Artillery attending compulsory training at nearby Glenbeigh Artillery Range. The golf course is set out on one of three stretches of sand-dunes at the head of Dingle Bay.
For the golfer who is seeking a beautiful and tranquil environment to enjoy good golf, Dooks presents a convincing case. Playing the course is like stepping back in time to when golf began.
"It was a dreamlike experience, playing over the rolling hills and guessing often wrongly, which hollow would harbour a green." Peter Doberiner "Dooks is maybe the loveliest little golf club in the world. Certainly I have never been more totally surrounded by superb scenery than at Dooks." David Davies, The Guardian
"Dooks is a rare gem. As such, 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. It exists to give enjoyment and challenge without resorting to undue length." Donald Steele, Golf Course Architect
Waterville Golf Club is approximately a 1.5 to 2 hour drive south from Claunreasc House across the Shannon River via the ferry. Waterville is one of the oldest Irish clubs, having been founded in 1897 with the arrival of the trans-Atlantic telegraph cable from the United States. After 80 years of play, the original nine hole course was redesigned by the famous Irish golf architect, Eddie Hackett and the late owner, John A. Mulcahy. Today Waterville is truly mystical. The clubhouse is unique with ocean vistas, golf art, antique memorabilia and the warm ambience of its members.
Each hole on this traditional championship links course is carved from the natural landscape, with hazards laid down long before the game of golf was dreamt of, including a winding "burn" that twists and turns through the entire course.
The most striking aspect of this course is the landscape of the Dingle Peninsula with hidden bays with small fishing villages, hills and mountains and the Blasket Islands out in the Atlantic. The Irish language is still spoken in this area.