COUNTY CAVAN, Ireland – I couldn’t believe my luck of the Irish.
Here I stood, on the second-hottest day ever recorded on the Emerald Isle in July 2022, on a parkland course so surprisingly good that I couldn’t comprehend just how I had ignored it all these years.
PGA National Slieve Russell has never been on American television like Adare Manor or the K Club’s Palmer North Course. It’s relatively unknown overseas in the United States, unlike the two past hosts of the Irish Open and two Ryder Cup venues.
After teeing it up, I’ll vouch that it’s legit. Unfortunately, it’s tucked into the midsection of the Irish countryside and a bit out of the way for any Americans chasing only links golf experiences.
Here’s where I try to convince you that parkland courses such as Slieve Russell are worth the detour. While the links courses are the main reason to plan a golf trip to Ireland, you shouldn’t stick entirely to links. Variety is good, and so are the Irish parklands.
Playing one of Ireland’s best parkland golf courses gives traveling golfers a break from all that walking by providing a cart. Plus, the premier parklands tend to host many of the major tournaments, so they’re world-class. Two famous parklands will be headliners on your TV screen in the near future. The K Club is the venue for September’s 2023 Horizon Irish Open, where GolfPass co-founder Rory McIlroy will compete in preparation for Italy’s Ryder Cup a couple of weeks later. Looking further ahead, Adare Manor is scheduled for the 2027 Ryder Cup.
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, let’s tour the 10 best parkland golf courses in Ireland. Adding any of them to your next Irish golf vacation would be wise.