Irish Golf Resort Offers a Luxury Getaway for Linksmen and Their Families
Scotland may be the birthplace of golf, but across the Irish Sea, the land of emerald green pastures and Guinness has a few courses that offer many of the same breathtaking views and championship-level challenges.
One course that’s been attracting much of the attention is the $140 million Doonbeg Golf Club. The Greg Norman-designed course wraps along 1 ½ miles of the Atlantic coast with scenic sights and winding fairways that hug the shoreline. While its views and the lore of link-style golf—yes, that means winds in the 20 to 40 mph range and the consistent threat of rain—leave many players lingering along the course, Doonbeg is also a textbook example of Norman’s “least-disturbance” design philosophy, which he has incorporated worldwide in all of his namesake courses. Moving only a limited amount of earth, Norman and his team, for the most part, simply groomed the natural grass and allowed Mother Nature to dictate where hazards, fairways and greens should be.
Built in 2002, the par-72 course plays 6,885 yards from the back tees, and despite its somewhat new status, it takes on a historic feel. Old rock walls lining the course and grass-walled bunkers that flow naturally with the land evoke reminiscence of the days when bulldozers didn’t create golf courses. Along a single loop of nine holes up and nine holes back, players will tackle a unique and uncommon mix of five par-3s and five par 5s while soaking in views of the rugged coastline from 16 of the holes.
Not Just Another Golf Trip
If you have already booked one too many golf trips this year, rest assured that Doonbeg is not just a golf course but a full-service resort suitable for the whole family. Located just off the first tee, the stone-façade lodge houses the clubhouse and the White Horse Spa, along with two dining options. These eateries, the Long Room and Darby’s pub, are overseen by “Top Chef” judge and acclaimed chef Tom Colicchio. The on-site executive chef, Wade Murphy, shares Colicchio’s passion for seasonal ingredients, so guests will see rotating menus each evening based on what is available at their time of visit.
Also included at the Lodge are the Lodge suites, one of several styles of rooms available at Doonbeg. Spread throughout the property, guests can choose from 185 rooms in a variety of setups, ranging from classic chambers for two to four-bedroom cottages with full kitchens suitable for an entire family. All accommodations feature expected luxury amenities like plush bedding and high-end furniture. The design scheme of each room is accented with historic touches, such as reclaimed woods and hand-selected Irish antiques. Repeat guests may also want to inquire about the Links Cottages, which are part of the Timber Resort Residence Club and are available for fractional ownership.
Getting there: The Doonbeg Golf Club and Lodge is located in County Clare, Ireland, just a one-hour drive from Shannon International Airport. JFK offers direct flights through Aer Lingus, Air France, Delta and United. Newark is another option, with Continental, Lufthansa and United flying direct to Shannon. Dublin is 200 miles away or a four-hour drive.