The Best Golf Courses on the Coast

Pack your clubs and call a caddie: A golf expert shares his favorite waterfront courses and the exceptional perks that make each one memorable

Doonbeg Golf Club
Photo: Courtesy of Doonbeg Golf Club

Doonbeg Golf Club

County Clare, Ireland

Up and down Ireland's Atlantic coast are jagged cliffs with high dunes, interrupted by open ground that tilts and ripples to form naturally contoured fairways. The more level terrain is covered in close-cropped fescue, while the dunes are topped with thick maram grass that waves hypnotically—especially as you study it in search of an errant golf ball. "We wouldn't find that one if it were wrapped in bacon and we sent Lassie after it," says an old Irish caddie. It's been customary these past few decades for U.S. golfers to fly into Shannon airport and then hurry along the sea-front playing Waterville, Ballybunion, Enniscrone, Lahinch, and a chorus of other Irish links. Rates start at $210, 18 holes of golf for $110; 866/366-6234 or doonbeglodge.com.

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