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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 21 March, 2024
Expert travel writer: Fionn Davenport

Ballybunion might not rank at the top of the list of best golf courses in the world, but anyone who’s played it will invariably wonder why not.

From the opening tee shot – with a graveyard tight on your right – the course is a delight, even if it takes a few holes to really reveal itself. At the 6th you meet the ocean, which will stay with you for the rest of the round. The signature 11th is just breathtaking, working its way past cliffs and along deep sand dunes before finding the green at the edge of the crashing sea.

Its idiosyncrasies are legendary – besides the cemetery (you get a free drop if you land too close), you often tee off over the green you’ve just played, which has the effect of cementing the memory of it even further.


Price from: £220
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around
Duration: -

Getting there & doing it

The golf club is 2 miles south of Ballybunion town. Book your tee time through the website. There’s a restaurant in the clubhouse and some good eating and drinking options in the village.

When to do it

Ballybunion is available to visitors any time Monday to Friday. The best time to play is April through September; avoid summer if you want to miss the crowds.



Round-ups that include this experience

34 World’s best golf courses

Spectacular landscapes, impeccable fairways and greens, brilliantly-designed holes and plenty of golfing folklore – we asked golf expert and journalist Fionn Davenport to recommend his top 30 golf courses from around the world.