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August 31, 2009

Top Irish Destinations For A Golfing Holiday!

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irelandTop Irish destinations for a golfing holiday are quite easy to locate.

The Irish may take the game of golf as seriously as their Scottish neighbors and Ireland has some great golf courses that both pro and amateur golf enthusiasts are always anxious to try out.

Golf in Ireland:

When referring to Ireland we generally are speaking of the southern part of the island of Ireland, which has been an independent republic since 1922, and has been known in the past as the Irish Free State.

It is also called Eire, but the official name as a part of the European Union is simply Ireland.  It consists of the 26 counties that separated from the United Kingdom during the partition of Ireland.

The countries in the north in the area known as Ulster or Northern Ireland are still a part of the United Kingdom.

Ireland is called the emerald isle and celebrated as a beautiful and quite friendly country with a rich culture and history.  St. Patrick, the monk who brought Christianity to Ireland and according to legend drove the snakes from the island is celebrated as the Irish patron saint.

The people of Ireland are descended from the Celts, a people who once occupied all of what is today the United Kingdom, and in this way the Irish are closely related to the people of Scotland and Wales.

During the Middle Ages, Ireland was frequently invaded and colonized by Vikings from Scandinavia and with intermingling there is a strong Viking influence present in Irish culture to this day, with the red hair often thought of as an Irish characteristic actually being a characteristic of the Vikings.  Of course is well known for the color green, making a golfer often think of golf.

Ireland went through a long history of wars during their unification with England, Scotland and Wales, and cultural disintegration during the potato famine causing large amounts of immigration to other countries, among them Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States, where Irish immigrants contributed to society and became famous.

During the early 20th century the twenty-six countries of the south achieved independence and while neighbors with the United Kingdom, Ireland is a separate and independent republic.

Golf in Ireland is considered by golf enthusiasts if not the greatest, then at least one of the greatest destinations in the world. The seaside links in Ireland since the Victorian age have been hailed as outstanding courses, with the course at Lahinch considered one of the best.

During the time of Queen Victoria the golfing world considered Ireland a prime destination rivaling the resorts of other countries and often winning.

After the beginning of the 20th century golf in Ireland was less popular for a while, but after the Second World War golf travel to Ireland picked up quite a bit.  The popular links today include Portmarnock, Royal County Down and Ballybunion.

These golf courses are cared for by the members of the local golf clubs and are renowned for their hospitality and excellent play.  While at one time golf was a game for aristocrats, those who maintain the clubs today are the descendants of Irish tenant farmers, proving that golf is a sport for absolutely everyone, and that everyone enjoys a good game of golf.

In addition to the outstanding destinations mentioned above for Irish golf, there are fantastic golf courses in Ulster, or Northern Ireland, that part of Ireland that is politically a part of the United Kingdom.

Ulster consists of descendants of Irish natives, and both Scottish and English immigrants. Combining these three nationalities, all with a unique love of golf, has created an area where golf is one of the most popular sports of all.

In Ulster one of the best courses is Royal Portrush, home of the Dunluce Links.  This is the site of the only British Open played in Ireland.  Portstewart, Ballycastle Castlerock, Ardglass, Royal County Down and the City of Deery Golf Course are all fine courses sure to please any golfer.

Whatever your level of play, whether you are an amateur or a pro, or aspiring pro, Ireland offers some of the finest golf experiences in the world and should be savored and enjoyed.

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