Golf and Leisure (3 day itinerary)
The lush pastures of the Boyne Valley are synonymous with excellent golfing. The region is home to some of Ireland’s finest golf courses. There is a variety of challenges on offer to keep the most demanding golfers entertained, notably the parkland and links courses. The hosting of the 2011 Solheim Cup at the magnificent Jack Nicklaus designed championship course at Killeen Castle has only enhanced the Boyne Valley’s reputation. Other leisure and sporting activities that may enhance your Boyne Valley golf experience include; horse racing, angling, walking, heritage and nightlife. You will find accommodation to match the great golf courses with a selection of fine hotels, guest houses and self catering. Check out www.discoverboynevalley.ie and www.drogheda.ie for more details.
Play three of the best links courses in
County Louth Golf Club, Bettystown Golf Club, Seapoint Golf Club and City North Hotel have teamed up to give you this great offer. Read more about how to plan your next golf trip.
The golfing adventure of a lifetime begins in the medieval town of Trim where you will spend your first night in the Boyne Valley. Trim has two wonderful courses to choose from for your first round; Knightsbrook Golf Resort (www.knightsbrook.com) offers an 18-hole championship course designed by Ryder Cup legend Christy O’Connor Jnr. or perhaps you would prefer one of the most mature parkland courses in the area, County Meath Golf Club (www.countymeathgolfclubtrim.ie).
Alternatively just short drives from Trim are two excellent parkland course; Kilcock Golf Club (www.kilcockgolfclub.ie) and Rathcore Golf and Country Club (www.rathcoregolfandcountryclub.com). Both course offer excellent water hazards and a picturesque setting that will enthral any golfer.
Enjoy lunch at whichever course you choose to play. The members are sure to make you feel at home with a warm welcome.
Following a successful morning on the course you may wish to relax and unwind at the spa in the Knightsbrook Hotel. There’s nothing like a good massage to ensure your swing is in full flow for the duration of the tour.
You should take advantage of the heritage on offer in Trim. The Trim Historic Trail, beginning at the Visitor Centre/Trim Castle, is an enjoyable walk that’s absolutely packed with medieval ruins and you might even stumble across an archaeological dig if you’re lucky.
Trim is blessed with fine restaurants and traditional Irish pubs
End your first day with a relaxing drink in one of those fine pubs. You’ll be sure to find some live music and friendly locals with a tale or two to tell. Don’t stay up too late though!
Be sure to have a hearty Irish breakfast before you set out for Navan where you’ll spend your second night. Why not try your hand at some angling in the morning and save the golf for after lunch? The magical waters of the Boyne offer both game and coarse angling. Much of the angling on the Boyne is controlled by Angling Associations so be sure to check out www.fisheriesireland.ie first. The Ramparts between Navan and Slane are great for game fishing. If you’re after Course Angling you’ll have to head north to Drumconrath village.
If haven’t already caught lunch Navan has plenty of cafés and restaurants to choose from.
After a morning on the water you’ll be hoping to avoid it on the course. Navan is centrally located and surrounded by some beautiful parkland courses. Navan Golf Club (www.navangolfclub.ie), built within the racetrack is the closest course. Further north, in Kells, one of Ireland’s finest examples of traditional parkland courses is available at the 36-hole Headfort Golf Club (www.headfortgolfclub.ie). South of Navan and at the base of the scenic Hill of Tara you will find the 27-hole mature parkland course of Royal Tara Golf Club (www.royaltaragolfclub.com). Continuing south of Royal Tara you will find the excellent Black Bush Golf Club (www.blackbushgolfclub.ie) with strategically placed bunkers and lush fairways. Ashbourne Golf Club (www.ashbournegolfclub.ie) offers a challenging 18-hole championship course designed by Des Smyth. Last but certainly not least is the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course at Killeen Castle. Offering a world class golf course, and voted Best Parkland Course in the Greater Dublin area in 2015, the course boasts spectacular golf holes, stunning layout, and this impressive championship golf course showcases modern golfing excellence in terms of both the design and presentation which golfers of all abilities will enjoy. A magnificent and challenging test of golf which the 18 time major winner described as “one of my proudest designs”.
All the courses have fine clubhouses so there’s plenty of choice for dinner wherever you choose to play.
Navan Racecourse, where you possibly will have played that afternoon, may have a race meeting. If you have a keen interest in horse racing it may be worth your while to plan your trip around a race day. Check out www.navanracecourse.ie for race dates.
Aside from the horse racing Navan provides a lively nightlife with many pubs and live music on offer.
Ensure you eat a good breakfast because you may have a challenging day of links golf ahead of you as you make your way towards Drogheda. Drogheda is surrounded by some of Ireland’s finest links courses. Form the historic Laytown and Bettystown Golf Club (www.landb.ie); first played back in the last quarter of the 19th century, to the magnificent links land and sand dunes that wait at Seapoint Golf Club (www.seapointgolflinks.com), all Golfers will revel in the challenges ahead. The final links course on offer in the Boyne Valley is County Louth Golf Club (www.countylouthgolfclub.com) or as it’s known locally just “Baltray.” This is links golf at its very best. It was rated in Golf Digest’s top 100 courses and described as a “hidden gem.” Be warned none of these courses are for the faint hearted and any errant shots will be punished. If the weather is particularly harsh on the day you may wish to opt for a course more inland. Nearby Bellewstown Golf Club (www.bellewstowngolf.com) offers a beautiful 18-hole championship length parkland course. Both Townley Hall (www.townleyhallgolfclub.com) and Julianstown Golf Club have a well kept 9-hole parkland course.
Once again most courses offer options for lunch or you may choose to sample some of the fine restaurants in Drogheda and the surrounding area.
Similarly to Navan, Drogheda has both angling and horse racing nearby. For those of you interested in sea angling there are extensive beaches at Mornington, Bettystown and Laytown. On the equestrian side of things there are the Bellewstown and Laytown races, see here for more details. Laytown is famous for its annual strand races, the only official strand races remaining in Europe.
Drogheda is a beautiful medieval town and if you have the time you should explore it by foot. There are many historical sites just outside the town such as; Brú na Bóinne, Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre, Monasterboice or Old Mellifont Abbey.
Drogheda has some excellent restaurants and pubs to choose from for dinner before you leave the Boyne Valley.
Sadly your Boyne Valley golfing adventure has come to an end. It would be advisable to extend your stay for a couple of days if you want to sample more of the courses and hospitality. Similarly you may want to partake in other further activities available in the region. Check out www.discoverboynevalley.ie and www.drogheda.ie for a listing of festivals and other activities. If its golf you love you will have a great time and as you’ll discover the Boyne Valley has a lot more to offer when you’re finished from tee to green.