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Donegal


THE WEST & NORTH WEST


Sligo Mayo Galway


From the wilds of Connemara to the hinterland of Galway city, golf in the West and North West is all about the natural landscape. There’s always a golf course to be found with breathtaking surroundings.


T


he North West scored a ‘hole in one’ when the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) awarded the region the prestigious title of ‘European Golf Destination of the Year 2011’. Beating off stiff competition from fi ve other fi nalists including Fife in Scotland, the Czech Republic, Tenerife, Murcia in Spain and Lisbon in Portugal. The North West was chosen from 350 international golf operators, golf travel writers and IAGTO members to win the prestigious award.


Whether you’re on or off the golf course, it’s the


scenery here that will blow you away. From the romantic untamed landscape of Connemara to the magical mountains of Donegal, this is some of the wildest countryside in all of Ireland. Here there are some famous parkland courses, tree lined and magnifi cent. There are also some incredible links courses that seem to dare the sea to break over their fairways; like the world renowned Ballyliffi n Golf Club in Co Donegal, with its two championship links – The Old Links and Glashedy. Other names trip off the tongue like the spectacular County Sligo course and Narin and Portnoo. Here the golf is raw and natural. It challenges and teases the best from the most relaxed player. And afterwards in the bar there’s plenty to chat about. Aside from the golf, there’s plenty to do when on holiday here. Many visitors take a day trip to some of the islands off the Mayo and Galway coasts. Islands like the Aran Isles are awe- inspiring, living on the edge of the powerful Northern Atlantic. There’s also plenty to explore inland either on foot, by bicycle or by car. Galway City itself is a buzzing urban centre with a vibrant nightlife. It has a large artistic community and there’s always a festival or theatrical performance underway. And as you would expect there are some great restaurants, shops and hotels. In Mayo, the scenic town of Westport, in the shadow of the sacred mountain Croagh Patrick where pilgrims climb barefoot, always has a welcome for the visitor. Further north are the mountains of Sligo and Donegal. Wild and untamed, they sweep down to some golden beaches. Surfi ng is the fastest growing sport here. And during the summer there’s no end of opportunities to go sailing and sea fi shing. Then there’s the culture. Discover where Yeats grew up and developed his distinctive style of poetry. Or dip into the language of Irish in the Gaeltacht in Donegal and learn a few choice phrases – Failte! It’s time to play.


Carne Golf Links


Leitrim


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