Playing Ireland's Doonbeg

The Lodge at Doonbeg, overlooking the Atlantic
Steve Uzzell

W.B. Yeats' famous summary of Ireland — "Great hatred, little room" — has always had a more practical iteration for golfers visiting the west coast of the country: Great courses, no rooms. Whether you're in Ballybunion or Lahinch, it has never been easy to find golf-accessible accommodations that could improve on the threadbare sheets and tepid water common in western Ireland's bed-and-breakfast industry.

No more. This summer saw the opening of the Lodge at Doonbeg, a stunning hotel overlooking Greg Norman's Doonbeg Golf Club, an hour west of Shannon Airport. The Lodge is comprised of privately owned suites that are rented out to guests. The individually decorated suites are less like a hotel room than a palatial apartment. The Lodge also boasts a couple of fine restaurants and the White Horses Spa.

Doonbeg Golf Club—Norman's best design to date—has also evolved nicely. The edges have been softened some and it is now arguably one of the most enjoyable links courses in Ireland. The fun holes—like the signature 14th, a short par 3 cut into the side of a dune—far outnumber those that will have you shaking your head. (Memo to Greg: Bunkers in the middle of a green are never a good idea).

Spring prices at the Lodge start at £290 for a one-bedroom suite and rise to £810 per night for a four-bedroom suite.

Call 011353-65-9055602 or visit doonbeggolfclub.com.

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