If you long for cart girls and tropical breezes, go someplace else. If you’re seeking an unforgettable getaway with superior seaside courses, endless craic and Guinness straight from the source, the Emerald Isle awaits. Most appealing about an Irish golf trip is that every world-ranked course in the country is public access, from the Royals (County Down and Portrush) in the north, to Ballybunion, Lahinch, Old Head, Waterville and Portmarnock in the south. Pair them with hidden gems such as Dooks and Ceann Sibeal, along with the welcoming pubs and restaurants in places like Dublin, Kinsale and Killarney, and you have the ultimate overseas buddies trip. Slainte!
Inside the top 5: The big surprise in our top 5? England/Wales. While London’s heathland courses are unique — and sensational — a deep collection of undervalued links drive this destination. Why wouldn’t your group want to play England’s Royal British Open venues: Birkdale, Liverpool, St. George’s and Lytham & St. Annes? Wales adds to the mix Top 100 Royal Porthcawl, a classic links, and the parkland 2010 Ryder Cup venue Celtic Manor. That’s a powerful draw.