Ireland is a favourite destination for golfers. Its terrain lends itself well to creating challenging courses, while its many mountains and oceans provide a scenic backdrop that heightens the pleasure of the game. For several years, The Links Course was a well-kept secret among the most avid golfers. It doesn’t have a single weak hole, and some of them are designed to test the mettle of even the most seasoned players. Take the 13th—considered an unlucky number to begin with, but then you add the challenge of having to shoot right across the estuary, a distance of some 210 yards, possibly against a fierce wind. Didn’t get it right the first time? Don’t worry. The Links Course charges just €75-€110, easily one of the most affordable rates for a course of its caliber. The course is over 100 years old, but was rarely featured in the glitzy golfing vacation brochures most travel agencies hand out. Part of it was its inaccessibility; until 1973 it could only be reached by boat. Today, however, it is less than 12 miles’ car drive from Dublin. The Links Course’s popularity is gaining—it won the Course of the Year in 2004, though, so the secret’s out. But it does serve to show golf enthusiasts that many of Ireland’s best courses are not included in commercial brochures or tours. If you really want to get the best golfing experience, consider hiring a car and planning your own car trip itinerary based on the reviews posted by fellow enthusiasts. Your car hire agency would be more than happy to provide you with a map for your car trip, as well as a list of inns you can use as base for your car travels in the area. Hiring a car in Ireland is very easy. There are car hire agencies in major cities and airports.
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