Championship Challenge

Without having to travel for longer than an hour at any stage, you can sample 4 of Ireland’s most renowned championship courses during your stay at the Abbey Hotel.

Stay at the Abbey Hotel and accept our ‘Championship Challenge’ by playing each of these world class courses.

Donegal Golf Club – ‘Murvagh’
(14 Minutes Door to Door)

Our friends at Donegal Golf Club have just about perfected the warm Donegal welcome that our guests have come to expect. Grainne and the team at ‘Murvagh’ are justifiably proud of the reputation that this links gem has developed over the past couple of decades.

Regularly names as one of the ‘Top 20’ courses in Ireland, the entrance to Murvagh will make you wonder whether you might have somehow been transported to ‘Magnolia Lane’ at Augusta National! The long tree lined driveway allows first time visitor to become suitably excited about what lies ahead, before you exit the trees and the beautifully manicured course opens up in front of you.

The course is located on the Murvagh peninsula which juts out into Donegal Bay and offers panoramic views of the Wild Atlantic Way coastline. Designed originally by Eddie Hackett and updated more recently by Pat Ruddy, there are memorable holes throughout the 18. The par 5 8th has been regularly named as one of the finest holes in Europe and was included by www.greengolftravel.com as one of the best 18 in Donegal.

When you make your way to the back 9 at Murvagh, you will be confronted by severe challenges at the Par 5 12th and the monster Par 3 16th which can measure 250 yards from the back tees. These treacherous holes are punctuated by scoring opportunities so you wont leave the course feeling like you have taken too much of a beating!

Narin & Portnoo Golf Club
(42 Minutes Door to Door)

Situated in the rugged rural setting of West Donegal, a round at Narin & Portnoo can feel like you have for once escaped the irritations of modern life. An unassuming but modern clubhouse greets you as does a warm welcome at the pro shop. The tight car park, putting green and first tee ensure that you are likely to have an audience for your opening tee shot so make sure it is a good one!

Once you make your way into the heart of your round you will begin to marvel at the vantage points and views across Gweebarra Bay. The course was initially opened in 1930 and retains many classic links featured but extensive improvements were made to the course over the years with the most recent in 2004.

The Par 5, 15th is undoubtedly one of the most striking holes in Irish golf. A hole that is bordered from tee to green by Narin beach and a tee shot that is raised offering a spectacular view as you unleash your drive. Anything right on this hole is out of bounds and you may give one or two morning walkers on the beach a bit of a fright! You will spend the evening at the Abbey Hotel marvelling at the array of photographs you have collected during your round on this links gem.

The course is now entering an exciting new phase with a new owner in place so watch this space for the next chapter at Narin & Portnoo!

Lough Erne
(53 Minutes Door to Door)

Links golf in Donegal is an experience that international golfers flock to the county to experience. As well as these seaside challenges however, there is a parkland masterpiece just a short drive from the Abbey Hotel.

As the name suggests, Lough Erne is situated on the banks of the lough with water coming into play on 11 of the 18 holes. Designed by Nick Faldo and measuring over 7,100 yards, the natural beauty of this course is quite striking.

At Lough Erne you can expect manicured fairways, true greens and some of the most picturesque approach shots in Ireland. The final 3 holes or ‘the Faldo Turn’ in particular stand out as you make your way back to the hotel with stunning views across the estate.

Lough Erne has played host to numerous high level amateur events as well as a head to head battle between Padraig Harrington and Rory McIlroy in 2009. The calibre of this course is without question and a round here will certainly add to the experience during your golf break at the Abbey Hotel.

County Sligo Golf Club – ‘Rosses Point’
(54 Minutes Door to Door)

In every discussion detailing the best courses in Ireland, County Sligo Golf Club is never far from the conversation. Based under the watchful gaze of the magnificent Ben Bulben ‘The Point’ is a mesmerising links layout. Located just 8km from Sligo and founded in the late 1800’s, this is a places where history and tradition seep into your bones as soon as you arrive.

From the Tudor style clubhouse to the championship course designed by the legendary Harry Colt, everything about Co. Sligo Golf Club oozes class. The championship course is an array of breath-taking holes with the Wild Atlantic Way coastline and Ben Bulben a constant distraction. Holes 13, 15, 16 and 17 make for a memorable back nine as you work your way along the beach and back to the warmth of the club house. A round that will live long in the memory and certainly one that should be on the bucket list of every serious golfer.