So you’ve always wanted to do that “bucket list” Ireland Golf Tour but are unsure what the price for an Ireland golf tour would be? It brings to mind the old ‘how long is a piece of string’ question, but Real Irish Golf will help you budget the main elements and get you to an overall estimate. At the end of this Blog, we will outline specific pricing for our 2018 tours to Ireland’s primary golf regions..
This should be the main cost item. After all the primary reason you are on a golf tour to Ireland is to play golf we assume! At a high level, and assuming you have a blend of courses knitted into your Ireland golf tour, $200 per round would be a reasonable estimate for your average Ireland green fee on our better links.
Unfortunately, green fees in Ireland have seen a significant rise in the last two years in tune with a strongly recovering economy and increased tourist numbers. For 2018, we are seeing increases of up to 20% for peak time green fess. A few examples on the very top end courses:
- Ballybunion – The Old Course: green fee of €210 / $245 for 2018.
- Royal County Down: green fee of £230 / $310 for 2018.
- Waterville: green fee of €210 / $245.
- Portmarnock Championship Course: green fee of €250 / $285
‘Skinted’ versus ‘Minted’?
Fortunately, there are some great rates still to be had if you are willing to stray slightly off the more beaten track. For example, Dooks Golf Club has rates around the $120 mark, or alternatively head to the Northwest and play cracking links courses such as Carne, Ballyliffin and Enniscrone for less than half the rates noted above.
Come in the so-called “low season” which is usually considered to be October through March where green fees are generally significantly reduced. The savings on green fees will easily pay for that brand new rain-proof wet suit! Also consider the oddly named “shoulder season“, generally considered to be April and October, during which some/not all courses offer reduced rates. April and October are pretty good times to come and the weather generally holds up.
Not unlike any other country, the price of accommodation will vary significantly from the major cities to more regional towns. The golf traveler can avail of multiple price-point options, from modest Irish B&B’s through to some Irish Castle hotel experiences that rival the finest hotel accommodations in the world.
Generally hotel rates in Ireland have been on an upward curve over the past few years, but there is still good value to be had in some of the main golf traveler bases, such as Killarney. For example, the cost of a standard double room inclusive of breakfast in Killarney for July 2018 is averaging about $175. There is also great value to be had at local Guest Houses (generally smaller and older hotels), and often times, golf tourists in Ireland prefer the more local and cosier feeling of this type of accommodation.
Flights from the US:
Very good news here. Aer Lingus, Ireland’s national carrier, and the primary airline for golfers coming to Ireland, have greatly expanded the number of direct flights from the US to Ireland. In addition to their traditional direct flights from destinations such as New York, Boston and Chicago, they also offer direct flights from the Americas to Ireland for the peak tourist season from the following: Hartford, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle.
Very importantly also, new carriers such as Norwegian and WOW air have entered this market and are offering great deals. So let’s get specific and look at direct flights from some key destinations using June 2018:
- New York – Dublin round-trip: Norwegian offering direct fares of $400; can’t beat that with a stick!
- Chicago – Dublin round-trip: Aer Lingus offereing direct fares of $600.
- LA – Dublin round-trip: again Aer Lingus with best deal at about $700 direct.
- Dallas – Dublin round-trip: WOW air offering flights from $500 (one stop).
Broadly two options here: (i) self-drive or (ii)hire a driver. Obviously the first option is cheaper but there are some recommendation we advise when hiring a car in Ireland. Firstly. always purchase full insurance so that that mirror dangling of the car when you return is not on your dime. Upgrading to the full insurance will run you about $15 per day; money well spent. Secondly, go for an Automatic. Yes, you may be an experienced manual car driver in the US, but add in driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road and narrow windy country roads over here, and you get the idea. Lastly, be sure to share the driving load among the group – this allows everyone to share in a few drinks after every round.
Continuing with June 218 as our example, budget approx. $700 for a nice Automatic “people-carrier”; this will cater for up to 4 golfers so about $150 per golfer.
Hiring a driver is obviously the more expensive option but also brings lots of added advantages. You can travel stress-free, sit back and admire the beautiful Irish countryside as you are transported to Ireland’s best golf courses. No worries on the alcohol-front so down those frothy pints of Guinness to your heart’s content. And of course, your driver will be local the area and a fountain of knowledge on the region, from the sightseeing spots, best restaurants and ones to avoid, to the best pubs and nightlife. How much will all that cost? Assume about $500 a day to hire a driver; can work for parties of 4+; the leveraging effect we believe it is called!
Food and Drink
Well that one is on you! We do not include that as part of our fixed cost tours ~ our beady-eyed accountant would not go for that level of risk! Let’s assume you do not need 5 star Michelin restaurants but are happy to settle down in some snug Irish pub, for grub, beverages and possibly some Irish music for the evening. A fine three course meal is likely to run you anywhere from $30 to $50. A pint of Guinness will run you just under $5. So extrapolate based on your drinking habits/capacity, and you have a reasonable budget for the evening.
But give us the Net Net …
“Not a bother” as we say over here. Here are fixed price for Real Irish Golf’s 2018 Ireland golf tours. This price covers all of your green fees for 6 rounds of golf, 7 nights accommodation (assumes sharing) w/breakfast for your stay and transportation (assumes self-drive). Click on links below to learn more about these great tours.
- South West Ireland Golf Tour: $2,700.
- East Coast / Dublin Golf Tour: $2,790.
- West Coast Atlantic Way Golf Tour: $2,300
- Northern Ireland Golf Tour: $2,800.
- Northwest / Donegal Ireland Golf Tour: $2,150.
Of course, most people like to customize the above tours to their needs. Please contact us and we’ll help you create the perfect tour for your party.