Being that the name Doonbeg is derived from the term “Dun Beag,” meaning small fort, it’s a tad ironic that a luxury golf and resort complex as grand as Trump International Golf Links & Hotel Doonbeg can be found there. Home to an 18-hole links golf course, a five-star hotel, a spa, cottages, and more, there’s nothing “small” about this fortress of golf.
With so much to offer, Trump International Golf Links & Hotel Doonbeg is the kind of place where “stay and play” is recommended in order to get the full experience. If that’s not possible, at least go for the golf. The course’s convenient location about an hour from Shannon Airport makes it easy to stop by for a quick round.
The course at Trump Doonbeg is a traditional links course designed by two-time British Open champion Greg Norman. He didn’t need to do much designing though, as Mother Nature had already done most of the work for him. “When I first looked at this site,” Norman said of the course, “I thought I was the luckiest designer in the world.”
And perhaps he was. The course is a natural marvel, spanning 1.5 miles of crescent-shaped beach and century-old sand dunes. The views are as spectacular as you’d expect; the Atlantic can be seen from 16 of the course’s 18 holes. It’s no wonder Norman has visited upwards of 20 times and opened the course himself in 2002 with a match against Padraig Harrington.
Following a well-received redesign by Dr. Martin Hawtree that took place from 2016 to 2018, the course now plays better than ever. All of the 18 holes are memorable in one way or another, with the 14th being especially so.
Thought by many to be the course’s signature, the 14th is a short par three measuring a mere 111 yards. The challenge stems from the presence of the Atlantic, which stretches out beyond the green. All you can do is choose your club wisely and hope that the wind is on your side.