- May 30, 2020 // The Consummate Pro
A question we are very often asked by clients is “When is the best time to golf in Ireland?”. Folks are interested to know if you can golf all year around, or if there are specific times when they will have a better trip. So, we have put together a list of 8 tips to help you plan your golf vacation to Ireland.
- The main golf season runs roughly from the start of May through to the 2nd week of October when the course conditions are at their best. This covers the late Spring, Summertime and the early Fall.
- Grass growth doesn’t really show any signs of life until late April. Once the ground temperatures rise, golf course presentation improves dramatically, almost overnight. This will make a significant difference to course playability and your overall experience.
- The weather at this time of the year is generally at its best. Statistically the driest month of the year in Ireland is June, although April is similar. The average temperature in June is approximately 18C (65F) degrees. The weather in Ireland (and Scotland) can however best be described as ‘unpredictable’! Ireland is the first drop-off point for all Atlantic storms. It gets the remnants of many tropical storms from the Gulf of Mexico even in the summer. So we always advise golfers to come prepared for rain, hail and sunshine during their trip.
- This time of the year also accounts for the longest periods of daylight. At the beginning of June in Portrush for example, dawn occurs at 04:00 and dusk at 22:48, so there are plenty of golfing hours available. In Dornoch in Scotland for example it is even longer. Dawn is 03:00 and dusk, 23:00. Even in late August in Portrush, dusk won’t occur until 20:30. This is a great time of the year for those of you that are looking to play 36 holes a day.
- As we alluded to, April can be an excellent time to golf in Ireland, however a lot will depend on Spring conditions. If Spring has been particularly wet, artificial mats may still be in use on some golf courses. This happens occasionally at The Old Course in St. Andrews too. A wet Spring can also have an impact on course agronomy. Some Superintendents may delay the decision to hollow tine until a little later, and that could impact on course playability.
- As nice as it is to play in warm sunny conditions, part of the experience of a golf vacation to Ireland is to experience playing the best courses in the world in some wind and rain. Links golf is the epitome of man, or woman, against the natural elements, and that includes the weather. Sometimes you just need to embrace it!
- Just because you decide to travel in June, don’t expect the conditions to be perfect. It would be wise, no matter what month you travel in, to pack for all eventualities. We always advise guests to bring multiple, thin layers, with a good quality base layer a priority. That way you can easily remove a layer if it warms up, but you are not too bulked up if you need a waterproof on top.
- Finally, the shoulder seasons are much quieter. Late April/early May as well as late September into early October can often be the best times of the year to avoid the crowds. You will likely get better tee times, less crowded restaurants and in some cases the pricing is better, as May-September is defined as the “high” season. September is traditionally the busiest month of the year for golf tourism in Ireland from the USA. There are many potential reasons for this. It is the end of the school holidays in the States, and it fits in well before the start of the NFL season. Whatever the real reasons, September is likely the one to avoid if you are looking for quiet fairways.
In summary, there is no bad time to plan a golf vacation to Ireland and certainly not based on the weather. A huge part of the experience when you play the best courses in Ireland is more off the golf course as it is on it. Nobody can predict the weather, but we can guarantee that the Irish ‘craic’ will be mighty!