CELL: +44 7818 000 703     OFFICE: +44 28 9079 5561

How much does an Ireland or Scotland golf trip cost?

  • June 18, 2021 // The Consummate Pro

How much does an Ireland or Scotland golf trip cost?

This is probably the question we get asked most often by prospective clients, for good reason. It is also genuinely one of those “how long is a piece of string” questions, because there are just so many variables involved. So, in this post, we have decided to provide you with some of the most important factors that influence the outcome. In no particular order, here are the things to consider, for either an Ireland or Scotland golf trip, that will determine more than any other, how much does your golf trip cost: –


  1. Time of the Year.


When you travel, will have a significant impact on the trip price. The ‘peak’ golf season in the UK & Ireland is between May and September but can drift into mid-October. This is the best time of the year to golf in Scotland or Ireland. Either side of this is deemed the “shoulder months” and they (April and October) can also be popular, particularly for Europeans. The months between May and September are ‘usually’ the ones with the best weather. They are also the months with the most sunlight, and this can be an important factor for anyone looking to play 36 a day. If you visit the Highlands of Scotland to play Royal Dornoch for example, it can be bright, in the height of the summer, until well after 11pm.


However, it also includes the months of July & August when domestic tourism is at its peak. Availability can be impacted, and as a result the price. However, because we encourage our clients to plan more than a year in advance, availability is rarely an issue except where a tournament is already in the diary. The busiest month of the year to golf in Ireland or Scotland is September. Reasons for this are numerous, but it is worth bearing in mind.


Some courses will offer guests incentives to play early, or avail of their ‘sunset’ rates which are usually cheaper. Some of this is done to avoid member times, but also to maximise their tee sheets. As a professional tour operator, we take these factors into account when scheduling your trip.


  1. Golf Courses.


As you know, golf courses are not all cut from the same cloth. It is obvious that you will pay more for a golf course on the Open Championship rota such as a Royal Portrush or Royal Birkdale, than you will for the local municipal. Therefore, the kind of golf you wish to play, and the boxes you may wish to tick, will have a significant impact on your trip price. Whether planning a golf trip to Ireland or Scotland, you are likely going to have to spend north of $300 a round to play the best links golf. If you intend to travel for seven to ten days, that soon adds up. However, if you include some “hidden gems”, such as Dooks Golf Club in south-west Ireland, or Crail or Lundin Links Golf Club outside St. Andrews, that price can soon be cut in half, but the golf experience doubled.


Where you play, is also key. The south-west of Ireland or the St. Andrews area are golfing meccas, but that comes at a cost. Drive 2hrs north along the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland, or the North Sea coast to Aberdeen in Scotland, and things change. There you will find some magnificent links golf such as Enniscrone and Carne in Ireland, or Cruden Bay and Murcar in Aberdeenshire. Great links golf courses at a fraction of the cost. A Northern Ireland golf trip itinerary is also highly sought after. However, with Royal County Down and Royal Portrush in the region, it can prove challenging to get a tee time, but again, that’s where we come in.


Then there is the old argument between links and parkland. Surely if you are travelling to Ireland you must play links golf? That decision is entirely personal, but with fabulous courses such as Adare Manor, Druids Glen and the K-Club in Ireland, or Loch Lomond and Gleneagles in Scotland, you certainly won’t be disappointed.


There are also great Resort options where your green fees are likely to be significantly reduced as a resident. A perfect example of this is at Turnberry. The difference between just playing the Ailsa Course versus spending the night and doing so, could see your green fee reduced by over $140. Or, if planning a golf trip to Ireland, why not consider the magnificent Rosapenna Resort in County Donegal. With three fabulous links courses on property – the Sandy Hills, Old Tom Morris and new St. Patrick’s Links – you have world class golf under one roof, with a great price to match.


Finally, there are same day and replay rates. Many courses in the UK and Ireland will offer both these options to encourage more visitor play. A second round on the same day is often a fraction of the original green fee. Similarly, if a guest wishes to return later in their trip, usually within 7 days, many clubs will offer a significantly reduced rate for that round. All worth considering when you are putting together your thoughts to us and considering how much does your golf trip cost.


  1. Accommodation/Lodgings.


As with your choice of golf course, the range of options in relation to lodgings are diverse, so let’s look at the most significant factors which can affect the price of your golf trip.


The obvious place to begin is occupancy. Unlike the US, single occupancy bedrooms in the UK and Ireland quite often command a higher rate. In fact, many rates, are ‘room’ rates, irrespective of whether there is one or two people in them. Therefore, if you share a double (twin) room, your cost is immediately halved. There are exceptions, and so it’s wise to consult with us in advance to ensure that we know your preference.


The second, and arguably most important consideration is date. Like point 1 above, date can be the most important factor in the price of your accommodation. Lodgings quite often work off defined date periods. These can be as diverse as a single flat rate covering the entire May – September period, or it could be as specific as a variable rate, for as little as a 2-week period that traditionally covers a festival or event. As a result, by moving your date by even a single day in some cases, you can save big.

Exterior of the Killarney Royal Hotel

A third consideration is the type of property you choose. Most of our clients are looking for comfortable 4*+ accommodations, of which there are many in the UK & Ireland. Some of these properties are household names around the world, synonymous with golf, such as ‘The Old Course Hotel’ in St. Andrew’s or the adjacent ‘Rusacks’. However, there are also many independently run hotels, and ‘luxury’ B&B type properties that are growing in popularity. These properties are usually cheaper to stay in but have the added bonus of offering a more local experience, which many travellers are after. Most of the lodgings we use in Ireland are independently owned, and are considered some of the best hotels in the world, such as ‘Adare Manor’, or ‘The Merrion’ or The Shelbourne Hotel’ in Dublin.


In a similar vein, the location of your hotel can be crucial in determining price. We understand why many clients wish to spend some time in the cities, but a move away from the conurbations, can be very cost effective. The summer months on this side of the pond is a busy time for festivals and events. You only need to look at the spike in room rates, and lack of availability, around the time of The Edinburgh Festival to understand this. So, locating yourself in say North Berwick for Edinburgh, Dundee for St. Andrews, or the Marine Hotel in Troon, may offer availability and a saving.


Finally, there are group rates. Most properties offer a discounted rate if your party has, say, more than 8 members. Therefore, it can often pay to bring a few more friends along to play!


  1. Transportation


This is one of the most important considerations for your golf trip. The overwhelming majority of our clients opt for some form of chauffeur driven transportation. However, even for one or two couples, we highly recommend that you embrace the benefits of a driver/guide. Irish and Scottish roads can be challenging to negotiate. Links golf by its very nature is located along the coast, usually at the end of narrow, winding roads. Add to that the fact you are driving on the left side of the road, in a right-hand drive vehicle, on unfamiliar roads and it can be daunting for some. Furthermore, with blood-alcohol laws in the UK & Ireland some of the most stringent in the world, even a single pint after golf could put you at risk of prosecution. Large VIP Touring Coach


In determining how much does your golf trip cost, the coach or vehicle is very much determined by quality. Across these islands, we only use a small number of professional drivers and operators to deliver our programs. As a result, we can offer you some of the most competitive rates around. But, when you weigh up the benefits of taking a driver over not, the cost-benefit is very straightforward.


  1. Flights


The cost of your flights can be a significant determining factor in how much does your golf trip cost. Getting to the UK & Ireland can be somewhat expensive if you don’t have Air Miles, or you don’t plan. Invariably you will be flying at one of the busiest times of the year. However, most transatlantic schedules are open for purchase on average, 330 days prior to travel. This is easily the best way to keep your airfare under control, and guarantee you the best seats on the flght.


If you don’t have some form of status, you may also find yourself paying quite a bit to fly your golf clubs across the Atlantic. Some airlines will include golf clubs as part of your baggage allowance, certainly Virgin Atlantic did at last check, but many won’t. This will certainly increase your overall fare, but that may not be your only challenge. Airline ticket prices


If you decide to connect via one of the UK’s major hubs such as Heathrow, or Dublin in Ireland, you need to be aware that your golf clubs could become sacrificial lambs! The likelihood is you are flying to a much smaller city, on a much smaller airplane, with much reduced cargo capacity. Especially in the peak of the summer, golf clubs often get sacrificed for standard luggage as the airlines weighs up (literally) whether your sticks should make it. This may seem trivial now, but that will soon come rushing back as your prized Titleist’s don’t appear on the baggage carousel. Talk to us about shipping your golf clubs in advance if your route might bring up this scenario.


  1. Caddie Fees.


Taking a caddie is not a core cost of any golf trip to the UK & Ireland, but with so many visitors making the informed decision to avail of one, we felt it important to include this as a cost. There is no debate as to whether a caddie enhances your experience or not. A caddie is an invaluable asset on a links golf course, especially if it is your first time playing in this part of the world. In some cases, Ardglass Golf Club in Northern Ireland springs to mind, the caddies are also club members. So not only are you are getting someone who plays the golf course regularly, you can also buy them a pint at the end of your round, and keep the banter and craic flowing.


Links golf courses can be a tough walk, tougher than many people realise. With golf carts for the most part not an option because of the terrain, a caddie will literally shoulder a lot of the burden for you. It is difficult to put all caddie fees into a single box, but if I were to say that you should allow for between £75-£100 per day for your caddie fees, including gratuity, you wouldn’t be a million miles away. Over the course of a 7-10 day trip, you can see that it’s something to bear in mind in how much does your golf trip costs.


  1. Everything else!


Most golf trips that we plan also have an experiential element to them. We try to include maybe a trip to a distillery in Scotland or Ireland to appreciate how whiskey has been produced for well over two centuries. We may include a tour, such as the famous Black Taxi Political Tours in Belfast, or a visit to see the Titanic Exhibition. There’s always time for some shopping in Edinburgh or a wander around the streets of St, Andrews. Most of these experiences have a cost, albeit small in the greater scheme of things. However, for those groups that are only playing occasionally, it is something to bear in mind.




As you can see, there are numerous things to consider when planning a golf trip to Ireland or Scotland that determine how much does a golf trip cost. No two trips that we plan are the same. So, please reach out to us here at The Consummate Pro and we will be happy to tailor a golf trip for you.