Shannon Shannon Tucked away behind the airport, this lovely club is a parkland of dark corridors, unforgiving trees and a sweet dose of the Shannon Estuary at the farthest point. The course flows so easily over the level terrain and it is the subtle doglegs and the trees which will test your nerve. Brawn is not always the answer here. The par threes are all strong, especially the long 17th beside the estuary. It is the only hole where trees can’t ruin your card… that’s left to the estuary, which you must cross. East Clare Quite probably the most peaceful course in Ireland. Rolling countryside flows into the distance all around you and the course feels wonderfully spacious as a result. The start matches the surroundings – gentle and relaxing – but it picks up the pace, challenging you with some tricky greens and water features (four of the five par threes have water waiting), and some tricky doglegs. Holes are cleverly routed and use the landscape to full advantage, rolling and curling to make driving a joy. East Clare is a country course, so don’t expect airs and graces or fancy design. This is all about the spirit of golf. 110 Ceann Sibeal The Three Sisters watch over this links at that farthest end of the Dingle Peninsula. The hillside that falls away from these three cliff top peaks is home to a low, subtle and very deceptive links, designed by Eddie Hackett (the back nine) and Christy O’Connor Jr (the front). The views may be open, raw and beautiful, but this is a course that demands your full attention. The rough is unforgiving and the burn which slips across eleven holes proves magnetic more often than not. Meticulous course management is required on a crafty links which glides over natural, often unpredictable terrain. A startling, sweet links education. Bantry Bay Bantry Bay is tucked away in west Cork, perched on a high rolling landscape above the sea and the charming fishing village of Bantry. The setting is glorious, with views spilling across the bay to mountains and peninsulas. The course has an unexpectedly muscular feel, no doubt due to Christy O’Connor Jr’s influence which uses the big rolls of the landscape to full effect, including several blind shots. This is no place for the faint of heart so get out the driver and swing hard. The greens are correspondingly big with tiers and slopes that will test you all day long.