by Phil Morrin
Ireland has established itself internationally as a major golf destination, particularly in recent years with the hosting of major competitions such as the American Express World Championships in 2002 and the Ryder Cup in 2006.
Ireland is best known for its wonderful links courses - and possesses almost 40% of the world's genuine links. Some Irish links courses have been around for over a hundred years, while others are modern developments created to fit the landscape from which they are carved. Some are internationally renowned, while others - the 'hidden gems' - are waiting to be discovered.
But Ireland also has a range parkland courses which offer a supreme test of skills. They are courses very much in tune with nature, yet designed to make the golfer use every club in the bag.
Irish golf has a special place in the heritage of the game, producing great players like Christy O' Connor Senior, Fred Daly, Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley. By playing an Irish championship course, you can play the same courses that helped shape these champions - and the same ones that gave golf's international superstars some of their proudest moments.
There are almost 400 golf clubs affiliated to the Golfing Union of Ireland - your only difficulty should be deciding where to start.
Phil Morrin is with www.irelandseye-golftours.com offering golf tours to Ireland. Please visit her website or contact Phil via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 00 353 1 283 48 37 for details.
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