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Offaly Great Golf – Where to go golfing in the home of Shane Lowry

When anyone hears the words ‘golf’ and ‘Offaly’ together, the famous Shane Lowry will likely spring to mind! Lowry, who won the Irish Open in 2009, the 2019 Open Championship and the PGA Tour three times, recently won the Zurich Classic of New Orleans with fellow Irish golfing legend, Rory McElroy.

It’s fair to say Lowry has become a global success – and his golfing career began right here in Offaly! And you can play on the very same course that Lowry learned his early golf on – at Esker Hills Golf Club.

But there are also a range of other courses and golf facilities to uncover around Offaly, whether you’re a beginner or a professional. Here, we profile Offaly’s many splendid courses:

Esker Hills Golf Club, Tullamore 

Home to Lowry, Esker Hills is one of Ireland’s finest golf courses. Just three miles from Tullamore town, the course has well-maintained greens, spectacular views and provides a challenging play for all skill levels.

Aerial view of Esker Hills Copyright: ©Mel Maclaine, Momentum Golf Photography

Designed by Ryder Cup hero, Christy O’Connor Junior, the course is laid out over naturally undulating terrain known as eskers. These eskers were actually developed during the Ice Age over 10,000 years ago and are what gave the course its name. You’ll also come across four lakes, valleys and plenty of woodlands, creating a gorgeous setting where golf can be played all year round.

Tip: If you’re a big Shane Lowry fan, why not make a day of it and visit his restaurant, The Old Warehouse, in Tullamore? The building, which dates back to 1829, was formerly the home of Tullamore Dew whiskey and it still maintains its charm, with rustic decor and original features. The menu is delicious too, with lunch, brunch and evening options, as well as cocktails, whiskey, beer and more. Also within the building is the Copper Still Café, if you’d prefer to sit out overlooking the canal with a coffee.

The course’s clubhouse offers a relaxed atmosphere with casual dining before or after a round. There’s also a putting green on-site for golfers to practise and get a feel for the greens before their round.

For more information on Esker Hills, check out 

Birr Golf Club

Birr Golf Club is a fine example of a mature parkland course, with superb fairways, woodland and a combination of natural sweeps and hollows. The course, which was designed by renowned golf architect Eddie Connaughton, provides a great challenge for even the most accomplished golfers. 

The club itself was founded in 1893, when golf was first played on the grounds of the Marshall estate at Baronne Court near Birr. Sixteen years later, the club was moved to its current site at the Glenns. Today, there are also some great facilities on-site, including a driving range offering Trackman technology, a fully stocked pro shop and a fantastic restaurant, Lavender House at Birr Golf Club (open at weekends).

To book golf at Birr Golf Club or for more information, see  

Edenderry Golf Club

Just one mile from Edenderry town centre, this parkland golf course contains beautiful tree-lined fairways and over 130 acres of mature grounds at your disposal. Designed by Eddie Hackett, the course is generally playable all-year-round and has an abundance of strategically placed bunkers and trees to add to the challenge.

Edenderry Golf Club also has its own Youth Development Academy, one of the Golf Ireland Golf4All hubs, delivering disability-inclusive golf programmes for people with disabilities. There are opportunities for group coaching for all ages and abilities, as well as individual lessons with Pro Ken O’Brien for those who wish to fast-track their development.

A new chipping green will also be available by the summer months to practise your chips. And a visit to the clubhouse, where The Arlo restaurant and bar is based, will cap off a great day out.


Rahan Driving Range

If you would rather work on your driving range before playing a game of golf, check out Rahan Driving Range located just outside Tullamore. The facility offers a state-of-the-art driving range with 15 bays, featuring Srixon range balls, new mats, tees, lights, and targets, providing everything golfers need to improve their game.

PGA Professional Bernard Quigley is also available for lessons and custom fitting, catering to all levels of golfers. While custom-fitting services are offered for major golfing brands such as Ping, Taylormade, Mizuno, and Wilson, among others, if you want to get fitted for new clubs.

For more information, golfers can contact Rahan Driving Range at (086) 379 4066

Tullamore Golf Club

This James Braid-Patrick Merrigan-designed course is one of the oldest, and possibly one of the best, parkland courses in the country. In fact, the 18-hole championship course is consistently rated among the top 30 parkland courses in Ireland. In 2019, the club was awarded Best Parkland Course in the Hidden Heartlands by Golfer’s Guide to Ireland and ranked 21st in the Top 100 golf courses by Irish Golfer Magazine. The club has also hosted many significant competitions for the GUI, the ILGU and the PGA. 

The course was upgraded in 1996 by the highly regarded golf course architect, Patrick Merrigan. While maintaining many of the Braid features, the re-design incorporated three new lakes along with seven new greens, eleven new tees, thirty bunkers and 1,000 trees were planted. 

With the towering trees and strategically positioned sand and water hazards, Tullamore Golf Club is a picturesque course and a good test of golf. Each hole has its own character. There’s a pro shop on-site, as well as a fantastic clubhouse which overlooks the putting green and offers a friendly atmosphere and good food.

To book tee times and for more information, see  

Portarlington Golf Club

This gem of a course was designed by Eddie Hackett and is beautifully maintained. It is set on level terrain, overshadowed by majestic trees and bordered by the River Barrow. 

It provides a peaceful setting for a game of golf, with squirrels and ducks roaming the fairways and woods. The golf course is a serious challenge to all golfers and hazards lurk around every corner!

The clubhouse has magnificent views overlooking the course and has an excellent dinner menu, including dishes like beef, bacon and cabbage, lasagna and more. It’s perfect for golfers and guests alike.

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