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Scotland vs Ireland – The Great Golf Trip Debate

We should point out, right up front, that this question is similar to asking a parent which of their children they like better. It’s an impossible question, and one that most travel companies would rather avoid. And understandably so.

But given how many times the question comes up, we are asked this on a daily basis, we would be remiss to leave it unanswered for anyone considering a Scotland or Ireland golf trip.

What follows is a comparison of Scotland vs Ireland Golf trips, based on six important factors.


Scotland is The Home of Golf for a reason. The earliest mention of the game in historical record occurred over three decades before Columbus set sail for America. The Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers penned the first rules of golf when Thomas Jefferson was still learning to crawl. Even in Dornoch, considered a far flung outpost for centuries, the game has been played since before the Mayflower landed in Plymouth Rock.

When it comes to Scotland vs Ireland, this is one match that is fairly lopsided. Ireland, of course, is home to its own rich heritage in the game. But only in Scotland can you play in the footsteps of Old Tom Morris on The Old Course, stroll through his famous shop in St. Andrews, and bask in the greatness of the true Home of Golf.

Scotland wins 7 & 5

Donna Golf


When discussing Ireland vs Scotland Golf trips, we’re often asked which country will cost more. The short answer: It depends. The choices you make for your trip, such as accommodation options and courses played, will drive the overall cost more than anything.

But if we were to craft two somewhat similar trips in each country, the Ireland itinerary will often have a slight edge in terms of price-point. There’s a variety of reasons for this – supply and demand in Scotland is one, better exchange rate in Ireland is another – but in the end the real value is in the eye of the beholder.

Memories often come with a price, but their value to each of us lingers long after that price is forgotten.

Ireland wins 1 Up


When it comes to natural beauty, Scotland vs Ireland is essentially like Tiger Woods playing against himself.

Ireland has Killarney National Park, the cliffs of the Southwest, and the dramatic seascapes of the North Coast.

In Scotland, lasting memories come courtesy of the vistas of the rolling hills near Gleneagles, the magnificent sunsets of the West Coast, and where the mountains meet the sea in The Highlands.

If choosing your destination was essentially a beauty pageant, these two would have to share the crown.

Match ends All Square

Golfers Putting


In recent years, airlines added a variety of non-stop routes from the U.S. to both Scotland and Ireland. Those routes are slowly returning after the restart of international travel, but both destinations have been impacted equally. As a result, this match will focus on your time on the ground.

We’ve shared many times how the great courses of both countries are clustered inside a number of regions. Within those regions, however, the courses of Scotland typically offer a much shorter commute from your home base.

In fact, there’s several areas for golf in Scotland where one could spend a week, play a different world-class course every day, and never repack the suitcase. The majority of our travelers, to both countries, usually opt to play the headlining courses of more than one region. In Scotland, they can do so with just a single hotel change.

In contrast, Southwest Ireland golf trips generally require three hotels and a number of hour-long commutes to the course. The Dublin-Northern Ireland combination also may require two hotel changes, but the commutes are quite a bit shorter. It’s always an enjoyable and scenic ride and the majority of our travelers prefer to have a local behind the wheel rather than wandering the country on their own, but the windshield time required in Ireland gives this match to Scotland.

Scotland wins 3 & 2


Attempting to crown the most hospitable country in a match of Scotland vs Ireland golf is a fool’s errand. The warm hospitality and general friendliness of both countries is known the world over. From the moment you arrive in Scotland and Ireland alike, you will feel welcome and, at times, like a member of the family.

Extending the question to food and drink, a wealth of outstanding dining, from Michelin-star chefs to casual pub grub, is available on a golf trip to either country. In addition, Scotland may have the whisky, but the Irish famously keep all of the best Guinness for themselves. Scotland may have the best 19th holes in St. Andrews, but Ireland has the best pubs in Dublin!

Although it’s the golf which has brought you on the trip, the hospitality of the local people is likely to be as memorable as any shot on the course.

Match ends All Square

Donna golf cart


The great links courses of Scotland and Ireland are home to no shortage of awe-inspiring moments. When it comes to sheer drama on the course, however, there is still little doubt which country reigns supreme.

Compared to the terrain of Ireland, visually speaking, many of the courses in Scotland are a fairly benign affair. Don’t get us wrong, there’s plenty of excitement in The Home of Golf, but it’s the exception, not the norm.

Across the Irish Sea, moments like the 4th at Royal county Down, the 5th green at Royal Portush, the daunting dunes of Enniscrone, or any number of shots at Old Head Golf Links, happen with pleasing regularity.

Thanks to both the quantity and quality of spectacular shots and vistas, Ireland wins this one handily.

Ireland wins 4 & 3

Final Record: 2-2-2

You didn’t really think we’d pick one country over the other, did you? Nevertheless, we hope that the insight here was a helpful starting point to the Scotland vs Ireland debate.

We say starting point because there’s many more factors to consider when choosing your destination. At the start of the planning process, Donna Salerno Travel will walk you through all of these factors in detail. Armed with a clearer picture of what awaits, you can then make the best informed decision for you and your trip.

At that point, all that’s left is to sit back, and let us craft the unforgettable experience that awaits.

Ready to plan your Golf adventure!  Let Donna Salerno Travel handle all the details; YOU have all the fun!

[email protected] or 888-777-7820   You’ll love where we take you.  

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Donna Salerno


Donna Salerno Travel


[email protected]

Courtesy A&K