Almost a links course

Galway Bay Golf Resort

The Galway Bay Golf Resort is located on the Galway Bay, about 15 km southeast of the city of Galway. The resort opened in 1993, with an 18-hole parkland course designed by Christy O’Connor Jr. 

Galway Bay Golf Resort
Address Renville,  Oranmore,  County Galway,  Ireland
Phone + 353 (0) 91 790711
Number of holes 18
Service driving range, golf buggies, golf lessons, putting green, pro shop, rental clubs, restaurant, trolleys

At the time, a hotel with 92 rooms was also built, but since a few years back the hotel unfortunately has hit upon hard times and has been closed, making the establishment more of a golf club than a resort.

With the hotel closed, the clubhouse has taken on a more important role, and it’s doing it with grace. The upstairs restaurant not only offers panoramic views of the course, Galway Bay, and the City of Galway, it also features a very good restaurant. Definitely make room in your schedule for lunch or dinner here.

Downstairs you’ll find a fully stocked pro shop, with reasonable prices and good advice for how to play the course. Hint: long and straight.

18 hole course

The course is a very open parkland course, with wide fairways and big landing areas. 


Gorse is plentiful, and really the only spot where you are likely to loose your ball. Bunkering is good, with some green bunkers reminiscent of links courses, deep and with high walls. There are also several well manicured artificial lakes to catch a few of your stray shots. The course is lightly undulated, but not too much of a challenge to walk, it is a delightful walk in fact.

The course start with a few fairly ordinary, but not boring, parkland holes. On the fourth, a short par 3, you get close to the water of Galway Bay, and several of the following holes follow the rocky beach.

The second par 3 on the course, the seventh, is short at 120 m, but nonetheless a challenge, especially on a windy day. In front of the green is a sizable lake, with the green jutting out towards you. You need to control your distance as well as your line well on this hole.

After the turn at the clubhouse you work your way down to the water, and a few holes later you reach the point where Galway Bay meets the Atlantic. On this side, the holes take on a linksy character, with slightly harder fairways, and deeper linkslike bunkers. Here again you need to mind the wind, as the prevailing wind comes in from the Atlantic.

Notable on the back in the par four 12th hole that demands a long tee shot on a good line to have a reasonable approach shot to the green below, guarded by a lake. A very good risk/reward hole.

The course finishes with a par four just below the clubhouse, with two very deep bunkers guarding the severely sloping green. I can see tournaments being decided on this very nice hole. A good finish.

When you first walk out on the clubhouse terrace overlooking the course it is easy to think “Oh, another American style parkland resort course”, but the course grows on you, and when you walk off four hours later you come away with a much more favorable impression. You may have travelled to Ireland to enjoy links courses, but if you are near Galway and have a chance to play Galway Bay we sincerely recommend it.

Information about 18 hole course

Number of holes18
GreenfeeWeekdays: 110 EUR, Weekends and holidays: 110 EUR
Season January - December
Course typeParkland
Course opened1993
Course designerChristy O'Connor Jr.
TeeParLength  (yds)CR/Slope (Men)CR/Slope (Women)
Blue727308SSS 76-/ -
White726797SSS 73-/ -
Yellow726453-/ --/ -
Red745605-/ --/ -

Map and satellite image

lat: 53.250315, long: -8.978963

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