Doonbeg Golf Club - 14th green
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Doonbeg Golf Club - 14th green
The 100-yard 14th hole at Doonbeg Golf Club is beautiful -- and treacherous. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Images
Portmarnock G.C. - clubhouse
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Portmarnock G.C. - clubhouse
A rainbow shines on the clubhouse at Portmarnock Golf Club. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Portmarnock Golf Links - hole 9
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Portmarnock Golf Links - hole 9
Dunes surround the par-3 ninth at Portmarnock Golf Links. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
The European Club - hole 7
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The European Club - hole 7
The views around the seventh green at The European Club hijack the senses. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Old Head Golf Links
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Old Head Golf Links
The view from the clubhouse patio can wow first-time visitors to Old Head Golf Links. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Ballyliffin Golf Club - Glashedy Links - hole 7
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Ballyliffin Golf Club - Glashedy Links - hole 7
The par-3 seventh on the Glashedy Links at Ballyliffin Golf Club features one of the few ponds on a links in Ireland. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Adare Manor Golf Club - hole 18
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Adare Manor Golf Club - hole 18
The golf course at Adare Manor Golf Club climaxes near the 18th green in the shadow of Adare Manor. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Old Tom Morris golf course - Rosapenna
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Old Tom Morris golf course - Rosapenna
The back nine of the Old Tom Morris golf course at Rosapenna Hotel & Golf Resort features some dramatic land. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Sandy Hills golf course - Rosapenna Hotel & Golf Resort
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Sandy Hills golf course - Rosapenna Hotel & Golf Resort
The Sandy Hills golf course at Rosapenna Hotel & Golf Resort was so windy on this day that players had trouble marking balls on the greens. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
County Sligo Golf Club
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County Sligo Golf Club
Views like this make County Sligo Golf Club a must-see links in northwest Ireland. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Druids Glen golf course - Druids Glen Resort - 12th
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Druids Glen golf course - Druids Glen Resort - 12th
The 12th green at the Druids Glen golf course at Druids Glen Resort is a scenic spot. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
The Island Golf Club - hole 15
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The Island Golf Club - hole 15
The dunes provide a bird's-eye view on the 15th green at The Island Golf Club. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
The K Club hotel
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The K Club hotel
The Kildare Hotel, Spa & Country Club -- the elegant resort also known as The K Club -- shimmers in the setting sun. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Carton House - O'Meara Course - hole 14
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Carton House - O'Meara Course - hole 14
No. 14 on the O'Meara Course at Carton House kicks off a grand three-hole loop in a valley. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
K Club - Smurfit golf course - No. 7
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K Club - Smurfit golf course - No. 7
The par-5 seventh hole on the Smurfit Course at the K Club features a dramatic look. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Druids Heath golf course at Druids Glen Resort - 8th
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Druids Heath golf course at Druids Glen Resort - 8th
The eighth hole on the Druids Heath golf course comes with soaring countryside views of County Wicklow. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Lahinch Golf Club - Old Course - hole 4
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Lahinch Golf Club - Old Course - hole 4
The flagman "George the Fourth" guides traffic around the famous Klondyke Hill on the fourth hole on the Old Course at Lahinch Golf Club. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Royal County Down Golf Club
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Royal County Down Golf Club
The backdrop of the Mountains of Mourne and the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa add beauty to Royal County Down Golf Club. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Ardglass Golf Club - hole 1
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Ardglass Golf Club - hole 1
Next to a 13th-century castle wall, the first tee at Ardglass Golf Club requires a heroic uphill shot over a rocky coastline. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Killeen Castle golf course - hole 18
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Killeen Castle golf course - hole 18
The 18th hole sits in the shadow of Killeen Castle. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Portsalon Golf Club - hole 2
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Portsalon Golf Club - hole 2
The second hole at Portsalon Golf Club is celebrated as one of the best par 4s in Ireland. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor

Ireland: The land of photogenic links golf

There are so many great links on the Emerald Isle.

As many as 10 different golf courses -- ranging from Ballybunion and Lahinch in the southwest to Royal County Down and Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland -- have made some sort of world top 100 list.

I've had some great memories playing golf in Ireland -- watching the 2011 Solheim Cup at Killeen Castle, winning an America-vs.-Europe tournament for golf writers at the K Club prior to the 2006 Ryder Cup, sinking a mulligan ace at Ballyliffin and surviving four-club winds at Doonbeg and Rosapenna. I've made the trip seven times and can't wait to go back.

Links golf is so conducive to good photography when the sun shines to illuminate the ocean, the hairy dunes along the beach, the sodwall bunkers, the bumpy fairways, the castle clubhouses. The challenge is trying to keep the camera dry when the inevitable bad weather comes calling. I will always remember one round at Portsalon Golf Club where three different major showers whipped up a frenzy that left my threesome running for cover in the dunes and trees. Thank goodness for my umbrella. Each time, the winds and rain were gone within five minutes.

Maybe these photos -- my favorites over the years -- will convince you to jump on the next overnight flight to Dublin or Shannon. The Irish people are so friendly; the Guinness so fresh; the rolling countryside so green. A golf trip overseas almost never disappoints.

-- Jason Scott Deegan

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
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