OK, maybe THIS is the best value trip in golf!

 Image from Castlerock Golf Course

I have written before about how you can access some amazing courses at great prices, but I think this one may beat the lot.

With a little bit of planning, you can play 2 of the top 20 courses in the WORLD, plus a European Tour course, plus an amazing hidden gem, for only £245 all in.

Accommodation in the area is cheap too and it's within an hour's flight of most places in the UK. Tempted? Then read on!

Northern Ireland is the venue. It is home of some of the very best links courses in the world and famed for wonderful hospitality. As with the Highland trip and East Lothian adventure I have previously written about, the secret to getting the best value is to travel a little out of season. I have based the prices here on a trip in March.

March is one of the drier months of the year and the courses should be beginning to show a bit of growth. The good thing about these courses is that the land drains well all year round, so even if it is wet, the turf will be in great condition. 

 Image from Royal County Down website

Image from Royal County Down website

Thursday 
Early flight to Belfast City Airport. Pick up a hire car and drive (c. 1 hour) to Royal County Down. 

This is currently ranked the 3rd best golf course in the world - higher than St Andrews! In the peak of summer, on a weekend afternoon, this would cost you £220, but we are getting this round for £90. It is probably going to be the hardest course on the trip so it's worth playing it early, while you are still fresh and not too much Guinness has been consumed.

After the round, drive north to Portrush - our base for the next three nights. Portrush is your typical seaside town with plenty of bars, restaurants and seaside activities to be had!

When it comes to accommodation there are plenty of guest houses and B&Bs around but do have a look at Airbnb. You can get a great looking 4 bedroom house in the heart of town for £80 a night so, if there are 4 of you, that would work out at just £60 each for three nights' accommodation.

You'll probably be a little tired after your early start and drive, so maybe just a quick fish and chips and a pint before retiring to prepare for the next three rounds within a very short distance.

Friday
The European Tour came to Portstewart in summer 2017 and the players raved about the course. The front 9 was heralded as one of the best runs of links holes anywhere in the world. It seems destined to be on more visitors wish-lists than ever before as a result of the great reviews but, for now, you can play in March for a mere £60.

Friday night in town is likely to be pretty busy, even at this time of year, so it's worth booking ahead if you are looking for a meal. There are plenty of places to eat with new ones coming and going all the time, but the Bushmills Inn is a good option.

Saturday
A short drive away is Castlerock Golf Club. The top100 golf site has this as the 5th best course in the land. What is truly amazing is that we are getting 18 holes here for £35! In fact, on a weekday, it is only £25. That is truly phenomenal!

As for Saturday night entertainment, make sure you don't leave town without taking in a few pints at the Harbour Bar while you watch the sun go down It also has a good restaurant if you find it hard to move too far...

royal portrush golf club

Sunday
For me, we have saved the best to last. Royal Portrush is an absolute delight of a golf course to play. It isn't so punishing that you will feel destroyed out there, but you will know you are playing something very special. A huge amount of work has been done in the lead up to the 2019 Open Championship, with 2 new holes opening which promise to elevate this course even further in the rankings.

Access to the course is limited but plan ahead and you can play on a Sunday between 10:30 and 11:50 for £60. Leave it a month and, in April, the same round will cost £190! 

It will take you just over an hour to get to George Best International Airport for a flight back home. You might be a tired, but I'm prepared to bet, also smiling at the amazing golf you'll have enjoyed.

So there you have it - four great rounds of golf for the price of just 1 a few months later. Sure, you are taking a little risk with the weather but the courses should be in good condition and you will be welcomed with open arms.

Cost-wise the golf and accommodation would come to around £300. Flights from London (including clubs if you book wisely and book well in advance) will add another £100. Finally, budget for another £100 for car hire and food and drink which means you could do this for £500 all in.

If you are on an even tighter budget consider doing 36 holes on one of the days and you will save a few more quid on one day's less accommodation, food and car hire.

I will continue to look for the best value golf trip in golf but if playing high-quality courses is high up on your list of requirements, I challenge anyone to beat this trip!