Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Business


School of Business

First Advisor

Dr. Angela Wright


The fact that Ireland has some of the finest natural golf courses in the world is not a new phenomenon, with renowned courses such as Waterville, Ballybunion and Royal Country Down regularly appearing in the list of top ten best golf courses in the world. The sheer ruggedness and natural beauty of many of Ireland’s links golf courses have for many years attracted golfing enthusiasts to our shores. The experience of playing these magnificent courses is only surpassed by the warmth and hospitality which is shared by the local people. Ireland has a reputation for welcoming visiting tourists with open arms, and which is something that enhances the tourists experience when they visit the country.

The profile of the game of golf has risen to meteoric levels in the past decade. The rise in popularity of the sport has been fuelled by the increased level of media attention which the game now receives in all parts of the world. In addition to this, Tiger Woods has raised the profile of the game far beyond anyone’s expectations. He has helped to promote the game to an unprecedented level. As a result of this explosion in the popularity of golf, there has been a surge in the number of people who are travelling to play the game. Golf tourism is today a major industry and a valuable contributor to many economies. This research contends that the golf tourism industry in Ireland is underperforming, given the widely acclaimed golf courses which it has at its disposal.

This research examines some of the issues which are preventing the golf industry in Ireland from growing the number of overseas visitors to the country. The golf industry is a niche sector within Irish tourism, but an extremely valuable one none the less. Developing golf tourism in Ireland could have a positive impact on the tourism sector, as it struggles through an unprecedented era of economic hardship.

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