Donegal – “Ireland’s Golf County” – building links with Massachusetts

John Farren with Jon Mahoney BIBA & others after a round of golf at Ballyliffen Golf Club
John Farren with Jon Mahoney BIBA & others after a round of golf at Ballyliffen Golf Club

Donegal Diaspora Project hosted an Economic Seminar in May 2014 and Ballyliffin Golf Club established contact with with Ann Burke Vice President Economic Development Council of Western MA, Jon Mahoney Boston Irish Business Association and Tim Murray Worcester Chamber of Commerce.

Ballyliffin Golf Club together with North & West Coast Links then visited with several Country Clubs in Massachusetts in September and attended the Claddagh Fund Golf Classic in Cape Cod.

Ann and Jon facilitated meetings and introductions which we believe will bring considerable numbers of golfers to our shores and together they have opened doors which would otherwise have been inaccessible to us.

These meetings proved invaluable and have resulted in considerable inbound golf bookings to the Donegal region and have introduced key contacts for the golf tourism sector with fantastic exposure of Donegal’s unique golf product in Massachusetts.

They continue to promote the Donegal golf product and have become outstanding ambassadors for Donegal Tourism in the Greater Boston area where the Irish Community is so strong.

Donegal – “Ireland’s Golf County” -There are only 150 links golf courses in the world and Donegal boasts 14 of these.

The quality of our links golf courses is widely acclaimed in the golfing world with Ballyliffin and Rosapenna in particular being regarded amongst the best in the world.  Ballyliffin Golf Club was recently voted the best 36 Hole links complex in the world by the influential US Golf Magazine – Golf Odyssey.

International golf tourists come to Ireland to experience our unique links terrain and courses such as Ballyliffin, Rosapenna, Murvagh, Narin and Portnoo and Portsalon are key attractions for our region.

These clubs work closely with North & West Coast Links to attract visitors to Donegal and the local economy benefits to the tune of over €15 million each year as a direct result with visiting golfers spending an average €250 per day in the area.

The importance of golf tourism to Donegal cannot be over stated with local hotels, guesthouses, B&B’s, bars and restaurants jointly benefiting from the spend in the local economy.

It is essential that we continue to actively market and promote Donegal’s unique golf product on the international stage and there is no better advocacy of Donegal than our Diaspora who remain a relatively untapped resource in bringing the outstanding attractions of Donegal to a worldwide audience.


John Farren is General Manager at Ballyliffin Golf Club Inishowen, Co. Donegal,

Ireland. T: + 353 74 937611 F: + 353 74 9376672