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Anybody here from Ireland or been there?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

So I'm going to Ireland in May....I've been there once before in August of 2008, but I wasn't as big into golf then so I only played 9 holes while I was there.

 

This time I'm looking to play alot more. Lahinch and Ballybunion are for sure on my list. I'm looking to add one or two more. We will be there for 8 days but I'm the only golfer in the group so getting in more than 3-4 rounds is going to be hard and inconvenient for the others. 

 

My two other top prospects are Portmarnock and Old Head. These four courses also fit in well with our plan of travel as we will be flying into Dublin, then heading towards the Ring of Kerry, then up the west coast to Limerick, Cliffs of Moher and Galway, finally making our way back east to Dublin for our departure. 

 

As with anything sometimes there's cheaper courses that are actually better, etc. so I'm curious as to what natives of Ireland and those who have visited would give for advice on courses to play. The courses need to be in the general vicinity of the route that I have laid out. It is highly unlikely that we will make it up to the northern part of Ireland or Northern Ireland itself. 

 

Thanks.

post #2 of 25

Was there last summer and played Lahinch, it was awesome.  If you're doing the Ring of Keary I would also consider taking a look at Waterville and Tralee.

post #3 of 25

Hello @shortstop20, you should check out

Share your personal course pictures. - Page 16

 

Member @Hopefulhacker lives in Ireland and can probably suggest a few courses for you.

He posted a great link to photos of all the golf courses on the island.

 

I spent 3 weeks back in 2000, it was an incredible time. We played 20 different courses ranging from the North to South and East to West.

 

It would have been great to have had GPS along for travel directions, back then.

We had to stop and ask directions so many times. The first words you will hear are "go back the way you came", look for the building with a "blah, blah, blah"

 

Also, you may encounter an occasional farmer with his herd on the road. So expect some delays in your travels.

 

My experience with the Irish was fantastic. They are truly friendly people and seemed to enjoy buying us pints of Ale and telling us stories, all the time.

 

All of the golf courses will blow you away, they are incredibly different from the US.

The only drawback of our trip was it was too short. I could have easily stayed 2-3 months.

 

8 days will fly by in a blink of an eye, enjoy.

 

Club Rat

post #4 of 25

There is a similar thread under "Courses & Architecture" that you might want to review.

 

http://thesandtrap.com/t/71072/ireland-golf

post #5 of 25

If you head to the south of Ireland, play Doonbeg.  I played 3 rounds there a couple of years back. It was excellent.

 

Designed by Greg Norman. Top 100 in the world.

 

Here is the signature par 3 14th hole. (I'm an awful golfer an it was my only par!). The photo doesn't do it justice.

 

 

More info: 

http://www.doonbeglodge.com/golf-ireland.html

post #6 of 25

@shortstop20,

 

I also recommend reading A Course Called Ireland: A Long Walk in Search of a Country, a Pint, and the Next Tee by Tom Coyne.  It is a fun read and you may find recommendations about other hidden gem courses in the area you are going and what the area is like.  I enjoyed the book.  The author is pretty funny too.

post #7 of 25

Hi Shortstop20,

Firstly what are you looking for?

 

1. Links or Parkland or both?

2. Do you have a budget per round approx.? (all the high profile are $200+ a round).

3. Playing alone?

post #8 of 25
For non links try Druids Heath ( a monster from the back) also Tullfarris is very good. If u go to the Gui website u can look up opens competitions and if u have a club handicap u can play for around 30euro. Also the Heritage is quite good. Its worth calling these guys up they may give u a very good rate.
post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post
 

Was there last summer and played Lahinch, it was awesome.  If you're doing the Ring of Keary I would also consider taking a look at Waterville and Tralee.

 

We are indeed doing the Ring of Kerry. 

 

What other courses did you play? Waterville and Tralee are both on my list of prospects. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Golf-A-Million View Post
 

Hi Shortstop20,

Firstly what are you looking for?

 

1. Links or Parkland or both?

2. Do you have a budget per round approx.? (all the high profile are $200+ a round).

3. Playing alone?

 

I'm looking to play Links only. 

 

I'm willing to to spend $200+ at two or three courses(at Ballybunion Old for instance). It's expensive but the experience is worth it to me. Any rounds other than that would need to be around $150 or less. I'm thinking I would get a caddie at Lahinch and Ballybunion to maximize the experience and my chances to make a good score. At the other courses I'll just carry my own bag. 

 

Yes, playing alone for the most part. My brother in law is a casual golfer and would be willing to play one round at a cheaper links course for $50-$75. Not sure if he'd walk 18 so would probably need carts too. 

post #10 of 25
Don't pass up the chance to play a local pitch and putt if you have time. there's one just on the outside of Dingle town, that overlooks the harbor and the sunset views are stunning. You don't need 7000yds of muscle to find a gem over there. Especially if you are there in the Summer, you can have dinner and might get in a round at 9pm on a course like that.
post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayG View Post

Don't pass up the chance to play a local pitch and putt if you have time. there's one just on the outside of Dingle town, that overlooks the harbor and the sunset views are stunning. You don't need 7000yds of muscle to find a gem over there. Especially if you are there in the Summer, you can have dinner and might get in a round at 9pm on a course like that.

Not really interested. Time not spent playing 18 holes is better spent seeing the towns/cities, historical things, etc.

 

Just my opinion. 

post #12 of 25

Never been there, but my friend tells me I start speaking like a crazy Irish guy when I get excited. 

post #13 of 25

If only links i would agee with Doonbeg, Above all make sure u go to a hurling match, even better if its a Clare one as they are current All Ireland holders. Usually the big matches are on a Sunday so this may suit as golf courses are not so busy during the week.

post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 

So do I fly with my clubs or ship them? 

 

Opinions?

 

And if I fly with them, what hardcover travel bag do you guys recommend? Needs to hold a standard sized stand bag. 

post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 

Lahinch Old and Ballybunion Old are for sure on my list of courses I will play, but I'm having trouble picking 2-3 more.

I'm thinking The Island near Dublin so I can get a round in while we spend 2-3 days in Dublin......I've heard Portmarnock Golf Club isn't all it's hyped up to be?

I think I will play Dooks for sure since it looks like a great course and a great value.

But I can't decide what other course(or two) to play on the southwest coast. Waterville, Tralee, Doonbeg? I won't be able to play all three.

Thanks again guys, much appreciated! 

post #16 of 25

If you are playing Lahinch and Ballybunion, then I would certainly recommend Doonbeg in between. A friend used to caddy there and its a fantastic course, designed by greg norman, and very challenging. Be sure to get a pint in Tubridy's in the village afterwards!

 

Assuming you are driving, then you can take the Kilrush ferry between  Killimer and Tarbert to save you going through Limerick city when you are travelling between Co. Clare and Co. Kerry. The coast roads have some fantastic views and a visit the cliffs of Moher is a must!

 

Enjoy! 

post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by shortstop20 View Post
 

So I'm going to Ireland in May....I've been there once before in August of 2008, but I wasn't as big into golf then so I only played 9 holes while I was there.

 

This time I'm looking to play alot more. Lahinch and Ballybunion are for sure on my list. I'm looking to add one or two more. We will be there for 8 days but I'm the only golfer in the group so getting in more than 3-4 rounds is going to be hard and inconvenient for the others. 

 

My two other top prospects are Portmarnock and Old Head. These four courses also fit in well with our plan of travel as we will be flying into Dublin, then heading towards the Ring of Kerry, then up the west coast to Limerick, Cliffs of Moher and Galway, finally making our way back east to Dublin for our departure. 

 

As with anything sometimes there's cheaper courses that are actually better, etc. so I'm curious as to what natives of Ireland and those who have visited would give for advice on courses to play. The courses need to be in the general vicinity of the route that I have laid out. It is highly unlikely that we will make it up to the northern part of Ireland or Northern Ireland itself. 

 

Thanks.

Hi Shortstop20, 

 

Just spotted this thread now, I'm from Ireland and hope I can be of assistance. 

 

First off, I'd advise you to set up a thread about your on this Irish golf forum if you are looking for a playing partner. 

http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=343 

I'm sure you'll get a few people that would happily play a round with you on your visit or else they can/will offer up more advice on the trip in general than I can. 

 

If you're playing with a local you might not have to pay the tourist rates of $200 that only you Americans pay :-D:8)

My friend is a member of Ballybunion, he pays €400 per year as his membership!!!! (€7,000 once off entry fee, and there's a waiting list that stretches years)

We pay €50 green fee when we're with him, and I played it on Dec 26th and they told us to keep our money in our pocket...Ballybunion for free...

Anyway I digress. 

 

If you have a detailed itinerary of your travel plans then I would gladly help map of a good route for you in terms of golf. 

 

You seem to have decided on Lahinch and Ballybunion, you won't be disappointed with those courses. 

Most of the other courses you have mentioned are great links too. 

 

Dublin Region: 

 

You mention that Portmarnock isn't all it's hyped up to be, I haven't played it but anyone that I know who has played it was left a little bit disappointed by it. 

It always seems to get voted in in the Top 5 Links courses in Ireland but that leaves quite a few people scratching their heads. 

Many of them would prefer to play a the Portmarnock Hotel and Links course that is just minutes away from it and far cheaper. 

It has held the Irish Ladies Open many times before so it is still a top course, you'll pay €30 on a Tuesday or Thursday at the moment. 

http://www.portmarnock.com/golf-index.html

There is a 3D virtual tour guide in the "Helpful Information" tab. 

 

Another alternative in the Dublin area is The European Course, it's a family owned course and they do very little in the way of marketing thus it is generally missed by a lot of tourists. 

The website doesn't do it justice http://www.theeuropeanclub.com/

Most people I know would rate it as the best links on the East coast of Ireland. 


If budget is an concern, there is a brilliant public links on the same stretch of land as the Portmarnock courses called Corballis (you wont see it on any Top 100 rankings but for €15-20 per round, it is unbelievable value) 

http://www.corballislinks.com/course-flyover

 

I'd be happy to get a round in with you on any of the 3 courses above (Dublin area) and could bring a friend along to make it a 3 ball.

 

Down South:

Ballybunion and Lahinch are 2 for you to play. 

Waterville, Doonbeg are great courses, but I would play Tralee (Barrow) Golf Club...there are all so good, it really is a coin flip. 

Tralee was designed by Arnold Palmer, he is famously quoted as saying “I may have designed the first nine, but surely God designed the back nine”

Here's another course guide  for you :) http://traleegolfclub.com/index.php/course/hole-by-hole/13th_brocks_hollow/

 

Galway Region: 

I'm beginning to get a bit tired now :) and I am dying for a game of golf too. 

You may be golfed out of it by the time you get to Galway, but when in Galway you will be "close" to Carne Golf Club.

Close being a 2 hour drive....It's in an extremely remote area of the country. 

Due to it's location, it isn't played or talked about as much as the more famous Links. 

Saying that, it still ranks in the Top 10, many believe that if I wasn't as isolated that it would challenge for the top spot.

Here's a flyover for the course, they have recently added another 9 holes which have only improved the course. 

http://www.carnegolflinks.com/flyover.html

 

Kevin Markham is a regular poster on the forum I mentioned at the start, he is a golf journalist and has also started to do some golf photography.

Check out his flickr account for plenty of photos of the courses, and lots more :-D He has played every course in Ireland. 

Here is his account http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevinmarkham/sets/

 

 

I'd be glad to help out further if I can,

Hopefulhacker 

post #18 of 25

Just after realizing that I never even mentioned Doonbeg. 

Funnily enough, it isn't ranked as highly over here as it may be by golfers from the States. 

 

There is a sense that Doonbeg was created to cater to the American tourist market. 

In that sense, maybe we don't feel like it's our own and don't rate it as highly. 

 

For instance, it was ranked below the lesser know Portmarnock Hotel and Links course I mentioned earlier in this ranking 

http://www.irishgolfdesk.com/news-files/2012/12/4/golf-digest-ireland-top-100-ranking-2013.html

That ranking, like most, caused a bit of a stir like most rankings do. 

 

The hardest part about your trip here will be deciding what courses to leave out, and playing with a hangover  :beer:

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