NEWS AND FEATURES
The 18th at Waterville 
Ireland: An Epic Golf Trip

By Joe Logan
Published March 17, 2013

All across Ireland, we rolled into parking lots in a luxury Mercedes tour bus, like rock stars arriving for our next gig.  But when the door opened, it wasn't Sting or Springsteen or even Sinatra who stepped out.  Rather, it was 14 middle-aged golfers (some with paunches, gray hair or no hair) from Philadelphia, or mostly so, stretching from the long ride, rubbing aching muscles and scratching in places best described as inappropriate.

 

It was the golf trip of a lifetime:  Nine days, 14 guys, eight rounds at some of the finest links golf courses the Emerald Isle – indeed, the world – has to offer:   Ballybunion, Old Head, Lahinch, Doonbeg, Waterville, Carne, Enniscrone and Tralee.

 

IRELAND TRIP PHOTO GALLERY ON HOME PAGE UNDER "PHOTOS"

 

The magazine rankings alone spoke volumes.  Golfweek lists five of the courses we were playing among the top modern courses in Great Britain and Ireland (3. Waterville; 8. Old Head; 9. Carne; 10. Tralee; 11. Enniscrone).  Ballybunion ranked 6th on the magazine's list of GB&I classic courses.  Golf magazine ranks Ballybunion 17th in the world among all courses.

 

From my office bookcase, I also pulled down a book I contributed to last year.  Published in Paris, it's called The Rolex World's Top 1000 Golf Courses. Thirty-one courses from Ireland and Northern Ireland made the cut, including every single one on our dance card.

 

Then there was the conversation I had a while back with my friend James W. Finegan, the golf writer and historian.  I asked Finegan, the author of a trilogy of golf travel books about the UK and Ireland, which would be the better golf vacation, Scotland or Ireland?

 

Finegan thought for a moment, then replied, "Scotland has more good and very good courses.  But if you put Scotland's Top 10 courses up against Ireland's Top 10 courses, Ireland wins."

 

What more was there to say?  We were playing a Who's Who of Top 10 courses.

 

We left out of Philadelphia on Thursday night, Sept. 22.  Although all but three of us came from the same club, Talamore CC, we didn't all know each other that well when we gathered at the airport, all excited about the golfing adventure that lay before us; we returned home Saturday afternoon, Oct. 1, weary but filled with memories.

 

"I went with some pretty high expectations of the golf courses we would encounter and those expectations were blown away," one member of our group, Larry Weiss, wrote in an email.  "I felt like it was a religious experience in many ways."

 

We were your typical odd-lot of golfers. The three of us that weren't from Talamore CC were friends and old college pals, from Dallas, Harrisburg and Malvern.  In age, we ranged from early 40s to early 60s. There was a dentist, a defense lawyer, a software consultant, a scientist, a couple of guys who own or run small companies, a corporate retiree, a couple of accountants, a pair of corporate consultants, several sales executives and yours truly.  Our handicaps ranged from 7 to 23.



Among the group, about half had been on previous golf trips to Scotland, England or Ireland; others were newbies who were even more excited and uncertain about what to expect from the experience.  Is the golf as different as they say?  What should I pack?  Two rain suits? Is the food lousy?

 

We saw more of Ireland than we might have expected.  Although all of the courses we were playing were on the west coast of Ireland, by some trick of fate or ill-planning, we flew into and out of Dublin, on the east coast, rather than into Shannon, in the heart of our line-up of courses, making for a 4-hour bus on rides on our arrival and departure.  While that made for much grumbling at the time, in hindsight it provided us a driving tour of parts of the island we otherwise wouldn't have seen.

 

The drives, by the way, were made all the more entertaining and informative by our bus driver for the trip, Pat Griffin, proud Irishman to the core, who splits his time between driving tours like ours for Golf Vacations Ireland and driving for regular sight-seeing vacation tours of Ireland.  The result was that Pat was an entertaining, never-ending font of information about Ireland's history, geography, people, culture and quirks, which he couldn't resist regaling us with over the bus PA system as we rolled across the countryside on shockingly narrow blacktop roads.  We did stop from time to time at particularly notable spots, such as the Cliffs of Moher.



Along the way, we stayed in some good to very good hotels, with Jacuzzis and wi-fi in the room; one even had an actual shower door, which is not to be taken for granted if you've ever traveled in Europe, where baths, not showers, are the norm.   We stuffed ourselves with Irish food and Guinness, an ale so dark, rich and thick it has the consistency of motor oil.  We also conducted an exhaustive culinary investigation into the various interpretations of seafood chowder, a staple on the menu of virtually every place we ate, from the lowliest local pub to the fanciest of restaurants in Killarney.

 

For the record, the seafood chowder ranged from thin gruel with barely a trace of actual seafood, to the winner (at a small-town, roadside pub, no less)  so thick, creamy and chunky you could stick your spoon in it and it would remain there, upright, like the Excalibur sword stuck in the stone.

 

"Ahhh, this is the best," Brad Dimming moaned in ecstasy as he sampled the first bite of what we declared the No. 1 chowder.

 

We also had a consensus favorite golf course: Old Head.  Imagine an entire golf course where the holes and views are as spectacular as the stretch of 7-8-9-10 at Pebble Beach.



"No words or pictures do it justice," emailed Chuck Kraatz, another member of the group, whose personal fashion statement is to dress in all black all the time.  And for no good reason, so far as anybody can tell.  (I was tempted to knock on Chuck's hotel room door at 2 a.m. to see if he would come to the door in black jammies.)

 

We left for Ireland that Thursday at 9:30 p.m. on an overnight flight, arriving in Dublin in time for morning rush-hour traffic.  Because of a scheduling conflict, Pat, our bus driver and tour guide for the week, couldn't meet us.  We were met instead by a driver of substantially less personality, in a woefully lesser bus.  Pat would join us first thing in the morning.

 

Every day, we gambled.  Everybody tossed $20 into the pot and we played "skins" and blind-draw partners.  Somehow, inexplicably, one guy, Jack McMahon, a 17 handicap, won money every day. It was scandalous, not to mention wildly irritating.  Several of us are thinking of calling for an special investigation, if not into how he managed to win, at least into how he managed to win with that golf swing.

 

Anyway, time for day-by-day travelogue.

 

Friday, Sept. 23.  Tralee GC, Barrow, County Kerry

 

I can't sleep on planes, never could.  So I was among the least-rested in our party when we squeezed our mountain of bags and golf clubs into the bus for the cross-country trek to our first course of the adventure, Tralee Golf Club, in Ireland's southwest corner.

 

I didn't know a thing about Tralee and therefore had no expectations. To be honest, my bigger concern on that first day was fighting off exhaustion from lack of sleep, hoping to get through the day.

 

A golf course of some kind has occupied the property that is Tralee for more than 100 years, but in 1984, Arnold Palmer wiped the slate clean and designed his first course in Europe.  To honor him, near the first tee, stands a statue of Arnie that looks almost nothing like him.

 

His oft-repeated quote about Tralee is, "I designed the first nine but surely God designed the back nine."  Palmer also said he had never come across a piece of property more ideally suited for a golf course.

 

What I remember most around the round at Tralee is that (1) we were all glad to be off the plane, off  the bus and finally on the golf course and (2) the views of the coastline were breathtaking and (3) the wind was blowing like crazy.

 

For the first-timers on the trip Tralee served as a stark introduction of the different kind of golf that lay ahead in the coming week: 4-club winds, relentless rain and bump-and-run shots (and putting) from halfway down the fairway.

 

We soon discovered that Palmer was not kidding about the back nine.  After an understated, wide open front nine, Tralee suddenly heads into the dunes along the coastline. The holes got even more picturesque and vastly more complicated and difficult.

 

Also, the wind was replaced by rain.  Not just drizzle but a cold, hard penetrating downpour that started at No. 11 and was coming down harder when we putted out on the 18th.

 

Drenched to the bone, we retreated to the clubhouse for well-earned refreshments and dinner.  It was there, in the grillroom of Tralee, that one person, then six, eight, 10 of us ordered the seafood chowder, beginning our quest.

 

By 9 p.m., we were on the bus, headed for our hotel in Killarney, which would be our base of operations from the next three days.  With everyone totally spent from the traveling and the golf and the brutal elements, there are nary a peep on the hour-long bus ride.

 

 

Saturday, Sept. 24.  Old Head GL, Kinsale, County Cork

 

Old Head is a singular golfing experience, plain and simple.  I don't know how else to put it.  If you ever get an opportunity to play a round there, run, don't walk.

 

Despite its name, Old Head is not old – at least the golf course isn't, opening in 1997.  The slab of land it occupies juts out into the ocean.  It is former grazing land for sheep, and had been for thousands of years, before two brothers got the idea to develop a golf course.  Six miles off shore is the spot where a German sub torpedoed the Lusitania, in 1915.  The golf course, however, has only been around since 1997, designed by a committee of six unheralded architects.  

 

High on the cliffs overlooking the ocean, you progress from one jaw-dropping hole (and view) to another.  Eventually, it becomes sensory overload; you can't take it all in. The most amazing hole is No. 12, a gargantuan par 5 that plays up hill, then wraps around craggy cliffs hundreds of feel above the ocean.  

 

To top it off, we caught Old Head on a rare bright, sunny, windless, rain-free day. 

 

"This is the single best day of golf I've ever had in my life," said Tim Black, a well-traveled member of our group.  The other three of us in the foursome nodded in agreement.

 

Old Head is not cheap.  A round goes for $266, plus caddie.  The clubhouse is modern and sleek, a sharp contrast to the ancient property.  A couple of guys didn't think the clubhouse quite fit the overall feel.  Didn't bother me a bit.

 

Bottom line: If you go on a golf vacation to Ireland and don't play Old Head, you'll regret it.

 

 

Sunday, Sept 25th. Waterville GL, Waterville, Ring of Kerry

 

What a fitting name.  For the entire bus ride to Waterville, the skies were dark and the rain came down in sheets.  For a bunch of fair-weather Americans, the question was, Who the heck plays golf in this kind of weather?

 

Still, when Pat pulled the bus into the parking lot, we filed off the bus, quickly got into our rain gear and huddled under cover outside the pro shop, waiting, hoping, it might clear up.  I and several others popped into the pro shop and dropped $40 on state-of-the-art rain hats.

 

Meanwhile, outside, under the cover of the pro shop overhang, several of the guys were floating the idea of blowing off the round, climbing back into the bus and heading to the hotel.  A larger contingent, however, was hell bent on playing.  We'd prepaid for the round, we were there, so, hey, let's suck it up and soldier on.

 

As our tee time approached and the rain continued to come down in buckets, a bunch of us headed to the range to get loose.  It's hard to believe it was possible, but I am pretty sure it rained harder while we were on the range.  As I headed to the first tee, I stopped by the starter's hut to grab a scorecard.

 

"So, how many locals will come out on a day like this?" I asked the starter.  He gave me a look but didn't say anything. But his eyes were saying, How many do you think, you dumbass American?

 

Instead, handing me the card, he said, "Not many."

 

Shockingly, as my foursome was walking up the first fairway, the rain turned to a mere drizzle.  It came and went all through the round, but it wasn't too bad.  And Waterville turned out to be a treat, a true links course, with a very special 18th that plays along the beach.  Not as hilly as some of the other courses we played.  Not as penal.

 

Monday, Sept. 26th. Ballybunion GC, Ballybunion, County Kerry

 

Of the courses we played, Ballybunion (Old) is the oldest (1893), the most celebrated in the world of golf, and, well, the most self-satisfied.



If Old Head is the modern must-play, Ballybunion is a classic must-play.  Carved out of tall dunes along the seaside, it is hilly, rife with blind shots, and is home to some of the most menacing, maddening gorse you've see anywhere.

 

The late, great golf writer Herbert Warren Wind called Ballybunion "nothing less than the finest seaside course I have ever seen."  Even so, it had slipped from the limelight until the 1989s, when Tom Watson fell in love with Ballybunion and told the world.

 

Before we arrived, we were forewarned that the folks who run Ballybunion consider the course, the club, and, by extension, themselves, to be quite special, if not in a league of their own.  We got a taste of that soon after we arrived, when a member of our group popped his head into the caddie master's office near the first tee to inquire about lining up a caddie.  He returned moments later fuming. He said the caddie master told that there were other golfers ahead of him who had requested caddies and that, if there were enough, they would try to accommodate him - but no guarantees.

 

For a club of such status, it was also a little surprising Ballybunion's first couple of fairways run alongside a trailer park.  Also, as even our caddie noted, many people feel the best of Ballybunion doesn't really begin until the 5th hole.

 

Once we got deeper into the round, Ballybunion lived up to its reputation.

 

 

Tuesday, Sept. 27.  Doonbeg GG, Doonbeg, County Clare

 

Next to Old Head, Doonbeg, a Greg Norman design that opened in 2002, was the course that blew away everyone in our group.  Virtually everybody on the bus ranked Doonbeg above the more historic and revered Ballybunion.



I also soon discovered another barometer of how much the guys liked a course: watch how much cash we collectively plunked down in the pro shop on merchandise. Suffice it to say guys were sporting Doonbeg logos on hats and sweaters for the rest of the trip.

 

Build along a 1½ stretch of exquisite crescent-shaped beach, Doonbeg is the quintessential big, flashy development out in the middle of nowhere.  The clubhouse is part of a compound with pricey apartments that was built to resemble the R&A headquarters in St. Andrews;  it looms in the distance from the farthest reaches of the course.

 

When he first laid eyes on the remote property, Norman is reported to have described himself as the luckiest designer in the world.  He made the most of what the land gave him.  As our round progressed, guys were shouting to each other from two fairways over fairways, "Can you believe this place?"

 

The property was acquired from a local farmer for £4 million, back when the British pound was close to double the value of a U.S. dollar.  According to our caddie, however, that wasn't enough for the farmer and his daughter, who demanded another £1 million for an addition adjacent parcel, which Norman and the club envisioned as the second half a strong par 4.

 

Peeved by what they regarded as excessive greed, the developers declined to buy the land and turned the hole into a par 3.  To make a point, they also built two giant sand dunes surrounding the green of the par 3, obscuring the view of the beach from the homes of the farmer and his daughter.  Our caddie loved that story and, I'm sure, tells it to everyone he lops for.

 

Doonbeg is also home to one of the most amazing golf holes you'll see anywhere: the par 3 14th, a short (111 yards from the back tees) little devil with a green that literally sits on a ledge, more dramatic than the 7th at Pebble Beach.  Also, it is hard to forget the 12th, where Norman evidently felt compelled to place a pot bunker in the center of the green.

 

Although Doonbeg is not as penal as Ballybunion, it, too, boasts some of the deepest, cruelest gorse anywhere.   When I hit a tee shot halfway up the side of tall dune covered with the stuff, my caddie shook his head and lamented, "Lassie couldn't find that ball if you wrapped it in bacon."

 

It should be noted that Doonbeg is not without its skeptics.  In his book A Course Called Ireland, Philadelphia writer Tom Coyne sniffs that it is essentially an over-the-top golf development built by Americans for American tourists "who didn't need the receipt, who traveled a great distance for the purpose of being blown away.  And Doonbeg did a hell of a job of that."

 

 

Wednesday, Sept. 28th.  Lahinch GC, Lahinch, County Clare

 

Lahinch is regarded as one of the crown jewels of Irish links golf.  Situated on the edge of the small town of Lahinch, midway up the Irish coast, it looks more like an it would be the town muny when you pull into the parking lot.  While it is private, Lahinch is indeed considerably less pretentious than Ballybunion.



That is not to say it is cheap.  Lahinch was one of the few courses we played that offered riding carts – for  $92.50!.  It should be noted, however, that the price included a caddie, who actually drove the cart. It was hard not to feel for the guy in our group who weeks ago had reserved a cart for our round at Lahinch, figuring he would need a break from the walking up and down hills on Day Six of our trip.  Turned out he felt fine that morning, but there was no getting out of that reservation; so he got chauffeured around Lahinch all day by a kindly old chap with white hair.

 

Lahinch is so old (1893) Alister MacKenzie and Old Tom Morris himself was involved in the design, with Morris later describing it as "as fine a natural course as it has ever been my good fortune to play over."

 

If Lahinch, which has hosted many top amateur competitions in Ireland, wasn't difficult enough already, we played it in a 4-club wind.  When the wind was blowing sideways across the fairway, you had to start a shot out over the dunes and gorse and hope it blew back to the fairway or green.  If the wind was in your face, it was not unusual to hear your caddie say, "Actual yardage is 130, but hit your 175 club."

 

Lahinch is home to two of the most unusual holes in Irish golf: the par 4 4th and the par 3 5th.  The 4th is a twisty hole, through canyons of dunes, and the second shot is up and over a dune to a blind green 75 or so yards on the other side.  The wrinkle is that on the other side of the dune, the 18th fairway traverses the 4th fairway.

 

Lahinch's solution to that potentially dangerous and litigious situation is to station a man on top of the dune, who spends all day directing traffic, waving red and green flags at the passing foursomes like a crossing guard.

 

If that doesn't leave you scratching your head, perhaps the 5th hole will, a more or less blind par 3.

 

Thursday, Sept. 29th.  Carne GL, Belmullet, County Mayo

 

Of the eight courses on our trip, Carne was the only one I wouldn't return to.  Maybe it was the overpowering wind that day.  Maybe it was the out-of-the-way, small club feel of the place.  Maybe I would have liked it more if we had played it on Day One instead of Day Seven. Carne just struck me as a plain Jane that didn't measure up to the other choice courses on our list.

 

That said, it had a couple of very strong finishing holes, especially the monster uphill, downhill, uphill par 5 18th.  Also, in Carne's favor was the fact that it was the least pretentious and most reasonably-priced of the private clubs we played.  I split a riding car with another member of the group for $20 each, a far cry from the price at Lahinch.  (Carne was the only round I didn't walk, either with a caddie or trolley, as they call a pullcart).

 

I should also note that Tom Coyne, in A Course Called Ireland, couldn't have disagreed with me more.  He loved Carne, picking it as the course he'd return to first if he had a chance.

 

"Carne was brilliant," writes Coyne.  "Simply brilliant.  Front, back, first hole, last – every mound, every swale, every inch of the place was special."

 

I later heard from an official at another club that no course in Ireland had benefited more from A Course Called Ireland than Carne.  "Tom Coyne's book put Carne back on the tourist map," he said.

 

 

Friday, Sept. 30th. Enniscrone GC, Enniscrone, County Sligo

 

Nice golf course, worse club logo in the history of logos.  We left with no merchandise from Enniscrone pro shop.

 

This was our final round.  We were dog tired.  (Bus driver Pat told me that other groups never play eight straight days of golf, like we did; they always take a break in the middle of the week to rest, shop and sight-see).  True to form for Ireland, as we warmed up for our tee times, the rains came - and came.

 

When my threesome teed off we were being pelted by rain so hard, it reminded me of that morning on the range at Waterville.  Nobody plays golf in weather like this.  But we did, and I'm glad we did. The skies eventually cleared, the rain suits came off, and Enniscrone turned out to be another seaside treat of a course.

 

Enniscrone was the only course where we were met by the club secretary, in this case Pat Sweeney, who welcomed us and told us in no uncertain terms how difficult the course was.  If we were single-digit hanidcappers, figure on doubling your handicap that day.  If you were a higher handicapper, expect to add 10 shots to your usual round.

 

As it turned out, I found Enniscrone to be one of the fairer and least penal courses we played all week.   And there was no shortage of eye-catching holes.

 

I would have liked Enniscrone even more had not the rain returned late in the round, and had I not finished double-bogey, double-bogey to spoil an otherwise stellar round.

 

When the round was over, 14 bone-weary middle-aged guys managed to peel out of their drenched rain suits and to drag themselves onto the bus for the 3½ drive from the east coast of Ireland to Dublin on the west coast.

 

That night, we hit Temple Bar, a sort of cross between South Street in Philadelphia and Bourbon Street in New Orleans.

 

As usual, Pat had made reservations for us in a restaurant popular with the locals, Gallagher's Boxty House.  There, we made it eight straight days of seafood chowder and wolfed down a specialty of the restaurant, Gaelic Boxty, which is prime filet medallions cooked in whiskey, mushrooms and a cracked black pepper cream sauce, and wrapped in a potato pancake.  It was a superb finishing touch.

 

The next morning, we headed for the airport.

 

Back home, I asked everyone in the group to email me their personal ranking of the courses we played, with any comments wanted to include.  Here are the responses:

 

Terry Bray:

1. Old Head - WOW. What views.

2. Doonbeg - Great course. Fair to every skill level

3. Tralee - great design by Arnie. Back nine was simply amazing.

4. Ballybunion - I really enjoyed this course. The history, the layout, the difficulty,         the penalties for bad shots. A true gem.

5. Lahinch - Great course, tough putting due to the conditions of the greens.

6. Enniscrone

7. Carne

8. Waterville - fairways were very thin.

 

 

Marty Boland:

1. Old Head

2. Doonbeg

3. Tralee

4. Enniscrone

5. Ballybunion

6. Waterville

7. Lahinch

8. Carne

 

Tim Wiest

1. Old Head -- No. 1 course by the length of a par 3

2. Doonbeg – great caddies and good track

3. Tralee – I started trip with a 350 yard drive and a 15 foot putt for birdie (at one point  and I were 1 under in Ireland) - back 9 looked like it would have been great without the wind and rain               

4. Ennsicrone – maybe best greens of trip – good caddie, an 89 always helps impression of course

5. Lahinch  - lots of wind but a 92 improves ranking!

6. Waterville – tough to evaluate after down pour, bloody toes and blisters.  This one is a bit of a blur to me.

7.Ballybunion – first half dozen not very good and last bunch came with heavy penalties for any errant shot. Tough place for a high handicapper, think I hit 110 this day. Maybe at bottom because I had worst round here.

8. Carne -- not very well maintained but shot an 89 pleased with the round but other than that not very memorable.

 

Larry Weiss

1. Old Head - Miss Universe

2. Doonbeg - Runner-Up

3. Tralee - She has the total package, but not when standing next to Old Head and Doonbeg

4. Lahinch - Winner of the talent competition - A solid 4th place showing.

5. Ballybunion - Way too much personality

6. Waterville - Very attractive but unfortunately somewhat forgettable

7.Carne - Winner of the swimsuit competition - obviously because of her large mounds.

8. Enniscrone - Miss Congeniality

 

Joe Tanzer

1.  Old Head

2.  Doonbeg

3.  Ballybunion

4.  Tralee

5.  Lahinch (assuming the greens are normally much better)

6.  Waterville

7.  Enniscrone

8.  Carne

 

Jack McMahon

1. Old Head. Was, to use a much overused word, "awesome". The setting alone is worth visiting and then to play golf on it is just unique. It's like putting a course on the edge of the Grand Canyon ( not a bad idea come to think of it)

2. Doonbeg. Combined beauty and playability. If I was joining a club to play all the time, it would be this course

3. Tralee. Back nine is just spectacular. View of course may be colored by lack of sleep and rain but I thought this was an excellent and beautiful course

4 Ballybunion.  Also gorgeous but very penal and the caddie master was an arrogant a—hole, which started me with a bad attitude (not that it takes much to give me a bad attitude)

5. Enniscrone. Was very enjoyable. pretty and playable. I enjoyed the lack of blind shots and it was also nice not playing in 30mph winds

6, 7, 8 Lahinch, Carne, Waterville.  All were nice but not real memorable.

 

Tony Cinelli

1. Old Head....an amazing property and a great golf course.  Spectacular.  It should be ranked higher than it is by those that "vote" on rankings.

2. Doonbeg.  Fantastic course and a great test of golf.  Best caddies of the lot.  Great staff. They cleaned out some of the high rough and made it somewhat more playable from the last time I was there.  Doing that was a good idea.

3. Tralee.  An amazing back nine.  Wish we played it during the week and not as the first course after a long flight.

4. Enniscrone.  A very good representation of Ireland golf.  To me this is a great members course.  A fair test.

5. Lahinch.  Great layout from a very old course.  Another strong test of golf.

6. Ballybunion.  Tough, very tough and penal when you leave the fairway, no mistakes can be made here.  First couple of holes are somewhat nondescript.

7. Carne.  Great finishing holes that keep you climbing higher and higher.

8. Waterville.  Another Irish traditional course.  Strong back nine.

 

Joe Logan

1. Old Head.  A day of golf I will never forget.

2. Ballybunion. A little snooty,  couple of so-so holes, but earns its rep with the final few holes.

2b. Doonbeg.  Over the top development but a fabulous collection of golf holes.

4. Tralee.  As good a back nine as we saw in Ireland.

5. Enniscrone.  The golf course makes up for the hideous logo and the watery seafood chowder.

6. Lahinch. Quirky, but a historic club with a wonderful links golf course.

7. Waterville.  I'd like to get back and play it under better conditions.

8. Carne.  I didn't get it, so sue me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 Comments   |   0 Pending   |   Add a Comment  
Scott[10/27/2011 10:44:37 AM]
Great country, great people, great golf. Glad you had a great time in the old country. I got to play Enniscrone and Carne back in 2001 along with three other western Ireland courses...most designed by the Carney guy. We went as a group much like yours not long after 9-11. Had a meeting before we went to make sure everyone was onboard with leaving the country then. Someone asked: "What if we get stuck over there?" Guy in the back chimed in "Our handicaps will go down."
Dan K[10/19/2011 9:19:50 AM]
I played Doonbeg on my honeymoon back in 2003 and loved it from the opening tee shot on the par 5 1st until I holed out on 18. Great track, and I still remember the 14th hole - I wish I had blown up the picture I took from the tee there to add to my collection of holes I purchased!
fran21356[10/8/2011 8:38:09 AM]
Glad you had a great time Joe. We played the North and Northwest Ireland last year and I agree with your comments about Carne and Enniscrone. I just didnít get Carne and a terrible round of golf didnít help. I totally enjoyed Enniscrone. I thought their par 5ís were outstanding. About the logo? Yuck,I left the pro shop empty handed. Carneís logo looked like an emblem for a day care center.I didnít buy anything with that on it either. One other thing, we were blessed with stunning weather for the week with temps in the low 70ís and clear, sunny skies. completely out of character for Ireland.


 
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