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Things you probably didn't know about Golf in Ireland

Posted by Tom Casey Tom Casey on 10/28/16 2:54 PM


Golf­ing in Ire­land is the same as golf­ing any­where else, except that it is much, much bet­ter! It is the same game and on a windy day it can be a lit­tle harder, but oth­er­wise golf is golf.

When dis­cussing Irish golf with peo­ple I find that there are many mis­con­cep­tions and pecu­liar­i­ties. In this post I wanted to try and clear up a few.

It does not rain con­stantly or even daily in Ireland 

I have gone sev­eral days straight in Ire­land with­out see­ing a drop of rain. Don’t get me wrong, it cer­tainly does rain in Ire­land. After all there is a rea­son that it is so green! Make sure that you do pack a good rain suit for your Irish golf trip. You most likely will need it. The Irish play through rain and if you’ve shelled out $250 for a pre­cious tee time at Bally­bunion, get­ting a lit­tle wet is bet­ter than miss­ing this mas­ter­piece. Rarely does it rain all day, in fact you might expe­ri­ence crisp sun­shine on the first tee, dri­ving rain on the sec­ond tee and by the fourth, you might be break­ing out the sun­screen in a light and gen­tle breeze.

You will need sunscreen

Unless you are trav­el­ing in the win­ter, early spring or late fall, you should bring along some sun screen. Although high tem­per­a­tures rarely make it out of the ’70’s the air is very clear and a sun burn in Ire­land hurts just as much as it does in Florida!

Plan to walk

The Irish almost always walk and gen­er­ally you are encour­aged to do so as well. Bally­bunion, Royal County Down, Royal Portrush and Lahinch flatly pro­hibit the use of carts. Oth­ers like Tralee and Old Head allow rid­ing carts begrudg­ingly, and then only for med­ical rea­sons. Many other clubs have plenty of carts, but in my mind, if you can walk, you should. It is the best way to expe­ri­ence any course, par­tic­u­larly in Ire­land. If avail­able and you can afford it, hire a caddy! It turns a great round into the per­fect round of golf!

If it is on the coast or ocean, it is not nec­es­sar­ily a links course

A links course is always on the ocean, but a course by the ocean is not nec­es­sar­ily a links course. Old Head juts two miles out into the Atlantic on a promon­tory. Skel­lig Bay is a beau­ti­ful sea­side course just across the bay from the world renowned Water­ville Golf Club. Nei­ther one is a links course. Links land links the ocean to arable land. It is sandy which enables amaz­ing drainage after rain­fall. Essen­tially, it is land that is good for noth­ing else. To think that oth­er­wise use­less land can pro­duce some­thing as extra­or­di­nary as Ennis­crone Golf Club is dif­fi­cult to reconcile.

Golf in Ire­land is not too expensive

If you think that it is ridicu­lous to pay $250 for a round of golf, just skip Old Head, Bally­bunion or Tralee. There are some very good courses in breath­tak­ing loca­tions that are avail­able for as lit­tle as $50 a round. There are some links courses just about as great as the those men­tioned above that you can play for less than $100 per round. Even the bud­get busters men­tioned above will offer you a sec­ond round for well under $100.

It is pos­si­ble to get tee times at the top course

It can be hard, but hardly impos­si­ble. Work­ing with a knowl­edge­able spe­cial­ist (like Old Sod Travel!), you can get on just about any course in Ire­land. Depend­ing on the time of year, you can secure a cov­eted time on some of the famous courses your­self. As long as you are will­ing to do the work, you can afford to be flex­i­ble and are will­ing to pay the fare you can enjoy a round at Ire­lands finest tracks.

Golf in Ire­land is a unique expe­ri­ence wor­thy of your time and money. A lot of plan­ning and a lit­tle flex­i­bil­ity while keep­ing the above points in mind will help insure that both your valu­able time and your money are well spent.


Topics: Golf

Tom Casey

Written by Tom Casey

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