Ready or not, fall is here, and winter is right around the corner. The end of the golf season in many parts of the country is near. This is the time of year that many conversations in pro shops and 19thholes turn to next year.
If next year is the year for that trip to Ireland or Scotland, you need to move beyond the talking stage fairly soon. Many of the more famous and popular courses opened up their books for next summer a month or two ago. If your group is going to include more than 8 golfers, you probably want to have non-refundable deposits in hand and tee times booked by December 1st. After 12⁄1 there will still be plenty of tee times available for next summer but not many good times at the top courses, especially if you plan to travel in August.
If you are willing to be flexible, a group of 8 might still be able to book times in January or February for August but you might only have a 7:30 AM or 3:30 PM time to choose from on the day that you want to play a specific course. A group of 4 can probably wait until March and still get decent times at the A-list courses. The bottom line is that the bigger the group, the sooner you should be finalizing your plans.
When to go to Ireland or Scotland? The driest months are April through July. The warmest months are June through September with July and August showing an average high temperature of about 70degrees in Ireland. The drop off in June and September is only about 2 – 3 degrees. Average high temperatures in May or October are still a comfortable 60 degrees with average lows of 45 – 50 degrees.
Weather in Scotland follows similar seasonal patterns. In general however you can take 2 – 3 degrees off of any of the estimates in the previous paragraph and it is another 2 – 3 degrees cooler if you are in the Highlands. In Ayrshire or the St. Andrews Regions you will also see a little less rain than in Ireland. So a little cooler and a little drier.