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Exploring Ireland: Where to golf, drink and stay on the Emerald Isle. Pt. 4. Bearna Golf Club, Galway

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In these series of articles, I will be taking you around the Emerald Isle providing you with great golf courses to visit in some of the loveliest spots in Ireland. I’ll also be highlighting the best and most authentic Irish bars in these spots, as well as places to stay, eat and how to get there. Whether you’re taking a golfing holiday to Ireland in 2019 or are interested in doing so sometime in the future, I’ll make sure to let you in on the best places to spend your time.

In Part Three of our Exploring Ireland Series, we went west and focused on Spanish Point Golf Club in Clare. Now it’s time for Part Four, and we’re staying on the west coast and taking the short trip up to County Galway.

Galway city is famous for its bustling nightlife, and in terms of bars to choose from, there are few better places in Ireland. Whether it’s a quiet night out and a meal, enjoying a few pints with some live traditional music, or a wild all-nighter you’re looking for, Galway certainly has you covered. Conveniently, the city also homes some top golf courses, which makes it a must-visit destination for anyone coming to this island.

Bearna Golf Club, Galway

@kevinmarkham

Galway Golf Club and Galway Bay Golf Resort are usually the two golf courses that people think of when they mention this county. But lurking under the radar is Bearna Golf Club, which will provide you with just as incredible an experience as those two courses, at a lower price.

Located within a 15-minute drive of Galway City, Bearna GC offers an authentic Irish golfing experience. Surrounded by bogland, you can expect your nose to take in all of the scents of Ireland as you navigate your way through the rugged land of humps, gorse bushes and ditches that will give your game a real workout.

@kevinmarkham

Creeks will appear on most fairways, so don’t expect to be able to turn up and grip it and rip it. Bearna is a golf course that is going to make you think, and with the challenges provided, will most likely test your patience as well as your skill.

The track offers five different sets of tees, all of which provide for a fun test. The course ranges between 4,897 yards and 6,271 yards and plays as either a Par 72 or 71 depending on the tees you choose. Thirteen holes feature water, and the one relief that you will find here that is different than other courses in the area is the lack of fairway bunkers.

@IrishGolfPhotos

Robert J. Browne designed the course back in 1996, and as well as the feeling you will have of being amongst nature, you will also have impressive views of the Aran Islands, Galway Bay and the famous Burren.

During the week, 18 holes around Bearna GC will set you back just under $50, while to play on the weekend the rate rises to $75. Don’t be surprised if after your round you want another crack at this deceptive course.

Food & Drink – Tig Coili, Galway

@DBloom451

There is no “best pub in Galway.” The city has an inordinate amount of amazing watering holes to spend your night, and it just comes down to personal taste and what experience you are looking to have for your night. As someone who loves the feel of an old traditional Irish pub though, Tig Coili gets my vote.

@stacy_sobieski

Located in the Latin Quarter of Galway City, this place will often have swarms of people flooding out from the bar onto the street. Traditional music plays here every night, with 14 music sessions each week. The pub prides itself on its music, with pictures of famous musicians that have played here in the past covering the walls.

Also, Tig Coili’s pint of Guinness is renowned for being one of the best in the area, and it’s what 90 percent of folks will be drinking for the night here.

@MeetInGalway

As for food in Galway, it can only be oysters. Described by multiple top chefs as the “best flavoured in the world,” the oysters here come from Galway Bay and are so popular in the city that should you visit here in September you can enjoy Galway’s three day Oyster festival.

You can hop into most bars in Galway serving food and throw back half a dozen oysters, but if you want to experience them for a sit-down meal then go and visit Oscars Seafood Bistro, where the flavour will blow your socks off. An early bird two-course meal of half a dozen oysters and a plate of steaming hot mussels with fries will cost just $20. The perfect drink pairing for oysters? Guinness. Ideal.

Where To Stay

My recommendation is to stay in the center of Galway. We’ve gone traditional in our visits to Donegal and Clare, but for Galway, the city is so alive that you will want to stay right in the heart of it. The Jury’s Inn is a solid option, which will leave you within walking distance of the best bars, restaurants and sights to see in the city. A double room here will set you back in the region of $100 a night.

@WriterVicYates

If you like to shop then visit Quay Street, where you can take in the shops while plenty of buskers on the street entertain you, while the bronze statue of Irish writer Oscar Wilde and Estonian writer Eduard Vilde is an imposing outdoor sight that is a trendy spot for a photo.

@IndoSport

But as we’re sports lovers, then when in Galway do whatever you can to catch a game of hurling. Galway’s hurling side are currently one of the best teams in the land, winning the All-Ireland title in 2017, and they possess some of the most passionate fans. Just try not to mention the last final when you get here.

How to Get There

Galway is about as accessible as it gets from anywhere in the island. You can take the train from any major city in Ireland, and it’ll take you right into the city center of Galway. A direct train from Dublin City will arrive in Galway in just over two hours.

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Gianni is a freelance writer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts as well as a Diploma in Sports Journalism. He can be contacted at gmagliocco@outlook.com. Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. John Flaherty

    Feb 14, 2019 at 9:28 am

    Without wishing to disparage Bearna, I live in England but have played there twice and wasn’t impressed in any way, shape or form. The fairways are boggy and the presence of dense rough and gorse on every hole is overly punitive. The last time we played was in 2016 in what can only be described as a mini-hurricane (just another day in Connemara for the locals…). We lasted 9 holes and made our way to an unlit, cold clubhouse. The 2 hour wait for the die-hards was nearly too much for the combination of hangover and sciatica, with which I was fighting a losing battle.

    My opinion? Play Oughterard and Glenlo Abbey instead and you might still have change for a pint of the black stuff.

    PS – the Imperial is our ‘go to’ hotel – great hospitality, especially the bar staff.

  2. Byron Bruce

    Jan 22, 2019 at 10:00 am

    A challenging test not far from Galway is Connemara Golf Club just northwest and out on coast. The views are really unique with big granite boulders dotted along the course and out in the bay.

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19th Hole

The 6 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (2.26.20)

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In this segment, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best #GolfWRX tagged photos on Instagram. In case you aren’t already, there’s a whole load of action going on at our page, so follow us: @golfwrx

Let’s get to it then, here are six of the best #GolfWRX photos from the past 24 hours.

New SuperSpeed counterweight club on show at this week’s Honda Classic.

Re-finished TaylorMade P730 irons from The Golf Garage.

Interesting looking Bettinardi Proto at this week’s Honda Classic.

On the way from Boyd Blade & Ferrule Co.

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Arriving in the Hive tomorrow.

Brushed copper Squareback No. 1 from Embrace Putters.

Get hashtagging your golf posts #GolfWRX for your chance to feature in our best of Instagram posts in the future!

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19th Hole

Brooks Koepka hits out at the “stuffiness” and “country club atmosphere” attached to golf

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Never one to pull punches, Brooks Koepka has slammed the “stuffiness” and “country club atmosphere” associated with golf which he feels is damaging the progression of the sport.

In an in-depth interview with GQ Magazine, the four-time major champion discussed a multitude of topics, and Koepka explained that the “gentleman sport” tag attached to golf is one of the reasons preventing more people from getting involved in the game.

“Hockey, you go to blows and then sit in the box for a couple minutes. Golf’s just held to a different standard. Because it’s supposed to be a gentleman’s sport. And that’s where I think they lose a lot of people. They just do.”

Asked what he would change about the sport if he had the chance, Koepka was quick to sound off on the “stuffiness” and “country club atmosphere” which he believes is one of the biggest problems the sport has in attracting more support.

“One thing I’d change is maybe the stuffiness. Golf has always had this persona of the triple-pleated khaki pants, the button-up shirt, very country club atmosphere, where it doesn’t always have to be that way. That’s part of the problem. 

Everybody always says, ‘You need to grow the game.’ Well, why do you need to be so buttoned-up? ‘You have to take your hat off when you get in here.’ ‘You’re not allowed in here unless you’re a member—or unless the member’s here.’ Really? 

I just never really liked the country club atmosphere. I know that drives a lot of people away from liking me. But just ’cause this golf club has such prestige and the members are all famous and have a lot of money…like, why can’t I show up and just go play the golf course? Why do I have to sit in my car and wait for the member?”

The 29-year-old further explained how he doesn’t feel like no rules would be the answer, but how a more relaxed approach would prevent the feeling of “walking on eggshells” when at a golf course.

“I’m not saying no rules is the answer. But it’s like, you want everyone to enjoy themselves when they’re there, you don’t want to feel like you’re walking on eggshells when you arrive at the golf course. I don’t like feeling like I’m walking on eggshells everywhere I go.”

Brooks Koepka is in action this week at the Honda Classic and will tee it up alongside Matthew Wolff and Keith Mitchell for the opening two rounds.

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19th Hole

European Tour pro reveals that he is currently blocked by Patrick Reed on Twitter

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On Tuesday in the Twittersphere, European Tour pro Eddie Pepperell revealed that Patrick Reed has blocked him on the social media platform.

Pepperell dropped the news in a casual tweet where he said

“(From what I’m aware of) Two people have blocked me on Twitter. Patrick Reed, and Jameela Jamil. Interesting couple they would make! (I was also once blocked by a namesake sports writer from the Guardian but he’s seemingly unblocked me now… Joy)”

Back in December, following Reed’s waste bunker controversy at the Hero, the Englishman slammed the 29-year-old in a tweet asking “What the f–k were you thinking?!” – which likely didn’t go down well with the 2018 Masters Champion.

While it appears Pepperell and Reed aren’t exactly on the best of terms, Bryson DeChambeau is one notable name who has backed the Texan.

Following Reed’s impressive WGC-Mexico win, DeChambeau told Golf Channel that himself and Reed sometimes get a bad rap and that “we understand each other’s pain sometimes.”

 

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