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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 @giancarlomag

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

Johnny Miller returns to the airwaves on Real Golf Talk, Callaway’s new podcast

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Johnny Miller is back sharing his opinions on the game on Callaway’s new podcast: Real Golf Talk, which aired its first episode today (listen here on Soundcloud).

The longtime NBC golf announcer retired from broadcasting earlier this year, but Miller now features alongside avid golfer and television host Chris Harrison on the podcast, which will air six episodes in 2019 and eight in future seasons.

Speaking on the opportunity to work alongside Johnny Miller on the podcast, co-host Chris Harrison stated

“Johnny Miller was a legend on the course and in the TV booth there was no equal. I know he’s got more to say on the world of golf and the world in general. There’s no chance I’m missing the opportunity to sit next to him and hear what he has to say.”

Miller (who, sidebar, will play all Callaway products) said this

“I am proud be returning to Callaway and working with the company’s incredible team on some exciting new projects. I’ve had so many great experiences with the company, from playing their equipment to working with Mr. Callaway and so many amazing people over the years. It feels like a homecoming for me, and I think golf fans will really enjoy what we have coming, starting with our new Real Golf Talk podcast.”

Real Golf Talk with Johnny Miller is a part of the Callaway Podcast Network and is available on Apple, Spotify, and Soundcloud.

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The 6 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (5.22.19)

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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.

Impressive detail on this flat-stick from Kevin Burns putters.

How could anyone say no to these?

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Wa Wa Waaaaaah

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Ty Munneke showing off his bag of PXG clubs, as well as his superb driver headcover.

The new LINQ Blue shaft from UST Mamiya Golf Shafts.

Double Bubble gear in action!

I think it’s fair to say that Charley Hoffman often hits it flush.

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

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The 6 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today (5.21.19)

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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.

The latest version of the Speeder TR is on its way!

Bettinardi is celebrating a follower milestone with this awesome putter and cover giveaway.

Embrace Putters showcasing this PXG Mustang S featuring a burnt bronze finish with black paint fill.

The 2019 PGA Championship summed up in one photo.

699 utility iron prototype in the works from Golf Sub70.

Extremely slick looking bag from Jones Sports Co.

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Carry on. #playjones like @frankiesouza_

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

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