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just got back from ireland thanks for all the suggestions


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#1 prsgtrman

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Posted 01 April 2018 - 07:02 AM

we started planning a trip last august(ish) i started a thread asking for info on out itinerary and you all gave a bunch of good thoughts.  we all agreed we would do ireland over scotland every time.   and thanks for your suggestions. our trip itinerary ended up as follows

arrive shannon airport saturday march 31 at 6 am. we had a bit of a hiccup with one flights and one of the guys until 930 so we didnt get headed towards tralee until about 10.

played tralee that saturday- great course back 9 is fantastic
overnight in tralee at an airbnb

sunday- drove to waterville finished golf around 2 so drove to dooks and played another 18
overnight in tralee at an airbnb

monday- drove to portmarnock north of dublin and played 18 holes.
got back in the car and drove all the way to ballyliffin. that was a long day but worth it to 1) play portmarnock 2) wake up 3 mins from ballyliffin
monday night overnight ballyliffin at the strand hotel

tuesday- played both tracks at ballyliffin glenshedy and the old link. glenshedy is where the irish open is this year. when down with golf drove over to portrush.
tuesday night stayed at an airbnb in portrush

wednesday played 36 at portrush. and the valley link. the championship links left a bad taste in our mouths, club felt pretty standoffish or snobby. just not super friendly where every other club the staff and members were awesome. they are doing a bunch of work for The Open in 2018. we didnt get to play holes 7 and 8, played on some temp greens as well. course couldve been really special, just fell flat.

wednesday night in portrush again at an airbnb

thursday morning woke up and went to the giants causeway then played the championship course at portstewart. loved the course a few holes on the back were, eh, but what a fantastic track.

after playing portstewart drove down to belfast.
thursday night stayed in a hilton in belfast.

friday morning drove down to play royal county downs. played RCD.

after rcd drove to dublin and thankfully this was the first time in 91 years bars were open on goodfriday so we got into the craic on final night.

a couple of thoughts

the irish people are the nicest people we have ever met. super super nice, i cant overstate how nice the folks are and this thread would be 10 pages long of i listed all the kind interactions we had.

i did all of the driving and from reading about  travel in ireland and planning this trip i was worried travel times were going to be double or even more than double of what google maps estimates. yes some of the roads are difficult but ALL of our travel times were UNDER what google maps estimated. maybe in the high season the drive times are lengthened but we were delighted with the drives and times. i too can see the discomfort an american would have in driving over there on narrow roads and timidness in passing slower vehicles.


dont underestimate the gas station markets, there is some great quick bites to be eaten from those places.

weather was all over the place, got hailed on a couple days, had a couple days in the low 50's and sunny but the weather moves out as fast as it moves in.

pics do do any justice to the elevation changes out there!

thanks again for the suggestions guys, it really helped in the planning

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#2 onelochevy

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Posted 01 April 2018 - 07:25 AM

sounds like an amazing trip man.  something like that is definitely on my bucket list.

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#3 greihing

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Posted 01 April 2018 - 09:05 AM

Good review of the trip. Thanks for sharing.

I’m heading to donegal and Northern Ireland in the end of April. I’m booked at Portrush on the Dunluce course and I’ve now seen a few people mention course work and hitting off mats. Is it worth the £205 per person in those conditions? Do they do refunds in advance?
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#4 prsgtrman

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Posted 01 April 2018 - 12:00 PM

we paid 70 pounds and i think another 15 to play on the valley. we didnt have a great experience playing on the womens tees to temp greens on a few of the holes. holes 7 and 8 were closed altogether so they gave us a 20 pound voucher for the gift shop. *holes 7 and 8 looked awesome and i was bummed we couldnt play them. at 205 pounds, that would be hard to swallow BUT id just shoot them an email and see when they are going off mats. maybe but the end of april they are. BTW the valley course is no slouch and certainly worth the nominal replay fee. its a little shorter but tons of fun. for nightlife there, there is quay's bar and harborbar which we thought were nice drinking places(good mix of ppl).

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#5 Sean2

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Posted 01 April 2018 - 12:03 PM

Glad to hear you had a nice trip. A friend of mine did this and echoed a lot of what you said.

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#6 nitram

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Posted 01 April 2018 - 01:18 PM

Looks like it was a blast. Thanks for sharing. :drinks:
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#7 theboypinoy

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Posted 01 April 2018 - 05:37 PM

Thanks for sharing. Will probably schedule a similar trip to this :)

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#8 Joe V.

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Posted 01 April 2018 - 08:52 PM

Glad you had a nice time.

I can't agree with you more on the Irish people. Truly amazingly down to earth and incredibly helpful in every way. Can't wait to get back!

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#9 puttnforthe8

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Posted 01 April 2018 - 09:33 PM

Irish gas/markets have some of the best Irish brekkie anywhere.  Getting an brekkie sandwich (basically a irish breakfast in a hoagie) is awesome!

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#10 BUCKEYERBALL88

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 10:01 AM

Good write up. How would you rank the courses? I played portstewart, portrush & County Down 2 weeks ago.

Good write up. How would you rank the courses? I played portstewart, portrush & County Down 2 weeks ago.


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#11 prsgtrman

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 08:11 PM

View PostBUCKEYERBALL88, on 02 April 2018 - 10:01 AM, said:

Good write up. How would you rank the courses? I played portstewart, portrush & County Down 2 weeks ago.

Good write up. How would you rank the courses? I played portstewart, portrush & County Down 2 weeks ago.

i think i would put Royal County at number 1, only because the course didnt fall off as hard on the back 9 as some of the others.
2 glenshedy links at ballyliffin, could easily be number 1
3. waterville
4. portrush(even tho we didnt really play the course you could sense it was an amazing track) this could easily be number 1 as well
5. portstewart, course was amazing but back nine fell off
6. portmarnock- overall great links track.
7. old links at ballyliffin- fun course with no flat lies anywhere
8. tralee- back nine is just flat out fun
9. valley course at portrush
10. dooks

and this list changed a couple times while i was writing it. i would love to have ANY of these tracks as my home track, dooks is a SOLID layout. its hard to come up with a ranking system for me.

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#12 hlca

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 10:09 AM

Thanks for sharing!  I'm headed to Ireland this summer for a wedding.  Probably going to fit in 4 courses -- Island, Ballybunion, Lahinch, and Old Head.  Your post is making the anticipation unbearable!  Now I just need some time to tighten up the game...
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#13 greihing

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 11:40 AM

View Postprsgtrman, on 01 April 2018 - 12:00 PM, said:

we paid 70 pounds and i think another 15 to play on the valley. we didnt have a great experience playing on the womens tees to temp greens on a few of the holes. holes 7 and 8 were closed altogether so they gave us a 20 pound voucher for the gift shop. *holes 7 and 8 looked awesome and i was bummed we couldnt play them. at 205 pounds, that would be hard to swallow BUT id just shoot them an email and see when they are going off mats. maybe but the end of april they are. BTW the valley course is no slouch and certainly worth the nominal replay fee. its a little shorter but tons of fun. for nightlife there, there is quay's bar and harborbar which we thought were nice drinking places(good mix of ppl).

Thanks for the info on Portrush. I talked to the pro shop and they say everything should be fully open without mats by May. But they also said that if the R&A tells them to close anything down or hit off mats then they will do that. And they have no refunds. So here's hoping for the best.
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#14 BUCKEYERBALL88

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 11:52 AM

I had more fun 2 weeks ago at portrush than County Down. I forgot to use the mat most shots. My caddie discouraged using it. Probably trying to increase his tip. No temp greens. 7 & 8 were closed but looked excellent

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#15 prsgtrman

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 06:13 AM

View PostBUCKEYERBALL88, on 03 April 2018 - 11:52 AM, said:

I had more fun 2 weeks ago at portrush than County Down. I forgot to use the mat most shots. My caddie discouraged using it. Probably trying to increase his tip. No temp greens. 7 & 8 were closed but looked excellent

thats interesting, bc obviously we could see that there were divots out there. we didnt know if there were marquee players out there or what.  we didnt mind the mats too much.

and picking which course is better than the other for the top tier courses is really hard. portrush looked ridiculous.


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#16 adschus

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 08:14 AM

I play at Ardglass and yes, Portrush has that same reputation you mentioned. I planning to visit in late June. Mainly play Ardglass but will squeeze in RCD since architectural, the course is wildly thoughtful and technical. Same with Lahinch. Anyways, Iíll play Portstewart for the first time so looking forward to that.

Yeah Iím the Sumer the roads are more congested. I donít know why google maps is so inaccurate. Probably needs more people using the app in real time

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