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Ireland Golf Trip


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#1 ryan2441

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 11:55 AM

Guys im in a very good predicament. I am going to Ireland this august but am having serious trouble deciding which courses to play they all look amazing!

We will for sure play

old head
ballybunion both courses
royal county down
and hopefully the K club
What are your thoughts on waterville portmarnock and ballyflin??

Please help!

Thanks


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#2 Chip_Unsure

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 12:07 PM

View Postryan2441, on 06 October 2010 - 11:55 AM, said:

Guys im in a very good predicament. I am going to Ireland this august but am having serious trouble deciding which courses to play they all look amazing!

We will for sure play

old head
ballybunion both courses
royal county down
and hopefully the K club
What are your thoughts on waterville portmarnock and ballyflin??

Please help!

Thanks


Old Head is supposed to be amazing!

I was over in Ireland last week and played both Ballybunion courses, fantasic.  You should also look at Tralee, one of the top 10 ocean view courses in the world and some excellent holes.  The back 9 is as good as I have played.

#3 Cobber

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 12:27 PM

"A Course Called Ireland"    You should without a doubt read this book if you haven't already. I have never been to Ireland but, after reading this, its on the bucket list. Interesting, funny and very informative. Good luck.

#4 puttnforthe8

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 02:16 PM

View Postryan2441, on 06 October 2010 - 11:55 AM, said:

Guys im in a very good predicament. I am going to Ireland this august but am having serious trouble deciding which courses to play they all look amazing!

We will for sure play

old head
ballybunion both courses
royal county down
and hopefully the K club
What are your thoughts on waterville portmarnock and ballyflin??

Please help!

Thanks

Would not advise K Club unless you just want to say you played it - they are good courses, but not for the price you pay...Go down the road to Leixlip and play the 2 Carton House courses for better value and IMO better courses, plus 2 types!

....you can also include Enniscrone and Lahinch.    I would consider Adare Manor!  Waterville is decent.

Portmarnock is great ...but higher priced.  You can go to Baltray or the Euorpean Club for better value.

If you are playing County Down, you should include Portrush.

Old Head is not the best course per se, but it is brilliant playing there.

Have fun and take plenty of pics.

#5 jgonz69

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 11:14 PM

How is golf in Feb? Cold?


#6 cj78

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 02:17 AM

View Postjgonz69, on 07 October 2010 - 11:14 PM, said:

How is golf in Feb? Cold?


You can get good days, but it can be cold and misty in the morning. You'll need baselayers and mitts as well as wet gear and warm socks! Last year the first 3 months of the year were pretty cold. But you never know what you'll get with the weather over here. Could be anything from 1 degrees to 10 degrees celcius. Try Palmerstown PGA or Druids Glen.

#7 Caldymat

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 06:42 AM

went for the irish open in july,

Ballybunion class, killaarney well worth it, the greens were unreal, beautifuly fast cos the golf was there.

If you get chance Doonbeg is well worth the trip out, stunning new/links style great food like an american country club.

Tralee is awesome too.

Good luck in feb though!! haha

#8 Pat_Irish

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 03:08 PM

View Postryan2441, on 06 October 2010 - 11:55 AM, said:

Guys im in a very good predicament. I am going to Ireland this august but am having serious trouble deciding which courses to play they all look amazing!

We will for sure play

old head
ballybunion both courses
royal county down
and hopefully the K club
What are your thoughts on waterville portmarnock and ballyflin??

Please help!

Thanks


Why would you play parkland courses when you have great links to play, Kerry is expensive, if you go to Donegal great links to be found, also Sligo,,,In Kerry Waterville is a must

European is a must play and if you go to Donegal  play both Ballyliffen courses

Pat

#9 joe perry

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 07:25 PM

View Postryan2441, on 06 October 2010 - 11:55 AM, said:

Guys im in a very good predicament. I am going to Ireland this august but am having serious trouble deciding which courses to play they all look amazing!

We will for sure play

old head
ballybunion both courses
royal county down
and hopefully the K club
What are your thoughts on waterville portmarnock and ballyflin??

Please help!

Thanks

skip K club unless you have a lot of time in Ireland and unlimited $$$$


play Royal Portrush if you are going north to play RCD - I am firmly in the camp of Royal Portrush being the best course in all of the Republic and Northern Ireland (RCD second)

there are 2 courses at Royal Portrush - the championship Dunluce course and the Valley course which is great value (also home course of Graeme Mcdowell) - the place just oozes class and has a great history holding the 1951 Open Championship - plus there are many great tourist sites near RP such as Giants Causeway, Dunluce Castle, and Bushmills distillery


Waterville is a great course also - a very straightforward links


how long are you going for ????   driving distances don't mean anything - driving times are considerably higher than you might imagine !!!!  Old Head , Ballybunion and Ballyliffin are very far from each other in terms of driving time


some other courses to consider would be

if you play Waterville - consider Dooks golf club (very scenic) or Ceann Sibeal golf links (near the lively town of Dingle)

if you play Royal Portrush - consider Portstewart strand course (scenic and wild front 9)

if you play Ballybunion - consider Lahinch (considerably better than ballybunion in my opinion in a much more interesting town) or Tralee (very scenic and in good shape)

if you play Ballyliffin - consider Castlerock (on the way to the ferry for ballyliffin) or Portsalon (requires another ferry but situated on a gorgeous beach)


hope this helps

Edited by joe perry, 21 October 2010 - 07:26 PM.


#10 holem

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 01:03 AM

View Postjoe perry, on 21 October 2010 - 07:25 PM, said:

View Postryan2441, on 06 October 2010 - 11:55 AM, said:

Guys im in a very good predicament. I am going to Ireland this august but am having serious trouble deciding which courses to play they all look amazing!

We will for sure play

old head
ballybunion both courses
royal county down
and hopefully the K club
What are your thoughts on waterville portmarnock and ballyflin??

Please help!

Thanks

skip K club unless you have a lot of time in Ireland and unlimited $$$$


play Royal Portrush if you are going north to play RCD - I am firmly in the camp of Royal Portrush being the best course in all of the Republic and Northern Ireland (RCD second)

there are 2 courses at Royal Portrush - the championship Dunluce course and the Valley course which is great value (also home course of Graeme Mcdowell) - the place just oozes class and has a great history holding the 1951 Open Championship - plus there are many great tourist sites near RP such as Giants Causeway, Dunluce Castle, and Bushmills distillery


Waterville is a great course also - a very straightforward links


how long are you going for ????   driving distances don't mean anything - driving times are considerably higher than you might imagine !!!!  Old Head , Ballybunion and Ballyliffin are very far from each other in terms of driving time


some other courses to consider would be

if you play Waterville - consider Dooks golf club (very scenic) or Ceann Sibeal golf links (near the lively town of Dingle)

if you play Royal Portrush - consider Portstewart strand course (scenic and wild front 9)

if you play Ballybunion - consider Lahinch (considerably better than ballybunion in my opinion in a much more interesting town) or Tralee (very scenic and in good shape)

if you play Ballyliffin - consider Castlerock (on the way to the ferry for ballyliffin) or Portsalon (requires another ferry but situated on a gorgeous beach)


hope this helps


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#11 james77

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Posted 04 November 2010 - 03:41 AM

The European club is a must play you wont find another course like it, amazing condition, tough yet still playable and the friendliest people you could ever wish too meet.



#12 david92

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Posted 04 November 2010 - 04:58 AM

If going to Ireland concentrate on the links courses - many of the parkland type courses eg K Club, mount Julliet, etc could be found anywhere in the world ie the US - so why pay a premium?

Also minor point but in Portmarnock there are 2 courses - both v.good but the Royal one (private but does take visitors) is the one with the history and the one people want to play/tick off

#13 Lenny Intensity

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 04:37 AM

How long are you going to be in Ireland?  Where are you staying?  As others have alluded to, driving takes a lot longer than you would expect, and places like Ballyliffin, Old Head, and Royal County Down are quite far from each other, for instance.  I'd also stick to the links courses as you really don't have anything like it in the US outside of Bandon (which is really similar to Irish links in my opinion).  I went in March for 2 weeks and was based in Kerry and Dublin.  Stayed in Killarney for 6 nights, Dingle for 2 nights, and Dublin for 6 nights.  Was able to play a large number of great links from those bases (I was playing by myself for first half of trip, went with wife/in laws, played with brother in Dublin area), as follows with approximate drive times:

Staying in Kerry (distances from Killarney):
-Ballybunion Old (1.5 hours north)
-Tralee (twice- 45 min north)
-Waterville (1.5-2 hours depending on Ring of Kerry traffic)
-Lahinch (longest drive, 2.5-3 hours north of Killarney)
-Dooks (30 min, at start of Ring of Kerry)
-Ceann Sibeal (Dingle)- this is not a must play like the others above, played it since I was staying in Dingle.

Staying in Dublin:
-European Club (1-1.5 hours south)
-Royal County Down (2-2.5 hours north)
-County Louth aka Baltray (1.5 hours north), my personal favorite
-Portmarnock Old (not the hotel links, 30 min drive from center Dublin)
-wanted to play The Island but frost delay and women's outing nixed that

Note that driving in Dublin is a disaster, and not recommended.  I would highly recommend all of these courses, with the exception of Dingle.  At gunpoint if I had to pick 5 of these, I'd play Ballybunion, Lahinch, Waterville, Baltray, and Royal County Down.  Really wanted to get up north, but I was sneaking off from the in-laws every day.  I'd really like to play Portrush as well as some of the courses in the Northwest like Carne (a favorite of Tom Coyne's in A Course Called Ireland).
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#14 gl252

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 09:20 PM

View Postryan2441, on 06 October 2010 - 11:55 AM, said:

Guys im in a very good predicament. I am going to Ireland this august but am having serious trouble deciding which courses to play they all look amazing!

We will for sure play

old head
ballybunion both courses
royal county down
and hopefully the K club
What are your thoughts on waterville portmarnock and ballyflin??

Please help!

Thanks

Firstly, there is no better month than August to golf in Ireland.  Your trip may also coincide with the Irish Open in KIllarney.

As a Killarney resident I can't reccomend it enough as a base of operation from which to play the surrounding courses. The town has a long tradition of hospitality & hoteliers are accustomed to accomodating golfers. There is a wide variety of hotels to suit every budget & pubs & nite clubs for every age & taste (Dan Lenihans on College Street serves a particulaly good pint of Guinness).

The Old at Ballybunion is must for any golfer, no ifs or buts about it (1 hour & 15mins drive).

Waterville is similarly excellent & a similar distance drive.

Tralee would be the third choice links course in my opinion but in any other area it would be a must (45 mins drive).

The New course at Ballybunion is probably the fourth choice links in the county. As a Trent Jones Jnr design it is highly target orientated which can be punitive on a windy day. However, it is available at a discounted price if played the same day as the Old.

Dooks in Glenbeigh (30mins drive) represents a good value introduction to links golf, green fees are frequently less than $30, & is reccomended before taking on the big boys.

While staying in Killarney it would be a shame not to play the lakeside Killeen course at Killarney Golf & Fishing Club. Although it is a parkland course it plays firm & fast unlike American parklands. At only 5mins drive its a great choice if you don't want to have to travel everyday or are hungover. It should be in great condition in August for the Irish Open. It has held the Irish Open three times previously aswell as the Curtis Cup There are two other courses in the club but Killeen is the best by far.

Old Head is located in the neighbouring county of Cork (1hour 30mins drive). The scenery is second to none but  the test of golf, in my opinoin, is not comparable to Ballybunion or Waterville. Until recently it was quite restricitvely priced but green fees have reduced as of late.

Lahinch, located in County Clare, is a superior course to Old Head & Stewart Cink regularly warms up for the British Open there. It is a long drive from Killarney (circa 3 hours) but well worth the trip. Definitely preferred to Old Head. Dunebeg is a good course, also in County Clare, but it does not stand comparison to the historic links courses but makes a good second 18 while in Clare.

Adare Manor in Limerick (en route to Clare) is a parkland course (1hour 20mins drive) & is an excellent test but if you have to choose between courses always choose a links.

In short, stay in Killarney & play;
1) Ballybunion Old
2) Waterville
3) Lahinch
4) Tralee
5) Old Head Of Kinsale
6) Killeen at Killarney
7) Ballybunion New
8) Dunebeg


On  the east coast of the country County Louth (aka Baltray), Portmarnock, Royal County Down & the European Club are reccommended (all links). The K Club is just an overpriced parkland (circa $300) & that money would be better spent playing lesser known links, even 9 hole courses. Playing these courses would mean making base in Dublin or one of the surrounding counties (4hours 30mins drive from Killarney). My knowledge of this area is less extensive.

All the driving times are based on you knowing where you're going & not getting held up by tractors etc on rural roads.




To the guy who is going golfing in Febuary................................good luck with the links in the wind & rain!!!!!!!

#15 squash3b

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 09:27 PM

Just had a trip in October, played RCD twice and Portrush (Dunluce) 3 times.  It was perfect.  From what I hear these two courses are head and shoulders above anything else in Ireland.  RCD was one of the hardest courses I have ever played and Portrush was a great combination of beauty, difficulty and playability.  You could play Dunluce every day for a summer and not get tired of it.


#16 parpar41

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 10:19 PM

Consider Tralee and Carne.

Forget Old Head and K Club:  both are designed primarily to take a lot of money from tourists.  Neither is a "true" links course.

Tralee is spectacular and is not that far away from Ballybunion; Even though Tralee is one of my favourite courses in Ireland, I have to tell you that the front nine, although beautiful and strategic, is not a true links;  the back 9 definitely is, however.

Carne golf links is also spectacular; it is remote but it can fit nicely into your itinerary as a stop when you drive from the Southwest ( ballybunion and Tralee) to the North East (RCD).  

I share the view of those who say that RCD is one of the very best golf courses in the world.

Have a great trip and play well.

#17 joe perry

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 10:37 PM

View Postparpar41, on 05 December 2010 - 10:19 PM, said:

Consider Tralee and Carne.

Forget Old Head and K Club:  both are designed primarily to take a lot of money from tourists.  Neither is a "true" links course.

Tralee is spectacular and is not that far away from Ballybunion; Even though Tralee is one of my favourite courses in Ireland, I have to tell you that the front nine, although beautiful and strategic, is not a true links;  the back 9 definitely is, however.

Carne golf links is also spectacular; it is remote but it can fit nicely into your itinerary as a stop when you drive from the Southwest ( ballybunion and Tralee) to the North East (RCD).  

I share the view of those who say that RCD is one of the very best golf courses in the world.

Have a great trip and play well.


the front nine of Tralee is most definitely a true links

#18 mjtoal

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 06:02 PM

View Postsquash3b, on 05 December 2010 - 09:27 PM, said:

Just had a trip in October, played RCD twice and Portrush (Dunluce) 3 times.  It was perfect.  From what I hear these two courses are head and shoulders above anything else in Ireland.  RCD was one of the hardest courses I have ever played and Portrush was a great combination of beauty, difficulty and playability.  You could play Dunluce every day for a summer and not get tired of it.

For my money, RCD is the finest course you may ever play. It has a few quirks and blind shots, so playing it more than once is a good idea. You can stay at the hotel right beside the course. Portrush is a wonderful course too, although it lacks some of the visual intimidation factor of RCD. If you are staying around Portrush, Portstewart and Castlerock are pretty near and two very nice links courses.

I would echo the majority opinion and skip the K Club. Expensive and Florida golf without the weather.

Ballyliffin is a tremendous course too.

Although Ireland is small, it may be a challenge to cover too many areas. If you land at Dublin, you can go up to RCD pretty easily, say about 2 hours max, then from RCD to RP, say another 2 hours or so, skirting Belfast, then across to Ballyliffin, say another 2 hours or so, crossing the border (although you will barely notice it) at Derry.

From Ballyliffin, then you could come down the west coast of Ireland, and there is a choice of courses to play, including Donegal (aka Murvagh), Co. Sligo (aka Rosses Point), if you want to turn into Connemara, there is Carne and Enniscrone, otherwise carry on down towards Limerick (past Shannon Airport) and you are near Lahinch and Doonbeg, then cross over into Kerry and Ballybunion, Waterville and Tralee await. I am not a fan of Old Head, but many visiting Americans like it a lot. The weather can be hideous there, by the way.

Alternatively, you could do it the other way round, starting at Shannon and going either south into Kerry, or north to Donegal. To complete the loop on the east coast below RCD, I would recommend Co. Louth (aka Baltray) about an hour north of Dublin, and in the Dublin area Portmarnock, Portmarnock Hotel Links (don't mix these two adjacent courses up), The Island, Royal Dublin. South of Dublin about an hour and a bit is The European Club, where Paddy H used to do his Open warm up.

Lots of choices, depends how much time (and money) you have.

Edited by mjtoal, 12 December 2010 - 06:12 PM.

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#19 kduffy

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Posted 26 December 2010 - 05:58 PM

The temperature in Ireland in February varies from 32F to 50F. There usually is a little bit of rain in February so bring wet-gear. There also tends to be frost in the mornings and can be quite cold so bring thermals and mitts. Also you are probably better off playing more links courses since these are less affected by frost than the parkland courses, and most links courses don't have temporary greens either
As for the courses, I wouldn't play the K Club as the green fees are really expensive and the course's condition is going down as the club is in a lot of financial trouble. I would definitely play Ballybunion and probably Portmarnock but dont forget there are other courses around Dublin such as The Island, Royal Dublin, European Club or Baltray (Co.Louth) (where I'm a member ofPosted Image) and its only about 45mins-hour from Dublin.

Enjoy your trip either way!!Posted Image

Edited by kduffy, 26 December 2010 - 05:59 PM.


#20 honketyhank

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Posted 26 December 2010 - 06:58 PM

View PostCobber, on 06 October 2010 - 12:27 PM, said:

"A Course Called Ireland"    You should without a doubt read this book if you haven't already. I have never been to Ireland but, after reading this, its on the bucket list. Interesting, funny and very informative. Good luck.

I'll second that. I have never played golf in Ireland, but before I do, I will go back to this book for help. By the way, it is well worth the read even if you are not going to Ireland any time soon. Am reading it now, and savoring it. It is not like "Golf in the Kingdom", but it is more than just a story of a golf adventure. Unless it gets all soupy at the end, I would give it 5 stars based on the first half.


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#21 jrg9

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 11:40 AM

+1 great book. Also, I played Dooks before making my way to Ballybunion and Old Head and a few others. Dooks was a nice small club. Fun course, but quite a different experience then playing one of the more well known courses.

View PostCobber, on 06 October 2010 - 12:27 PM, said:

"A Course Called Ireland"    You should without a doubt read this book if you haven't already. I have never been to Ireland but, after reading this, its on the bucket list. Interesting, funny and very informative. Good luck.

Edited by jrg9, 02 July 2011 - 11:43 AM.





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