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 Five of our Exploring Ireland Series, we travelled to Parknasilla Golf Club in Kerry. For Part Six, we’re staying down South and heading into County Cork.
Known as “The Rebel County” dating back to the days of Henry VII and also for its role in the Irish War of Independence, Cork is one of the biggest cities in Ireland, and its locals will tell you that it is indeed Cork and not Dublin which is the real capital of Ireland. Cork caters to everyone, full of history, natural beauty and ruggedness, and it also possesses one of the nicest city centers in Ireland, full of top restaurants and bars
Old Head Golf Links, Kinsale, Cork
While for the most part in this series we’ve been focusing on slightly lesser known courses in Ireland and keeping the purse strings a little tight, when you get to County Cork there’s one golf course that you just cannot ignore, no matter the price. Old Head Golf Links is the course in question, and in all honesty, if you haven’t heard of the course yet, then the photos will likely be enough for you to put this course on the bucket list.
Set upon 220-acres of sprawling land above the Atlantic Ocean, Old Head Golf Links offers unrivalled views of the south coast of Ireland. The rush you will feel when walking this golf course is like nothing else, and even the quickest of golfers will find themselves more than likely playing more deliberately in order to soak up every moment of their experience here! The famous Lighthouse watches over you as you make your away around the iconic grounds.
You’ll hear the Atlantic Ocean crashing into the giant cliffs as you play, and you’ll smell the salt in the air on every shot. While that sounds fantastic, you can also expect some brutal winds from time to time, so pack the appropriate clothes and also stock up on some golf balls, as even the straightest of hitters are bound to lose a few to the deep blue sea.
The course itself features six tees, which is not just great since it caters to golfers of different standards, but it also allows for adjustments should you find yourself here on a particularly rough weather day. Those tees range from 5,413 yards to over 7,100 yards, and the course plays as a par-72 with five par-5s, eight par-4s and five par-3’s. The inconsistent wind makes matters very tricky around here, but the club does attempt to help their visitors out as much as possible by setting up the course differently daily depending on the weather forecast.
Relatively new, work began on creating this special links course in 1993 when visionary John O’Connor together with his brother Patrick set their sights on building one of the most beautiful golf courses in Ireland. The course opened for play in 1997, and while some controversy lingers over a private golf course being situated on The Old Head of Kinsale, the links course continues to provide its visitors with a breathtaking experience.
A visit to Old Head Golf Links does however come at a price. The course closes in Winter, and during the off-peak period (April-May, October) the green fee is around $200, while during the summer months the rate rises to $350. The course also features a top-class restaurant and a spa. It may cost an arm and a leg, but for the golfing purists out there, it will undoubtedly be worth the money.
Food & Drink – The Spaniard/The White House
Despite going top-heavy on the golfing experience in this trip to Cork, there are some excellent bars in the village to enjoy a well-earned pint and chat about what you’ve just experienced on the course. Staying in the village of Kinsale, you have both The Spaniard Inn and The White House which provide two different, yet two equally excellent options for a fun night.
The Spaniard Inn looks more like a little house than a pub. The thatched-roofed cottage is an old-school atmospheric pub that puts an emphasis on conversation, music and good homely meals. The pub also has a restaurant if you want to dine more formally, but the pub grub is just as tasty, and being so close to the coast makes their fish dishes a must try.
The White House is a little different in that with its brighter look it doesn’t quite capture that homey feel, but it makes a big deal over its food, and it also provides live music. Should you visit here, then it’s well worth booking a table at their restaurant where they offer the freshest Lobsters, Oysters, Scallops etc. You name the fish, and they more than likely have it!
Where To Stay
From $275-375 a night, you can stay on-site at Old Head Golf Links in one of their suites. The price doesn’t just include the convenience of being able to sleep in before your tee-time, the suites offer impressive views of both the Ocean as well as the courses 18th green.
For a cheaper option, The White House provides rooms for around $140, and from there it’s just a 20-minute drive down to the spectacular Old Head Golf Links.
Blarney Castle and Stone is one the most popular tourist attractions in Cork. According to folklore, those who kiss the Blarney Stone are said to receive “the gift of the gab” (translated in English: Ability to chat well about all sorts of topics!).
I’d also highly recommend a visit to Cork City Gaol, which was open from 1824 until 1923. The prison was all-female from 1878 to 1920, and it’s well worth a trip if you find yourself in the Rebel County.
For history buffs, a visit to a Michael Collins attraction is a must while in Cork too. A museum for the Irish revolutionary soldier and politician who was instrumental in creating an independent Ireland lies in Clonakilty, which is a 40-minute drive west of Kinsale.
How To Get There
Kinsale is a 25-minute drive from Cork airport, and if you’re making your way here from Dublin City Center, then you can expect it to take at least three hours to get to the southern village.
Smylie Kaufman explains brutal 1-foot miss at Monday Qualifying
We’ve all heard stories about how cutthroat Monday qualifying is each week, but Kaufman’s tale is a real heartbreaker.
Kaufman missed out on a playoff by one stroke, and the crucial one stroke needed to make up the ground was a missed 1-foot putt.
The Alabama native took to Twitter on Tuesday explaining the missed 1-foot putt, which he put down to: “not realizing my ball accumulated so much water and sand” after a rain delay.
Missed a 1 footer on 12 after the rain delay not realizing my ball accumulated so much water and sand. This image can also apply to that moment as well. Miss playoff by 1. #golf https://t.co/Ky4Hk7078p
— Smylie Kaufman (@SmylieKaufman10) May 10, 2021
Golf fans were perplexed by the incident, with many not sure if Kaufman had failed to mark his ball, but it’s more likely that the putt was his second after the restart. Just brutal luck.
The 29-year-olds fall from grace has seen him drop to 1530 in the World Golf Ranking, having made just one cut worldwide since 2019.
Rory McIlroy’s heart rate hit stunning high on 72nd hole at Wells Fargo
PGA Tour professionals are imperious at looking cool under pressure, but in reality, they aren’t immune to high moments of stress.
Thanks to Whoop’s partnership with the PGA Tour, now us mere mortals can all see exactly how the best are feeling.
The most stressful moment for Rory McIlroy at Quail Hollow last week came on the 72nd hole when he hooked his 3-wood off the tee dangerously close to the water.
Per Whoop Live, the Irishman’s BPM (Beats per Minute) spiked to 140 following the tee shot. It settled back to 115 as he addressed his approach to the green but once again rose dramatically following his putt to win, with his BPM hitting a remarkable 151.
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Whoop, the human performance company and 24/7 fitness tracker and health monitor, became the official fitness wearable of the PGA TOUR in January.
Part of this partnership includes Whoop Live, which throughout the season will highlight player biometric data and heart rate during defining moments with real-time metrics integrated into live broadcast and digital content.
Dustin Johnson WD’s from Byron Nelson with injury (days after doing backflips off a boat)
World Number One, Dustin Johnson has withdrawn from this week’s Byron Nelson with a knee injury which casts doubt on his participation at next week’s PGA Championship.
In a statement where DJ confirmed his withdrawal from the event, Johnson said
“It is with deepest regret that I must withdraw from this week’s AT&T Byron Nelson. Unfortunately, the knee discomfort I occasionally experience has returned and, after consultation with my team and trainers, I feel it is best that I remain at home and focus on my rehabilitation work.
I am not pleased about this situation, as I was really looking forward to playing this week.”
Golf fans on social media have reacted to the news with surprise, with the WD coming days after Johnson was filmed doing backflips off a boat.
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Johnson hasn’t cracked the top 10 at a PGA Tour event since February and now faces a race against time to be fit for the second major of the year.
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