What was the best golf course you played?
❝ Similar to Chris i think that front nine at Tralee is just next level. Especially the third hole, the one after the dogleg par 5, you have the sea on the right and an old building behnd the green, its absolutely stunning. ❞
❝ So we have two votes for Tralee, I’m actually going to pick Ballybunion, that may well be becuase Keith & I won round there. I really like classic links like a Royal St George’s & Muirfield, you they have been there for centuries. ❞
If you could only play one course on your return, which one would it be?
What was the most surprising thing about the trip to Ireland?
❝ Well if you’re talking about golf in Ireland, then the weather is one thing we were very lucky with, it’s obviously uncontrollable but we were blessed. The scenery is just incredible as well, even the little ferry that we got on our way from Doonbeg down to Tralee was just huge fun. You have got a huge amount of water on show and also the mountains, it is a lovely place to go. ❞
❝ For me it is the golf culture, it’s just so much more ingrained into the culture than I think it is anywhere else. Everyone just wants to chat to you about golf, which is quite unique and based on the golf courses they’ve got no wonder. They are so good there seems to be a golf course every couple of miles so that was the thing that got me about Ireland. It’s just golf crazy, golf mad and no wonder because the courses are so good. With the views on each hole you think can this get better and it does, I would love to do again it’s just the next level. ❞
❝ There are times when you might be a bit embarrassed to be a golfer, I’ve certainly had that at times in my life, but in Ireland, you can be unashamedly golf. Especially in South West Ireland it is such a big thing for that part of the world. I was amazed by the condition of the courses, I mean Doonbeg, I’m not sure I’ve seen a higher level of green keeper on the golf course. The condition and the standards they’re upholding are just amazing, the fairways are as good as any you’ve ever seen and the greens are like lightning. I think that there’s so much care and attention into the course, the attention to detail is second to none.
I think the whole service offering that we had at those three golf courses was just another level. They’re a premium but when you look at how great the welcome was and it felt like everyone had gone out of their way for us. We were just a normal group of golfers much the same as the people in front and behind but we got an amazing five-star experience. That is something that really stood out for me and that was something that was perhaps more surprising, not expecting the level of hospitality we got. ❞
What would be the golf trip you’d recommend to a group of mixed skilled golfers?
❝ You really want to accommodate for all so if I was to go with my friends I would base them in Killarney. I don’t know how many bars and pubs there were within a one-mile radius but that would definitely be my recommendation. It is only an hour’s drive up to Ballybunion so you can tick off one of those courses, it is certainly worth the trip.
Killarney Golf & Fishing Club is blessed with two golf courses Mahony’s Point and the championship course Killeen. We weren’t able to play them but if I was going back there I would stay in Killarney and play at least one round on-site then tick off Tralee or Ballybunion or make the drive up to a Doonbeg, it’s certainly worth it. ❞
❝ I’ve got some friends who just picked up the game and like Chris I would either stay at Killarney or stay in the town where Alan from our US company Premier Golf showed us around. Maybe play a couple of rounds at Killarney because, for a mixed handicap group, I would probably stay clear of Ballybunion. If you miss the fairways there then that’s your score gone, I think Tralee is a little bit more forgiving off the tee, especially on the front nine. ❞
❝ I’m going to agree with Killarney, it’s a hugely popular place and is somewhere I would recommend if you want great food with great bars & pubs. McSweeney’s, which was Alan’s favourite, has the best pint in Killarney apparently.
I just wanted to talk about Doonbeg and the whole of the resort. The accommodation is amazing, it’s really first class, especially if you’re travelling as a group. We were traveling as a four so we got one of the rooms opposite reception which was a Norman Suite. It has a really nice living room area, and a kitchen with a coffee machine, which is really important for me.
I just couldn’t believe the clubhouse, it felt like you were going back to an old oak-paneled Clubhouse from the likes of Muirfield. That pint of Guinness when we got there, the bar was still really busy, guys in there having a lot of fun and I just kind of think that sort of place for the resort links experience is really hard to beat. There are at least five tees at Doonbeg so again if you’ve got that mixed handicap group just pick a tee. ❞