Planning My Irish Vacation?

I am planning on taking a trip to Ireland in September of 2008. My girlfriend (by then wife) will be going with me. We are very excited to go, but I have nearly no idea where to go or what to do. Ideally I want to play golf maybe once or twice and the rest, enjoy what the country has to offer. If any one has suggestions, please let me know.
Some curiosities of mine are:
- to keep the cost of the trip down, should we stay in bed and breakfasts?
- a trip from Dublin to Belfast would be nice, should we drive?
- if we are going to play 1 or 2 courses, should they be Royal County Down and Royal Portrush? Other suggestions?
Again, I am eager to hear all suggestions.
Answers:
www.portmarnockgolfclub.ie Links course in dublin
Answers:
In my opinion if you are only going to play twice you should play at Royal County Down and Royal Portrush. I think these courses are better than anything that Dublin has to offer. If you are going to travel west I would suggest Ballybunion & Lahinch.
Answers:
I leave Sept. 11 for an 10 day trip...playing 9 different courses..look for my review when I get back...will be my first trip.
Answers:
Go West, young man!
I just got back last month. Went for a week. Dublin is not much to look at, IMO. Base yourselves in Galway, or even further south for some of the best Ireland has to offer.
Co. Galway
Co. Clare
Co. Kerry
Many great sights and great golf, so I hear, out there. Unfortunately had my tee times rained out (planned for last 2 days of the trip) as it POURED.
If you want more info, feel free to PM me.
Answers:
I am planning on taking a trip to Ireland in September of 2008. My girlfriend (by then wife) will be going with me. We are very excited to go, but I have nearly no idea where to go or what to do. Ideally I want to play golf maybe once or twice and the rest, enjoy what the country has to offer. If any one has suggestions, please let me know.
Some curiosities of mine are:
- to keep the cost of the trip down, should we stay in bed and breakfasts?
- a trip from Dublin to Belfast would be nice, should we drive?
- if we are going to play 1 or 2 courses, should they be Royal County Down and Royal Portrush? Other suggestions?
Again, I am eager to hear all suggestions.
Belfast to RCD is about an hour, to RP about 90 mins, to Dublin about 2-2.5 hours. You could take in RCD en route Belfast - Dublin. Dublin Airport is on the north side of the city and well located for a drive to Belfast.
I am from NI, so I vote strongly for RCD and RP (Dunluce). 2 of the top courses in the world, never mind Ireland.
RCD is the venue for the 2007 Walker Cup, so watch that on TV and see what you will get. If you want to stay locally, try the Slieve Donard hotel which is practically behind the clubhouse. For RP, stay at The Bushmills Inn, a few miles away.
If you find another golf day and you are routing through Dublin, try Portmarnock, pretty near Dublin Airport, or Baltray (County Louth), about half way between Dublin and Belfast near Dundalk.
If you decide to go west, which is also great, I agree with Ballybunion, for sure, and Lahinch or Doonbeg as the second choice.
Answers:
There are so many great courses, you cannot go wrong provided you limit yourselves to links courses. The parkland courses are good; however, you can get the same experience in the states.
Personally, I would go to the south/west of Ireland and play Ballybunion Old, Lahinch, and Waterville.
Answers:
check out this website
they can book hotels and tee times and their prices are cheaper than you could book
yourself
i am heading out at the end of sept and will be playing donegal,county sligo,enniscrone
and carne as well as cruit island
i will post a review and pics in early oct
Answers:
check out this website
they can book hotels and tee times and their prices are cheaper than you could book
yourself
i am heading out at the end of sept and will be playing donegal,county sligo,enniscrone
and carne as well as cruit island
i will post a review and pics in early oct
I haven't played Cruit Island, but I know you will love the others you are playing - especially Carne!
Answers:
i lived in Galway city for 6 months studying abroad. Definitely spend a couple days on the west coast. Galway is small enough to keep that quaint irish charm but still big enough to have everything you need.
Galway bars to visit: kings head, taffee's, Tis Coli and the Skeff. you won't regret it.
Answers:
From Experiance:
1. Royal County Down
2. Lahinch
3. Royal P.
Answers:
There are so many great courses, you cannot go wrong provided you limit yourselves to links courses. The parkland courses are good; however, you can get the same experience in the states.
I agree 1000%. Irish golf = links. Forget the K Club etc.
check out this website
they can book hotels and tee times and their prices are cheaper than you could book
yourself
i am heading out at the end of sept and will be playing donegal,county sligo,enniscrone
and carne as well as cruit island
i will post a review and pics in early oct
FYI - many Irish courses have 2 names - the official name, e.g County Sligo Golf Club, and iots local name, usually the precise place it is located - in the case of Co. Sligo GC, that is Rosses Point, and it will be more commonly called the latter. Likewise Donegal GC and Murvagh.
If you are in Donegal (great place, by the way), also consider Ballyliffin. I used to work in Derry (aka Londonderry) and in the summer, when the evenings are long, we would leave Derry at 5, tee off at 6 and get 18 in before dark, all for about $10. Prices have gone up a bit since, but still worth every penny (or Euro, now).
Answers:
With the concept of "going west", the SW is more touristy and the NW is more Irish. Don't try to see everything. Pick 2-3 "bases" and make day trips from there. Otherwise you are packing and driving too much and never settle in to the Irish pace.
Answers:
If you are anywhere remotely close you MUST play Royal County Down
Answers:
My wife and I went to Ireland last summer and it was amazing. I highly recommend driving west to County Kerry for fantastic scenery - and for golf in the west you must play Waterville, it is awesome!
Answers:
I'm headed there next year myself and I'm taking notes.
Answers:
You have to visit the Cliffs of Moher on the west coast, on the way from Galway to Limerick. Just look it up, you'll see why you have to see it. Lahinch is nearby, but I agree that you should definitely play RCD. You've got a laundry list of great courses to choose from though:
- Royal County Down
- Royal Portrush
- Ballybunion
- Lahinch
- Waterville
- Tralee
- Old Head
- Portmarnock
- Portstewart
As for keeping costs down, staying in bed and breakfasts may not be a bad idea, but keep in mind they aren't what you're used to over here. When I was in Ireland, June 2000, we just showed up at the local town welcome centers and asked for them to book us at B&Bs. There were 3 of us and we typically spent between $10 and $20 per person per night to stay there. But you're basically staying at someone's house in a guest room or something. It's nice, and you meet some really cool people (we stayed at the home of the mother-in-law of one of the Cranberries band members), but it's not going to be anything super extravagant, etc.
Answers:
European Club...without a doubt
Answers:
Back again. In 2004, I got to play for two wonderful weeks. Portrush, RCD, Portmarnock, Royal Dublin, Island, European, K Club, Old Head, Tralee, Lahinch, Doonbeg, Ballybunion, and Waterville. With the exception of K-Club, I would probably want to play them all one more time.
Next summer, I am getting married and have convinced my lovely bride that a honeymoon in Ireland is a good idea. Since I am a morning person and she is not, I am planning on sneaking out for a few rounds before she gets up.
With keeping the wife to be happy in mind, I am planning on setting sail for the west coast and setting up camp in Lahinch. Until you play them, you cannot imagine what the Dell and Klondike are like. With a little luck (and begging), I am hoping to try and pick up Waterville or Ballybunion and another course TBD.
General Advice:
1. Pick up: "Golfing in Ireland: The Most Complete Guide for Adventurous Golfers" (Paperback)
by Rob Armstrong (Author). I took it on the trip and found it dead on.
2. You MUST BUY GOOD RAINGEAR. Although we generally got good weather, it rained for 3 hours at Tralee. At your homecourse, you will pack it in and wait for next week. In Ireland, you finish that day or never. Remember - water resistant is not waterproof. I am taking Zero Restriction.
3. Take inexpensive balls with you:
a. Balls are very expensive over there
b. It is very easy to lose a ball in the rough unless you have a forecaddie. Combined with the wind and unusual surroundings, you will lose more balls then normal.
Answers:
Back from my trip ad all I can say it it was an amazing....but expensive. Im not sure how you can keep cost down with the dollar at an all time low against the EURO..haha A friend of mine had a house just outside of Limerick, overloking the Shannor river, so alot of money was saved not having to pay for a place to stay our whole trip. I was told that the B&B's are the way to go.
We played the following
1) Adare Manor- Site of this years Irish Open...course was nice and very "American" not links
2) Tralee -This is a must play..very good condition and the views were incredible
3) Kilarne- (Kileene course) Nice course and in great condition..alot of long par 4's Not LINKS golf.
5) Ballybunion (Old and NEW)- We played both courses on Saturday..and I must say that I wasnt too impressed with the condition of either. They both had spectacular views, but fromn all the hype..I was expecting alot more. I would definantly rather play Tralee.
6) Waterville-Very nice nice links course and in great condition. We flew by Helicopter to this one, so the ride over probably enhanced the trip, but still a great course. (one of the guys I was with paid the ride...It was only $4K...so not really penny pinching there..haha)
7)Doonbeg- This is a must!!!!! The course was by far in the best condition than any we play. Bent grass greens and fairways were awsome. This course was Americanized in every way....from the proshop staff to the starter..they were all American. Greg Norman did a good one with this.
8) OLDHEAD- Dont really know where to start with this one....course was 100 times better than Pebble Beach in every way except hospitality. You must PREPAY for the whole round...$500 (not a deposit) and if the conditions are unplayable....as they were for us, they do not
refund your money. The winds were 60+ which didnt allow us to fly into Oldhead and the balls would not stay on the greens. You could not putt...chip...or even stand with two feet on the greens without getting blown over. The starter informed us they have ony closed the course ONCE...and that was for only an hour. So this is definantly a crap shoot on catching the wheather in a condition that is enjoyable. This was going to be the highlight of our trip and trned out to be the biggest dissappointment.
9) Ballybunion Old - Yea I know I said this was my least favorite....but one of the guys we went with was a member here and we had a free day before our flight back...so he got us on during "members time" on Thursday....It was still in the same condition!!!
I would highly suggest playing the courses that are will be close to where your gonna be located. The raods are VERY narrow and belive it or not ...It is SUPER stressfull drining in Ireland....most of the roads are no bigger than my Tahoe and unlike being in the states..they have the steering wheel on the other side. So the less driving, the better. Oh..by the way..ProV's will only cost you about $90 a dozen..so bring some balls with you..haha
Please feel free to PM me with any other questions.
Joe
Answers:
Hi,
Very interested in Joe's comments on his trip. As a native of Cork (near the Old head) I have long felt that the courses in the South West are pricing themselves out of the market. Ireland has become very expensive anyway.
I dont believe for a minute that the Old head was only closed once! It could well be closed once a year (from Dec to Feb!) when the wind blows, rain falls and fog comes down.
Also agree that Ballybunion is over rated.
The best value to be had in Ireland is in the North West, Donegal and Sligo. There are some great courses there which you can get for reasonable money. Strandhill, Co. Sligo, Co. Donegal, Portsalon, Rosapenna and possibly best of all Ballyliffen.
Cant do anything about the roads I'm afraid! Just do like we do, keep your foot firmly on the accelarator and your eyes closed and you'll be ok!
Answers:
In my opinion if you are only going to play twice you should play at Royal County Down and Royal Portrush. I think these courses are better than anything that Dublin has to offer. If you are going to travel west I would suggest Ballybunion & Lahinch.
Agreed but those are among the expensive ones to play.
If you start at Lahinch and Ballybunion and finish in the North at Portrush and COunty Down I would suggest a beautiful trip up the west coast to include
Donnigal
Ballyliffin
Connamara
Carne
Enniscrone
That would be a super trip and you would be among some of the most beautiful sites and courses in the world.