Thursday, May 20, 2010


I found this post sitting in the "draft box". I think Richard had wanted to edit it ages it ago. So here it is, nearly a year later. Richard is just not a blogger. He loves to come up with the blog titles though! Anyway, golfing & Ireland go hand in hand so I couldn't just not post it. This was from our visit from my parents last July.

Richard finally got to experience golf in Ireland. He and Dad golfed two of the oldest courses in the country, Ballybunnion (both Old Course & Cashel Course) and Lahinch. All three courses are on the West coast, where a nice day of golf is bound to have a minimum of 20 mph winds and only a few showers.

They showed up at these elitist, slightly anti-American, courses completely inconspicuous with their matching burnt orange Texas Longhorn golf bags. Nice one, guys!

Ballybunnion had rough 2-3 feet high and many holes were directly on the coast with beautiful drops to the Atlantic Ocean and quite a few intimidating fairways. They returned from both days of Ballybunnion golf battered and beaten by the winds and rain. And it didn't help Richard that he was pretty ill with a little virus that had been making its course through the office.

With spirits a little low from the rough conditions in Ballybunnion, Lahinch was a welcome sight. The weather was calm all day, with low winds and lots of sunshine. And the rough was a more typical height. Though still a challenging course, I think both Dad & Richard felt the better weather contributed to a much easier day of golf.

After the three-round golf weekend, Richard headed back to Dublin on the train, as my parents and I headed North. By this time I'd caught Richard's evil virus. I was miserable, unable to breath through my nose at all. I don't know how Richard play golf with that illness! We made the loop of Northern Ireland, me hacking and sniffling the entire time, swooped down to pick up Richard in Dublin then headed South for another round.

This time they played Old Head, which isn't actually very old at all, being built in the late 1990's, but was a spectacular course. If you have no interest in golf at all it would be worth visiting the course to see the amazing flowers. There are 6-ft. high hydrangeas that line the drive in. Old Head sits out on the tip of a penisula near the town of Kinsale. It is marked by a black & white striped lighthouse at the very end.

So nearly every hole is cliff-side. The winds were high again, but the rough wasn't nearly so bad as Ballybunnion. It was my favorite course to visit, though I wouldn't ever dare play it. By the way, by now Mom had caught the virus. :(

Richard & I headed back to Dublin and Mom & Dad went to explore the Rings of Kerry and Dingle Peninsula. When they returned to Dublin, there was one more round of golf left to play. They played Druids Glen, a resort in County Wicklow, just a 40 minute drive from our house. It was yet another beautiful course, though it wasn't a links course like the others they had played. It was the only parkland course they played and the only inland course, but they did have to hit onto an island green!

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