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Ireland, a broad stroke. A golfers guide to ten days of heaven.

This little blog is meant to give you the reader some sort of broad stroke picture of what you could get up to over ten days in Ireland. I am a golfer, and most of my friends are golfers, so please don’t be offended if I harp on about the golf, please read between the lines, there is plenty to do and see if you allow your imagination to run wild. There is no better place to do so than Ireland. Stay at the Shelbourne Hotel St Stephen's Green in Dublin's fair city, kind of like a big Georgetown feel. A pub I suggest is Kehoes, just off Grafton which is the main shopping street in Dublin. I also like Toners on Baggot Street, a great spot which will really put you into the Dublin orbit. There is another pub, my absolute favorite, O'Brien's on Leeson Street. I just love having a few pints inside, you get a true feeling for Dublin's southside. I don’t have a website, but you won’t have any problems finding it. I recollect from my childhood a colorful image of Dublin that stands out. It takes place in the Shelbourne hotel. A vivid memory of a man reading a salmon pink colored newspaper which was of course the Financial times. I can remember thinking ‘how odd, a pink newspaper by golly’. The hotel is very much in the same vein as the publication, worldly, and I’m sure you will love its unique Dublin flavor. I would suggest a visit to Trinity College in the city center. The grounds are spectacular. As is Dublin in general. I'm obviously proud of my home town, but Dublin is special with an incredible legacy left behind from the colonial British rule. If you look at the post box in the picture, they used to be red just like in London, and you can still see the royal insignia. Golf in Dublin. Remember these are broad strokes, I am picking one course that really stands out on a world scale. Portmarnock is by any stretch of the imagination, world class. I personally would put it up to Cypress Point which I have played with my good friend Jay Dick, and also I would equal it to my all time number one which is Bethpage Black in New York. I don't have the words to explain how great links golf is, but think about it like this, when you're finished playing, you will eat like a horse and drink like a drunken sailor. The idea is to wake up and have a large Irish breakfast, take your time and head out to the course for about 9:30 am. An 11:00 am tee time would be perfect. Take it all in, come back into Dublin after a few pints in the clubhouse and have dinner in the city. I suggest an Indian curry,. 

The Canal off Baggot Street in Dublin

Vaughans In Connemara

Vaughans Hotel Bar, Roundstone Connemara, Guinness mustache

O'Brien's Leeson St, Dublin

O'Briens on Leeson Street Dublin

The Canal

Post Box with royal insignia from bygone days

Colonial legacy

Georgian Dublin

Georgian townhouse

Dooks Golf Club

Dooks Golf Club near Killarney & below Donegal County beaches

Donegal county Beaches

Donegal beach

Marching season 1690 Commemoration, Battle of the Boyne

Marching season, a reminder of the battle of the Boyne 1690

Relaxing at Ballyvolane House

My advice from there would be to travel south. If you are going to stay perhaps ten days, I highly recommend a few days at this incredible family home in Cork County, Ballyvolane House near the village of Fermoy. These folk are very close friends of my sister and her family. Trust me, you will never experience this in a lifetime, it is truly magical. From here, you will travel to the kingdom of Kerry. There are two Kingdoms in this world, the Kingdom of God, and the Kingdom of Kerry. You will Stay at the Europe hotel in Killarney. From there you will play, Dooks golf Club which is a short distance from Killarney town. This is one of my favorite golf clubs in the whole world, the craic in the clubhouse is second to none, don’t miss out on it. Then over to Tralee and you can play These two traditional links golf courses are top drawer. The true meaning of the word Links, is a sandy based links bordering the sea. From there you can drive over to Kenmare and the famous Golf links at Waterville where Payne Stewart was club captain. Waterville is consistently in the top 20 world courses every year. It is a very hard course, but a real experience and one you will never forget. If you go to the picturesque village of Kenmare, you shall stay at Sheen falls.

Thereafter, my gut says you go Connemara in Galway County, and put away the sticks. You will go to Roundstone and stay at the Vaughans Hotel for two nights. This region of Ireland is Irish speaking, the real deal. Roundstone has the best seafood, crab, lobster, you name it, Guinness to beat the band. Great fun in the bar at the hotel, the locals will love you and your American culture. I think you should also drive over towards Clifden which is a smashing spot. I challenge anyone to name a more picturesque site anywhere on the planet. It is quite simply sublime.

I am from Donegal county which is the Northwest of Ireland. There are incredible beaches and great golf courses. click on this link, I grew up playing golf here and it is truly spectacular. The pictures don’t lie, and the Guinness afterwards in the clubhouse will never taste so good. My home town is Killybegs. This is the largest fishing port in western Europe. Fishing is the main business here and the product from this small town is sent all over the world. Lobster, crab, salmon & trout are shipped fresh on a daily schedule to major world capitals. Something of note, for such a small country, each part has its own accent, and in some places, I can't even understand what they are saying. It can make you scratch your head. From here, if you want to play more golf I suggest a trip to Derry County and a must play is Castlerock golf club. Boy o boy, simply amazing. Derry is a walled city, there is a deep history in this part of Ireland. We call it Derry, others call it Londonderry. It’s all good, if you go there, you will experience hundreds of years of deeply intertwined cultures. Enjoy it, and let me know, I would love to hear how you faired.

My home course Narin & Portnoo

Two of my brothers, John & Louis, both live in Ireland

An Irish breakfast, black pudding to boot. 

Irish life

Dublin nights