GOLF IN IRELAND: MAKE PLANS TO GO PLAY -- DON’T DELAY
By Mike May (mikemaymarketing.com; email@example.com)
The decision by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews to stage the 148th playing of The (British) Open Championship at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland in July 2019 was a publicity coup for The Open Championship, the game of golf in general and, specifically, for golf in Ireland. This was the first time that The Open was being played on the island nation of Ireland in more than 60 years. Because of the decision to bring the Open to Northern Ireland, worldwide interest from the media was at record levels. In fact, the last time that the silver Claret Jug was presented to anybody following The Open Championship being played in Ireland, was in 1951 when England’s Max Faulkner captured the title, when it was held at, you guessed it, Royal Portrush. Based on how popular the 2019 event was, it will probably be far less than 60 years before the R & A decides to return to Royal Portrush in order to determine “The Champion Golfer of the Year.” As you recall, this year’s winner was a popular one – Ireland’s very own Shane Lowry.
The 13th green at Mt. Juliet. It’s easy to see why Mt. Juliet is considered one of Ireland’s more popular golf destinations.
From a geographic perspective, Ireland is slightly bigger than the size of the state of Indiana. From a golfing perspective, Ireland is filled with a series of clusters and pockets of golf courses which make planning a golf trip relatively easy, enjoyable, and somewhat economical. The only ‘issue’ is that there are so many great places to visit and play golf, that making the ultimate decision on where to go play and where to stay can be a head scratcher!
Thanks to the planning and organizational efforts of Tiernan Byrne, MD, of Club Choice Ireland, the concept of planning a visit to Ireland for golf is not that complicated. To make it a stress-free experience, the planning t should simply be put in the hands of an Irish-based golf operator like Club Choice Ireland which is in touch with all the key courses, hotels, castles, and restaurants that you will want to visit. It’s worth noting that Club Choice Ireland is an Irish-owned and operated firm, which is known for providing personalized service as a golf-travel specialist.
“We get real satisfaction in putting together a golf and heritage experience for a new client,” said Byrne. “Each and every itinerary is different and this allows us great freedom and flexibility to get the vacation that fits best with a specific client. When it comes to golf, we find that a combination of one or two trophy courses along with a few hidden gems tends to works best. It’s also important to have some downtime so that our guests can experience real Irish life and culture off the fairways. This can, sometimes, be the most important part of the tour.”
The accommodations at Mt. Juliet’s Manor House are castle-like and, without a doubt, a ‘cut above the rest.’
If you choose South East Ireland, you’ll be visiting the sunniest section of the Emerald Isle. There, you will play both links and parkland (inland) golf courses. Many of your best golf memories will be on courses that you probably have never known existed such as the Rosslare Golf Club (a hidden gem of Irish links golf), the Bunclody Golf and Fishing Club (voted ‘best hidden gem in Ireland’ in 2015), and the Waterford Castle Golf Resort (Ireland’s only true island golf resort). Your overnight accommodations will be both historic and first-class, such as the four-star Hotel Kilkenny (a perfect place to stay in order to visit the medieval city of Kilkenny), the four-star Ferrycarrig Hotel (featuring sweeping views of the nearby River Slaney), and Kelly’s Resort Hotel & Spa (set along five miles of Rosslare’s sandy beaches).
“One of our super resorts in the South East of Ireland is called Mount Juliet,” added Byrne. “Mount Juliet is a wonderful resort and a first-class golfing venue.”
Mount Juliet was Jack Nicklaus’s first-ever design in Ireland. The course opened in 1991. And, Mount Juliet was the site of two American Express World Golf Championship events in 2002 and 2004. It was also the site of a Shell Wonderful World of Golf match in 1998 between Tom Watson and Fred Couples.
The East Coast of Ireland is just as tempting and enjoyable. That section of the country is also filled with a mix of links and parkland golf. This part of Ireland has been described as a golfer’s paradise. Some of the great golfing destinations include The Island Golf Club (one of the finest and most enjoyable links courses in Ireland), St. Annes Golf Club (located on Bull Island, a world-famous nature preserve), and Woodenbridge Golf Club (described as ‘Ireland’s Augusta,’ need I say more). The overnight opportunities include the Headfort Arms Hotel (operational as a hotel for almost 200 years), The Martello (with breathtaking views across the Irish Sea), and the four-star Court Yard Hotel (one of Kildare’s best-kept secrets).
A group photo of the C. Gouge & Group from North Carolina that played the Rosslare GC in June 2019. (photo credit: Club Choice Ireland)
Club Choice Ireland is doing a great job of catering to all the wants, needs, and wishes of its clients, based on a comment from a recent U.S. client.
"We just wanted to tell you personally what a great time we had in Ireland,” wrote the C. Gouge and Group from North Carolina. “The country is beautiful and the people very nice and friendly. But, what really made the trip so wonderful was the itinerary you planned for us. From the time we landed in Dublin to our departure, all our needs were taken care of. The golf courses we played, the places we ate, the entertainment we enjoyed and the hotels we stayed in were outstanding. I wouldn't change a thing. Thanks so much for your hard work and planning."
For more details on what Club Choice Ireland can offer you, access clubchoiceireland.com/us or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers! And, don’t forget to enjoy a pint (or two) of Guinness at every 19th hole!