Had the great pleasure of playing the links at Doonbeg on Sunday, as a guest of Niall O’Carroll. We enjoyed near perfect conditions: bright sunshine, light wind and no more than 10 minutes of rain. Not a very long track off the white tees: approx. 6,300 yds. Wonderful driving course – with a number of elevated tee boxes. Architect (Greg Norman & Co) maximised views of the Atlantic and the beach. Course is well bunkered and the greens present many challenges.
Would recommend Doonbeg to those visiting Ireland to experience Links Golf. Well positioned on the trip between the Kerry Links and Lahinch in North Clare.
Clubhouse, catering and facilities in general are top class.
Great piece about Links Golf in Ireland in today’s Irish Times by Philip Reid. Great to see role being played by John O’Connor – my fellow member of St. Anne’s Golf Club - a links on the Bull Island, 4 miles north of the city centre. Would also like to congratulate John on all the work done on the Portmarnock Links – always a great thrill to play there.
Links golf is a treasure we have in Ireland – to be enjoyed by the lucky members, all the very welcome visitors and future generations. Great to see people taking the long term view and investing in the future of links golf.
Played Royal Dublin last week. What a marvellous job they have done on the redevelopment of their course. The course was in great condition. Royal Dublin presents a fair but difficult challenge with the protection of the wind.
…not just the pros who make mistakes. Played the wrong ball from a bunker at the weekend…could not see my own mark on the ball…but the rules allow you to rotate the ball in a bunker in order to identify it…with the number of pro V’s being played you need to check…mea culpa!
…returned to Carne for the annual pilgrimage in August. Had the privilege of introducing a Swiss friend to his first taste of links golf. We had a spectacular day’s golf…two light showers, fresh breeze, bright sunshine and a relatively quiet day on the links. Carne improves the more often you play there. As with many God made links you do require more than one visit to understand fully the logic of one or two of the blind shots. But what a layout…and it gets batter on the back nine. By all means play our top rated links…but try to fit in a trip to Belmullet for fours hours of pure links golf at Carne…I am confident the Swiss visits will be on the up next year.
Had the pleasure of a round of golf at Essex County,MA, in the US (http://www.golfclubatlas.com/essex1.html) at the weekend. Essex will play host to the Curtis Cup in 2010. Beautiful, Donald Ross designed course, with an inland links feel. Great sense of history and respect for the game of golf. My host told me the greens were not at their fastest – but you certainly did not want to be above the the pin and putting for a half.
Played Portmarnock (http://www.portmarnockgolfclub.ie/) last week as a guest of Goodbody Stockbrokers (http://www.goodbody.ie/). It was a charity event and our celebrity team member was Jason Leonard – most capped rubgy forward of all time. Portmarnock itself was in fantastic condition (they had just had their Captain’s Prize the previous weekend). The challenge at Portmarnock is always fair but tough. During a round you play in every direction – so you have wind behind, across and in to you. You have tight links lies, fast links greens with plateaus and run offs and plenty of bunkers and dunes. As good and fair a test of golf as you will find anywhere.
For anyone who has played team sport Jason Leonard’s insights into his rugby experience – playing for Club, England and The Lions were fascinating. Made for a great afternoon.
Walked in after 6 thoroughly miserable holes today. Rain never let up. The rain gear itself did its job…but to be effective in these conditions really need someone handing you a towel, a dry club, a dry glove, etc. Ironic after some great weather to have such a wet day on the final round of the Captain’s Prize on the longest day of the year. Well done to all who finished. And well done the links – which absorbed all the rain very effectively.
Was invited to play at the PGA course, Palmerstown, on Thursday. Great set up – course in great condition. Well worth playing if you get a chance. We played in a team event…great fun and just pipped by two shots. All played well. Unbelievably made the same mistake my opponent made earlier in the week…played the wrong ball…however had already knocked down a drive on same hole so not as significant as might have been.