Ballybunion Golf Club - Old Course
The Ballybunion Golf Club in County Kerry, Ireland (founded in 1893) had barely opened its doors before experiencing financial problems. An investment from Colonel Bartholomew saved the club in 1906, and nine new holes were promptly laid out. By 1927 the course had been expanded to 18 holes. Considered one of the finest links courses in the world, Ballybunion's reputation grew over time. Unfortunately, its remote locale on the Irish southwest coast has prevented the course from being selected for many top championship events. Still, a number of the world's best players have found their way to the famed course. One, in particular, has had a lasting impact. Tom Watson first visited Ballybunion in 1981 and has returned often. In 1995, he remodeled Ballybunion into the course that exists today. Ballybunion was ranked by Golf Digest in 2005 as the seventh best course in the world outside the United States. Ballybunion's success has led to new visitors from around the world booking tours of this and many other golfing jewel locations.
The Great Southern Hotel's Holiday Homes
The Avenue Self Catering Holiday Homes consist of four bedroom,three bath, self catering holiday homes. The decor in these holiday homes is modern and stylish and boast luxurious fabrics with vibrant colors giving a contemporary yet homely feel.
General layout: Ground floor: Entrance hallway, Kitchen, Dining & Living Room, Patio area with outdoor seating, a Storage room, a full size bathroom, and Two Bedrooms. Bedroom A: has one double bed, Bedroom B: has two twin beds.
Second floor: has two Bedrooms, Bedroom C: has one double bed, Bedroom D: has two twin beds. Both bedrooms C & D have attached bathrooms. These homes are ideally suited for four golfers per house as each golfer will have their own bedroom. Standard facilities include: Kitchen, Dining & Living Room: Dishwasher, washer/dryer, cooker, kettle, toaster, fridge/freezer, microwave, crockery, and cutlery, TV and DVD player. Tea/coffee, sugar, milk and washing detergents are also provided. Hair dryers, Iron/Iron board, TV's, bed linen, towels, electric or solid fuel fireplace, toiletries.
On arrival, check-in takes place at reception in the Great Southern Hotel and one of their team will escort you to your house, the hotel's self-catering coordinator will provide you with any information you need to ensure you have a great stay in Killarney. Guests enjoy complimentary access to the Great Southern Hotel's Innisfallen Leisure Center including a large indoor Swimming Pool, Jacuzzi, Steam Room, Sauna, Gymnasium, and two Tennis Courts.
A great day of golf starts with an excellent breakfast and the Great Southern provides one of the best in Ireland! A full hot and cold breakfast is included as part of your package and is served in the hotel's award winning Garden Room Restaurant, which is a three minute walk from your house. You'll find an excellent selection of cold items on the buffet, including fruits, pastries, cheeses, etc. and then you order your hot breakfast entree off of their menu. If you want something that isn't on the menu all you have to do is ask and they'll be happy to prepare what you want, omelettes, scrambles eggs, a side of bacon, toast, all you have to do is ask!
The Park Inn by Radisson Shannon Airport
The hotel is conveniently located just a 2-minute walk from Shannon Airport (SNN) perfect for a good night's sleep before an early flight the next morning. We've upgraded everyone's stay by securing the Superior Rooms, which provide more space and additional advantages such as a bathrobe and slippers. Superior Rooms feature a king bed where you can relax with your favorite hot drink from the in-room coffee and tea facilities.
Blair's Bar & Bistro offers traditional Irish fare and a pint can be enjoyed at Blair's Bar or on the Reading Room's terrace. A full spread of healthy and hearty breakfast options comes matched to bistro classics the likes of fried sole, tender roast beef, and juicy burgers.
We'll enjoy a farewell group dinner our last night in Blair's Bistro.
This hotel is not a fancy resort, it's your basic airport hotel and has been selected due to the ideal location. They provide clean rooms,good food and fine Irish Hospitality. What more can you ask for after a week of great golf.
Dooks Golf Links
Golf has been played at Dooks since 1889. It was introduced to the local aristocracy by officers from the Royal Horse Artillery attending compulsory training at the nearby Glenbeigh Artillery Range. The golf course is set out on one of three stretches of sand dunes at the head of the Dingle Bay. In the fore ground are the sand-dunes peninsulas of Rossbeigh and Inch, and just a few miles away the whitewashed houses of Cromane Fishing Village provide an eye catching distraction. South eastwards are the famed McGillicuddys Reeks. To the south-west are the lovely Cooms and hills of Glenbeigh and across the bay to the north are the Slieve Mish Mountains. Dooks is a traditional links course. As such it has a special place in the annuals of the links golf and must be preserved at all costs. Its character typifies the true meaning of what this form of game should represent. It exists to give enjoyment and challenge without resorting to undue length and so for the golfer, who is seeking a beautiful and tranquil environment to enjoy good golf, Dooks will make you glad you came to Ireland! Hole no 13 best illustrates the charm and magic of Dooks. It is a throwback hole to the time when golf began. Greens lay where they fell, and were the better for it.
Tralee Golf Links
Representing the first European design of Arnold Palmer, Tralee Golf Club is one of the most spectacularly beautiful golf courses you will ever encounter. And while beauty often masks certain deficiencies in a golf course, that is certainly not the case with Tralee. Having completed his masterpiece, Palmer commented: "I have never come across a piece of land so ideally suited for the building of a golf course. I am happy that we have one of the world's great links here".
Tralee Golf Course, while it always boasted a magnificent setting, with the course settling down and the greens thriving over time, Tralee has now joined the elite group of Irish links. With views of the Atlantic and white sandy beaches from almost every hole, Tralee earns rave reviews from all who play it. Maybe that’s why it is considered one of the world’s Top 10 Ocean Courses.
Ireland has a long history of music-making and Gaelic folk music has been hugely influential around the world, with poetic ballads dating back as early as the 18th century and traditional instruments like Irish flutes, fiddles and Celtic harps still playing an important role in modern music-making. Today, traditional music sessions and folk music performances remain popular throughout Ireland and Killarney is no exception. Killarney’s historic pubs are the best place to experience the local music scene and many of them host regular Irish music nights, with local bands and musicians, jam sessions and open mic nights. Head to the atmospheric Murphy’s Bar, O’Conner's, Jarvey’s Rest Pub or the Danny Mann Pub, all of which host Irish music and dance nights. Other top venues include The Failte, Courtney’s Bar, Mustang Sally's and more.
We strongly recommend that you purchase trip cancellation insurance. Many golf courses
request non-refundable deposits so it is important that you have adequate coverage in case
of an emergency. Trip Cancellation and Interruption: pays for forfeited, non-refundable,
unused payments or deposits if due to: Sickness, injury, or death of you, your
Family Member, Traveling Companion, or Business Partner. We recommend Allianz Insurance.
The unit of currency in the Republic of Ireland is the Euro (€). Most banks are open Monday to Friday from 10am till 4pm and have a bureau de change for changing currencies. Banks do not open on Saturday or Sunday. You can withdraw cash from ATM machines using VISA, MasterCard, American Express and PLUS credit cards and Cirrus debit cards. Most banks in Ireland will not change $100 US bills into Euros, but they will exchange smaller denominations.
What To Pack
The daily high temperatures in Killarney range from high 50’s to low 70’s. It gets colder at night - but mostly in the upper 50's in the evenings and early mornings. Most golfers bring a pair or two of shorts and wear them at least once - but you don’t really need them. All the courses we play are on the coast and even on warm days there is a cool breeze off the water. Golf in Ireland is about layers as you will put on and take off layers several times each round. Two good weather proof jackets and pairs of rain pants are a good idea. Even a brief shower can be a soaker. Playing in the rain and cold is bearable as long as you are protected. Sports coats are not required for dinner and are a waste of space that can be used for and extra golf waterproof jacket. So remember to pack for layers of clothing and the more waterproof clothing you have, the better. In addition to your clubs, pack waterproof shoes and two or three pairs of all weather (rain) gloves. Bring plenty of golf balls as most likely you will lose some in the links rough. You may want to go online to check and see if your GPS units and Range Finders will work in Ireland.
It is not necessary to tip bartenders, but if you receive waiter or waitress services (outside of our planned package meals) it would be appropriate to tip 10 to 15%. Porters should receive about €1 per bag and cab drivers 10% of the fair. When it comes to tipping your tour bus driver, we have heard that the industry standard is about €10 per person, per tour day, for smaller groups of 8-16 people. If you are on a large tour bus the standard is about €50 per person, for a trip of this duration. The tip is given to the driver on the last day of the tour.
Sales Tax (VAT) Refunds
Visitors from the US are eligible to receive a refund of Value Added Tax (VAT) on goods purchased. The price of the most goods includes value added tax, so when you are shopping be sure to ask for a tax-free shopping form with each purchase and present these forms, along with your receipts to either 'Global Tax Free Shopping' or 'Tax Back' at the airport prior to your departure. Visitors from the US can take home US$ 400 worth of goods per person including 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars, 1 liter of spirits or 2 liters of wine.
Ireland has by many standards a low level of crime, particularly in the rural regions where our holidays are based. Visitors should however be careful and it is advised to leave expensive jewelry, excess cash, traveler's checks, passports and travel documents (when not needed) in your hotel safe. Carry cash, wallets etc. in inside concealed pockets or in a tourist wallet/pouch strapped to the front of your body. Keep a copy of passports, credit card details etc. and relevant contact numbers in the event of loss. Label your luggage on both the inside and outside with your name, telephone number and address.
Medical Treatment and Health Insurance
A doctor is available all day in most towns. Dial 999 in case of emergencies. Prescribed medications are widely available through chemist (drug) stores. If on prescribed medication it is useful to bring an adequate supply for your journey and a copy of your prescription in case of emergency.
Mobile phones can be used throughout the country. Check with your provider to see if your plan includes coverage in Ireland. Internet access is available in each of the hotels we’ll be staying in.
Electricity is supplied at 220 Volts. Plugs are flat with three pins. A transformer is needed to convert
110Volt appliances (except for dual-voltage equipment which needs only an adapter). If required, small
travel transformers and adaptors should be purchased prior to departure.
OK, so you’re less than alert and ready for golf, but it’s nothing a few range balls can’t fix. Well, that’s a problem, too. While there are a few exceptions, you’re generally not going to find a practice range (or a conveniently located one) at the great, classic links courses in the UK and Ireland.
Advice I’d give a first timer: Do some stretching before you tee off and concentrate on just keeping your ball out of trouble for the first few holes.
Likewise, most of these great golf courses were designed to play nine holes out (away from the clubhouse), nine holes in and assumed all nourishment could be carried in a flask.
Advice I’d give a first timer: If you’re going to want anything to eat or drink while on the golf course, put it in your golf bag before you tee off. You might also consider bringing a piece or two of fruit from the breakfast buffet.
You’ve probably heard that golf carts aren’t widely used over there, but you may not realize just how hard they are to come by. Most golf courses will only provide a golf cart if you have a doctor’s note stating you need one for medical reasons. Some courses, like Ballybunion’s Old course, do not allow carts for any reason. Most locals simply carry their own bags, or pull/push them on a “trolley.”
Advice I’d give a first timer: Take caddies, but also take note: you must arrange for them in advance, this can be done with Golf & Adventure Travel Expeditions. It’s not like here in the US where you can just show up and say, “I’d like a caddie.” Over there, the caddies don't work for the clubs, they are "free agents", often with other jobs and need some lead time to coordinate their work schedule. The best part of Ireland is its people. Hiring a caddie is a great way to enjoy the course, shoot a better score and learn about the country through a friendly four hours of conversation.
This is another one we’ve all heard about, but it’s probably not emphasized enough. Advice I’d give a first timer: You really do need to be prepared for all kinds of weather — wind, rain, and cold — at almost any time of year. While it cuts against “packing light,” bringing two pairs of waterproof golf shoes might be the smartest move you’ll ever make. Also, leave the umbrella at home — it won’t do you much good and will just tie up your hands. Again, in addition to offering tons of local knowledge and colorful stories, this (helping out in bad weather) is where caddies can be invaluable.
Ballybunion Golf Club - Cashen Course
Designer Robert Trent Jones II described the layout as being, "perhaps the finest piece of links land in the world". It has the ocean on one side and the river on the other to create an amazing setting for this stunning golf course. Each hole has its own character to keep golfers not only on their toes but thoroughly entertained throughout. The 10th and the 13th are the stand out holes that will take your breath away from tee to green. This is a dateless golf course which after playing makes you ask yourself if you've ever played amid quite such surroundings. Rated in the top 100 by Golf Magazine, the vast majority of Cashen’s green positions have been copied by many new course designers. Spectacular and supremely challenging, what can never be copied is the majestic landscape and fresh sea air that is distinctly part of the Ballybunion experience. When you play this golf course, you'll need to take a minute to just take it all in as it is truly unforgettable, so remember to bring your camera!
Dooks Golf Links
Dooks has always been one of our most favorite places to play. Several key factors contribute to this opinion. The course has a setting that is ideal for golf, offering views of Dingle Bay with a backdrop of Mountains and the overall lack of houses makes for a natural unspoiled golf scape. The terrain is not flat and not mountainous, the course was designed on rolling dunes that are easier to walk than many of the other links courses in Ireland and add to the enjoyment. Most who play here will agree that it is a fun layout, not as challenging as Waterville or Tralee and not as long either. However, if the wind is blowing it can present a stern test. I've been to Dooks over a dozen times and they are always happy you've come to visit and this holds true while in the Pro Shop, on the Links or in the Lounge(which we highly recommend).
That is why we will play two rounds here, May 8 and again on the May 11, 2021.
Dingle Golf Club a.k.a. Ceann Sibeal Golf Links
Dingle is the most westerly golf course in Europe. This magnificent golf links is carved from the natural landscape of one of the most scenic parts of Ireland. Every hole is full of undulations and swales, with hazards laid down long before the game of golf was thought of, including a winding stream that meanders through the entire course. As you play the magnificent panorama of Dingle Peninsula is revealed, hidden inlets with small fishing villages, hills and mountains and the great Blasket Islands out in the wild Atlantic. The Club was founded in 1924 (as Dingle Golf Club). The Club had two temporary homes on the outskirts of Dingle before developing a nine hole golf course at Ballyoughtra (Ceann Sibeal) in the early seventies. The original design was by Eddie Hackett. The back nine was developed in the eighties and the clubhouse in the nineties. Christy O Connor Junior did some re-designing in the nineties. The course is as pure an Irish Golf Links as you'll find anywhere. The the Pro and the staff are always welcoming and appreciate it when you visit. It's a long drive from Killarney, but it's worth it!
Waterville Golf Club
Make no mistake about it; Waterville is one of the finest links golf courses in the world, never mind Ireland. Located on the Ring of Kerry, the surrounding scenery and quality of golf holes is breathtaking to say the least. Waterville has enjoyed great popularity and has hosted some of the world’s leading professionals from Faldo and Floyd to Stewart, O’Meara and Woods, all of whom have been captivated by the course. Raymond Floyd subsequently wrote of his experience: “this is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen it has some of the finest links holes I have ever played”. The late Henry Cotton, three times British Open Champion, probably said it best when he commented: “Waterville has to be one of the greatest golf courses ever built. If it were located in Britain, it would undoubtedly be a venue for the British Open. I have never seen a more consistent succession of really strong and beautiful golf holes than here.” Now that you’ve read what these guys had to say, don’t you want to see for yourself?
Killarney is one of Ireland's leading tourist destinations because of the abundance of restaurants, pubs and shopping. Killarney also offers a magnificent lake and mountain scenery in Killarney National Park. It is also situated on the Ring of Kerry scenic drive. Killarney has over 250 years of experience in welcoming guests. With Ireland's finest choice of Accommodation, Dining & Entertainment, Touring & Shopping Options, Sporting Activities galore and many nearby Blue Flag Beaches, - all located in the midst of breathtaking and ever-changing beautiful landscapes, you will not be disappointed. Killarney offers an abundance of beautiful boutiques, jewellery shops, art & photography galleries where you can purchase memorable gems. Downtown Killarney has late night shopping May to October with many stores open 7 days a week. There is also a number of traditional Irish stores stocking everything from Aran Sweaters to Irish Crystal and everything in between. So whether you are looking buy presents to take home or for a great meal, lively traditional Irish music or just a quiet pint, you are sure to find it in this town.
FRI - 5/7/21 - Depart from the US for your overnight flight to Shannon(SNN) - Flight not included in package.
SAT - 5/8/21 - Arrive Shannon Airport &Transfer directly to Dooks Golf Club for your first round of Irish Golf 2021.
SUN - 5/9/21 - Play golf at Dingle Golf Club, it a 90 minute rides, but it's one of the most scenic drives in all of Ireland.
MON - 5/10/21 - Play Waterville Golf Club and remember to get your photo next to the Payne Stewart statue.
TUE - 5/11/21 - Play Dooks Golf Links, One of Ireland’s Oldest and most scenic Golf Links Courses and they know how to pour a proper Guinness!
WED - 5/12/21 - Play BallybunionCashen Course, this particular patch of Irish coastline seems custom-made by mother nature for links golf.
THU - 5/13/21 - After five days of golf today is a free day to enjoy in Killarney.
FRI - 5/14/21 -Play Ballybunion Old Course, this is considered a Mecca for true golfers and is always a highlight of any Irish golf itinerary.
SAT - 5/15/21 - Play Tralee Golf Links, then transfer two hours north to the Park Inn Hotel next to the airport.
SUN - 5/16/21 - Check out after breakfast and walk across the parking lot to the Shannon Airport Terminal.
Bob and Scott have organized another Buddies Trip to Southwest Ireland to play some outstanding Golf Courses and we'd like you join us. We are taking the first 14 guys that sign up. Just like last year, we'll spend 7 nights in Killarney and one more near the airport in Shannon. While in Killarney we'll stay in four 4 bedroom / 3 bathroom houses, everyone will have their own bedroom. The last night will be in a hotel near the airport.
The trip includes breakfast each morning and a group dinner on the last night. The golf includes rounds at: Ballybunion's Cashen and Old Courses, Tralee, Dooks(twice), Dingle, and Waterville. It also includes our own motor coach and driver to provide transfers to/from the courses each day.