After nearly two years, Ireland is open again for U.S. Golf Travelers. Here’s a re-cap of a couples’ trip to Southwest Ireland in September, 2021. You can also click the following button for a short video capturing the highlights of the trip. SW Ireland Couples’ Trip 2021
We arrived in Dublin on a Sunday and were greeted by Brendan in our private coach. Brendan was fantastic! He got us everywhere we needed to be all week, and also served as a tour guide for lots of great sightseeing. There were four couples on this trip, and the coach had plenty of space to spread out, with nice comfortable captain chair seats, wi-fi, a few tables, a fridge, and charging outlets. We checked into the Killarney Royal Hotel on arrival day. It had spacious rooms, a cozy atmosphere, and great service. We will be staying there again for sure! The location was perfect, in the heart of downtown Killarney, a charming town with dozens of great pubs and restaurants within a short stroll from the hotel, and centrally located as a great hub for many of the great courses of Southwest Ireland. After a hearty Irish breakfast each morning, we would all load up in the coach and head to our destination of the day.
Our first round of golf was Waterville Golf Links. After a brief scare of rain, we were greeted to our first of many amazing rainbows on the first tee. Then we just soaked in the beauty of a truly amazing golf course. Waterville also wins the award in our group for best logo, which led to some serious damage on merchandise purchases in the pro shop. For this trip, the men golfed, and the wives took advantage of the private coach and driver/guide to see sights each day (although the wives will definitely be joining the golf next time.) Today the sightseeing took the wives through the Ring of Kerry, a 179 km route around the southwest corner of Ireland with stunning views, jagged cliffs and charming coastal towns.
Next on the list was Old Head. Called “one of the most remarkable developments every conceived in the history of Golf”, Old Head exceeded expectations and easily became the consensus favorite of the week. The ladies spent the day touring the charming coastal town of Kinsale, and discovered “The Garden of Remembrance”, a very special tribute to the Firefighters who died on 9/11.
We took a break on the 3rd day to do some sightseeing as a group. We ventured the Lakes of Killarney and famous Gap of Dunloe by boat and horse carriage. This was a great break in the trip to take in some of the local beauty. Then we capped off the day with Guinness and a Whiskey Tasting at the Celtic Whiskey Bar in Killarney.
On Day 4, we took on Tralee, the Arnold Palmer designed masterpiece nestled alongside the beautiful Irish Coastline. After a few more pints of Guinness at the clubhouse, we traveled north and checked into Trump International Doonbeg resort for the rest of our trip. We stayed in a luxurious 4 Suite complex with a shared courtyard, a perfect setup for 4 couples. The resort had a very nice restaurant overlooking the Atlantic and a great bar where we felt like regulars by the end of the trip.
We started the 5th day with a tour of the Cliffs of Moher, a geological wonder and one of the most beautiful scenes in Ireland, if not the world. Then we were greeted by another rainbow on the 1st tee of Lahinch, the Old Tom Morris designed legend, and arguably the most natural and pure links course in Ireland. More merchandise was purchased in this great proshop, highlighting the 2nd best logo of the week, the infamous Lahinch Goat.
We ended the week with the best weather of the trip, enjoying Greg Norman’s masterpiece, Trump Doonbeg, a beautiful traditional links course set among some of the finest sand dunes in Ireland. We boarded our coach the next morning for the ride back to Dublin and said goodbye to Brendan as we reminisced on the great memories of the week.