Saturday, November 28, 2015

Golf News... Episode 1

2nd green at Enniscrone
Sorry, I don't mean to excite you with thoughts of a global round up of golf news - it's just a small round up of things that caught my eye.

And yes, Donald Trump looms large.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Them’s The Oaks… at Moyvalley

The 2nd hole at Moyvalley
All in all, it has been a positive year for Irish golf. The professional and amateur ranks have delivered impressive performances, golf tourism is up, course maintenance is returning to its best and struggling golf courses have found light at the end of the tunnel. Beaufort Golf Club is back from the brink, St Margaret’s is thriving under new management, Rathfarnham opened its three new holes (to make it 18) and Castlemartyr was acquired by a British businessman… something that will benefit the entire Cork

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Scotland’s North Coast 500… The Top Ten

The opening hole at Durness Golf Club
Nineteen days, 920 miles, 26 golf courses… this day last week I rolled home with  Scotland’s North Coast 500 under my belt… done and dusted… finished… never to be forgotten. What started out as a golfing odyssey to play these courses (Royal Dornoch and Brora in particular) turned into something so much bigger. The landscape is majestic, the history haunting (the Highland Clearances have refrains not dissimilar to

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Scotland as a Bucket List Destination - An Infographic

The nice people at Links Golf Ireland sent me this infographic a couple of weeks ago, while I was travelling... and seeing as it's all about Scotland - and what makes the country a must-visit destination - take a look.

I hope it shows up OK and is readable on your screen/device.

The only thing I'd disagree with is the number of courses. My 'research' indicates that there are 660 courses in Scotland. Tom Coyne played golf with a man who is playing every single one of them... expect a book, soon!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Irish Golfer Magazine and the K Club

Approach to 17 at K Club Palmer
It feels as if normal service has resumed after my three week golfing stint in Scotland, and the arrival of the new issue of the Irish Golfer Magazine brought that home loud and clear.

This is the 7th issue of the magazine and it continues to go from strength to strength. Its focus on Irish golf - at all levels - makes it unique in the market and John Shortt and Peter Finnan have

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

North Coast 500 - A Scottish Golfing Tour. Day 19 The Final Blows

Monday (yesterday) was the last day of this amazing journey. The North Coast 500 and the Scottish Highlands in their entirety are an enchanting and – at times – mystical place. It’s not hard to see why the NC500 route is already so highly rated. The scenery is stunning. As I said a couple of days ago, it’s a great driving route… especially if you’re a passenger. But the driver gets plenty to experience, too… you’ll just need to be prepared to pull over time and again.

It is fitting, I feel, that it rained on my final day. I stayed at a converted croft house (some 150

Sunday, November 8, 2015

North Coast 500 - A Scottish Golfing Tour. Day 18 Lochcarron and Strathpeffer Golf Clubs

I played three holes of golf today. Well, two and a half. When you hit your wedge and you get a faceful of water, mud and moss in your eyes and nostrils you tend to declare a course unplayable. That was Lochcarron Golf Club. I was still spitting out the moss and dirt on the 7th.

It rained during the night. Big, big rain. I didn’t realise until I walked out of the hotel and the road was flooded. It was so wet it looked like the road was part of the loch alongside. I drove the half mile to Lochcarron GC and after assessing the

Saturday, November 7, 2015

North Coast 500 - A Scottish Golfing Tour. Day 17 Gairloch to Applecross

Just a slice of the beauty of Loch Maree.
Travelling around the Scottish Highlands at the beginning of November has its upsides and its downsides… the downsides are that the weather will probably bring rain and that a lot of places are going to be closed for the season: hotels, restaurants, museums, tourist offices and tourist attractions – they’re hardly going to stay open for the one or two people who might trickle through. Many of my stops have proved