Sunday, May 25, 2008

Beautiful Beaufort

I wish I could tell you how beautiful it is here, but the mountains that give this course its backdrop were shrouded in haze. The 11th hits straight at the slopes that rise to a stunning peak, which I could just about see, and you can always look over your shoulder for a glimpse.

I wish I could tell you how beautiful it is here, but the new hotel and apartment block are set to ruin the landscape on this peaceful, rather idyllic golf course. New owners have taken over the club and, as always seems to be the way, they think that a hotel and apartments will attract more golfers/business, especially with the Gap of Dunloe just up the road. I’m not saying they’re wrong – I wouldn’t know a thing about the tourism business – but doesn’t it just seem that here’s another golf course with a ubiquitous hotel and/or holiday accommodation. The Ring of Kerry Golf Club has them, right in the heart of the course, and it just detracts from the holes and the setting. This hotel will do the same, but then it’s a money game isn’t it! The 12th century Castle Core stands untouched in one corner of the course (behind the current par three 13th), and it seems to be making its feelings pretty clear (see pic)!

With new ownership, things have to change, and one sad change is that the rather stunning entrance to the club (and old house that remains private) will be no more.

Apart from that, this is one of the most peaceful and relaxing rounds of golf I’ve played. It’s not difficult, just gentle. The opening 9 holes are the best, but the 11th was my favourite: as you head for a farm you get that wonderful country smell of cow manure. Now, if only they could direct it towards the hotel. [Photo: Par five 11th]

And one final comment: I may be a short-arse, but I know that 80 of my paces is 100 yards, and the measurements from the fairway markers just seem wrong.

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