Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Killarney – oh deer!

So, the mighty Killarney, with its beautiful lake and its perfect backdrop of mountains (MacGillycuddy Reeks). A bit like Waterville, Killarney has its share of buses shipping the golfing tourists in and out. I heard Germans, French and Americans, and my round in the afternoon (Mahony’s Point) was packed to the point of stupidity (see pic). I gave up after 9 holes, two and a half hours later, left my clubs in the camper van and walked the rest. There was a Ladies’ match directly behind me and I felt very sorry for them as the three and four balls in front of me seemed to spend forever looking for balls and whizzing about in their buggies. At one stage I could see a five ball, yet I didn’t see one ranger on the course.

Perhaps it’s a case of ‘I’ve paid my €100 green fee so I’m damn well going to do as I please.’ I’d played Mahony’s a couple of times in my life (12 and 30) and it is not ageing well. Not as challenging or as interesting as it should be for €100.

My first round was on Killeen, a beautiful parkland course set in a picture-perfect natural setting. I spent more time photographing the exceptionally camera-friendly deer than the golf holes. Even on the 1st, one wandered across the front of the green and down onto the lakeshore. But every second hole or so they seemed to appear. Unless there was only one and it was being strategically moved around the place to impress me! My one big tip for Killeen would be to play the 4th from the blue tee, which sits on a little rocky outcrop in the lake. [Photo: Par 4 8th Killeen]

After my first round – Killeen, at €130 – I had lunch in the clubhouse. A group of ladies wearing yellow walked in. Surely not I thought as I caught sight of the emblem on their jumpers. Having met one Monkstown Ladies team at Skibbereen the week before, here was another one. Here they were playing against Cork. Apparently the Ladies Senior teams have to play at a neutral venue. Fair enough, but Killarney is a long way from Cork. It’s certainly not the kind of distance where you can nip down the road for a practice round. On both occasions Monkstown won. [Photo: Par 4 18th Killeen]

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