Sunday, August 24, 2008

Killymoon – Everybody Loves Raymond

I wanted to title my book review, Moon River, and then say “Chevy Chase, anyone?” but I couldn’t find a rational link. So it’s here on the blog instead.

I’m rapidly beginning to realise that glitterballs are big business in Northern Ireland. I just can’t figure out if NI are a couple of decades behind, or whether courses down south are missing a trick.

I met a variety of people at Killymoon – Norman knew I was coming and dropped over to me in the bar the night before I played and, the following day, he introduced me to Jack, the club’s President. Conversations ensued with some other folk, but it was my encounter with Raymond that definitely made my day.

A 6am tee-off is a tad early, even for me, especially when it’s so gloomy that you can’t even take a photograph. The greenkeepers were out and working in earnest as this was the big day of the year, with an all-day outing starting at 7am. I met Raymond on the 2nd tee. He was moving the tee box markers around for the day’s event and putting up the sponsor signs. We chatted briefly. Over the next few holes we passed each other a few times, so when he headed over to me on the 10th, in his buggy, I waved. He stopped, opened the door and handed me a container. “Your breakfast” he said. Everybody loves Raymond, for there in the box was a heart attack waiting to happen. And it was delicious. Half seven heaven.

I mentioned it to Norman back in the clubhouse and he just laughed – ‘Raymond does that with me,” he said. But I didn’t get anything this morning.’ I almost felt guilty that I’d got Norman’s breakfast. Almost.

As for the course, it is well worth a visit. Killymoon was a founding member of the GUI and dates back to 1889, so you’ll find an easy maturity to the place, and it is nice and colourful as it flows over a gentle hilltop – almost ornamental in places. I’m not a fan of too many blind shots (9, 17 and 18 are very blind), but because everything works so well here, it makes little difference – it’s probably the anticipation of discovering what lies on the other side. And there are plenty of other exciting tee shots, as well as six good par threes.

Go back? Absolutely.

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