Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The 'Groupon' Age Hits Ballyliffin

[Photo: the view from the 7th tee on Glashedy, back to the clubhouse]

The Groupon Age has given consumers a certain expectation… sure, why would I pay for that when it’s probably available on one of them there discount sites for 70% off… and one they can usually satisfy as there is so much choice. The problem is that you often end up buying something you don’t want.

[Photo: Sunset on Malin Head]

Hotels, slimming plans, golf courses, teeth whitening, restaurants, suntan treatments – all the essentials you could ever need are listed on a dozen or more Irish sites.


It’s not like I have to tell you – you probably have emails coming in to your Inbox every day. I know I do, and I don’t usually do much about it… but every now and again there’s a reason to come out from under the covers.

Ballyliffin 4 Star

Ballyliffin Lodge is a 4 star hotel up on the beautiful Inishowen Peninsula, with views of Malin Head and along the coastline. I’ve visited the hotel (for an afternoon pint) and it is one of those easy, relaxing places to enjoy - quality, too.

Ballyliffin Golf Club

It also happens to be next door to the world class Ballyliffin Golf Club, with its two championship courses: the Old links, recently touched up by Nick Faldo, but still bearing all the hallmarks of its brilliant original design; and the more recent (1995) and more muscular Glashedy links, designed by Pat Ruddy. They’re a remarkable pair of siblings and you feel like you’re playing at the top of the world… although the many Swedish members would probably disagree.

[Photo: Ballyliffin's Old Course]

The offer is a half price stay at the hotel:

€150 instead of €300 for a 2 night stay for two people (i.e. €37.50 per person per night), with breakfast, and full access to the leisure facilities, as well as a €20 dining credit.

The good news is that the voucher is valid until the middle of June 2012 (with obvious black-out dates); the bad news is that the promotion expires today (sorry about that), Tues 13 March.

Click here if interested.

There’s also a one night stay offer, but with two courses to play, sure, how would you fit it all in!


  1. Reading your book at the moment. Found it interesting that Mount Ober wouldnt allow you to review the course - Why was that?

  2. They wouldn't let me play if they couldn't see/edit my review prior to publication.
    No one else had added that caveat to my visits, which would have negated the whole purpose of the book.
    Several people in NI have told me I haven't missed much, but I'm still disappointed I didn't get to play it.

  3. No you havent missed much. Really enjoying the book and agree with most of the reviews. You also mentioned Citywest lakes and Carnbeg no longer qualify - have they closed? I cant find anything on-line. Its always sad to hear about clubs closing Turvey I think being the most recent. The club that I miss the most is St Patricks in Donegal. It had 36 holes and although a bit rough and ready with a bit of money and TLC it could have been something really special. There was talk of it being turned into an amazing resort with big Jack no less looking at upgrading it but all that seems in the distant past - shame. At least the Bushmills links seems to have been given the all clear - cant wait!

  4. Citywest Lakes is being turned into a car park (I believe) for the hotel, and Carnbeg simply ran out of money and members. Turvey, Limerick County and Kilkea Castle all closed last year, although word is that Kilkea Castle may be bought by a local businessman.

    So, you got to play St. Patrick's? The closest I got was seeing it from Rosapenna and from a gateway which was locked up tight. My plan is to win the Lotto (I have to remember to play) and then buy it - it looked an amazing location.

    As for the Bushmills Links - I'll keep quiet about that for now... can't say I'm overly impressed with its proximity to Giant's Causeway, but haven't looked into it closely enough...

  5. I played the Eddie Hackett course at St Patricks some 10 years ago. I guess the problem was with Rosapenna next door there simply wasnt enough business for 4 courses beside each other. When the economy recovers I imagine some shrewd business man will give it another go. As for the Bushmills course you dont need to worry about the Causeway. It is being built beside the village of Portballantrae right next to the existing 9 hole Bushfoot course some 1&1/2 miles from the rock formations. A major plus point is this Resort will bring quality accomodation to the area greatly increasing the chances of Portrush hosting The Open