Representing the first European design of Arnold Palmer, Tralee Golf Club in southwestern Ireland is one of the most spectacularly beautiful golf courses you will ever encounter. And while beauty often masks certain deficiencies in a golf course, that is certainly not the case with Tralee. Having completed his masterpiece, Palmer commented: "I have never come across a piece of land so ideally suited for the building of a golf course. I am happy that we have one of the world's great links here".
Tralee Golf Course, while it always boasted a magnificent setting, with the course settling down and the greens thriving over time, Tralee has now joined the elite group of Irish links. With views of the Atlantic and white sandy beaches from almost every hole, Tralee earns rave reviews from all who play it.
The Old Midleton Distillery – The Jameson Experience
Jameson Irish Whiskey is world renowned and its history can be traced on guided tours through the Irish Whiskey Visitor’s Center. The Jameson Experience tour commences with an informative audio-visual presentation. Guests are accompanied by a tour guide and follow the Old Distillery Trail through the various historic and architecturally unique distillery buildings such as - Mills, Malting Houses, Corn Stores, Still-houses, old Offices and atmospheric Warehouses. The visitor can encounter superbly restored machinery and dramatic recreations of many of the steps in Irish whiskey production, going back in time to when farmers would have delivered sacks of locally grown Irish barley by horse and cart to the finished product that is now the world renowned Jameson Irish Whiskey.
Visitors can see the largest original Pot Still, with a capacity of 32,000 gallons and the Old Waterwheel manufactured in 1825 to provide motive power prior to the days of electricity, and still turning today. The secret of the Jameson Irish Whiskey lying in the triple distillation, where the spirit was kept for many years in maturing oak barrels imported from Spain, Portugal or America where they would have contained, Port, Sherry or Bourbon previously and this then would give the whiskey its characteristic flavor. Each visit to Midleton Distillery culminates in the Jameson Bar with the Irish Whiskey tasting session when you may have the opportunity of becoming a qualified Irish Whiskey Taster with a presentation diploma!
Trump International Doonbeg Golf Course
Killarney is one of Ireland's leading tourist destinations because of the abundance of restaurants, pubs and shopping. Killarney also offers a magnificent lake and mountain scenery in Killarney National Park. It is also situated on the Ring of Kerry scenic drive. Killarney has over 250 years of experience in welcoming guests. With Ireland's finest choice of Accommodation, Dining & Entertainment, Touring & Shopping Options, Sporting Activities galore and many nearby Blue Flag Beaches, - all located in the midst of breathtaking and ever-changing beautiful landscapes, you will not be disappointed. Killarney offers an abundance of beautiful boutiques, jewelry shops, art & photography galleries where you can purchase memorable gems. Downtown Killarney has late night shopping May to October with many stores open 7 days a week. There is also a number of traditional Irish stores stocking everything from Aran Sweaters to Irish Crystal and everything in between. So whether you are looking buy presents to take home or for a great meal, lively traditional Irish music or just a quiet pint, you are sure to find it in this town.
King John's Castle
King Johns Castle has just re-opened following a €5.7 million revamp which has turned it into a much more attractive, interesting and educational venue than it was, in the heart of Limerick City. You cannot fail to miss the huge stone curtain walls or stout round towers on the approach from Thomond Bridge, incidentally there is free parking for visitors just past the Bishop’s Palace on the left. Follow the signs then to the new entrance just left of the visitors centre, a large glass building which now houses a bright, new café, gift shop and toilet facilities. Built in the 13th century by King Johns Castle has had a very long and turbulent history, as you can imagine, much of it filled with blood and gore, as you might expect....
As we've mentioned most golfers do not use golf carts in Ireland. In fact most courses only have a few carts available and those are typically only rented to golfers with physical ailments. However if you provide a doctor’s note, at least a month in advance, stating you need one for medical reasons, most courses will permit you to rent a cart. One course, Ballybunion’s Old course, does not allow carts for any reason.
Carts are available to anyone(no doctor's note is required) at three of the courses we will visit, Waterville, Ballybunion Cashen Course, and Old Head (restricted to cart path only).
Most locals simply carry their own bags, or rent a pull “trolley.” Advice I’d give a first timer: Take caddies, but also take note: you must arrange for them in advance. It’s not like here in the US where you can just show up and say, “I’d like a caddie.” Over there, the caddies don't work for the clubs, they are "free agents", often with other jobs and need some lead time to coordinate their work schedule. The best part of Ireland is its people. Hiring a caddie is a great way to enjoy the course, shoot a better score and learn about the country through a friendly four hours of conversation. Average cost is 50-60 euro per round plus tip. One more thing, more often than not, the course will not have enough caddies on hand the day you play, so the caddy-master will assign one caddy to carry two bags and work for two golfers. When this happens the price is slightly reduced.
SFGA will send an email in Spring 2022 to all registered participants asking what your preference is for caddies, trolleys or carts where available.
Sightseeing and Touring:
Trump International Golf Links and Hotel - Doonbeg
Trump International Golf Links & Hotel - Doonbeg has been named the #1 Resort in Europe by Condé Nast Traveler, Trump International Golf Links & Hotel Ireland (formerly the Lodge at Doonbeg) awaits travelers with deluxe suite accommodations, fine amenities and discreet service. A trip to Doonbeg is an unparalleled opportunity to experience luxury accommodations set against a magnificent backdrop of rugged landscape, rolling waves and sand dunes with thousands of years of stories buried within them. Appealing to city-escapees, families and surfers as much as to the discerning golfer, the suites are uniquely crafted to ensure space, comfort and privacy. Trump Doonbeg guests will enjoy the utmost in old-world luxury and refinement in 5 star hotel suites, beautifully appointed with curated furnishings, art, and antiques. Our participants will share will share luxurious two and four bedroom suites, all offer private bedrooms/baths and a common area living room and kitchen that can be shared by each couple in the suite.
Waterville Golf Club
Lahinch Golf Club: Old Course
Things to know about golf in Ireland:
Make no mistake about it; Waterville Golf Links in Kerry is one of the finest links golf courses in the world, never mind Ireland. Located on the Ring of Kerry, the surrounding scenery and quality of golf holes is breathtaking to say the least.
Waterville has enjoyed great popularity and has hosted some of the world’s leading professionals from Faldo and Floyd to Stewart, O’Meara and Woods, all of whom have been captivated by the course. Raymond Floyd subsequently wrote of his experience: “this is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen it has some of the finest links holes I have ever played”. The late Henry Cotton, three times British Open Champion, probably said it best when he commented: “Waterville has to be one of the greatest golf courses ever built. If it were located in Britain, it would undoubtedly be a venue for the British Open. I have never seen a more consistent succession of really strong and beautiful golf holes than here.” Now that you’ve read what these guys had to say, don’t you want to see for yourself??? Oh and by the way, their own website claims that it is the Number 1 ranked Golf Links in Ireland!
Designer Robert Trent Jones II described the layout as being, "perhaps the finest piece of links land in the world". It has the ocean on one side and the river on the other to create an amazing setting for this stunning golf course. Each hole has its own character to keep golfers not only on their toes but thoroughly entertained throughout. The 10th and the 13th are the stand out holes that will take your breath away from tee to green. This is a dateless golf course which after playing makes you ask yourself if you've ever played amid quite such surroundings. Rated in the top 100 by Golf Magazine, the vast majority of Cashen’s green positions have been copied by many new course designers. Spectacular and supremely challenging, what can never be copied is the majestic landscape and fresh sea air that is distinctly part of the Ballybunion experience.
The world renowned 18-hole championship course at Trump International Golf Links & Hotel™ Doonbeg, spans 1.5 miles of crescent shaped beach and century old sand dunes along Doughmore Bay. The County Clare, Ireland golf course was officially opened in 2002 and immediately earned the prestigious title of Golf Digest's Best New International Course. In 2010, Trump International Doonbeg was awarded European Golf Resort of the Year by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators.
As early as 1892, officers of the Scottish Black Watch Regiment considered Doonbeg an ideal setting for links golf Ireland. Since then Trump Doonbeg has been transformed by Dr. Martin Hawtree to one of the 'must play' golf courses on the international circuit. He has allowed the character and soul of the land to flourish while enhancing the playability tenfold. Every hole has its own identity which will both reward and challenge each golfer.
The Perryville House - Kinsale
Perryville House is an elegant and distinctive period townhouse overlooking Kinsale Harbour, County Cork in the south of Ireland. Originally built in 1820 and beautifully restored, Perryville House is now a warm, gracious and light-filled boutique guesthouse.
True to its original role as a private residence, Perryville House welcomes guests from all over the world to share and enjoy the finest Irish hospitality and luxury accommodation in Kinsale. A masterpiece of Georgian architecture with later Victorian embellishment, Perryville House was built in 1820 by Captain Adam Warren Perry for his family whose ancestors continued to reside here until the late 1950s. It had various owners from then until 1997 when fired by the beauty, character and history of this lovely house, Andrew & Laura Corcoran undertook the mammoth task of refurbishing and bringing it back to its former glory. Situated in the heart of Kinsale, overlooking the harbour, Perryville House welcomes guests from April to October each year.
Once the bedrooms of the family that built Perryville House, now an elegant escape for guests from around the world . . . Each of their 25 tranquil, spacious rooms is unique in size, design and furnishings and all are beautifully appointed in finely-finished, bespoke luxury. Our participants will stay in elegant Superior Double Rooms which offer a 6’ king bed and are a generous 325 sq.ft. enhanced by charming courtyard-garden views and a private bathroom with shower. As with all their rooms you’ll enjoy luxury linens and period furnishings. An exceptional Perryville House breakfast is included and guests can also enjoy morning coffee, light lunch, afternoon tea and pre-dinner drinks in the Garden Room or Drawing Room.
Best of all is the Perryville's magnificent location across from the scenic harbor and just a few steps from the many gourmet restaurants, pubs, music, and shopping activities.
The Great Southern Hotel - Killarney
Located very near the heart of Killarney town and set within 6 acres of secluded landscaped gardens, this elegant Victorian-era hotel combines old-world charm with contemporary flair and stylish accommodation. The hotel has a rich and colorful heritage, playing host to many celebrities and dignitaries since it first opened in 1854. It still offers the same traditional Irish charm, warm welcome and excellent customer service but now also boasts modern and luxurious facilities.
Bedrooms are spacious and equipped with all the amenities you would expect in a four-star hotel. Our group will be in the upgraded Deluxe Garden View Rooms. Guests have the choice of two restaurants: the grand gilt-domed Garden Room Restaurant which overlooks the gardens and serves imaginative dishes using fresh, locally sourced produce. The friendly Punch Bowl Bar is open throughout the day for tea, coffee, snacks and cocktails. The hotel's Innisfallen Leisure Centre has a gym, 17m indoor pool, sauna, steam room, monsoon shower and jacuzzi. The health & beauty rooms offer a range of massages and body treatments, facials and hydrotherapy. An elegant and comfortable base for a visit to Killarney town, the lakes and mountains of Killarney National Park, the Ring of Kerry and all the other stunning Links Courses found in Co Kerry.
The Ring of Kerry
The Ring of Kerry is considered one of the finest drives in the world. From rugged cliffs to golden beaches, small villages and pastures green to peat bogs and picturesque mountain ranges. This peninsula illustrates all that is beautiful, wonderful and wild in our beloved motherland.
The variety of sites makes this one of the most diverse and interesting drives that one is likely to experience in their travel adventures. Along the Ring of Kerry drive you'll see ancient stone forts to landscapes carved out of rock by the Ice Age, from sparkling lakes to winding mountain passes. We travel large parts of this route to and from Dooks Golf Links and on the ride to/from Waterville Links.
Tralee Golf Club
The Cobh Heritage Centre
The Cóbh Heritage Centre is a museum located in Cóbh, East of Cork, Republic of Ireland. It is attached to Cóbh's railway halt. The "Queenstown Experience", located at the centre, has mostly permanent exhibitions of Irish history. It provides information on life in Ireland through the 18th and 19th centuries, the mass emigration, the Great Famine, and on how criminals were transported to Australia for petty crimes. It also has an exhibition on the history of the RMS Titanic, whose last port of call before it sank was Cóbh (then Queenstown).
We recently had several members ask us to organize a SFGA trip to the Southwest of Ireland and we agreed. After all, if you want to cross the great links at Tralee, Waterville, Ballybunion and Old Head off your bucket list, the Southwest is where you'll have to go! Well, we've had the pleasure of taking our SFGA members all over the world and one of their most popular golf destinations has always been Ireland. Ireland has so many reasons to visit in addition to the golf including the breathtaking landscapes, the witty humor, fantastic cuisine and the music. Even without a drop of Irish blood in your veins, it’s easy to fall in love with Ireland’s charms, traditions, and strong sense of community. You will experience these Irish traditions and more, as this trip combines the perfect blend of golf and sightseeing. And best of all, you’ll have one of the best driver/guides in Ireland who will teach you a bit of Gaelic, discuss Irish history & culture, assist with your bags and chauffeur you around in a private coach for the entire trip. Our trip will take place in mid July when the weather is typically warmer and the precipitation is considered to be low. It's the best time of the year to visit and the golf courses should be in their best shape. Ireland has become a mecca for golfers and one visit is all it takes to understand why the Emerald Isle is such a magical place.
Please note several important details:
Ballybunion Golf Club: Old Course
The Hunt Museum - Limerick
The Hunt Museum preserves and exhibits the original artifacts gathered, over a life time, by John and Gertrude Hunt and known as the Hunt Collection. The Museum also displays its own collections, as well as visiting exhibitions of Local, National and International significance with the overall aim of maximizing their cultural and educational potential for the people of Limerick and Ireland.
There are artifacts from Greece, Rome, Egypt and the Olmec civilization. There is also an important collection of Irish Prehistoric archaeological material ranging from Mesolithic through to the Iron Age which includes a significant selection of Bronze Age items, most notably a Bronze Age shield and cauldron. Early Christian objects include a collection of monastic bells as well as the unique 9th century Antrim Cross. One of the strengths of the collection is the Irish and European medieval material, which includes statues in stone and wood, painted panels, jewellery, enamels, ivories, ceramics, crystal and crucifixes. 18th and 19th century decorative arts are also represented with fine examples of silver, glass and ceramics. Artists’ works in the collection include Pablo Picasso, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Roderic O’Conor, Jack B. Yeats, Robert Fagan and Henry Moore.
71 Burbank Drive
Palm Coast, FL 32137
(904) 823 – 3083
Golf & Adventure Travel Expeditions, Inc. is a registered seller of travel with the State of Florida.
Registration No. ST-34491
Photo Courtesy of Ballybunion Golf Club and Evan Schiller
Golf Course Information:
Photo Courtesy of Ttrump Doonbeg Golf Club
Lahinch Golf Club
It has been described as ‘The St Andrews of Ireland’ and many other complimentary titles. Those who know and love the place firmly believe that Lahinch Golf Club doesn’t need comparison with any of the game’s other world class venues. From the infant days back in 1892 up to today, the Club has stood out on its own merits as a golfing institution like none other.
In July of 2019 Lahinch hosted the Irish Open, a European PGA Tour Event, which was won by Jon Rahm who began the final round 5 shots behind and shot a blistering 62 on his way to a 2 shot victory.
Lahinch Golf Club is renowned for the way the links has retained all of its old virtues. It has benefited from the willingness, over the decades, to move with the times and is now regarded as one of the best and most enjoyable challenges to be found anywhere in the golfing world. The legendary Old Tom Morris set the highest standards for the course from the outset. He was followed by equally celebrated architects Charles ‘Mo’ Gibson and Dr Alister MacKenzie. In more recent times, the expertise of Dr Martin Hawtree ensures its place in the higher echelons of all golf rankings.
Cashen Course at Ballybunion
A) $5,544 Per Golfer, Double Occupancy or $11,088 Per Couple both Golfing
B) $3,694 Per Non-Golfer, Double Occupancy or $9,238 Per Couple, Golfer & Non-Golfer
C) $7,994 Per Golfer Single Occupancy
Tralee Golf Club
A Breathtaking Challenge - The legendary Tom Watson described the glorious links at Ballybunion Golf Club as the best in the world. High praise indeed for this magnificent test of golf which meanders menacingly through massive dunes on the shores of the Atlantic. Ballybunion Golf Club actually boasts two separate courses.
The Old Course (Par 71, 6,598 yards) certainly can bare it's teeth when the wind comes up - and it's often windy! The Old Golf Course is consistently ranked as one of the world's top ten golf courses, features a graveyard by the first tee, which some say is a warning to golfers who breeze through the first five holes only to come face to face with the ever challenging 6th, the fiendish 8th, the daunting par four 11th and the devilishly tricky 15th. Top100Courses.co.uk – consistently ranks Ballybunion Old Course as No. 1 in Ireland, find out why!
Southwest Ireland Golf Adventure
Doonbeg, Killarney, and Kinsale
June 28 - July 9, 2022
"The most spectacular golf course in the world" - (Links Magazine)
Unrivalled in terms of the magnificent beauty and setting of the site, Old Head Golf Links continues to take the golfing world by storm. The brainchild of John and Patrick O'Connor, the Club has developed into one of the most recognized and sought after golf experiences anywhere on earth. The Course is 20 minutes from the Trident Hotel in Kinsale...
Old Head is a remarkably dramatic piece of Ireland, built on a 220-acre diamond shaped piece of land, jutting out over two miles into the Atlantic Ocean. The promontory is almost an island with numerous caves running beneath your feet as you play the course. The links and practice area occupy 180 acres and the remaining 40 acres of unspoilt cliff (rising in places to over 300 feet) frame the course. Old Head’s par 72 layout is comprised of five Par 5s, five Par 3s and eight Par 4s – stretching to over 7,300 yards from the tips - with a minimum of six tees per hole. Nine holes play along the cliff tops, and all eighteen holes provide stunning ocean views. With the ever-changing sea breezes, the course provides a stern test to the touring pro and the high handicapper alike. One of our recent trip participants had this to say about Old Head. “I’ve played many great courses including Peeble Beach, but I would choose Old Head as my favorite course in terms of playability and scenic enjoyment. It should be on every golfer’s bucket list.” We feel the same way and hope you’ll take the opportunity to cross it off your bucket list when you join us on our next Ireland Trip
Old Head Golf Club
Old Head Golf Club