Ireland is a nation with some of the finest golf courses across the world. No wonder, golf tourism alone pulls more than €200 million into the country. And a majority of tourists are repeat visitors. If you love golf and planning on a golf vacation, we suggest that you make Ireland a must-visit destination on your itinerary. But before you leave, here are a few things you ought to know:
• Some of the small and unknown golf courses here are as interesting as the popular ones:
With golf courses like the Royal County Down and the Royal Portrush, you might not be tempted to include seemingly unknown golf courses in your list. But you only have to visit them once to know what you were likely to miss. The Holywood Golf Club is a shining example. This is the home course for Rory McIlroy - winner of 4 major championships. This isn’t a links course, but a parkland course. Dale Dunlop of The Maritime Explorer offers a wonderful review of the course - read this before you visit the Holywood Golf club.
• The best time to play golf in Ireland is NOW:
Ireland has a temperate climate - it’s never extremely hot or cold here. Most golf courses are by the seaside. All of these factors make golf an all weather sport in Ireland. But if you are keen on avoiding the crowd, late spring and early fall is the best time to visit. Summer is good, but a busy season.
• Hiring a local caddie in advance:
Caddies are not employed by clubs. They’re independent contractors; hence we suggest that you book them in advance. Typical caddie fee for groups at a links course would be around £60. Make sure you hire a local caddie to help you with clubbing on the greens and even advise you on the bunkers. Similarly golf carts are also not very common here. You’ll have to request for them in advance, especially if you have someone with a medical condition.
• Handicap certificates:
Most golf clubs in Ireland require handicap certificates. It is advisable that you bring them with you.
Standard golfing etiquette is followed in all Irish golf courses. This includes wearing golf shoes and smart casuals. Most clubs discourage the use of cell phones on the course.
Author Bio : The Author has been on countless golf vacations and has played on almost all golf courses in Ireland; big and small, including the Holywood Golf Club.