Grand Golf Tours - Ireland Series 2: South West and Galway

Introduction

This tour starts off with two exciting, contrasting and remote courses in Galway. Connemara is a modern, long testing course whereas Connemara Isles is Irish golf ‘back in time’ with minimum design, a very unusual clubhouse and reached via a causeway. All they have in common is that they are on the famous ‘Wild Atlantic Way’ coastal route. Back to reality, overnight in Galway, a vibrant city, largest on the West Coast. With a pause in County Clare you can take the ferry across the Shannon or the Limerick Tunnel into the ever- popular County Kerry. Here you play the most westerly course in Europe, followed by the only number 2 course in Ireland that is more difficult than the main course.

Your Day by Day Itinerary

DAY 1 - Arrive at Shannon Airport or Dublin, met by AGS representative, collect auto or meet your private driver/guide, drive to your hotel base at Clifden, Connemara for 2 nights.

DAY 2 - Play Connemara, a beautiful isolated links course on a wild, rugged Atlantic coastline. With a testing dog leg opening hole, through to the spectacular back nine, this course is a test for all levels. From the back tees 7200 yards, Par 72.

The area: is a Gaeltacht region. The Irish language, culture and traditions are particularly cherished and protected in this area which has a large proportion of Irish speakers. 

DAY 3  - On route to your hotel at Galway for 1 night, play Connemara Isles. The island is reached by a causeway and you will find ‘Old Fashioned Irish Golf’ at its best. The only thatched clubhouse in Ireland, minimal design over rugged land. A true natural linksland. 9 holes, 5260 yards, Par 70.

In the area: You can take the opportunity to drive along part of the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s famous coastal route.

Galway- is the major city on the West coast. It is a lively city with its compact center on the shore of Galway Bay. There is plenty going on in summer, Galway races in August, Arts festival in July and Oyster Festival in September. 

DAY 4 - On route to your hotel at Tralee for 4 nights. Play Lahinch Castle, it is clearly overshadowed by the world ranked Old course. However, I found this comment about the Castle course by the club secretary "People often say they don't want to play it, because it's too easy. But I always tell them this. If you go out there and play to your handicap, there's a free pint at the bar for you. I've never had to pay up yet". 5653 yards, Par 70.

In the area, ‘The Burren’ and ‘Cliffs of Moher’.

DAY 5 - Play Dooks, it has a beautiful and tranquil atmosphere. The course is not as exposed as some Irish courses and has an amazing variety of gorse, heather and wild flowers. The narrow, authentic sandy fairways and the well contoured greens guarantee true links golf with breathtaking views.  6586 yards, Par 71.

In the area: Killarney Town, Ring of Kerry.

DAY 6 - Play Dingle, the most westerly course in Europe. This links is carved from an unspoiled, natural landscape. A winding burn crosses 10 of the holes and there are spectacular views of the Blasket Islands in the Atlantic.6737 yards, Par 72.

In the area: Visit the Clochans, small settlements of beehive huts built by Monks. Also, the Gallorus Oratory near Ballyferriter. One of Ireland’s oldest churches built c. 750.

DAY 7 - Play Ballybunion Cashen, it is not a normal second course overshadowed by the main layout. Its reputation is that it is more brutal, unforgiving, spectacular and has bigger dunes than Ballybunion Old course. It is shorter and in high season about one third of the price of the Old. 6318 yards, Par 72.

DAY 8 - Depart from Shannon or Dublin Airport.

4* Abbeyglen Castle Hotel is on the aptly named Sky Road, overlooking the picturesque village of Clifden, Connemara. It’s perfect setting has the ‘12 Bens’ mountains as a backdrop and beautiful views over Clifden Bay. This historical Castle has nine luxury suites offering comfort and style. There are standard and superior rooms available, some superior rooms and luxury suites have four poster beds, open fires or Jacuzzi’s. The facilities in each room include: central heating, multi-channel television, DVD player, radio, Tea / Coffee making facilities and en suite bathroom and shower facilities.

The restaurant has been awarded Two Rosettes from the AA for its gourmet food and fine wines. It is known for its gourmet food and offers local seafood, live lobster, a fresh catch of the day and delicious Connemara lamb. There is an Irish menu written in Gaelic serving several traditional dishes. This is accompanied by a wonderful evening of traditional Irish music and song. The Wellness and Relaxation Centre is where you can relax and unwind.

4* Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Galway is a city centre hotel in one of Ireland’s most exciting cities. There are 261 rooms and suites equipped with Free high-speed, wireless Internet. Two restaurants, Marinas Grill and RAW Sushi in the Sky, offer local specialties, including mussels, salmon and lamb. Both traditional Irish cuisine options and international dishes are on the menu. There is an extensive wine list. The Atrium Bar & Lounge serves delicious meals and snacks, plus local beers, cocktails, spirits and wines. The Marinas Grill projects Galway’s and the region’s fare, including salmon, crab and lamb. Excellent with a glass of wine or Champagne available by the glass or half-bottle. Spoil yourself in the Thermal Suite at Spirit One spa. Shannon and Ireland West airports are only an hour away, and Dublin is just a 2-hour drive from Galway.

4* Ballyseede Castle in Co. Kerry is one of the top 4-star luxury castle hotels in Ireland and Kerry’s only Castle Hotel. It is just 3 miles from Tralee on the popular Ring of Kerry. Here you can enjoy old world elegance with modern day comforts. There is a relaxed ambience, quality accommodation and award winning food. The hotel aims to provide the highest level of comfort and service. The two star AA Rosette awarded O’Connell Restaurant serves beautiful food in magnificent surroundings. It is Irish cuisine with locally sourced ingredients and an extensive choice of wines. Breakfast is served in the Stone Room Restaurant, eggs and bacon. Irish cheeses, pastries, meats, fruits and juices. Pappy's Bar offers all-day dining with an extensive menu.

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