To sample the best of golf on the West Coast of Ireland there are two main choices: southwest to Lahinch, Ballybunion and Waterville or northwest to Donegal GC Murvagh, Enniscrone and the grand old lady at Rosses Point.
To describe the difference between the two alternatives I think of the plain-speaking captain of the first dive boat I went on. When conversation turned to the merits of the most famous dive site in the vicinity, he said: “What’s the fun in waiting around just to see a bunch of idiots filming each others’ butts?” So off we went to another place which was magical...and undisturbed by other boats.
You might not get the seclusion at Rosses Point which you can get at Ballyliffin or Rosapenna, but also not the constantly full booking sheets that is often the reality of high season golf at the top courses in the South West of Ireland.
On our arrival (without a booking, bien sûr) the pro shop assistant asked us if we wanted to start immediately. Somewhat bemused, we agreed. When teeing off, we saw two helicopters landing. Afterwards, we realised that we would probably have spent almost an hour longer on the links if we had not taken his offer. A few years later, I am still grateful for his initiative.
The pro shop assistant did not, however, try very hard to talk us out of our idea to also play the club’s Bomore nine. It would have been a better move to play the Championship course twice on the day, especially as we made a few rookie mistakes during our round.
Date: September 22, 2019