Watch out for the pit falls!
If you have been given the god awful job to organize the boys or girls golf tour Ireland or wherever else for 2014/2015! You must read my following points, because I would like to share with you a few of my thoughts that will help you plan a great golf trip for everyone to enjoy. I am going to outline a couple of the crucial aspects that will ensure you won’t make a complete disaster of the task at hand. In this piece I will be focusing on helping you with building a great Irish Golf Tour.
1. Create a check list…. If you do nothing else, just create a check list. Detail; golf courses, transportations, accommodation, the great places to eat at every stop, great shopping, what sights to see, research Irish sporting events and whatever else you think the group would like to do
2. You must obtain the groups consensus for which golf courses they would really like to play? But be realistic and trust me; the idea of playing Waterville and Royal Portrush in the same trip sounds great, but there a lot of travelling between those golf courses and you will lose too much time travelling, when you could be playing golf.
3. Before you nail down where you would like to play golf; I typically segment Ireland into four golfing destinations, however the areas can overlap depending on the courses you would like to play.
· Southwest golf links courses: Ballybunion GC, Doonbeg GC, Dooks GC, Lahinch GC, Old Head Golf Links, Tralee GC & Waterville Golf Links
· Southwest parkland golf courses: Cork Golf Club, Adare Golf Club (at the Manor House) & Killeen at Killarney Golf & Fishing Club.
· Dublin Golf links (Baltray, European Club, The Island, Portmarnock G.C , Portmarnock Links & Royal Dublin)
· North & West Golf Links: both courses at Ballyliffin, Carne, Donegal, Enniscrone, Narin & Portnoo, Northwest, Portsalon, both courses at Rossapenna, Rosses Point. (Please note; that there is a lot of travelling to get from place to place around the West and North West of Ireland)
· Northern Ireland Golf Links: Ardglass, both courses at Royal County Down, both courses at Royal Portrush, Castlerock & Port Stewart.
· If you like a sample of a couple of the Irish golf tour segments, I suggest to try to mix up the South West & Dublin and or the North West and the Northern courses. But please be advised; keep travelling from place to place down to the minimum. There is nothing worse than trying to fit too much into a 4 day, 5 day or a 7 day Irish Golf Tour.
4. The trick here is to ensure that you spend as little time travelling in a bus or hire car (by the way don’t drive, Irish roads can be challenging) and spend all your time playing golf. Or invest the time exploring the area that you are located in. I am sure you will meet more people from socialising in the local pubs and maybe you might decide to pack up the clubs for the day and go fishing! I can assure you that you will find all the cool places to enjoy nice evening meals with good entertainment; maybe even enjoy a few pints with the caddies and catch some of the great traditional Irish music.
5. Before you book anything, make sure you’re satisfied with the financial commitment from everyone within the group. For example, if you use your credit details to secure 12 golfers in Ballybunion, you will be charged upfront for the total bill and you don’t want to be left with an extra fee that brother Tom says “oh no, I forgot, it’s my kids birthday that week and I can’t go!”.
6. Arrange comfortable chauffeured transportation and may I suggest, avoid driving cars or vans where possible. I keep pushing this point to my customers as much as possible and please don’t go cheap on transport. I typically advise my clients to avoid the mess with cheap rentals, because there will not be good back up/customer services and it is only chaos should you be unfortunate where the car or van breaks down somewhere in the middle of nowhere. I have seen to many disasters and I can always hear an echo of those famous last words “ooooh, I should have listened”.
7. If this is your first trip to Ireland; book guest houses & bed and breakfasts. This is the best way to meet Ireland. You will meet and talk to people like never before in your life, spending time with people is fun! Try it and I promise you that you will thank me after. Or at least spend one night in a B&B
If you feel the work load is too much for you to do, please give me a call and I will create a great golf trip for all to enjoy. There are a lot of great fun things to do in Ireland besides playing golf and I can take care of that plan for the non-golfing ladies and gents. You can leave that job up the average golf tour operator, but I will suggest to you a wider range of things to do and places to see.
If you have any questions about golf trips to Ireland, please feel free to contact me. I wish you the very best of luck and enjoy Ireland!
John Dooley PGA,
Email: [email protected]
Irish golf tour, golf travel expert