A Journal, with Pictures

Ireland 2014

by on Aug.27, 2014, under Happenings

My good friend Bill Marx and I flew to Ire­land for a week of golf on Sat­ur­day August 16th. We met in the Unit­ed lounge in Newark, board­ed Unit­ed flight 24 around 7:30PM and after din­ner got maybe 4 hours of sleep before land­ing in Shan­non at 7;30 local time. Bill was our des­ig­nat­ed dri­ver, I was the nav­i­ga­tor and chant­ed “think left” all the way to Bally­bunion. We checked into Teach de Brock our favorite coun­try house, right across from the prac­tice tee at the Bally­bunion golf club. We met by our friends Aoife & Sea­mus Brock the pro­pri­etors and were served a sec­ond break­fast by pret­ty Wendy. It was good to be back in Ire­land and after check­ing in, we hit a few golf balls, and teed off on the Cashen course at Bal­ley­bunion. It was a nice Irish day with the wind blow­ing 30 to 40 knots, so our rein­tro­duc­tion to Irish links golf was perfect.

The next two days we played the mag­nif­i­cent Old Course at Bally­bunion one of my three favorite cours­es in Ire­land. We played with some of our Irish friends and had some spir­it­ed match­es and enjoyed great weath­er, par­tic­u­lar­ly on Tues­day. Our rou­tine was get up late (ear­ly in US time) have break­fast, and play golf in the after­noon, very civ­i­lized. We then would have a after golf drink, have a show­er in time for cock­tail hour, then a great din­ner at Teach de Brock. The old course is spe­cial start­ing from the first hole which skirts a grave yard. May the balls that I have hit in there RIP, because the sign warns you not to go in to retrieve balls. Then there is one great hole after anoth­er. We rev­eled in the beau­ty of this clas­sic, while enjoy­ing the com­pe­ti­tion and com­pa­ny of our Irish friends.

After three won­der­ful days of great Teach de Brock hos­pi­tal­i­ty, golf at one of the best and good times with our Irish friends it was time to trav­el to Lahinch for the inter­na­tion­al mem­ber guest tour­na­ment. We took Wednes­day off and had a leisure­ly dri­ve up to the small vil­lage of Lahinch, the loca­tion of anoth­er Irish clas­sic links golf course. The for­mat of the event was one guest, one inter­na­tion­al mem­ber and one local mem­ber play­ing for two day in a sta­ble­ford for­mat. We crossed into Coun­ty Car­ry on the fer­ry and arrived in time for a lunch then walked around town, vis­it­ing our favorite woolen shop to catch up on gos­sip. Thurs­day was the prac­tice round, and we played in wind and rain, wel­come back to Irish golf. Same rou­tine golf, show­er, cock­tails, din­ner and a good nights sleep and repeat.

We played the tour­na­ment in rel­a­tive­ly (by Ire­land stan­dards) good weath­er. A lit­tle wind, one, two or three club but no rain. Our Irish host, Austin Slat­tery, was a good play­er and a plea­sure to be with, he just did­n’t have enough to car­ry two Amer­i­cans, but we did O.K. and did­n’t embar­rass our­selves fin­ish­ing in the upper mid­dle of the pack.

The evening after com­pe­ti­tion was spe­cial with our host Austin and his love­ly wife host­ing cock­tails for us and a few of the inter­na­tion­al guests at their home. The tour­na­ment was renamed to hon­or Ken Ven­turi and Ken’s son Matt attend­ed and played. A very jol­ly awards din­ner at the club house fol­lowed our cock­tails, with awards and com­ments by the lahinch Cap­tain and Matt Ven­turi. It was a great evening, very well done and every­one seemed to enjoy each oth­ers com­pa­ny in a very spe­cial setting.

It was up ear­ly on Sun­day for our trip back to the US at 5:00AM. Bill did a great job of think­ing left and we were back in Shan­non by 6:30 AM. Our flight left on time and arrived ear­ly. After a looooong lay over I arrived in Day­ton at 7:00PM a very long day. My won­der­ful wife had a great din­ner wait­ing, which after a show­er made the end of the jour­ney per­fect. It was a great week, my trav­el­ing com­pan­ion and tour­na­ment host, Bill Marx was a great orga­niz­er, but most of all great fun to be with. Ire­land, the Irish peo­ple and our Irish friends made the trip like com­ing home. Our Lahinch golf part­ner Austin, and the mem­bers of the Lahinch Club put on a great event. The golf, well as Bill describes it, was “golf heaven”.

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