By the time you’ve connected with the drive on your first tee box, a lot of things have fallen into place to make the start of your Irish golf vacation just perfect. Flying to the right destination airport, collection there and being chauffeured to your luxury accommodation of choice, becoming familiar with your private driver and hotel, and a welcoming meal and refreshment. All the logistics for a magical week of links golf at its world best are in place, you and your friends or family just need to kick back and enjoy while the Executive Tours Ireland team do the work. We can get all the best tee times, line up the best restaurants, show you the most breathtaking sites and tend to your every need, but your here to play dream golf, and that means that your golf itinerary must be world class. One of the first courses we start our Irish Golf Vacation Packages on is very often the Doonbeg Golf Links at the ‘Trump International Golf Links and Hotel Ireland’. Known to us recently as Doonbeg Golf Resort, it recently came into the hands of Donald Trump’s collection of world class golf resorts. In fact it was recently voted Europe’s number 1 resort by Condé Nast Traveler.
Today we are going to focus on the golf course alone as between now and Thanksgiving we are going to feature a number of Irish Golf courses that feature as part of our customized Irish golf vacations, and indeed our Golf Tours Special offer which is running presently and into early 2015.
At Executive Tours Ireland, we like to bring our new and returning clients to golf courses that are designed by those whose reputation for excellence precedes them. In the same way that Tralee is an Arnold Palmer jewel, and Adare is a Robert Trent Jones Sr masterpiece, Greg Norman made Doonbeg an instant favourite among golf’s connoisseurs. Overnight it became a ‘must-play’ on many golf vacations itineraries and for our money it well deserves its credentials. Set as it is on the very edge of Irelands Atlantic seaboard, you know as you draw back your swing on the first tee box that today, I am going to have to be on top of my game. From 1 through 18, the only compensation you’ll find is Mother Nature’s particular kindness to this corner of Ireland, the pinnacle of which has to be Doonbeg. The bumps and hollows will make you goat-like and standing with your two feet finally again level with each other by the time you reach the 19th will be a welcome development! The naturally sanded deep, deep bunkers have made otherwise 4’s into numbers I can’t even publish in case people thought I was talking about my own golf game! This Irish links treasure is typical of a collection of gems in this region that after a week of experiencing them your game will have improved as you become proficient in dealing with the wind factor. Doonbeg is for many encompasses all that is great about the Irish Golf Vacation, it is my friends is one true test of golf. Greg Norman himself couldn’t quite believe his luck when he first saw this property, and we tip our hats for the sterling job he has done.
This is a par 72 course that plays 9 out and 9 in. The course is spanned entirely by Doughmore beach, a golden strand typical of Irelands Atlantic coast line. It creates a relaxing atmosphere as the scenery forms the most dramatic backdrop to almost every shot you’ll take. Every hole throws something at you to the point where you’ll be using clubs you forgot you had in the bag! Some of our clients have played Doonbeg twice while touring with us but wondered if they actually played a different course the second time! Everybody always talks about the 14th. It comes at that time of the day where if you’ve not yet been beaten into submission, it may be just about to happen. Especially if you think you’re finally getting some respite on what is a mere 110 yard par 3. Guess again I’m afraid! The plateau-green is so inviting you have no option but to attack it, and you know it’s got to be perfect – anything less and you’ll know your fate awaits you when you get there. Even the first hole, a testy par 5, begs you to attack the green, and well you might looking as it does well guarded with tall dunes, but any mistake is punished by bunkers whose depths once visited are very good for the concentration thereafter.
Doonbeg is one course set in an area of rich golf heritage. If links is the cornerstone of the Irish golf tours experience, then, County Clare is surely a haven of links golf. Not only is it conveniently located less than an hour’s drive from multi award winning Shannon International Airport, it is also within 15 miles of Lahinch, an equally amazing and mouth watering Irish golf links challenge. That is why we base so many of our clients both for Customized Irish golf vacations and our Southwest Ireland Golf Tour nearby usually at one of Dromoland Castle, Adare Manor or Limerick’s 5* Savoy Hotel. This region of Ireland has it all. Rarely do we find golf links at such a world class level that are backed up and matched not only by their accommodation counterparts, but also strikingly unique scenery. Here at Executive Tours Ireland we know this is a large part of the reason why so many of our clients come back as often as they can. Their golf vacation just keeps peaking as an experience, from collection to departure at the airport. The Southwest Ireland Golf Tour includes Trump International at Doonbeg, Lahinch, Old Head Kinsale in County Cork, Tralee and Ballybunion in County Kerry, and Adare Manor in County Limerick. Each of these six are in themselves world class, but put them together and they form our top product, the Southwest Ireland Golf Tour. This is our top selling Irish Golf Vacation, and can of course be customized or tailored to your needs. We have a special offer running on it presently, so what a way to experience Trump International at Doonbeg in 2015!
Thanks for reading, and visit us again soon where we’ll preview another of Ireland’s legendary links experiences. I know Thanksgiving is coming up and if you are meeting friends and family, have a think about our Thanksgiving 2014 offer – an opportunity to book now and save significantly in 2015. Till next time, Mike Ryan