The commentary is a blog posting category for Concierge Golf Ireland’s blog posting. Notably, special attention is taken to comments made using either verified sources of information or simply my industry experiences.
Additionally, our commentary is our own and we are certainly not plagiarising copywriter’s materials.
Furthermore, from our point of view, our comments are important to discuss. Also, highlighting our insight into golf travel and the activities that go along with; where to play, where to stay and where to dine!
Noting, that golfers would like to read what we say about golf courses, hotels, transportation and how all of those things can work for your next golf vacations to Ireland or Scotland.
What are the best golf courses in Ireland to play before you leave your boots? Over the years, publications such as Golf Digest, Golf Monthly, Golf World and a number of different publications created and publicised their own versions of what are the top 100 golf courses in various countries.
Most of the publications quote that the Irish Links Courses are the best courses to play in Ireland. With this in mind, the top five courses in Ireland are all links golf courses. Such as Royal County Down Golf Club, Royal Portrush Golf Club, Portmarnock Golf Club, Lahinch Golf Club and Waterville Golf Links.
All of the five golf courses just mentioned are hard courses to play and to post a good score. However, there are also factors that affect player’s scores such as the weather and time of year, the golfer’s ability to play golf, time of day, the playing conditions of the courses and so on.
These factors all have a significant influence on how the golfer defines his or her golf experiences. Additionally, the anecdotal evidence that I have collected over the years, it that, not all golfers love the same courses.
We gathered information from the various golfers that we worked with during 2018. Our approach was to converse on the quality if the gif courses played. We asked, how would they rank the courses played?
Typically, the golfers were only too delighted to offer their feedback and it was are always different. However, Royal County Down Golf Club was the outstanding clear favourite course played.
I played at Claremont Country Club recently in an invitational golf tournament called the Rix. It was a really enjoyable golf event, where teams of two players play five nine-hole match play games within their flight or handicap category. Indeed, the team with the most points won from each flight will progress to the playoff.
The playoff was great entertainment. The format is straight foursomes and typically since nobody really plays that format too often, anything can happen. Also, to make the course even more difficult to play, the greens are rolled again and new holes are cut in very tricky areas. So much so, that players can four-putt easily and I do recall watching a couple of players taking eight putts to get the ball in the hole. Anyhow, poor me, my team did not make the playoffs!
Eight teams of two played the 1st hole, then over to the 8th hole were five teams played and finally, three teams progressed to the final playoff hole, the 18th. Amazingly, two teams that progressed were from highest handicap flights (7&8) along with the winners from the lowest handicap flight played the final hole. Clearly, each of the teams were made of good old hard grit and they all tied the 18th. The final playoff was a 110-yard made-up par three from the 9th fairway hitting to the 18th green. Each team hit, the crowd were gathered around the 18th green and they cheered loudly as two shots almost hit the green and finally one ball hit the green.
The honour when to the top team as they made an excellent birdie to win the Rix for 2018. Great fun had by all and definitely, this event is on my scorecard for 2019.
The Course at Claremont County Club
However, the course measures less than 5,800 yards from the back tees. Certainly, looking at the length of the course, it is easy to think that this course plays dead easy! However, that is not the case and far from easy! In the spirit of Alister Mackenzie, the club has completed numerous on-course redesigned work ensuring that the course remains as close as possible to the original design by Dr Alister Mackenzie Course.
It is so important to stay safe from the sun. We can be playing Links golf in the sun for four hours or more. Therefore, protecting your skin from the sun is really important. We have all different skin types the sun can burn in a different ways and sometimes we can be slow to apply sunscreen. The following points are eight tips to keep you safe from the sun.
Avoid midday tee times where possible and play golf early or at late tee times. The sun can be at its most intense between 10 am and 4 pm.
Cover your skin as much as possible. For example, there are plenty of lightweights, breathable long pants, long sleeves shirts to wear. Brands such as Adidas, Puma and Underamour provide such products.
Hang out in the shade as much as possible and keep your body out of the sun where and when possible. The shade from the trees and golf carts provide good cover from the sun.
Do wear sunglasses that block out 100% of the UV radiation. Brands such as Maui Jim block 100% of the UV radiation and protect all around the eye area.
Avoid sunburning by applying SPF sun cream of 30 and higher. Its likely that golfers will be sweating from time to time and using water-resistance sun cream would be a good choice. Also, use a lip balm with a similar SPF of 30 plus.
Re-apply the sun cream every two hours and ensure to cover every exposed part of your body.
Wear golf hats or hats will a circular rim otherwise known as bucket hats. Try using long peaked baseball hats also.
Protect yourself when the wind is blowing and overcast. As UV rays can still penetrate the clouds and lead to sunburn.
Should you feel you need to get your moles of freckles checked out, contact your medical practitioner straight away. It is important to be aware of the risks of skin exposure to the sun and we need to be checked out from time to time.
Written by John Dooley Concierge Golf Ireland to create awareness about Stay Safe from the Sun. Click here for our contact information.
There are a number of elements that I look for before recommending restaurants. Yes indeed on the top of that list, is that the chef’s menus are full of in-season ingredients. Certainly, I am looking for Customer service with a smile. That the wait staff are knowledgeable and that the restaurant can manage reservations. Finally, it is crucial that the restaurant offers a range of wines and beverages suited to their food offerings.
Notably, I have made five suggestions per location. Indeed, Irish cities and Towns such as Dublin, Cork, Kinsale have a lot of really good restaurants. However, I am picking out the restaurant types that I like to recommend. I like food and I like fun and it’s important to enjoy a good dining experience.
What we do for our customers is to book and manage their dinner reservations.
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This is Concierge Golf Ireland’s guide to playing the Copperhead Golf Course at Innisbrook Golf Resort near Tampa Florida. Having played Copperhead quite a number of times over the last 5 years; I have noted my thought about saving golfers a few shots the next time they play golf at Copperhead. I am going to talk about playing the golf course from the green tees and playing the best shots. The greens are tricky but very fair. I find the greens easy to read and but, the pace of the greens can be hard to feel at times. Copperhead Innisbrook Golf Resort is a must play.
1st Hole, Innisbrook’s View, 528 yards par 5
If the 1st hole is playing downwind and if you can carry the ball over 280 yards with your driver. If quite possible that you can reach this par 5 in two shots and you should go for it. Otherwise hit a tee shot with a club that will play short of the fairway bunker on the left and play for the left centre of the fairway to give you a better look at the green for your 3rd approach shot.
2nd Hole, Second Thoughts, 371 yards par 4
A tee shot to the right centre of the fairway would be ideal. You may not need to hit your driver off the tee on this hole and note that the second shot is to a raised green and I would recommend aiming for the centre of the green for your 2nd shot. Short left of the green is a good bailout area.
3rd Hole, Narrow Neck, 407 yards par 4
This is a very tough par 4 and you will need to play two very good to hit this green in regulation. Aim your tee shot for the left centre of the fairway and add a club extra to your club selection for your second shot to the green. I find that if I play the yardage, the ball ends up short due to the raised green which is deceiving flat looking and watch out for the wind. Also, if you are into the wind add another club for that element also.
4th Hole, Bunkered, 163 yards par 3
I find this par 3 tricky and I would suggest playing for the centre of the green always. Otherwise, miss the green and there are bunkers to play from.
5th Hole, Longview, 570 yards par 5
The best line is playing for the left centre of the fairway, but it is a tight landing area. Further up the fairway and over the brow, there are two trees that are located to the left and to the right side of the lay-up area. The trees with their overhanging branches may affect your ball flight to the green. So I say if you are a long hitter of the ball? I would day to smash your 2nd shot along the line for the left side of the fairway. If you are a shorter hitter of the ball lay up to the right part of the fairway and that angle should keep you safe from those trees.
6th Hole, Sidewinder, 422 yards par 4
The line is just left of the right fairway tree line and once the ball bounces along this line it should kick left onto the fairway. The fairway is important if you are a pin seeker. However, if you pull or push your tee shot into the trees? Then play the safe shot back onto the fairway and avoid been tempted playing through the narrow gaps to the green.
7th Hole, Hidden Gem, 373 yards par 4
Play a 200 yard shot for the right centre of the fairway and avoid the overhanging branches on the left. Those hanging branches will block a standard type shot and you may need to play a low running 5 iron shot short of the green and onto the green. This green slopes quite a bit from back to front and if you can play short of the pin location.
8th Hole, Drop Off, 201 yards par 3
A long par 3 and play for the centre of the green if you can.
9th hole, Hide Away, 392 yards Par 4
A centred tee shot is a good line here and the 23ns shot is to a raised green. If you can, I’d suggest playing for the centre of the green and try to stay short of the hole. This green slopes quite a lot from back to front.
10th hole, The Decent, 410 yards Par 4
The centre of the fairway is a good line; you are playing onto a raised green and please add 5 to 10 yards extra to your club selection. The centre of the green is a good place to play for.
11th hole, O’s Alley, 525 yards Par 5
I typically approach playing this hole just like the 1st hole. If you are a power player, yes, hit your driver along the line just right of the left fairway bunker. Then have a crack off hitting the green in two shots. However, there is no great need to hit driver as it’s a tight fairway. You couple hit a 200-yard shot to the right side of the fairway followed by another 200 yards or so shot to the left-hand side of the fairway. The 11th green is flatter in comparison to other greens, and I say, go for the flag with your 3rd shot regardless.
12th hole, Bridge Hole, 357 yards Par 4
A driver may not be the club to use off this tee box. The water will come into play for tee shots and measure how far to the water before selecting the club to play. Then play short of the water and the left side of the fairway is best. From the green, I suggest a shot that is approx. 170 yards from that tee block. The 2nd shot to the 12th is one of my favourite shots on Copperhead. The hole opens up with a beautiful view of the green, water, Spanish moss hanging from the trees, the wildlife and the nice open space. If the flag is in a front right position, play short of the flag if you can as the green slopes a lot from back to front in that segment of the green.
13th hole, Forced Carry, 179 yards Par 3
Don’t be short! Or you will be wet! Play for the centre of the green.
14th hole, Packard’s Double Dogleg 561 yards Par 5
This hole plays a long par 5 and drive the ball long and hard for the centre of the fairway. Play your second shot up to the 120-yard area to the left side of the fairway. Typically this flatter and drier part of the fairway than the soft and downhill fairway lies you may find on the right-hand side of the fairway. You will need to play a very good 3rd/approach shot to hit the ball close to the hole. This is a good par 5.
15th Hole, Snake Bite, 182 yards Par 3
Enter the snake pit for the last 4 holes on the course. I like this par 3 and wherever the hole is located, I will take dead aim at the flag. However, playing for the centre of the green is the right shot to play. I would suggest taking a club less than the yardage suggests, this is to compensate for the green location is lower than the tee box.
16th Hole, Moccasin, 412 yards Par 4
Awesome Par 4! If you are like me and you can fade the ball a little? I would suggest aiming at the lone tree just off the left side of the fairway and the left centre of the fairway will help your view of the green. After dealing with the tough tee shot, the hardest part about the next shot is playing a high approach to hold the green. You could also play short of the green to chip & put for a par 4.
17th Hole, The Rattler, 181 yards Par 3
I do like playing for the centre of the green on this par 3. There is lots of trouble around this green should you miss, such as a couple of nasty bunkers to catch you if you are short and missing left is dead.
18th Hole, The Copperhead. 390 yards Par 4
A right centred tee shot up the middle of the fairway is required to avoid all the bunkers left and right. I would suggest playing short of the hole to give yourself an uphill putt with a chance to finish without a snake bite!
Dooley Noted on Copperhead Innisbrook Golf Resort
Have you played? Please let me know your thoughts on how you would play some of the holes differently? Its a good test of golf and worth playing a lot if you can find the time. I would suggest signing up for golf deals at Innisbrook Golf Resort to find to keep up to date with the various deals.
As the dust settles on yet another Ryder Cup. It’s congratulations to Team USA as they have won the Ryder Cup tournament by 17 points to Europe’s 10 points. The player of the Ryder Cup has to be the rookie Tomas Pieters as he scored 4 points out 5 matches. The team of the week might have been Sergio and Raffa, but, that was not to be as they did not win as many points as Tomas and Rory. Now that team was super as Rory & Tomas won 3 points out of 4. Did you find the Ryder Cup 2016 entertaining?
Good week Ryder Cup
Rory McElroy played great for Team Europe and was unlucky that a few putts did not drop for him against Patrick Reed on Sunday’s final.
Amongst a team of winners, I am picking Patrick Reed & Ryan Moore as the stand out players for the USA.
However, match of the week was the Sunday’s match between Phil & Sergio.
Tomas Pieters, player of the Ryder Cup! Tomas won 4 points from 5 matches!
Rafa Cabrera-Bello played great golf too. Rafa won 2 ½ point from 4 matches.
Bad Week Ryder Cup
The spectacle called the “Ryder Cup”. The Ryder Cup committee need to take more responsibility for the subcultural differences between how the golf is supported by both sets of fans. It is not right in any culture that players should be exposed to fans shouting abusive comments.
No points of Danny Willet out of his three matches and his brother’s commentary about the American golfing public did not help his popularity either.
Darren Clarke and his wildcard picks only earned 1 point.
The dance between Phil Mickelson and Matt Kuchar after during their Fourball winning match Saturday afternoon.
The Ryder Cup is a long-standing traditional golf match play tournament between the USA and Europe. Three days of bud, sweat and plenty of tears. It should be fun and I am looking forward to it. I took a quick look at some of the player’s statistics from both the European Tour and US PGA tour’s websites. My goal was to track over all playing form for 2016. As you can see, some of the European tour players on the European team are not performing as well as they did last year. However, one never knows which team will come out to play with their putters on fire. Based on the putting stats alone, Team USA look very good. But this is match play and not everything goes accordingly, so may the best team win!
Stats for Team USA from the PGA Tour Website (1 week ago)
Out of the 12 players on Team USA
5 players in the top 10 scoring average
All 12 player are within the top 35 scoring average
only 3 players are with-in the top 100 drivers on the USA PGA tour
5 players in the top 25 putters on the USPGA Tour
11 players within the top 65 putters on the USPGA Tour
Stats for Team Euro from both the European Tour and USPGA Tour websites.
Out of the 12 players on the European Team
They are only 4 players in the top 10 scoring average
Only 8 players are within the top 35 scoring average
7 players within the top 100 drivers on tour
There are only 2 players within the top 50 putters on the European Tour
The bad news is that 6 players are outside the top 130 putters on the European Tour
In summary, based on these Ryder Cup Tour stats, I reckon that Team USA will win the Ryder Cup, but let see what happens.
I wish all golfers well on their way to enjoying golfing in Ireland or where ever that maybe. Notably, Tralee Golf Club is truly one of the great Irish Golf Links courses to play. What I like about Tralee is the major difference between the back nine and the front nine. Moreover, the back nine is full of great views with equally challenging golf links holes. Both the 10th and 12th are long par 4s, that will require a pair of good solid tee shots down the left centre of both fairways. Comparatively, you need another pair of excellent shots to set yourself up for a birdie or a tap in par. Additionally, golf holes 14th, 15th and 17th maybe look short holes from viewing the score card but, that is not the case. You will need to hit accurate tee shots on each of the holes and a precise second shot to hit the right part of the green to attack the hole for birdie. The par 3s are tricky and playing for the centre of the green is a good play as there is not a happy ending to your golf score should you miss either green. The 11th is a really tough par 5 that is played up a progressively big hill. Whilst the par 5, 18th may provide you with an easy chance of a birdie if the wind is at your back.
The back of the 14th tee is the best view of the golf course and the surrounding views of the sea and mountains. Simply beautiful scenery. Finally, I would certainly say that Tralee Golf Club is worth every penny and I hope you will enjoy playing golf at Tralee Golf Club as much as I do.
Tralee Golf Club
The following pictures were taken during a recent round of golf played at Tralee Golf Club.