After our visit at Lahinch Golf Club on Thursday, we drove about five miles north to the famous Cliffs of Moher. The cliffs vary from 400 to 700 feet and are located in the most southwestern part of the Burren region of County Clare. Over one million visitors per year walk along the cliffs and view O'Brien's Castle. The Cliffs of Moher are also accessible by ferry from the nearby village of Doolin.
The Cliffs of Moher with O'Brien's Castle at the top.
We drove a very scenic route north to Galway and arrived at Galway Bay Resort. As you'd expect it is on the bay outside of Galway City. Course Manager Damien Coleman had arranged for us to play the course that afternoon. Despite some fatigue setting in, we settled in for nine holes of golf on the course's back nine.
The rain held off but the wind was a real factor. While not technically a links course Galway Bay certainly has a "links feel". After an early dinner in the village of Oranmore, we turned in early at the Maldron Hotel.
Damien Coleman at Galway Bay Golf Resort.
Friday morning we returned to meet Damien Coleman at the course. I hadn't seen Damien since the 2016 Olympic Golf event in Rio de Janeiro where he was a volunteer on the crew and I covered it for TurfNet. Damien is the current president of the GCSAI and was delighted to know that we were on our way to volunteer at Portstewart. Galway Bay is sending Enda Keane to volunteer and we met him out on the course.
We left Galway Bay and headed up the road to Roscommon in the Midlands region. My friend Frank Scott gave us an exceptional tour of the Roscommon Castle, which was built in 1629 by the Normans. The castle had a checkered history and was finally burned down in 1690. Today is accessible as part of the adjacent Loughnaneane Park and Playground - a 14 acre recreational area.
Me with David Escobedo at Roscommon Castle.
David listens to Frank Scott explain the history of Roscommon Castle.
Frank has a degree in archeology and gave us many insights into the castles rich history. After our visit to Roscommon we drove about two hours into Dublin to take in a few activities there before reporting to Portstewart.
The stonework at Roscommon Castle dates to the 1600's. Of course we have nothing like it in the States.