After an enjoyable evening Saturday night, the group woke up to sunshine and a full Irish breakfast in the Grand Canal Hotel. We had an early departure at 8:30 to visit Malahide Castle, which has been occupied by the Talbot family for over 800 years.
We arrived shortly before the first tour and enjoyed visiting the Botanical Gardens on site. The greenhouse included many species of butterflies and we were again reminded of the importance of pollinators.
Malahide Castle is just a short walk from the center of town and the guided tour was an outstanding explanation of the many aspects of castle life over the centuries.
We boarded the bus for Portmarnock Golf Club at 10:45 and arrived 10 minutes later at this historic club. Portmarnock will host the British Amateur Championship in June of 2019. The weather was perfect with sunshine and a light breeze.
The Irish Times published a nice article on Portmarnock Links Manager Gary Johnstone and his environmental efforts just a couple days after we played there.
While the golfers enjoyed four hours on the links, Simon took the non-golfers on an excursion to Skerries Mills, where they learned about the history of milling grain there for over 400 years.
On the way back to Portmarnock, they took the coastal route along the Irish Sea, stopping at Howth for a walk through this historic fishing village and a bit of ice cream. The golf group was picked up at Portmarnock after golf and we all returned to the Grand Canal Hotel to prepare for our evening function.
Our evening function included a short meal at The Jar sponsored by Mike Cook of The Care of Trees. The Jar had a limited menu of pizza and chicken wings, but it was excellent food, surroundings and service. Most importantly it was a short walk to our next function.
After dinner, we went to the DC Club, a five minute walk away. The DC Club has been in existence since 1883 and I was the first American to join when they asked me three years ago.
We set up PutterBall on the stage and in addition to traditional PutterBall, several members of the group started an alternate version called Speed PutterBall.
It was a fitting and fun end to a perfect day in Ireland.