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If it's Monday, this must be Baltray...

Jon Kiger


After two fun nights in the city of Dublin we checked out of the Grand Canal Hotel. Simon-our-driver worked his usual magic in repacking the bus, and we were on our way to County Meath. We made a quick stop at the Bru Na Boinne Visitors Center, where four of our golfing group (Wally Gresham, John Brauer, Lisa Proctor and Jorge Croda) were able to tour the Knowth Megalithic site before joining us at our next golf course.

The Bru Na Boinne Visitors Center includes burial mounds in Knowth and Newgrange that predate the pyramids. Very little is known about the communities that built them. Earlier this summer during Ireland's sustained drought, outlines of a few additional structures/henges became visible in aerial drone photos.


The group at Knowth as part of the Knowth/Newgrange Tour: (L-R) Dennis Gresham, Wally Gresham, Wendy Dahl, Linda Croda, John & Patty Brauer, Lisa Donovan, Sharon Flisek, and John Brauer


After making sure this part of the group was all set, Simon took the golfers down the short drive to County Louth Golf Club, also known as Baltray.  We had another great day weather-wise on tap. Baltray was founded in 1892 and is an outstanding piece of land for a links-style golf course, with several holes bordering the Irish Sea. Our participants enjoyed not only the history but the friendly reception we received at Baltray during our round.


Baltray had the Irish, American and Canadian flags flying today in honor of our group!


"Irish Crystal" weather for our day at County Louth Golf Club, aka Baltray.


The view of the Irish Sea from Baltray.


Baltray's resident fox.


Kevin Frank, Wally Gresham and Paul Rauker at Baltray.


No "carts" in Ireland, only buggies. Fescue, anyone?


Josh Webber, not as far from his home (Exeter, England) as most of us.

The non-golfers went on to The Battle of the Boyne Visitors Center and Historic Site, which helped bring Irish history full circle as 11 members of the Talbot family, owners of Malahide Castle which we toured on Sunday, died at the battle.

At about four o'clock, Simon picked up the golfers and we were all headed to the fishing village of Carlingford. Since we were playing golf in Northern Ireland on Tuesday, we stopped into the Dundalk Bureau de Change so that people could secure Pounds Sterling, which were necessary to pay the caddies at Royal Portrush.

After a quick spin through Dundalk, we continued on to Carlingford where we checked into the outstanding Four Seasons Hotel. The Four Seasons was an ideal location and also delivered excellent service. It was a short walk into town and most of the group ended up at PJ O'Hare's.


The very modern Four Seasons Hotel, not exactly what one might expect in the medieval fishing village of Carlingford (below).




Above, Matt and Cheryl Crowther with John and Maureen Gall at PJ O'Hare's. Below, Jorge and Linda Croda.


Tuesday morning's departure was 6 AM to allow plenty of time to arrive at Royal Portrush so it was a relatively tame and early evening there. 



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