Welcome to the opening post for our 2019 TurfNet Members Trip to Ireland blog. Below you will find the details of the trip along with an explanatory webinar video (below) and a trip brochure. We hope this is the year that you will join us!
Departure: Leave US Friday October 4th for Shannon in the Southwest of Ireland. Flights arrive Saturday morning June 5th. Note: on this date there are primarily three flights from the East Coast to Shannon: AerLingus from New York/JFK and Boston, and United from Newark. All three flights arrive in Shannon in time to meet our coach bus and play the first round of golf.
Return : Leave Dublin for the US on Saturday, October 12th. There are a variety of flights from Dublin to the States and most will leave early enough in the day to allow for one or two additional domestic connections to your home town. You are also free to extend your trip on your own for a day or more, but our only group trip to the airport is Saturday morning.
Fares: If you fly to Shannon and return from Dublin on the same record you should still receive the best round trip fare for the week away.
Ground Transportation: For the third time we will enlist Matthews Coach Hire for our ground transportation needs. More than likely our same driver from 2015 and 2018 – Simon Smyth will be behind the wheel. The bus is larger this year and will be able to easily carry all our luggage as we tour around the country.
The Golf: We have seven rounds of golf planned for this trip:
- Saturday: Spanish Point – County Clare
- Sunday: Doonbeg – County Clare
- Monday: Lahinch – County Clare
- Tuesday: Carne Golf Links – County Mayo
- Wednesday: Donegal Murvagh – County Donegal
- Thursday: Rosapenna – Old Tom Morris Course – County Donegal
- Friday: Rosapenna – Sandy Hills Golf Links – County Donegal
Hotels: We have streamlined the hotel offerings and for added comfort and convenience we are staying two nights each in our first three hotels. The one single night is in Malahide at the end of the trip.
- Saturday/Sunday Oct 5/6: Lahinch Coast Hotel
- Monday/Tuesday Oct 7/8: Mount Falcon Estate
- Wednesday/Thursday Oct 9/10: Rosapenna Golf Resort*
- Friday Oct 11: Grand Hotel Malahide (a short ride to Dublin airport for Saturday departures)
*We stayed at Rosapenna for one night in 2018 and found the accommodations, golf, meals, and service to be outstanding so we are staying/playing there two nights this year.
Optional Side Trips: We realize that some golfers would like to bring their spouse/a guest and that person may not play golf or if they do play golf may not care to play seven consecutive days. The tour bus is at our disposal for most of the day so once the golfers are dropped off (usually for an early or mid-morning tee time) the bus is free to take the non-golfers to the area historical/cultural sites. While the exact mix and pace are determined when everyone is together, possible side trips include: Bunratty Castle, Cliffs of Moher, The Burren, Galway, and various sites around Donegal and County Mayo.
For those participants who want to skip a few rounds of golf, we offer the Tee/Tour package of four rounds of golf spread out through the week: Spanish Point, Lahinch Old, Donegal Murvagh and one round at Rosapenna. If a full week golfer wants to skip a round they are welcome to do so, but no refunds for the cancelled round are given. If you wish to skip a round for which you are scheduled please give Jon Kiger as much notice as possible.
What are the intangible reasons to participate in the trip? Here are just a few:
- Networking with your North American colleagues in a casual, fun setting. It’s not a conference or local meeting so the conversation can head in its own direction for an extended period.
- The five hour time change does wonders for your concerns about things back at the course. You’re of course encouraged to leave work behind but even if you check in back home from time to time, when we tee off it’s still 3 AM back home so there isn’t a whole lot that they will be reporting to you.
- Learn about golf from a more traditional perspective. For the most part these links courses have been there for many years or are at least designed in the image of much older courses. Take some ideas on bringing this same somewhat minimalist approach to your course back home. And don’t forget that you will be walking for all your rounds!
- Getting to know the Irish people. We will have our traditional TurfNet Emerald Challenge where we face off against our Irish counterparts (Wednesday at Donegal Murvagh) – with two Irish and two TurfNet participants in each foursome the laughs (aka ‘the craic’) is non-stop. Everyone will also enjoy meeting the Irish people in each town we visit. Their innate hospitality is always on display.
- The chance to get away and the opportunity to share the week with someone who often sacrifices their time and energy while you pursue your career.
Your trip won’t be micro-managed. If you learn about something and want to pursue it for an afternoon you’re
free to do so (provided you let us know your plans.) We do manage the trip for the enjoyment of everyone so if you’re inclined to be “high maintenance” or used to going against the grain, this may not be the trip for you. We’ve had very few problems in 10+ years of trips and we prefer to keep it that way.
- Our full trip details may be found in the attached flier. Golfer Double Occupancy spots are just $2700 per person, not including airfare.
This trip would not be possible without the support of our trip sponsors Syngenta, IVI Golf/Flexxcape, and Foley. Please let them know you appreciate their participation.