After a six hour drive from Syracuse to JFK airport in NY, my parents and I met up with Jon Kiger from TurfNet (my guide in Ireland for the next week) and his son Jonathan for a quick bite at a local hotel. Then Jon, Jonathan and I were off to Ireland on the 8:30 PM flight to Dublin. Despite my excitement I was able to sleep for a few hours before land came into view the next morning.
My stop through Immigration was a little more involved as I had to present my student work visa that I received after applying to the Irish Embassy in New York. Unlike most visitors to the country, they took a fresh photo of me as part of my entry into the country.
Not wasting any time, we changed out of our travel clothes and into golf gear at the Dublin airport and took a short cab ride to the Rush Golf Club. Longtime course manager Eddie Donlon hosted us there for a round of golf and a great introduction to Irish greenkeeping. Eddie was the subject of one of the TurfNet Ireland videos in 2010. He is still having problems with the invasive buckthorn bushes mentioned in the video. He does an impressive job with a crew of three.
Eddie lives in Malahide, near Dublin, and joined us the next evening for dinner at Gibney’s Pub after our round of golf at Portmarnock.
I am still taking in the friendly nature of the Irish people and the lush beauty of this great country.