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Lahinch: Beyond golf, and surfing...

Parker Stancil

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During my week of volunteering at the 2019 Irish Open at Lahinch, I had the pleasure of experiencing the beautiful scenery, fun social environment, and everything else you’d want in a little getaway vacation in the town of Lahinch, Co.Clare.

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A view of the town of Lahinch from the top of the viewing stands at 18 green.

The town of Lahinch is widely known across Ireland for its attraction of professional and recreational surfers. The word “surf” covers the town from top to bottom. Gift shops, restaurants, sports and recreational facilities across the whole town have some relation to surfing.

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A popular shop that provides rentals and lessons to tourists.

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Many of the businesses in town are surf or beach-flavored, even my housing for the week (below).

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With the Irish Open coming to Lahinch Golf Club, the town wasn’t fully prepared for the crowd it attracted. In the most popular area of town, the main street was closed for a lengthy period towards the end of the week. The streets were cluttered with thousands of people, locals and visitors, who brought in tons of cash to the local shops and pubs. There were points throughout the week where everyone was standing just about shoulder to shoulder in the road, with the pub crawlers packed inside like sardines.

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The streets were packed with shoppers and drinkers in the evenings.

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Magicians, puppeteers and musicians entertained in the streets.

Not to be left out of the social reverie, Lahinch Golf Club provided an area on the Castle Course grounds for the Championship Pavilion, where golf fans could have a bite to eat, some drinks and listen to live music after the golfers wrapped up their rounds for the day.

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The pavilion drew a decent crowd with the various food trucks, beer tents, and games/activities surrounding a pretty sizeable stage.

Another reason for why I loved the west coast of Ireland is the beautiful scenery, plant life, and animals I came across, such as the wildflowers growing along the road (below).

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The infamous and beloved goats are unofficial weather forecasters of Lahinch Golf Club,

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I tried not to bother the cows too much; they seemed like they had seen enough tourists like me today.

I made a quick trip over to the Cliffs of Moher, which are located on the coastline and stand over 500 feet tall. There is a walking trail that you can pay to use that runs down the entire 11 mile stretch of cliffs, so strap your good tennis shoes on! 

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The cliffs are easily one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.

I was looking forward to surfing but the waves were flat for the entire week. 

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High tide (above) and low tide (below).

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After spending a whole week in Lahinch, I could easily see a fun trip back in the future.  I guess I have a few reasons to return!

 



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I think when a golf community and a surf community come together, it's a beautiful thing. 

Machrihanish is kind of the same way. Kids walking down stone walled lanes with Golf Bags and Surf Boards. Pretty cool. 

I never made any turns at either place because...well , cold water!

Good Stuff, Parker!

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