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TurfNet 2019 Ireland trip arrival. Who invited Lorenzo?

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Jon Kiger

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A few members of the trip group arrived on Friday on the heels of Hurricane Lorenzo. While the hurricane did not amount to what was projected, it did bring its share of rain and wind from the southwest up through Dublin.

Three of us (myself, John Brauer and Mike Rowe) opted to play Corballis Golf Club, which is very close to The Island Golf Club in Donabate, near Dublin. The rain was steady for nine of the 12 holes we played.

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John Brauer and Mike Rowe during a rainy preview round at Corballis Golf Club on Friday.

After meeting Tripp Trotter from Syngenta at Dublin airport, we all took an express bus to Limerick to meet up with the others on the TurfNet trip. Tony, our taxi driver (who provided some transportation for us in 2010), insisted we stop at Durty Nelly's pub near Bunratty Castle. It’s one of the oldest pubs in Ireland.

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Welcome to Ireland! (John Brauer, Tripp Trotter and Mike Rowe getting an early start at Durty Nelly's)

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That evening, we took a series of small taxis to the nearby town of Doolin in County Clare for an evening of music and dinner at the Hotel Doolin. Both Doolin and County Clare are famous for being the heart of traditional Irish music and the night’s entertainment proved that theory.

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Traditional Irish music session at the Hotel Doolin in music-centric County Clare.

Saturday morning two Aer Lingus flights from the US brought the remainder of the TurfNet group into Shannon Airport. Below, Mike Cook and Kevin Collins in the gate area for the Aer Lingus flight from JFK.

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With the prevailing winds, both flights arrived by 5:30 AM, and we were met by our driver for the week, Simon Smyth of Matthews Coaches. After loading up the golf clubs and luggage we headed to Lahinch Coast Hotel – with an intermediate stop at Dunnes Stores. We unloaded the luggage and proceeded down the road to the nearby Spanish Point Golf Club.

Spanish Point is a nine hole links course built in the same era as nearby Lahinch Golf Club. The modest clubhouse and short course were perfect for our first round of golf upon arrival in Ireland. The weather, however, was not perfect. Rain and wind accompanied the round for approximately six of the nine holes we played.

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Above, Saturday group shot on the first tee of Spanish Point Golf Club. Below, trolleys were the order of the day at Spanish Point.

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All smiles on the first tee at Spanish Point. So the weather sucked, who cares? It's Ireland!

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New friendships were fostered and old relationships were renewed over a few pints after the round. Above, Jerry Matthews samples his first Guinness.

Due to the overnight flights and early arrivals, everyone was on their own Saturday evening to explore the town of Lahinch or to get an early night's rest.

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