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Doonbeg and Lahinch: Irish golf and culture

Jon Kiger


Sunday morning we had our first full Irish breakfast at the Lahinch Coast Hotel and boarded our bus to view the Cliffs of Moher. The Cliffs are a stunning expanse of rock jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean. The Visitor Center offered a full explanation of the Cliffs as well as some shopping and dining opportunities. It was a lovely clear day to see this impressive site.


The Cliffs of Moher (above), where Richard Matthews, Butch Sheffield and Scott Schukraft took a break.


After our visit to the Cliffs, we loaded back onto the bus for the short ride down the road to Doonbeg. The weather held up for our round on this relatively new links course. Doonbeg is a classic links course in that it goes nine holes away from the clubhouse and returns for the back nine. The course is relatively narrow and hugs the coast throughout the round.


Above, Richard Matthews, David-Dore Smith, Matt Blair and Jerry Matthews at Doonbeg.


A long way from Idaho to Doonbeg for Bryan Mooney, brother of TurfNet member Rick Mooney.


Mike Cook, Kevin Collins, Scott Schukraft and John Parmelee.


Horseback riders on the beach at Doonbeg.

Our tee times at Doonbeg were late in the afternoon, so to accommodate dinner, the hotel provided a soup and sandwich menu as we prepared to listen to some special music. Mike Cook at The Care of Trees was our host for the evening, and we thank him for his contribution to the night. Sarah Croker and her accompanist Stuart entertained the crowd with Irish favorites. As the evening progressed, many in the group even chose to dance, a first for a TurfNet Ireland trip!


On Sunday night we were joined by TurfNet friends Mary and John Dempsey.


Kevin Collins of Ocean Organics took a turn entertaining the group.


Dancing on Sunday night, a TurfNet trip first!

On Monday the group was due to tee off at 11:30 at Lahinch Golf Club, a short walk from our hotel. While approximately 20 golfers took to the Lahinch Old Course, the remainder of the group went to tour the nearby Bunratty Folk Park and Castle.


Breezy day at Lahinch.


Carlos Arraya, caddie, John Cunningham, David Dore-Smith and Lahinch superintendent Brian McDonagh.


The view from Bunratty Castle.



The non-golfers group at Bunratty Folk Park (above) and after lunch at Durty Nelly's.


After golf at Lahinch, we loaded up the bus and headed north to County Mayo and the Mount Falcon Estate.  We thank Brian McDonagh the superintendent at Lahinch, for hosting the TurfNet group. Brian had a busy summer, as he hosted the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in July and the course has had a steady stream of events and groups ever since.


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What a great evening we had with the Turfnet members, a few old friends there .....but plenty of new ones by the end of the night!! Hope you all enjoyed your visit to Ireland.

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