We can’t turn the page on our visit to County Clare without a shoutout to Jerry Matthews for his fine performance at Doonbeg. Holes 7 through 11 are Pars 3-5-3-5-3 and anyone scoring par or better on that stretch – dubbed Shanahan’s Corner – gets a commemorative bag tag sent to them. Jerry did just that! (Writer’s note: my caddie had seen enough by the sixth hole that this promotion wasn’t mentioned to me as a possibility…)
Monday included a relatively short ride up the coast to Mount Falcon Estate in County Mayo. We settled into our rooms and had dinner in this historic estate. Most participants turned in relatively early in anticipation of our round at Carne Golf Links or a day enjoying the estate’s grounds and amenities.
Tuesday morning’s drive to Carne Golf Links was just over an hour. Given the time of year and the anticipated windy weather we had the entire course to ourselves. My caddie – also president of the golf club – explained that if the weather was this windy during a scheduled competition that it would be postponed. That said, we all bundled up and set out with a two tee start on holes 1 and 10 of the Eddie Hackett course.
In addition to plenty of wind we received a few bands of showers. The pace was fairly easy and players had the choice of nine, eighteen or a composite round that incorporated the club’s newest nine, the Kilmore course. The bar and restaurant were warm and inviting regardless of how many holes were played.
While the golfers were at Carne, the non-golfers stayed at Mount Falcon and enjoyed the estate’s many amenities and a few special presentations. Mid-morning they were taken on a Hawk Walk with the resident falconer and learned about many types of birds of prey.
Paul Halbard, Head Gardener at Mount Falcon Estate, gave a special tour to our group that was not part of the regular hotel offerings. During the tour participants learned about managing the land and saw the greenhouse where many of the menu items are grown. The tour came full circle a few hours later when items they saw growing in the greenhouse appeared on the dinner table!
The golfers arrived back around 4 PM and had a chance to relax. Kevin Collins and Ocean Organics arranged for three rounds of whiskey tasting in the estate’s historic wine cellar. That was a great prelude to Syngenta’s sponsor dinner that same night.
Mount Falcon provided a private room and bar and some local musicians – led by Joseph McNulty entertained us that evening. We thank both Ocean Organics and Syngenta for presenting a special night in a special place.