Last weekend was full of sightseeing. From the historical village in Wexford to Carton House Golf Club in Maynooth, I got a little taste of history in Ireland, and some sport as well.
On Saturday, Alan and I made our way up to the Irish Open, being hosted at the Montgomerie Course at Carton House. This course is one of two at the resort, and is celebrating its tenth birthday this year, along with the honor of hosting the Irish Open, Irelands only European Tour stop. We arrived a bit late, but made up for time by racing back to the 16th tee to watch the last five groups come through. I was rather sad to see some of the bigger names at the event miss the cut, and miss seeing Alvaro Quiros, one of my favorite international golfers, before he completed his round. But that being said, Alan and I did get a few hours of seeing some great golf action.
The course was in great shape, and the crowds were pretty decent despite seeing some of the more popular players failing to make the weekend.
The highlight of the day however, was on our way out. We were making our way past the tent village out to the car when I stopped by the range and noticed a large crowd gathered around a couple golfers. I got in a little closer, and realized it was Alvaro! I waited for a small gap to open up, and then slipped into a spot right on the fence. We were there for almost an hour, but it seemed like seconds.
I got to see one of the longest hitters in the world go through an entire range session, culminating in a small show for the crowd. Alvaro pulled out the driver, adjusted the loft down, and bombed a couple drives farther than I have ever seen a human being hit a golf ball. One bounced, and landed up against the fence at the end of the range, which sat 375 yards away from the tees. I couldn't believe it. Seeing such a display of power, coupled with an audience that was cheering like it was a World Cup match, was something I'll never forget.
The next day, Catherine and I headed to Wexford to check out the Irish Heritage Village. The village is a woodland park that lets you walk through the history of Ireland in the form of little villages, burial sites, and even a working mill. The tour was really informative, and I learned quite a lot about how culture in Ireland and the structures that people built changed from the Stone Age all the way to the Vikings.
I would definitely recommend a weekend like this one to anyone who visits Ireland. The village in Wexford was very informative, and was quite affordable. The Irish Open, was free for me because I am a GCSAI member, but would also be very affordable for a normal visitor. Just as a pairing of something sweet and something salty usually goes together, some contemporary sport and a walk through history go quite nicely together to make for a great weekend.