2nd try, help with itinerary

Old Jul 6th, 2003, 08:35 PM
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gbs
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2nd try, help with itinerary

Sorry about the repeat, this didn't get posted to the Ireland thread 1st time. Need help with tentative itinerary, 9 nights, landing at Shannon. Plan to spend 3 nights each in Westport, Kenmare, and Killaloe, the last 3 being in Killaloe. Is Kenmare to Westport too far to drive in one day? Any better ideas on an itinerary, we just began with this one based on a recommenation. B&B suggestions for here or elsewhere? Golf is a must for part of our party, would like to stay close to whatever towns. Thanks
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Old Jul 7th, 2003, 04:53 AM
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Hi gbs,

Actually, there is no Ireland thread. Everything goes to "Europe". Your post was there.

If you type "gbs" in the text search you will find all of your posts.

Sorry, can't help with Ireland.
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Old Jul 7th, 2003, 04:58 AM
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Kenmare to Westport is quite a trek. Looks like a good 5 hour drive (plus you pass some great scenery that you'll probably want to stop to look at more closely).
Kenmare and Killaloe are great places to base yourselves. How important is it to you to have Westport as your third base?
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Old Jul 7th, 2003, 06:43 AM
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It's not essential to have Westport as the 3rd base, was just a suggestion to us. Another suggestion??
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Old Jul 7th, 2003, 07:13 AM
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gbs

I responded on irelandyes to your note. As far as other areas, the Dingle peninsula would be a pretty obvious choice. You could stay in or near Dingle town or outside of town. I like the north coast. It's peaceful and The Shores country house is there. Great place to stay and very peaceful. A bit of a drive into Dingle though.

I agree with the idea of removing Westport. It's just too far and it will be at least 6 hours between the two. It's a nice town, but Ireland is loaded with nice towns.

Bill
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Old Jul 7th, 2003, 08:31 AM
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HI, If you're going to Kenmare, stay at Virginia's Guesthouse in town ([email protected]). Lovely place! We can't recommend it enough. It was our fave place during our trip. Kenmare is a brilliant place to base yourself for touring West Cork & Kerry. Our hosts at Virginia's urged us to drive the Ring of Beara - breathtaking and the highlight of our trip. The Ring of Kerry Golf Club is just outside Kenmare town. We didn't play golf ourselves, but I believe it's an amazing course - fab views.

Katy
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Old Jul 7th, 2003, 10:41 AM
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Thanks wojazz & Katy for your reponses. Another question; is Killaloe better than Ennis for our last 3 days?
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Old Jul 7th, 2003, 12:06 PM
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Killaloe is a beautiful little town and the scenery is wonderful. I'm afraid I've only passed by so I don't know much of the entertainment. Ennis probably has more going on in the evening. Still, I love beautiful little towns, so I would probably opt for Killaloe.

I posted on Michele's site for you again. Katy is right about the Kenmare golf club and there are a few other beautiful clubs in the area, particularly Killarney courses. Be aware that you have to present certified handicaps at some golf clubs.

Bill
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Old Jul 7th, 2003, 12:53 PM
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I really, really like both Ennis and Killaloe. Stayed in Killaloe on our last night last year, and will stay in Ennis this year.
Ennis has a lot more to offer in terms of restaurants, pubs, and shopping. Killaloe, though, is on the banks of the Shannon and is a beautiful small town. Ennis is busier and can feel congested. Killaloe is quiet, relaxing, and peaceful.
You're choosing between two great places!
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Old Jul 7th, 2003, 03:31 PM
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I'll address the golf part:there are many outstanding golf courses in Ireland, both well known and locally-known. Of the ones that I have played in the general area mentioned I would highly recommend Waterville, while driveable from Kenmare alternate lodging is the Smugglers Inn right across the street from the course; Dingle Links in Dingle - mostly locals, not high cost but a hell of a challenge when the wind is blowing, which is most all the time + sea views - plenty of B&B's in Dingle; Ballybunion - 2 18 hole courses - a must in Ireland; Lahinch - very challenging, you will want to paly it twice - plenty of B&B's in town, also driveable from Ennis. If you can afford it, hire a caddie - they're worth the $ + be sure to buy them a Guinness after the round for great stories! Golf in Ireland is superb!!
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Old Jul 8th, 2003, 02:35 AM
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Ballybunion and Lahinch are great for the 'high rollers' and the 'scratch' golfers but, from Ennis I really prefer Spanish Point's 9-hole 'Executive' (i.e., no par-5's) Links course that costs about $25 to play. You won't find lodging in the Spanish Point (Armada Hotel) or in the Miltown Malbay vicinity during Willie Clancy's Caeli & Irish step dancing competitions and classes (Jul & August).
See my http://groups.msn.com/gate5 for some pix of Spanish Point golf links and for pix of Carne golf links.

My vote for the best course in Ireland or anywhere else goes to Carne Golf links, Belmullet, County Mayo. It's out of the way but well worth the effort to get there. There's also some photos of Carne on my web page. The golfers in your group could drive from Westport to Belmullet one morning to play this outstanding links course. They have about a dozen buggies (riding golf carts): call ahead to reserve one if you plan to ride.

Carne golf links is a lot less expensive to play than the 'big name' courses like Ballybunion (weekday Greens Fee 45-Euro; buggy rental 35-Euro
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Old Jul 8th, 2003, 03:59 PM
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C'mon Nedsireland...while I agree that there are many little known and inexpensive golf course gems in Ireland, especially off the beaten path that warrant play, for the avid golfer and perhaps a 1st time visitor to Ireland the "big name" courses are highlights. For golfers would you go to St. Andrews and not play the big name courses because of the cost, or go to Pebble Beach and choose to play the local muni (which btw is a nice course). If you are a local in Ireland you may not play Old Head which is expensive for Ireland but undoubtedly IMO an awesome course and I would gladly pay another $100 to play there. Would I pay $350 to play the K Club in Kildare - no, because as you know one could easily get 10+ rounds at the local courses. The rates for Lahinch, Ballybunion, Waterville, Tralee, and most of the big name courses on the west coast are priced competitively to other big name courses in the UK and Europe, and certainly comparative to US big name courses. I am pretty passionate about golf and have been fortunate to have golfed in many incredible places around the world, high end,low end and in between... and Ireland is the best! No matter where one plays in Eire the experience is unique. Besides, a true golfer always tells the "hole" truth!
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Old Jul 8th, 2003, 04:24 PM
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Richard, just for the record, what are the rates at places like Ballybunnion, Lahinch, etc? Thanks
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Old Jul 9th, 2003, 01:35 AM
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I can't play Pine Hill (NJ) and I don't play Scotland Run: a new links course near Williamstown, NJ, because it's too expensive. I have played Seaview, in Absecon, NJ (where the LPGA had an event recently) and the Hershey Course in Hershey, PA. I have nothing against the big name courses. They're just 'out of my league.' One reason might be that, at age 72 I no longer maintain a USGA handicap. Some courses (even in Ireland) require a certified handicap.

For the record: Golfworld Ireland 2002 rated the three top courses in Ireland as Royal County Down, Carne Golf Links and Ballybunion (Old course). Courses like Old Head (Kinsale, County Cork) and Ballybunion cost about 150-Euros. I believe Tralee and Lahinch are in the 100-Euro category.

When I fly to Ireland, I invariably encounter a group on the flight that is on a golf tour like Jerry Quinlan's. I am a 'senior' and a high handicapper. It is physically outside my ability to be able to get off a TransAtlantic flight and proceed directly to the golf course for the first 'round.' May, 2001 I flew into Shannon with a group - their bus was taking them to Ballybunion. About 10-days later I met another group from the U.S. at the Courtenay Lodge in Newcastlewest (County Limerick); their last round of golf at the Ardagh course was a washout. They all looked like they had been 'ridden hard and put up wet' as we used to say in Oklahoma. Seven rounds of golf in 8-days is more than I can handle, even if the courses have riding carts (buggys) available (which none of my 9-hole gems do).

May, 2002: I flew into Dublin with a group - that day they would play their first round at Royal Portrush. That trip I was headed for Connemara Isles Golf links.

One of the saddest stories of my life: May, 2000 - I was at Killeline Leisure Park & Golf Resort in Newcastlewest. An elderly gentleman, having watched me playing golf the day before, invited me to a round of Golf with him at Ballybunion (Old Course) where he was a lifetime member. I had to decline because I was headed up to Shannon that very morning for my flight home.

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Old Jul 9th, 2003, 07:02 AM
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Dear Ned, it's true I am a bit younger and I am one of those that would love the opportunity to play 7 rounds of golf in 8 days in Ireland -btw I have known people that have taken Jerry Quinlan's tours and the passionate golfers that they are, all raved about the JQ tour. I'm hoping to play Royal County Down next year - I met the owners of a B&B near the course in a pub in London. The rates for the big name courses like Ballybunion and Lahinch do run from 125-150 Euro right now, and with the strength of the Euro that adds a few more dollars to the experience. I again can only testify to having only positive experiences playing in Ireland: from the courses, the caddies and esp. the people one meets and plays with on the courses - it just seems no matter the difficulty of the course or the conditions, the individual playing always seem to have smiles on their faces. Perhaps one of these days Ned we'll meet on some course or pub and exchange stories - that's the beauty of the golf experience. To gbs: wherever you play you'll have a great time.
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Old Jul 10th, 2003, 07:16 AM
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We may be a bit off-topic but gbs did mention golf in the initial post: that opens the door: Many GUI affiliated courses (Golfing Union of Ireland - older than St. Andrews' Royal & Ancient) offer 'Overseas Memberships.' As an Overseas Member one can maintain a GUI-certified handicap: just send in signed & certified scorecards for each round played that include the course rating & slope.

In 1999 I visited Abbeyfeale Golf Course, a parkland layout just east of Abbeyfeale. The course was closed. It was too wet to play - according to the course manager balls would 'plug' in the middle of the fairway and disappear into the turf.

I talked with the manager for a while, saying how this must hurt his revenue flow; but he told me that more than half the course's revenue came from Overseas Memberships, mostly from the far east (Japan or Korea). For a very reasonable Annual fee, Overseas members can maintain GUI-certified handicaps and memberships at prestigious Irish Republic Golf Courses. All the GUI-affiliated golf courses I have visited (and played, mostly) offer the same but prices seem to vary and are much higher than they were at Abbeyfeale 4-years ago. I don't know if the prices have gone up or if each course is free to set its own rates. I suspect both the former and the latter are the case.

I had even thought of giving my son-in-law a membership to Abbeyfeale that Christmas - but he's a Scotsman and he might not appreciate membership in a course in the Irish Republic's County Limerick; so I didn't. But I told him about Overseas Memberships and he was very interested.
Ned Madigan
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Old Jul 11th, 2003, 01:21 AM
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Hi There gbs,
My wife and another couple went to the southwest to play golf a few months ago, and we were too late in booking and heard from friends of ours at our club about a operators who were suppose to be extremely helpful, called Kinlough Golf Tours, we found them on the net http://www.golfireland.nl and sent them a mail. Our telephone number was on the e-mail and we were called back within minutes (which was a bit of a shock)and we immediately saved hundreds of dollars on our flight and got some great advice from them. If yoiu need help, mail them. They also managed to reserve some very good courses for us, restaurants were excellent that they did and accommodation was tops! We are still raving about them! They are definitely very professional
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Old Jul 13th, 2003, 01:02 PM
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GBS...just back from Ireland yesterday. Here's our whirlwind trip. I don't mind putting the miles on to see lots of sites. We took a lot in. Best trip ever. It's hard to go wrong in Ireland. Have fun, Craig in Indiana



Day One: Land at Shannon.
Travel to Ennis for Breakfast at the Korner Cafe. Travel to the Cliffs of Moher. Travel to Ballyvaughn across the Burren. Travel up the Burren slopes to ancient portal tombs. Stay at the Cappabhaile House B&B.([email protected]) (nice big family rooms - clean and comfortable)
Day Two: Travel to Cong (Quiet Man movie fame). See Quiet Man sites, Abbey, and Ashford Castle (site of Pres Reagan visit and Pierce Brosnan wedding), journey to Killary Lake and then south a bit to find a peat bog to jump on. Then north through Dough Valley- one of my favorite drives. See famine walk memorials. Westport and Louisburg drive thrus. Drive to Sligo for overnight at the ParkHouse B&B on southside of town. Ate downtown.
Day Three: Travel to northern Ireland with a stop in Derry. Walked the city wall, saw Irish dancers and the murals. Travel to Bishops Gate. Travel to Portrush for dinner. Stayed with local family.
Day Four: Dunluce Castle, Giants Causeway, Torr Head, Glens of Antrim.
Day Five: Travel to Dublin to join with company tour group. Stop at Newgrange and Slaney
Day Six: Tour Dublin including Trinity. Dinner at Abbey Tavern in Howth
Day Six: Tour Dublin. Take in Kilmainham Jail. National Museum, Grafton Street.
Day Seven: Travel to Killarney by bus. Stop at Blarney Castle and Blarney Woolen Mills
Day Eight: Gap of Dunloe Tour
Day Nine: Morning tour of Dingle Penninsula. Afternoon horse ride in national forest at Killarney. Evening dinner at hotel with Irish Weavers for entertainment.
Day 10: Head to home via Shannon.
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Old Jul 13th, 2003, 01:53 PM
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wow, Craig. Thanks for the report. It seems like you packed a lot into your trip. What about your car, I read on another site you needed to upgrade. From a standard? We're 3 adults and 3 suitcases and 2 sets golf clubs. Think we'll fit in an intermediate or standard? Thanks for the report.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2003, 11:38 AM
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Late spring of 2000 I stayed for 3 nights at Waterman's Lodge Hotel in Ballina,really just across the bridge from Killaloe. I enjoyed the town,friendly people,hotel and the scenery. We went out on the river from Lakeside Hotel. It was fun. We went to Ennis and stayed another 3 nights at Temple Gate Hotel. I loved ennis. I could find a place to sit and watch the world go by. If you don't like smoke, be sure to ask for the non-smoking floor at Temple Gate. Old Ground is nice also. Ennis has a music center now, called Glor.
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