Oct 25th, 2006, 08:30 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 4

We are planning a trip with 6 to 8 other persons (all couples) & all the searches I've done for Northern Ireland have been lengthy, but having too little info/details about the lodging. I know there are tons of B&B's in the area, but want to know if they will accommodate all persons in our group. We prefer to have a location close to the Causeway, within walking distance to pubs, but no too far from Royal County Downs (we have 2 in the group who would like to play this course. We also wondered if the ferry to Rathlin Island to see Robert the Bruce's Cave was worth the time (our history/Braveheart lovers wish to check it out).

Also, for any of you who have played golf in Ireland...what is the best way to secure tee times? I have heard to book through a tour company, but most of these want to sell you a package. My husband & brother-in-law just want to play one or two rounds at Royal County Downs, the K Club & perhaps Lahinch. We thought we'd start in Dublin, head north, then come south, along the west part of the island, leaving out of Shannon. We plan to spend 10 days. Has anyone ever stayed at the Ballyportry Castle? Do they allow 3 night stays?

I appreciate any assistance offered!
barbi17 is offline  
Oct 25th, 2006, 09:58 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,146
I can't help you with your question for accommodations, but I can tell you to repost with where you wish to find accommodations. Accommodations Northern Ireland or something of the kind.
Good luck, Joan

chatham is offline  
Oct 25th, 2006, 02:56 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,635
For all the stuff you want to do, 10-days isn't really enough time. Royal County Down may be the top-rated course in Ireland; and of course the K-Club in Kildare is where the Ryder Cup matches were played this year. But both are 'parkland' courses and when you go to Ireland you want to play 'links' courses, like Lahinch; but Lahinch is not as nice as BallyBunion or Old Head (Kinsale, Co. Cork). And although it may cost twice as much to play, Lahinch can't hold a candle to Carne. There's a 9-hole course about 8-miles south of Lahinch at Spanish Point (Co. Clare).

If you're headed south on N-59 you'll pass close to the best course I ever played: Carne Golf Links near Belmullet (Mayo).

As for booking tee times, for weekday play you can probably call a couple of days in advance and be able to get on.
NEDSIRELAND is offline  
Oct 26th, 2006, 04:38 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,635
Sorry! I said in my previous post that Royal County Down was a 'parkland' course. The K-Club is; but Royal County Down is definitely a coastal links course.
It's Down (singular), not 'Downs!'
NEDSIRELAND is offline  
Oct 26th, 2006, 07:25 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 6
For Lahinch, if you know exactly when they would like to play, go to the website and fill out a booking form -

I am not sure how good of golfers your group is, but the one thing to keep in mind about Lahinch is that it is designed with the majority of it's shots as "blind", which means that having a local caddy to guide you where to aim would be a good thing! Evidently, "blind" shots were the in thing when the course was designed. I played Ballybunion in 2004 and booked our tee time through a BnB. If you plan to stay in the area near your chosen courses, reserving a tee time through a local accomodation is another route to consider.

Lastly, please tell your golfers that while the K Club did indeed host the Ryder Cup, and there is some prestige in doing so, it is not one of the older, historic courses in the Republic. Europe uses almost a bidding system for R-Cup hosting, and more often, the club with the most money will win out. The K Club is a great young course, but there are quite a few others I would rather play.
Steel_eyes is offline  
Oct 26th, 2006, 08:49 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,214
Hi B,

Unfortunatly the Causeway and Royal County Down are at opposite ends of NI (Royal Portrush is close to the Causeway). If you wanted to go to both the Causeway and Royal County Down staying in Belfast would probably be your best bet as it is about a 1 hour drive from there to both of them.

There are lots od B&B's in South Belfast around Queens University and losds of pubs and restaurants.

There is a boat to Rathlin from Ballycastle which is close to the Causeway. I havn't been there but it has been getting a lot of publicity recently as a bird sanctury (the RSPB have a base there) and the archiology dept at Queens have discovered lots of pre historic sites.

Another possibility would be to stay near Trim (part of Braveheart was filmed at Trim Castle) and with the new mototway it would be about a 1 hour drive from there to Newcastle (Royal County down) Braveheart fans could go to the castle and the golfers to Newcastle.

Getting a B&B to accommodate 3-4 couples should be no problem providing you book early.

cambe is offline  
Oct 26th, 2006, 04:00 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 4
Thank you everyone for your very helpful responses. My husband is a good golfer (handicap of 10) & he feels maybe he'll pass on the K Club & do more of the links courses. Appreciate your help! We'll check out all the places you recommended.
barbi17 is offline  

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