Golf in Ireland Casts a Magic Spell for Growing Legions of American Fans
Want a tee-time at Augusta National or Shinnecock Hills? Dream on, MacDuffer. Golf is the only major sport in the world where amateur enthusiasts can experience the self-same challenges posed by those courses where the sport’s top professionals vie for glory. That is, if they can get to play on them. Every serious golfer wants to challenge those famous venues that are the storied lore of this wonderful sport. And, as every golfer knows, at many of the great courses in America it is difficult, if not impossible, to get your name on the timesheet for a round.
Not so in the Emerald Isle where there are more golf courses than days in the year—and more courses listed in the Top 100 world rankings than you can shake a nine-iron at. Some of the layouts in Ireland are old-established courses that were being played before the 19th century was history. And, there are others that are modern masterpieces designed by the leading golf course architects of our age including, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Pete Dye to name just some.
Mr. Jim McGuigan, Executive Vice President in the United States for Tourism Ireland based in New York, said “Ireland’s golf courses are easily accessible to our U.S. golf vacation visitors. And, some of the greatest golf courses in the world are in Ireland. The names are legendary and many, like Royal County Down, Ballybunion, Portmarnock, Waterville, Royal Portrush, the K Club, Lahinch, The Old Head, Mount Juliet and so many others.”
Mr. McGuigan added, “With no less than 402 golf courses spread throughout the island, golf is easily accessible to all. Ireland has courses to suit all handicaps, from the experienced player to the amateur golfer. Home to one-in-three of all the links courses in the world, Ireland’s reputation as a golf paradise in Europe has been copperfastened by the building of many new parkland courses. The staging of the Ryder Cup on one such course at the K Club, near Dublin, in 2006 is eagerly awaited and surely reinforces the Emerald Isle’s claim as a premier golf destination.”
Above all else, though, golf in Ireland is fun. The mulligan, it is said, was an Irish innovation. And, while the golf is clearly very important, what happens after the game is also crucial to the enjoyment of a golf vacation experience. And, this is where Ireland excels. The 19th Hole may not have been invented in Ireland, but it surely has been perfected there. So many American golf vacation visitors return to the United States having enjoyed playing Irish courses, but have even fonder memories of the fun time that comes off the course after the last putt drops.
For more information on golf vacations in Ireland call (800) 223 6470 or visit www.tourismiireland.com
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