EAST, WEST & SOUTHERN IRELAND – 9 DAY ESCORTED GOLF TOUR
Tour Categories: ESCORTED/COACH & SMALL GROUP TOURS GOLF PACKAGES
RECOGNIZED AS ONE OF THE BEST GOLF DESTINATIONS IN THE WORLD, THE EAST, THE WEST & SOUTHERN IRELAND
Welcome to Ireland
Arrive in Dublin, meet with your coach driver and English speaking guide and depart for a panoramic tour of Dublin city.
Discover the north side of the River Liffey. This area offers great striking monuments such as the GPO (General Post Office) on the city main thoroughfare, O’Connell Street, or the Custom House along the quays, as well as the Phoenix Park, the largest public park in Europe.
The south side appears more sophisticated with its vast Georgian squares, such as Merrion Square, where Oscar Wilde’s House can still be found (today owned by an American College), its colorful doors, along with Grafton Street and its quality shops. Not so far from St. Stephen’s Green, in Kildare St., you will see the house of Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula.
This part of the city is also dominated by the students of Trinity College, where the famous Book of Kells is permanently exhibited in its library. The university is facing the medieval district where Dublin Castle and the two Anglican Cathedrals can be found.
Trinity College was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth 1st on grounds confiscated from an Augustinian priory and is the oldest University in Ireland. The Campanile, erected in 1852, was built on what is believed to be the center of the monastery.
Built to further the education of the ruling Anglo-Irish families, restrictions were imposed to prevent Catholic from attending courses.
These restrictions were not fully lifted until the 1970’s. Trinity however admitted women in 1902, earlier than most British universities.
Most of the main buildings off the main square were built during the Georgian period, some of which replaced older buildings. Within its walls, you will be able to admire Parliament Square and its 18th Century edifices. Trinity College has had many famous students such as Jonathan Swift and Samuel Beckett who later became a lecturer in French at the university. The Inter-denominational Church is very much worth a visit, should it be open during your visit.
Visit the Guinness Store House
The Guinness Brewery in Dublin is Europe’s largest stout producing brewery and home to the Guinness Storehouse. Opened in 1904 The Storehouse was an operational plant for fermenting and storing GUINNESS. Today it houses a very fine exhibition dedicated to the Guinness story. Visitors will discover what goes into the making a pint of GUINNESS – the ingredients, the brewing process, the time, the craft and the passion.
The exhibition shows how the brew has been marketed and how it is today sold in over 150 countries. Once the tour has finished your group is invited to the Gravity Bar and will then learn the guarded secret of pulling a pint of Guinness. Unlike other beers ~ there is an art to pulling a pint ~ which when properly done can take over 5 minutes to prepare. Each person can then pull their own pint – an added reason for doing it correctly.
The Storehouse has excellent catering facilities and can be considered as a possibility for lunch Visitors can learn to pour their very own pint of Guinness under the watchful eye of experienced bar staff. You will learn, literally first hand, the passion, pride and practiced skill that go into making and pouring every pint of the black stuff. And to top it off, each pint pourer will receive their very own personalized certificate from the home of Guinness.
Enjoy the afternoon at leisure in Dublin for some personal sightseeing or shopping. Return to your hotel. Tonight enjoy dinner and a welcome drink at your hotel.
Wicklow “The Garden of Ireland”
This morning travel South of Dublin to County Wicklow. Known as “the Garden of Ireland” it is home to Powerscourt, Mount Usher and Russborough, to name a few of its many houses and gardens.
This region features all the various types of scenery that makes Ireland so beautiful. The coastline is bordered by charming sea resorts such as Bray or Greystones.
In the heart of its gentle and rounded hills are nestled Enniskerry and Avoca, both very picturesque villages.
Discover its romantic and quiet beauty, the deserted mounts where nothing but heather grows, the small forests and the lush prairies illuminated by yellow gorse in spring. Glendalough, a 6th century monastic site and Powerscourt house and gardens are a must for any visit to Wicklow.
Enjoy a round of golf at The European Club
This superb links course was designed by Pat Ruddy and is owned and run by the Ruddy family.
Located at Brittas Bay in Wicklow this course is another newcomer to the golfing scene.
It can boast some of the best links golf in the country and has been rated in the top 10 courses in the country in recent years.
As always with links golf, this course provides a forum for a battle with the elements and on a windy day The European Club can provide as tough a challenge as can be seen anywhere in the Ireland!
Visit Powerscourt House and Gardens
Powerscourt House and Gardens is one of the most beautiful estates in Ireland. Situated in the mountains of Wicklow, it was originally an important strategic site for the Anglo-Normans who came to Ireland in the late 12th century. By the year 1300 a castle had been built and was in the possession of the le Paor family. The succeeding centuries saw the castle change hands many times. In 1603 Powerscourt castle and lands were granted to a new English arrival in the area, A Richard Wingfield. His descendants were to remain in Powerscourt for over 350 years.
Powerscourt was much altered in the 18th century, when the famous German born architect Richard Castle remodeled the castle and grounds. It involved the creation of a magnificent mansion in the Palladian style around the shell of the earlier castle. The house was burnt down in 1974 but fortunately the plans of the house were saved and reconstruction started in 1974.
Today the house has been restored to its former glory. The visitor can take a self-guided tour of the house including the ballroom, which was the last part of the house to be restored. The entrance hall now features an exhibition describing the fascinating history of Powerscourt, while shops, a terrace café and other visitor facilities are also located in the house. Powerscourt Gardens are a magnificent example of aristocratic gardens from the 19th century.
The gardens were initiated around 1745 and restyled in the 19th century. The gardens have many features including the Triton pool with its 100-ft fountain. There are statues of winged horses (emblems of the Wingfield coat of arms) flanking a grotto by the pool. To the left are American and Italian gardens, while below them is a Japanese garden.
The Bamberg Gates to the walled garden are believed to come from a German Cathedral in Bamberg in Bavaria. There are many rare plants and wonderful views of the Great Sugar Loaf Mountain. Not to be missed is the pet cemetery with its headstones dedicated to the family dogs.
Enjoy afternoon tea at the Ritz Carlton Hotel
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel is built over a 1,000 acre site on the Powerscourt Estate in County Wicklow. A contemporary hotel the Ritz-Carlton blends well into the surrounding countryside. It offers its guests 203 sumptuous rooms ~ four lounges and restaurant areas within the hotel, with terrace dining overlooking the Sugarloaf Mountain.
The hotel will also have private dining facilities, supporting cocktail and themed bar facilities. The Hotel E’SPA (spa) will be among the best in the world. The facility will include 20 treatment rooms, VIP suites, hot and cold hydrotherapy, unique and holistic tranquil spaces, together with a state-of-the-art gym and swimming pool. The hotel has a number of meeting rooms and can cater for up to 1000 delegates. Return to Dublin
Dinner and storytelling at the Brazen Head Pub.
Enjoy a memorable evening with a traditional meal in Ireland’s oldest pub – the Brazen Head– and hear about how the people of Ireland lived in times past. Discover how they lived off the land, how they celebrated their lives through wakes, weddings, storytelling, music and dance and finally explore beliefs, superstitions and stories about the other world of the Fairies.
The evening will give you a wonderful insight into how Irish people lived their everyday lives in the 19th century, how they saw the world around them and how their wonderful imagination and creativity concerning matters of the spirit, developed into the rich traditional Irish culture we still have today.
The dinner will take place in a quiet room upstairs in the Brazen Head Pub, during which there will be a talk between each course. You are then free to finish the night off by heading downstairs to one of the best traditional life music venues in Dublin.
Enjoy a round of golf at The K Club in the Palmer Course or The Smurfit Course.
Set amongst 700 acres of lush Kildare countryside, the Palmer Course at the K Club is arguably the finest parkland golf course in Ireland.
Designed by Arnold Palmer, the course hosted the prestigious Smurfit European Open on numerous occasions and of course became the first Irish venue to host the Ryder Cup in September 2006 – when Europe memorably recorded a resounding victory. If ever a golf course reflected the personality of its designer, then surely the Palmer Course at the K Club is it. And while it may seem odd to describe a golf course as charismatic and cavalier, from the moment you arrive at the first tee here, a unique atmosphere envelops you.
OR The K Club Smurfit Course
The Smurfit Course at The K Club has already been described as one of the great inland golf courses to be developed in Ireland. Best depicted as an inland links the course has many dramatic landscapes with dune type mounding throughout. This assists in making the course into a true Championship Golf Course with many vantage points for spectators to view the Golf Professional at work. Coupled with this point, some fourteen acres of water have been worked into the design especially through the final phase of Hole No’s: 13 to 18. A watery grave awaits many a golfer on the home stretch.
Possible Spa Treatment at The K Club. Travel through Kildare town and spend some time at the new shopping centre.
Kildare Village brings Chic Outlet Shopping to Ireland for the very first time, offering previous seasons’ collections at up to 60% off the original recommended retail price, all year round. Find prestigious international brands for the home and wardrobe in beautiful surroundings deep in the Irish countryside, but just an hour from Dublin.
We can arrange a complimentary 10% VIP discount card for the group – this is a 10% discount & is in addition to the discounts already available in the shops. Dinner is under own arrangements tonight in Dublin city. Overnight, bed and full Irish breakfast at your hotel in Dublin or region.
Dublin to Killarney via Cork
Old Head of Kinsale
The Old Head Golf Links is quite simply one of the most remarkable developments ever conceived in the history of golf; an Atlantic promontory that will never be rivaled in terms of drama and beauty.
The 220 acre site of five par 3’s, five par 5’s and eight par 4’s is configured as two returning loops of nine holes. Eight of the holes play directly along the cliff tops, providing an exhilarating test of golf and concentration.
Enroute visit Blarney Castle
Attracting visitors from all over the world, Blarney Castle is situated in Blarney 8 km from Cork City. An ancient stronghold of the McCarthy’s, Lords of Muskerry, it is one of Ireland’s oldest and most historic castles, and indeed one of the strongest fortresses in Munster. Built in 1446, Blarney Castle is famous for its Blarney stone – The Stone of Eloquence, which is traditionally believed, to have the power to bestow the gift of eloquence on all those who kiss it. Many legends tell the story of the Stone, but why not kiss it and find out the truth behind the legend.
Enjoy some time for shopping at Blarney Woolen Mills. The presence of the Woollen Mills during the famine shielded Blarney from the worst effects of the famine, due to its employment of local workers. The success story at the mills continued until a disastrous fire in 1869.
By August 1871, the mill was once again operational with a labour force of 222. In 1976 Chris Kelleher, himself a mill worker, bought the old mill property. Within a short period of time Chris and his family transformed the mill into what is perhaps the largest quality craft shop in Ireland.
Continue to Cork city and enjoy a tasting platter in the English Market
The English market in Cork City centre is a covered market for fish, fruit, meat and vegetable with entrances on Princes Street, Patrick Street and the Grand Parade.
The origins of the market can be traced back to James 1st in 1610, but the present building dates from 1786. The tradition of the market is for meat and fish selling.
But in recent years the range of food available has broadened considerably to include fruit and vegetables, as well as an organic stall, a traditional French deli stall, an olive stall, a cheese and pasta stall which also serves coffee and a bread stall.
The group will get to taste a selection of local cheeses and will be pleasantly surprised by the choice available and the excellent quality.
Tonight enjoy dinner in your hotel. Overnight, Dinner and full Irish breakfast at your hotel in Cork or region
Killarney and Ballybunion
This morning depart for Ballybunion Golf Club (Old Course)
After playing Ballybunion for the first time, a person would think that the game of golf originated here. Located on the Shannon estuary, it is a true seaside links course, virtually treeless and a course of sharp contours throughout. There appears to be no man- made influence.
It looks like a course laid out on land back in the 10th century.There is a wild look to the place, the long grass covering the dunes that pitch and roll throughout the course making it very intimidating.
Yet the course is eminently fair. While there would appear to be a lot of blind shots, there aren’t. Even where there are blind shots, you are given a good idea where you must hit the ball.
Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Senior, and first opened for play in 1982, the Trent-Jones Cashen Course is Ballybunion’s magnificent new course, located among amazingly high sand dunes at the mouth of the River Cashen.
To say the course looks natural in its setting is to do it an injustice. The course flows with the land and uses the natural contours to full potential.
This is a dateless golf course which after playing makes you ask yourself if you’ve ever played amid quite such surroundings. Rated in the top 100 by Golf Magazine, the vast majority of Cashen’s green positions have been copied by many new course designers.
Spectacular and supremely challenging, what can never be copied is the majestic landscape and fresh sea air that is distinctly part of the Ballybunion experience.
Waterville or Gap of Dunloe
Waterville Links Course
Since opening in 1973, Waterville has enjoyed great popularity and has hosted some of the world’s leading professionals from Faldo and Floyd to Stewart, O’Meara and Woods, all of whom have been captivated by the course.
“One of the greatest golf courses ever built. I have never seen a more consistent succession of really strong and beautiful golf holes than here.” 3 times British Open Champion, Sir Henry Cotton.
Gap of Dunloe including lunch
It is a daylong visit in one of the most beautiful areas of Ireland. The morning is spent on horseback, or on a pony and trap, meandering through the rugged Kerry Mountains, listening all the while to the eloquent explanations and stories as told by your Jarvey (driver). You will say goodbye to your horse and Jarvey at Lord Brandon’s cottage.
After some refreshments at the cottage, you will continue your journey aboard a small boat, which will take you across the 3 Lakes of Killarney, back to the 15th century Ross Castle, close to the town of Killarney. Your Gillie (boatman) will amaze you with his knowledge of the lakes and amuse you with his stories of the area. Return to Killarney.
Nestled at the entrance to the world famous Gap of Dunloe lies Kate Kearney’s Cottage, a 150-year-old family-run pub and restaurant. At “Kate’s” you can now enjoy a traditional Irish night. Join in a night full of entertainment, music and song all presented after an excellent meal.
All who come will enjoy excellent food and the best of music and dance. The musicians will introduce you to some of their unique instruments while the dancers will set you toes and hands tapping.
Guests are encouraged to join the dancers who are pleased to pass on some of basic steps of a good Irish jig or hornpipe.
Killarney to Dromoland
Departing from Tarbert, the Shannon Car ferry is a convenient way to cross the Shannon estuary between Clare and Kerry. Using 2 ferries there is a regular timetable and the 20 minutes crossing saves the voyager many hours of driving.
Passengers may leave their car or coach and enjoy a great view of the surrounding landscape from the upper deck. The journey takes about 20 minutes and drinks and snacks are available for purchase on board. Tickets are purchased on board the ferry.
The Cliffs of Moher
Travel onto the Cliffs of Moher Situated on the Atlantic Ocean and bordering the Burren Area, the Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland’s most spectacular sights.
Standing 230 metres above the ground at their highest point and 8km long, the Cliffs boast one of the most amazing views in Ireland. On a clear day, the Aran Islands are visible in Galway Bay as well as the valleys and hills of Connemara.
To the south of the cliffs is Hag’s Head and was once the site of a castle. The cliffs reach their highest point just north of O’ Brien’s Tower. Cornelius O’ Brien, a descendant of Brian Boru (he who defeated the Vikings in battle), built a Tower at the cliffs in order to enjoy some tea with his lady friends.
The Tower is adjacent to the seastack, Breanan Mór, which stands over 70 metres above the foaming waves and is home to some of the Burren’s wildlife. Enjoy an Irish coffee making demonstration in a local bar. Last stop today is Bunratty Castle & Folk Park.
Bunratty Castle is one of the most complete and authentic medieval castles in Ireland. Built in 1425 and plundered on many occasions, it was authentically restored in 1954 to its former medieval with furnishings and tapestries capturing the mood and the style of the times.
The castle hosts medieval banquets and takes the participants back to the time that the castle entertained its visitors with fine food, wine and song.
Within the grounds of Bunratty castle is Bunratty Folk Park. The Folk Park demonstrates everyday life in rural Ireland of the 19th century. It contains reconstructed farmhouses, cottages and shops, and great care has been taken to make its buildings as authentic as possible, particularly with regard to furnishings. It is a living museum ~ animals are tended, bread is baked, milk is churned, walls are whitewashed and roofs are thatched.
You may visit an Irish farmhouse, watch the blacksmith fit a horseshoe, attend a weaving demonstration, and bake and eat scones at the local teahouse.
Dromoland Castle & Adare Area
Masterfully designed, magnificently maintained, and perfectly set within the glorious estate of one of Europe’s most spectacular manor house hotels, The Golf Course at Adare Manor is ready to take its place among the best championship courses in the world.
Celebrated golf architect Tom Fazio has taken what was already an award-winning course and transformed it into a parkland paradise befitting a country in the top tier of global golfing destinations. The new course has been created in harmony with the outstanding natural beauty of its surroundings: lush, softly rolling terrain, mature tree scaping, and the sweeping banks of the River Maigue.
Each hole of The Golf Course at Adare Manor could be crowned the feature hole: each one has been entirely redesigned and reconstructed, with the very latest technology and course innovations, creating a challenging, characterful, and profoundly satisfying playing experience for golfers of every level. The final result is a course that is at once strategic and soulful, playable in all conditions, and future-proofed in preparation for premiere amateur and professional golf events. Cared for by an experienced, passionate team of devoted greenkeepers, the condition of this course and its velvet-smooth Pure Distinction bent grass greens is unrivalled.
Off the course, this commitment to perfection continues in the perfectly appointed clubhouse. Luxurious, stylish, with a modern jazz-age sensibility and every convenience and indulgence you could require, The Carriage House is a worthy counterpart to Europe’s finest
new golf course. This is where you will find our expert team and comprehensively stocked Pro Shop, our elegantly welcoming locker rooms, and exciting options for food, drink, and relaxation. The Carriage House features a world-class restaurant managed by our Director of Culinary, Loughlin Druhan; a smart and lively bar serving light bites and a remarkable collection of fine wines, craft beers, and sophisticated cocktails; a gorgeous covered Terrace with panoramic views of the greens; and our snug and comfortable Cigar Lounge.
Taken together, The Golf Course at Adare Manor provides an unforgettable experience designed to inspire, challenge, and captivate the most demanding and spirited golf enthusiasts in the world.
This morning enjoy a boat trip on the Corrib Princess with tea and scones.
This journey on the Corrib Princess takes passengers along the Majestic River Corrib and onto the lake, providing visitors with wonderful views of the historic monuments and scenery, which make this one of the most spectacular waterways in Ireland. The visitors will see unsurpassed views of the historic monuments and natural amenities that make this one of the most spectacular waterway in Ireland.
The cruise lasts 90 minutes approximately and is taken aboard The Corrib Princess a purposed built leisure cruiser with a capacity for 157 passengers. The Princess sails from Woodquay in the heart of Galway City. Enjoy some time at leisure for some last minute shopping in Galway city.
Tonight enjoy a farewell dinner at the medieval banquet at Bunratty Castle Banquet.
Bunratty Castle, was built in the 15th century by the Earl of Thomond and stands on the banks of the Rathy River. From here The Earl ruled over his Chiefdom and entertained lavishly. For over 40 years the ladies of the Castle, aided and abetted by the Earl’s Butler, have welcomed guests from the four corners of the globe to join them at The Earl’s Banquet. The entertainment provided by the Bunratty Singers is a fitting compliment to a four course meal, a lively meal reception and of course good wine. The banquet is held twice nightly throughout the year.