Golfing Around Ireland: 6 Rounds and 5 Hotels in 10 days

Colin Hanna speaks about his 2016 Tour of Ireland

The Big Interview

Colin speaks to on returning from his May 2016 golfing tour of Ireland.

Q: I understand you are from West Chester PA and recently took a big trip to Ireland with your family. What was the genesis of this particular family trip to Ireland? Are trips like this a regular event for your family or something special?

Colin: We often go on golf trips as a family, but this one was indeed special: we were celebrating the graduation of our son and his girlfriend from Graduate School.

Q: Had you or your family members ever visited Ireland?

Colin: Yes, my wife and I.

Q: What other family members attended? Where do they live?

Colin: Our son and his girlfriend. They live in Philadelphia.

Q: What do you do for a living?

Colin: My wife and I are both consultants.

Q: I understand there were three golfers and one non-golfer on the trip. How much golf do you each play?

Colin: My wife and I played seven rounds and our son six.

Q: What are your handicaps?

Colin: My wife’s is 30, my son’s 13 and mine is 16.

Q: Any particular special memories of playing together in the past?

Colin: Oh, yes! All three of us played (and stayed at) Bandon Dunes, Kiawah, and TPC Sawgrass, among other lesser places, like Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head.

Q: How did you select to help with this trip?

Colin: I saw an online ad

Q: How was the set-up process with the company?

Colin: Great – highly personalized, yet totally simple and straightforward. Chris Bowles listened attentively to our requirements and delivered just what we wanted – with grace, charm and professionalism.

Q: Your itinerary was very impressive. What were some of the highlights of your trip, both on and off the golf course?

Colin: Truly great links courses: Lahinch and Ballybunion. Overall course beauty: Old Head and Tralee. But Old Head is in a class by itself. I had seen many, many pictures and a few videos, including a helicopter video overflight of the entire course, but I still wasn’t prepared for the real thing. When I crested the hill on the inward drive and looked down at Old Head for the first time, I had to stop the car and just drink in the view. I was overwhelmed, almost speechless. Then the service from the car park to the Clubhouse to our rooms was at a level unlike anything else, including Bandon Dunes. Finally, the meal in the Old Head dining room was the best of the trip, featuring local lamb and local John Dory fish. The next day’s golf was just as spectacular. While technically not a true links course, Old Head must surely be the single most visually striking seaside golf course in the world. No future golf trip to Ireland will be complete without a return to Old Head.

Q: What did the non-golfer do while the golfers were on the links?

Colin: On three days, she walked the courses with us (Old Head, Ballybunion and Tralee). The courses were very accommodating. On one day, she hiked the path along the Cliffs of Moher alone. And on other days, she explored the towns where we were staying. And over two days, she and our son hiked from Leenaun to Westport, including climbing Croagh Patrick.

Q: What made the experience with so pleasurable?

Colin: The high degree of customization. We had an ambitious agenda and high expectations for both golf and accommodations. In all cases, they were not merely met, they were exceeded. We requested all four- and five-star accommodations, which I’m sure was a challenge all its own, and the very best golf courses, with a premium on being scenic. With stays at places like Knockranny, Lough Eske and Killarney Park, the accommodations were genuinely five stars – but the accommodations at Old Head were beyond amazing. The rooms were first rate, and the views were beyond compare. If we were able to go back to only one place to play and stay – it would be Old Head, hands down.

Q: Do you think you will use again and/or recommend them to a friend?

Colin: Without question. This was quite possibly the most perfect golfing vacation we’ve ever enjoyed, and yet it was surprisingly reasonable in cost, considering the quality of service, hotel accommodations, and golf arrangements. Even the paperwork documentation exceeded anything we’ve ever experienced before. If anyone is considering a truly first-class golf trip, should be the first and probably only tour broker to consider.

If you’d like to experience for yourself a similar golf trip to Ireland or a golf vacation in the British Isles, simply send us an inquiry and our golf vacation specialists will recommend the perfect trip for your budget and golfing ambitions!

Golf Courses Played:
Old Head of Kinsale
Ballybunion Old Course
Ballybunion Cashen Course

Hotels Stayed In:
Temple Gate Hotel 4*, Co. Clare
Lough Eske Castle Hotel 5*, Co. Donegal
Knockranny House Hotel & Spa 4*, Co. Mayo
Killarney Park Hotel 4*, Co. Kerry
• A Dublin City Centre Hotel (booked directly by Colin)

Guy Proddow

Author, Guy Proddow

I started playing golf when I was young, first at my local pitch and putt in south west London and later at a nearby club where my parents are members. I would love to say my golf’s progressed with every decade that I've lived, but my best playing days were probably in my teens! I still love the game and live it every day working at and in the travel industry - which is a wonderful industry to be part off. My other passion is water sports; so playing links golf beside a pumping surf break is a very happy experience. The two sports complement each other wonderfully and fortunately, many fine courses are on the coast - I just need more time to travel!