We flew from Zurich to Dublin on Sunday night. We didn’t get into Dublin until 10.30pm so we stayed in a hotel close to the airport. We picked our rental car up early Monday morning and hit the road. We were heading for County Donegal which is in the north west. Most of the four hour drive was through Northern Ireland.
The countryside reminded me a bit of the West Coast of the South Island and some more remote parts up north in NZ.
First stop was the Narin & Portnoo Golf Club which is situated in a beautiful seaside resort in County Donegal in the northwest of the country. It is considered one of the finest natural and scenic 18-hole links Golf courses in Ireland, with sweeping views of Gweebarra Bay on the North Atlantic Coast. The coast up here is known as the Wild Atlantic Way – we are yet to see this wildness but based on the solid housing we have seen can imagine it gets pretty wild.
Opened in 1930, it is engagingly old-fashioned, with a meandering routing over and around the dunes. The course has recently been re-developed and the new par 73 layout offers a range of teeing areas and challenges to suit all golfers.
This was our first game of golf in two months so it was going to be interesting. The course was a typical links course and met all our expectations – it was stunning. The other thing that has met our expectations is the friendliness of the people – everyone wants to chat and offer helpful hints. Steve is in his element with all this chatting!
One thing that has exceeded all expectations is the weather, although generally cloudy it is remarkably warm. We didn’t tee off until 2.30pm so when the sun really came out to play about 6pm we were just playing the last few holes along the coast – amazing scenery.
Although Ireland was a destination we had discussed previously we didn’t think we would fit it in on this trip so it felt quite surreal to be walking the fairways in the north western most part of the country.