Ireland is in my blood, and Carr Golf knew how to get it pumping.
All of my grandparents were born in Ireland, a heritage that has left me with plenty of cousins and family friends to visit. But for all the trips I have made to that beautiful country, none included a formal golf trip. You know, the kind where someone else arranges all the tee times, knows the right restaurants, and supplies transportation with a guide and/or driver who can sort out every other logistic, no bother at all.
That changed in 2018, when I participated in a trip hosted by Carr Golf, a Dublin-based travel business founded in 1988 by Joe Carr, the best amateur golfer in Ireland’s history and a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
His son Marty now leads the company, and things have never been better for the golf tour business. “It’s very, very robust,” said Carr. “It’s probably at an all-time high. There’s greater awareness of how good the courses are now. But Ireland is also a very safe and friendly destination. People just like coming here. We’re a good laugh, the golf is super, and the Guinness is good. It’s a pretty good formula.”
Indeed it is.
FIRST STOP: PORTMARNOCK
Portmarnock Golf Club is a short drive east of Dublin Airport, set on a peninsula along the Irish Sea. The course hosts the 2019 British Amateur (it did so once before in 1949) and is a pleasant walk, with room off the tees, stellar par 3s (especially the 15th) and a clubhouse with walls full of memorabilia dating back to the club’s origins in 1894. After dinner in the Joe Carr Room in the clubhouse of nearby Sutton Golf Club, more than comfortable accommodations overlooking the Irish Sea awaited at Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links.