hike in sligo

Sligo, I feel is an underrated town. Its full of picturesque views and historical landmarks. Stunning coastal views and exhausting (but well worth) hikes. After 5 hrs traveling in the car and one very car sick little boy. You can imagine the excitement/relief upon finally arriving to see what Sligo had to offer.

We looked up all the things we SHOULD do in Sligo, but I never settle for what is suggested, I rather explore and find out for myself and what I did find was beautiful. Ill outline a few spots that are well worth a visit.

First up is ‘Shells’ eatery. No word of a lie, we waited an hour to get a seat in here and my god was it worth it. Its based on the Sligo Bay and has views that go on for miles. Popular spot for surfers, we walked the pier many times watching the waves and taking in the views and of course, taking a little peek at the Links course that situated right beside it! The food was sublime, and I would jump at the chance to go back there for lunch.

rosses point view at sunset

Along many of our drives around Sligo, I kept noticing a little Island in the middle of the bay and couldn’t figure out how you got to it as I couldn’t see a road anywhere that led to it. It wasn’t until I asked a local, that I discovered the one way on was to cross the beach when the tide goes out…. Cross a beach when the tide goes out. Naturally, I drove down attempt it, but nerves got the best of me. So, if anyone is or had done it, please let me know!

Lastly was a very simple one. The beach and pier. You have 360degree views form the highest point and its bursting with History which was extremely interesting. I left Sligo with a very fond feeling and knew that it would be a place that I would easily return too.

 

us ladies golf team celebrates solheim cup win after defeating europe

 

OK! OK! the USA dominated yesterdays play hands down. A well-deserved victory by all. How about that come back from Lexi Thompson, 4 down after 9 and her opponent shoot 2 under on the back 9 and Lexi still managed to come back, sensational golf which highlighted how strong this American team was. With Europe needing to overturn a 5-point deficit on the day it was fair to say the damage was done before Sundays play. They needed a performance like the Miracle of Medinah which is fair to say doesn’t happen that easy. Des Moines Golf and Country Club looked beautiful on tv and one we will add to our bucket list for sure. There is something about team golf that is special, win or lose it just creates an atmosphere like no other golf tournament. It is also great to see that golf fans keep the respect that golf deserves when shouting for there home team. How about that trophy? Of course,it’s made right here in Waterford, Ireland.

 

waterford crystal

 

We have an amazing ancient east golf tour which is based around Waterford in the south east of Ireland. As part of the golf tour we highly recommend a factory tour of the house of Waterford Crystal which will show you exactly how the Solheim Cup was made. You will also find the replica trophy in the show room along with the Fed-Ex cup, players championship and many more trophies.

ballybunion

 

Ballybunion Golf Club was founded in 1893 and is considered one of the finest links courses in the world. It is set in a remote location in the south west of Ireland running along beautiful sand dunes overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Ballybunion hosted the European Tours Irish Open in 2000. The course was remodelled in 1995 to the course it is today by Tom Watson. At Ballybunion you will enjoy a good test of golf for all levels of golfers. If you ever find yourself in this special part of the world be sure to check out the statue of US president Bill Clinton in the town of Ballybunion which was placed to mark the occasion of President Clinton playing Ballybunion during his second term in office.

justin thomas celebrates win at us pga championship in 2017

 

Well that’s that with the final major championship coming to an end yesterday evening. We are scratching our heads at First Class Golf Tours as to what we are going to get excited to watch on TV over the next few months. Of course we have the Solheim Cup this week which will be played on US soil. Another exciting late night tv for us…. can’t wait but back to the fascinating US PGA Championship at Quail Hallow. A huge congrats to Justin Thomas, the young guns come up trumps again and claim another major championship. Justin is a small guy, but he sure does pack a huge punch of power, his swing is built on efficiency. It has been great to see over the past year the improvement in Justin’s mental game, he has shown a much calmerdemeaner on the course. I think this is a huge reason to the success he has had this week, with the lead changing hands by 5 different players on Sundays play Justin showed great nerve and character to come out on top. The mental game is a huge part in golf for both professionals and amateurs, just like we try to stay calm after knocking our 6th ball of the day into the knee high rough in Ballybunion but remember to just tell yourself “hey, I’m golfing in Ireland, grab another ball and continue on and enjoy your trip…. If only it was that easy...

royal portrush in northern ireland

 

Royal Portrush Golf Club hotly tipped as the venue of the 2019 British Open the club is home to one of the best and most challenging links golf courses in the world, the Dunluce Links. When the club was formed in May 1888, it was known as The County Club. It became The Royal County Club in 1892, when H.R.H. The Duke of York was its patron, and ‘The Royal Portrush Golf Club’ three years later, with H.R.H. The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) as patron. The only club in Ireland to have hosted The Open Championship (1951), Royal Portrush is a member’s club which welcomes visitors all year round to face the challenges of its courses and to brave the testing conditions. Exciting times ahead at Royal Portrush with the hopes of Rory winning the Open Championship on home soil

jordan speith holding winning trophy at british open at royal birkdale after beating matt kuchar in final in 2017

 

What a final round battle yesterday evening with Jordan Speith holding off Matt Kuchar to claim his third major title at just 24 years old, there’s only one player in history to do similar and that’s Mr Jack Nicklaus. It looked like Speith had left this British Open slip out of his hands coming around the turn, but he held strong with a flourish of birdies and eagles towards the closing holes to win this year’s Open. It was a solid performance for Rory McIlroy who finished in the top 5 after he has struggled for most part of this year through injury, hopefully this is a turning point for Rory, and we will see a strong second half of 2017. But it was the week of Jordan this week and with the British Open trophy in the locker he is only a PGA Championship away from completing a career grand slam which he will have the opportunity to do in a few weeks.

portstewart golf course in northern ireland image

 

The outstanding Championship Strand Course is probably one of the most beautiful golf courses I have ever seen, if not the most. The Strand Course was founded in 1907. The club played host to the Irish Amateur Close Championship in 1992 and has hosted other events such as the Irish Professional and Irish Amateur. The British Girls Championship was also hosted in 2006, won by Belen Mozo of Spain and with Jon Rahm winning this week we are maybe thinking the Spanish have some inside knowledge of this track. All in all, it is a fantastic championship course and a joy to play on the Northern golf trail.

jon rahm kissing the irish open trophy after his win in 2017

 

Each year the Irish Open proves how popular golf is in Ireland with record number crowds through the gates at each day’s play. Why wouldn’t you want to travel and play golf in a country that supports the game of golf like the Irish. It was a fantastic event again this year with the Irish open continuing to go on an upward trend through the support of the Rory Foundation and the impressive purse of €7 million to appetize the worlds bests players to participate. It was Spain’s Jon Rahm who secured the jackpot with an impressive 65 on the final day, his 2nd victory in just 25 professional starts. He is a big hitter who looks impressive once he can keep his mental game in check. I think that will be his biggest challenge to continue improving up the world ranking at this level, but his golf skills are up there with the best. Portstewart was a fitting venue for this year’s Irish open and has cemented its place firmly on the must play list on the northern golf trail. It wasn’t to be for any of the Irish men at this year’s event with the best performance coming from the young Gavin Moynihan who looks to be a good prospect for the future of Irish golf and one we here will be keeping a close eye on.

druids glen irish open venue 2017

 

Situated just twenty miles south of Dublin on the East Coast of Ireland, in County Wicklow. A previous European Golf Course of the Year winner and known as ‘The Augusta of Europe,’ the course at Druids Glen was designed by Pat Ruddy &Tom Craddock and opened in 1995. An undulating and well-wooded parkland course, with liberally distributed water hazards, bunkers and tree-lined holes demanding driving accuracy, the length of the course and many approach shots over water make this a challenging test for golfers. Druids glen played host to the Irish Open for four years in a from 1996-1999. With the winner of the 1999 Irish open being the one and only Sergio Garcia, maybe we should have known he was destined to put on the green jacket at some point in time.

Well that’s that and the first major over and done for 2017, for many the US Masters is the kick start to the golfing season. The weather is improving day by day and the evenings getting longer on the Irish shores, who wouldn’t want to get out and play golf this week after that dramatic finish to yesterday evenings golf. I never thought I would see Sergio Garcia in a green jacket but I for one am delighted for the Spaniard and how fitting to do it on the birthday of fellow Spaniards Seve’s birthday. It was like it was meant to be. Sergio has had his ups and downs over the years at Augusta but I am sure those lows are well forgotten and he has wrote a new chapter in his life and the history books at Augusta National Golf Club. It was a great week for European golf with 5 players in the top 7 of the leader board. Justin Rose narrowly missing out on his second career major, but his game is looking on the up right now and I am sure his second is not a million miles away. Augusta never fails to deliver on the excitement with the only downside being that we must wait 12 months to witness the spectacle all over again.



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What an amazing experience, a huge thank you to Ryan and Kellie at First Class Golf Tours for pulling off a vacation of a lifetime. Words can’t describe how truly grateful we are. The Golf, the scenery, the history and hospitality we received throughout our vacation was “First Class” We are already looking at dates for a return visit…

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