So, you’ve always wanted that to take that golf trip to Ireland but just haven’t gotten around to it. Perhaps you’ve discussed a buddy trip, or bringing your dad on a trip of a lifetime, or perhaps a group of couples hopes to travel together? What a pity then that this whole Coronavirus pandemic has put paid to those plans for a while longer. Well, maybe not! Here are a few very good reasons why now is the absolute perfect time to consider that golf vacation to the Emerald Isle!
Ireland is a popular place for golfers. Every year between late May and early October, tens of thousands of golfers from around the world descend on this tiny island with clubs in hand. This year, with travel bans in place, the overwhelming majority of these visitors are staying at home and instead have postponed their trips for twelve months to 2021. As a result, some of the best-known golf courses in the world now have more than their fair share of availability where they would not otherwise have expected it. While domestic demand will fill some of the gaps, it will certainly not be sufficient to cover the estimated 25,000 US golfers alone that traverse the fairways each year. A word of caution, however. Whilst availability may have improved, not every golf course is reducing their green fees to attract your business. Many are, and there are great deals to be found at some world Top 100 golf courses this summer and autumn.
A round of golf in Ireland is not just about the famous names of Ballybunion, Royal Portrush, and Portmarnock. Many of Ireland’s best golf experiences are to be had on what might otherwise be deemed its second-tier courses; those that are not in the highest echelons of the world rankings. Golf courses such as Ardglass in County Down, Dooks in County Kerry, and Carne in County Mayo are amongst some of the best experiences you will find anywhere. These courses often find themselves on the itineraries of our American cousins and as a result, they are suffering from that lack of revenue this summer. We recommend that you pick up the phone and speak to a member of staff to see what they will do for you because there are great deals to be uncovered, and a bit of Irish ‘craic’ might go a long way to getting you a great deal.
The “social” aspect
The term ‘social distancing’ has rapidly found its way into our everyday lexicon. There are many challenges around these new regulations. Hospitality businesses along with golf courses are doing their best to make sure we are all safe, but some people fear that the imposition of social distancing will have a detrimental impact on their vacation experience. However, as we all know, the Irish defined what it means to be ‘social’ centuries ago! Ireland is arguably the friendliest, safest, and most fun places to visit on the planet. It will take a lot more than a global pandemic to stop the Irish from having a good time and it is a country where the glass is always half-full! Trust me, now is as good a time as any to visit, because very little will dull the Irish spirit.
Beauty & Quality
The Irish landscape is one of the most beautiful in the world. From historical cities such as Kilkenny to its beautiful North Antrim coastline; ancient castles to kiss the Blarney stone to rolling countryside, few places on planet earth can compete. The recent lockdown has made Ireland even more beautiful if that’s possible! Golf courses got an unexpected ‘rest’ for three months when they would otherwise have been busy with early-season golfers and they are in pristine condition. The natural landscape has blossomed, the air is cleaner and it feels like nature has been given a well-deserved break. Ireland is looking great; its golf courses are even better and its people are raring to go. More great reasons to consider a golf vacation to Ireland right now.
Ireland is one of the safest places to visit on the planet, and it has handled the recent pandemic better than most countries around the world. The golf and hospitality industry has implemented strict reopening health & safety protocols to ensure that everyone has the reassurances they need to visit and enjoy their facilities. In many cases, these environments have probably never been safer, or cleaner, than they are today, so now is the perfect time to visit.
About the Author
Tom Cotter is the owner of The Consummate Pro Golf & Travel, a professional golf tour operator based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. They design golf vacations in Ireland and the UK as well as select destinations around the world. When he is not at his desk, Tom is likely found on a fairway somewhere, traveling in the United States or writing.