Once again Ireland came up trumps. If anything, better than ever. A quirky boutique hotel, Isaacs, in the centre of Cork, surrounded by the usual plethora of Irish pubs and excellent restaurants, I think it fair to say everyone thought it a perfect centre for a weeks golf.
As always it seems in Ireland, the golf courses were in excellent condition with first class putting surfaces. Earlier in the week, albeit in rather windy conditions, we played Lee Valley and what a lovely test Christy Jnr has left us. Undulating without being too hilly and a fine variety of holes asking one to think and position most shots. Fota Island was probably the best known and offered a five star experience that lived up to its reputation. However, for me the real gem was Cork Golf Club also known as “Little Island”. Why I had not heard of this Mackenzie design before I do not know. Yes, one or two greens and tees are a bit close together and one needs to keep their wits about them, but that is a throw back to the original older design and to be embraced as such. Redesigned greens and bunkering has been extensively carried out giving a modern feel to this superb layout especially the links feeling area from 3 to 12, parts of which play along the waters edge.
Water Rock GC, a lovely parkland course and ideal first day venue for our first day team event gave Vanessa, Tony and myself a clear victory with 73 pts.
Arnold, Bill and Tony saw off the ladies team of Liz, Vanessa and Heather with a last 9 victory at the excellent Lee Valley. Vanessa, Arnold and Patrick had a runaway victory at Fota Island on 77 pts, mainly due to a superb round from Vanessa I am reliably informed!
Kinsale looked rather ordinary on arrival but turned out to be a most enjoyable course, especially the testing back nine. Bette, Patrick and myself were victorious on this day. And at Douglas, our penultimate round, Liz, Barbara and Jenny beat the team of Patrick, Arnold and Tony on count back, gaining revenge for the ladies narrow defeat at Lee Valley with an equally narrow margin!
As mentioned above, Cork GC “Little Ireland” was a gorgeous course on which to complete this much enjoyed week which was a little blowy most of the time, but in the main dry. A very good selection of restaurants to look after the inner man in the evening, not to mention the live entertainment, especially good in Pluncketts Hostelry, made up a week to which those who attended thought it a “must return to” venue. And on the final day, Jenny beat three men into second place with Tony fending off Arnold and Patrick on count back, to be our individual champion golfer in Ireland.
Hope to see you soon.