Roganstown
Portmarnock Links
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North Dublin Tour Report April 2022

Following two failed attempts, the much-anticipated tour to North Dublin finally got under way at the end of April 2022.

It was worth waiting for.

Twenty-four people made their way by air or ferry and all arrived safely for what turned out to be a great week.

Personally I had been crossing everything for decent weather and we were so fortunate that the sun shone the whole time till the day before we were leaving when we were not due to play golf anyway. The wind could be called a gentle breeze at most. The locals probably thought Ireland had floated across to the Caribbean.

We stayed at Roganstown Golf and Country Club, just outside Swords, north of Dublin, and our first golf was on their own Roganstown course. Knowing the reputation of the later courses I thought this would be a gentle introduction. How wrong can you be? Tough course with fast greens. Some teams survived.

Next day was at Portmarnock Links, a wonderful links course (no surprise there), which has for too long been in the shadow of its more illustrious neighbour. Glorious day and great views. Everybody happy.

By now people had found an Irish pub, a Chinese and an Italian in Swords and the next day was free so several groups headed to Dublin on the express coach, some to relive old memories and some, it turns out, to join up with a stag party from Amsterdam (see photo below).

Thursday’s golf was at Killeen Castle, home to the Solheim Cup in 2011. It’s a Jack Nicklaus course and most of you will know what that means – long and difficult round the greens.

So it proved. Very impressive clubhouse though and fortunately they had something in the bar to ease the pain.

For most people the best was saved till last. The Island Club is not actually on an island but is almost surrounded by water and gets its name from the fact that many locals used to row to the club.

Again, great views of the coastline and some memorable holes. Everybody very happy.

The staff at the hotel looked after us very well, though they are struggling to find enough people just like the hospitality sector in the UK.

What really made the tour so enjoyable was the team spirit.

Everyone contributed and everyone was positive.

And everyone won a prize.

Robert Hill

 

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