1. Pick a Proper Itinerary
Ireland may seem like a small country but with its narrow country roads, it makes it difficult to get around. If you are looking to play all the big courses across the country in one golf vacation, not only is it near impossible but you will spend 90% of your time traveling. Our advice is to pick a section of the country and go with it. You can break Ireland up into the Southwest, Northwest, Northern Ireland and the Dublin area. Choose one or two of these areas that work together and plan your route accordingly, giving yourself plenty of time in each area. No one wants to be rushing around on their golf trip, frantically moving from course to course.
2. Decide when to go? And how long to go for?
Ireland’s weather is questionable at best, but the rare bit of sunshine we do get usually occurs from May to August. September begins to get a bit colder but largely remains dry. Plan your golfing trip around these months. Unfortunately you cant be heading to Ireland in October expecting the sun to be shining while you go out for your round of golf. Having said that, with links golf, the weather is often unpredictable and changes from day to day. With regards to length, often people come to Ireland for around 10 days. This allows for plenty of golf, as well as getting to enjoy the sights and culture of the country. Anything less and you could be rushing around to get everywhere.
3. Allow time for Self-Driving
A popular option now with tourists is renting a self drive vehicle for their golf vacation. This allows a bit more freedom on where they want to go and what they would like to do. If your going to choose this option, be sure to allow extra time when traveling to golf courses, hotels etc.. Unfamiliar roads that are often narrow and windy can make even the more accomplished driver a little bit edgy behind the wheel. Be sure to take your time and leave early in case you make a wrong turn.
4. Choose the correct airport
Depending on where your route is planned for, choosing the right airport can leave far less travel on the first day. If you are starting off in the Dublin area and heading up to Northern Ireland, then Dublin airport makes the most sense geographically. If your planing a golf vacation of the Southwest, or even Northwest, then Shannon Airport has you covered. Depending on where you are flying from, their may be routes going in to Belfast, Derry and other airports around the country. Don’t rush your flights for the sake of it, see which works best with your itinerary and go for it.
5. Avoid the jet-lag
Even if you get some sleep on the plane journey, once you arrive in Ireland it won’t take long for the jet-lag to kick in. The best way to overcome jet-lag, we think, is to power through. If you land in Dublin, we would suggest organizing an afternoon round of golf at one of the many courses located in the capital. The fresh-air and scenery will freshen you up and allow you to get on a proper sleeping schedule for the rest of the trip. The likes of Dromoland Castle and Trump International Doonbeg are all within an hours drive of Shannon Airport so you will have plenty of choice to kick start your golf vacation.
6.Take a day off
Most golf trips last for over 7 days and often end up around the 10/11 day length. To be playing a round of golf everyday is a big ask even for the fittest of golfers. Don’t be afraid to take a day off in the middle of your itinerary just to keep you fresh and rested for the remainder of the trip. This comes down to personal preference at the end of the day as some groups may be adamant to play 36 holes every day, for a week straight.
7.Make time to enjoy the sights
This coincides with the above point of taking a day off during your trip. A big part of the attraction of coming to Ireland is exploring the sights and scenery along with getting to fully experience the Irish culture. There is an abundance of famous sights to visit all over Ireland ranging from the more famous Cliffs of Moher and Giants Causeway, to the lesser known Sliabh League Cliffs and Downpatrick Head. Cities such as Dublin and Galway are known for its nightlife and atmosphere so take time on your golf trip to experience just what Ireland has to truly offer.
8.Name a group leader
This may seem like an obvious step but it really does make the whole process go a lot smoother and quicker. Elect one of your group to be the point of contact with your tour operator. This cuts out any confusion where there might be 3/4 people asking different questions and wondering what options they can choose. It is far more efficient and effective so choose a team leader and voice any opinions or issues you have through them.
9.Take the option of a Chauffeur vehicle
Depending on the size of your group, choosing a chauffeur driven vehicle may be the more economical and better option. The self drive option does have its perks but if there is a group of more 8 of you going, there may be no cost difference in employing a driver for your trip and quite often could be cheaper if you have upwards on 12 people traveling. This allows you to truly relax, not worry about adhering to the sat-nav on every little journey you make. Employing a driver will let you have a few extra drinks and not be worrying about driving on the “wrong” side of the road. Our drivers are specifically picked for each group and will be very knowledgeable of the area hes driving around. They are more than happy to recommend sites to see and places to go on your trip to Ireland.