Connemara Championshop Golf Links – April 2017 Today I met with Connor (a member at the course) and Joe a random ring in from Huddersfield (so the rumour has it) who now resides in Ireland.
Connemara has 27 holes and we were starting with the B9 and then going on to play the C9.
First though, it was a golf chat with Hugh O’Neill the resident Pro and as it turns out the Head Greenkeeper too. I had never heard of a green keeping pro before. We talked more about what I was up to with Fairways and unfortunately I didn’t get a further chance to speak with him after my round as he had to leave early but I am very interested in his work and look forward to speaking with him again when I return to Ireland.
I started off quite well with 5 good golf shots in a row, then the rubbish started bouncing off my club. Perhaps the golf gods were sending me up over the hills like a mountain goat to get better photos but my knees (after my tumble on the road yesterday) were not loving it.
Walking downhill was worse and I just couldn’t get into any decent stance in a bunker at all.
I did have some fantastic shots out of the rough but couldn’t string anything much together.
Perhaps it was Joe’s distracting red pants!
My driver (which is usually one of the best clubs in my bag) just wasn’t quite working for me but gave a good showing the last few holes.
At least my poor drives were bounding down the middle of the fairway, can’t complain when that happens.
I do love a links course for the run you get, even off your miss hits – and I had lots of those.
This course is beautiful. Undulating dunes with tricky raised greens and long rough make this course a great test of golf.
The vista from the 14th tee box overlooking the course across the clubhouse and down to the sea is simply stunning.
I couldn’t swing my woods or hybrids today and think I was trying to sweep the ball up. I did however use my 5 iron which was only put back in my bag from the boot of my car at the suggestion of my playing partner, Colie, yesterday.
This shiny 5 iron has been used maybe 6 times in his little life and hasn’t been pulled out of the bag in nearly 12 months. I was planning on leaving it in Canada and save 1kg in luggage (or replace it with something else). Today I hit some fantastic balls with this club and we are now good friends and I will not be leaving it in Canada.
After limping down the 9th hole on B9 (which is the Championship 18th hole) both my golf and my knee were happy to have a wee rest in the clubhouse , waiting for friends who were playing behind us.
Turns out we all played mediocre except one of us and I am happy to say that I was not the worst of the bunch.
After refuelling we headed out over the back of the 18th green and down through the tunnel to tee off the while the ocean sparkled beside us.
I smiled at the man with his grandson in front of us. It was wonderful to see generations connecting over a shared passion.
We meandered down the fairway – me quite a bit slower than my playing partners, as besides my limp, I had to stop to take photos. The C9 runs along the coast and the sun was shining and the water was aqua and the beaches white.
I couldn’t quite believe I was in Ireland.
Children on horseback rode down the beaches and when we got to the 3rd hole a group waved us through. It was a lady with five children. Some her own and some were nephews and she had a thermos and a snack bag and was teaching these children course ettiequte while they enjoyed the rare Irish sunshine (yes I got sunburnt again).
I loved the C9. My knee certainly didn’t but I was actually playing some golf here.
I still scratched a few holes but hit some fantastic shots and dropped a few nice long putts.
The views from most of the holes at this course are stunning and it is not often you hear “just to the left of the castle” when you ask for your line.
I spent the day smiling yet sometimes grimacing on the downhill walks and at one stage instead of helping my partners search for a lost ball in the long rough I took a rest and had a lie down on the fairway.
It was a fantastic day of golf. Once again making new golf friends and enjoying a great sport with fellow golf lovers.
As I commented earlier today, sometimes I look around with my club in my hand and wonder how I ended up here.
I am very lucky to be able to do what I do but a big component is work. Post round while the boys bench raced and talked about their round, I was on the other side of the clubhouse (where there was power) and working while I charged my laptop as I enjoyed a bowl of chowder.