Ireland 2023

By:
By Corey Roberson, Director of Golf

Every great golf trip starts with a good line-up of golf courses. To really put it over the top, you must have an even better group of guys. We checked both of those boxes with our Ireland trip. Accompanying me on this journey were Cordillera Ranch members John Long, Steve Stroud, Roy Sachs, Brad Morris, Brett Nichols, Scott “Dodgie” Weisberg and Michael Loup. Before we dive into the recap, I’d like to say a special thanks to Michael for helping make this happen — Michael is a member at Hogs Head in Waterville, Ireland. Through Michael, the concierge team at Hogs Head (specifically our main contact, Elaine) helped arrange all the logistics of our trip.

Six of us flew into Dublin on Saturday, July 15, while the other two flew into Shannon. There were a couple of hiccups with our trip over there, but everyone made it in time for our first round at Adare Manor on Sunday. The opulent Adare Manor was our home for a couple of nights, and will be hosting the 2027 Ryder Cup. This special place features a parkland golf course and is much different than everything else we saw on the rest of our trip.

On Monday, we took a short van ride over to Lahinch to get a real taste of true Irish links golf, and it didn’t disappoint. Situated right on the coast of western Ireland, the views and golf were equally amazing. Lahinch was originally designed by Old Tom Morris and later touched up by Alastair McKenzie. The 4th hole is a tight par-5 with a massive dune right in the middle of the fairway that you are forced to play over — this proved to be a challenge for a few in our crew! Jon Rahm won the 2019 Irish Open at Lahinch and stated it’s one of the best golf courses he’s ever played. In addition, Lahinch is the birthplace of Scott Weisberg’s new nickname – Dodgie. On #10, Scott hit his tee shot about three yards left of where his caddie, Seamus, told him to hit it, and Scott asked him if it was going to be OK … Seamus’ response was, “That’s going to be a bit dodgie.” We’ve made sure that one is going to stick!

On Tuesday morning, we moved out of Adare Manor and our luggage was sent to the Perryville House in Kinsale. We took a little different route and stopped at Ballybunion for our third round of golf. Most of the guys on the trip would say this was their favorite and it’s easy to understand why with the drastic elevation changes, intimidating sight lines and beautiful views. Ballybunion is rated #18 in the world by Golf Digest. In lieu of a 3-hour van ride, we opted for a 30-minute helicopter ride to the Old Head. Getting to see the aerial of Ballybunion on the way out and the Old Head on our way in was absolutely spectacular.

On Tuesday morning, we moved out of Adare Manor and our luggage was sent to the Perryville House in Kinsale. We took a little different route and stopped at Ballybunion for our third round of golf. Most of the guys on the trip would say this was their favorite and it’s easy to understand why with the drastic elevation changes, intimidating sight lines and beautiful views. Ballybunion is rated #18 in the world by Golf Digest. In lieu of a 3-hour van ride, we opted for a 30-minute helicopter ride to the Old Head. Getting to see the aerial of Ballybunion on the way out and the Old Head on our way in was absolutely spectacular.

Everyone was looking forward to Wednesday — we played the beautiful Old Head. When you look up their website, it says “a breathtaking experience” … it’s a pretty bold statement and everyone who has played there will validate it. The club was founded by brothers John and Patrick O’Connor and opened for play in 1997. While it’s not as old as Lahinch or Ballybunion, the history of the Old Head is special in its own right. After an enjoyable stroll along the coastline with our clubs, we hopped on the helicopter and headed to Hogs Head. After we landed and got checked into the amazing accommodations at Hogs Head, the wise men took it easy, got a massage and relaxed. The young guys were itching for a second round of the day so we pegged it on the immaculate Hogs Head. While none of us regretted it, we were sore puppies after that second round.

John at Waterville

On Thursday, we played my personal favorite — Waterville. While Waterville isn’t as flashy as some of the other places we played, I felt the golf course had a ton of character and extremely high shot value. The golf course is right in front of you, not super tricked up, but it required you to play the correct angles and land your golf ball in the right spot. We had another great dinner at Hogs Head that evening and rested up for what would be a tough couple of days to follow.

Waterville
Tralee

On Friday morning, we hopped on the helicopter one last time enroute to Tralee. Arnold Palmer said, “I may have designed the first nine, but surely God designed the back nine.” I think everyone would agree all 18-holes were spectacular and the back nine played incredibly difficult with 40mph winds! I hit a full 5-hybrid into the 145-yard par-3 17th hole. Brad Morris probably made the best par of the trip on #12 that was playing back into the wind — he hit 2-iron, 2-iron, just over the green and 2-putted for what was probably the only par on that hole all afternoon.

Our last round of golf was played on Saturday at Hogs Head in a light to moderate rain … for all 18-holes. We decided to change up our format a little — we played two 4-man scrambles. This proved to be a brilliant idea considering the weather and allowed us to complete the round in under 3.5 hours on foot. Hogs Head is a very special place — probably the best hospitality I’ve ever experienced anywhere, along with beautiful facilities and an amazing golf course. Despite the tough Irish weather, it was a great way to finish off our trip.

Between the golf, transportation, lodging, food, beverages (obviously talking about the Guiness and Redbreast here), and most importantly – the company, I’m not sure the trip could have been any better. We definitely set the bar pretty high in Ireland!

Corey Roberson is the Director of Golf at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch. He can be reached at croberson@cordilleraranch.com and 830.336.4653.

Tralee

You Might Also Enjoy....

Dining

Poolside Paradise!

By: Michael McClellan, Director of Food & Beverage The Swim Club at Cordillera Ranch is the place to be for sunning, relaxing, dining, exercising, playing

Read More »