With the 2017 golf season in Ireland now just a matter of months away we are asked by visiting golfers about a range of practical issues as they make final preparations for their trip. Here is a summary of some of the more frequently asked questions and responses:
Q.Should caddies be requested in advance?
A. We recommend caddies for all the major links courses and they should be requested in advance so as the caddie master can arrange this. Golf clubs in Ireland as well as in Scotland will not guarantee that caddies will be available and sometimes the caddie master is left to match availability with the caddies at his disposal
Q. What is the typical caddie fee?
A. The average charge is EUR 50 per bag plus tip. It usually rounds to EUR 60/70 with tip included. Please be aware that in Northern Ireland the currency is British pounds and typically the caddie fee is GBP 45/50 plus tip of GBP 15/20 on top. Caddies are always paid in cash so please make sure to have enough cash with you as you will not find cash machines at the golf courses.
Q. Should I pack rain gear for my Ireland golf trip?
A. Of course not. Don't focus on rain as you might draw it on! However you should pack appropriate weather proof clothing. You may encounter rain on some of your golf days but the wind is likely to be a more ever-present challenge especially on the great links courses on Ireland's Coast. Don't forget to bring sun block and lip balm because these will be needed on most days on the links. Sports sunglasses are a must so forget to bring them at your peril. We always recommend packing a second pair of golf shoes as you will most like be playing on consecutive days!
Q. Do we need to book restaurants in advance?
A. For golf groups of 12 or more it is prudent to plan ahead. Your driver will be very helpful in this regard and will give you recommendations on where to eat and a have a great pint!
Q. Do we need to pack adapters for electrical equipment?
A. While most hotels will have adapters to suit most needs and many of the top hotels will have American sockets in the bedrooms, it is still a good idea to be self sufficient just in case. There is nothing as frustrating as having an uncharged phone or camera in your pocket especially when the great Irish golf links photo opportunity presents itself!
Q. Will the accommodations have WiFi available?
A. Yes, unless you are staying in a very small guesthouse or inn, the hotels in Ireland will have WiFi available.
Q. What should I bring with me to read?
A. Try "A Golf Course called Ireland" by Tom Coyne. You are sure of a good laugh as Tom recounts his adventures as he walked around the coast of Ireland playing all the top links courses both north and south.
Q. Is there anything else I should pack for an Ireland golf trip?
A. Yes, golf balls and plenty of them! However, the pro shops are well stocked just in case you eed to replenish stocks.
And finally..... Anything else?
The realisation that no matter what the golf course throws at you, that you are one of the lucky ones to be in Ireland walking and playing some of the best golf courses in the world!