In fact it rained so hard and persistently on the Causeway coast of Northern Ireland that tee pegs were floating in the pockets of my waterproofs.
However, the courses myself and competitors from all over the world played, were so stunning and the friendships we made so long lasting, that I try to visit somewhere new to play golf there almost every year.
And I have never been disappointed; indeed Ireland’s traditional reputation for rain has turned out to be a myth. Occasional showers may have hindered the odd round but the constant breathtaking scenery has more than made up for a little discomfort.
Now, in association with Stena Line Holidays, Golfmagic is introducing some offers on staying and playing in Ireland that you won’t want to miss, especially with travel tendencies these days to keep holidays and breaks closer to home.
Stena Line Holidays' Ireland 2003 brochure offers a range of enticing three and four-night golf breaks to suit all tastes and levels of expertise – from luxurious country houses to homely bed and breakfast, enthusiastic novice golfer to experienced, single figure handicapper.
The breaks focus on some of Ireland's best kept secrets – challenging, undiscovered courses uncluttered by visitors and pedestrian fourballs. Internationally renowned courses like the European, Powerscourt and Druid's Glen can also be played for a modest supplement.
This will give you two full days to play golf and enjoy other superb leisure facilities at each Hotel, which will also book your preferred tee times.
|Deer Park Hotel, Howth, Co Dublin|
Stay three nights (and pay for only two) from £149 per person by car/ferry or from £192 by air.
Ireland's largest golf complex designed by Fred Hawtree, nine miles from Dublin and set in over 400 acres of Parkland. Two challenging 18 hole courses, a 12-hole (par 32) and 18-hole pitch and putt. Leisure facilities include indoor pool and sauna.
|Mount Wolseley Hotel Golf & Country Club, Tullow, Co Carlow|
Stay three nights (2) from £153 by car/ferry or from £196 by air.
Formerly a country manor, now a stylish 3-star resort 50 miles from Dublin undulating 18-hole course designed by Christy O'Connor Jnr. Leisure Centre has pool, gym, jacuzzi, sauna and beauty salon.
|Glenview Hotel & Leisure Club, Delgany, Co.Wicklow|
Stay three nights (2) from £161 by car/ferry or from £204 by air.
Some of Wicklow's best courses are on the doorstep of this 4-star hotel, 15 miles south of Dublin. Ideal base for playing the Glen o' the Downs and Druid's Glen. Indoor pool, state-of-the art gym, jacuzzi and solarium.
|Kilkea Castle, Castledermot, Co Kildare|
This 12th century castle is the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Ireland. Extensive grounds of the 4-star hotel incorporate the18-hole championship course featuring natural hazards, including lakes and the River Greese. Fitness centre has pool, gym, steamroom and jacuzzi.
|Faithlegg House Hotel, Faithlegg, Co Waterford|
Venue for major Ladies European Tour events, this 18th century former mansion and seminary is six miles from historic Waterford, home to the famous crystal factory and its own mini circuit of fine courses. Now a 4-star hotel it has a mature 18-hole wooded, parkland course. The Estuary Club features indoor pool, jacuzzi and fitness rooms.
|Slieve Donard Hotel, Newcastle Co Down|
Stay three nights (2) from £231 by car/ferry or from £260 by air.
With six of Ulster’s finest courses within 20 miles, this 4-star hotel has, like the nearby Royal County Down course, a coastal setting with a back drop of the Mountains of Mourne. Hotel's Elysium Spa boasts pool, jacuzzi, cardiovascular room and beauty salon.
These are special three-nights-for -two accommodation promotion for visitors to the Golfmagic website. Tee times must be booked and green fees paid for directly.
Further information on other golf breaks (including tee time reservations/green fees), to book this offer or to order a brochure, log on to the Stena Line Holidays website at www.stenalinehols.co.uk or call 08705 773 773 quoting Golf Promotion V009.
Terms and Conditions
*All hotels are subject to availability and must be booked by March 31, 2003 for travel between January 1 –and December 20, 2003 (excluding all Irish bank holidays).
*Prices quoted are per person and include return transport by air or car/ferry. Ferry price based on car and minimum two adults travelling by superferry from Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire. Air price based on mid-week flights from London Gatwick to Dublin - regional airport departures are available upon request. Accommodation and breakfast included based on two adults sharing twin/double bedroom.
*Arrivals on any day of the week except Faithlegg House Hotel (Sunday - Thursday nights inclusive only).
*Guests to book, arrange and pay for their golf directly with the hotel/club. Tee times subject to availability.
*Hertz car hire (estate) available from £36 per day (minimum two days hire).
If your interested in golf abroad then take a look at our Travel Partners who specialise in golfing breaks to European and Worldwide destinations.