Golf on the Emerald Island

Driving through the Irish countryside.

A few weeks ago I was hosted by the Alister MacKenzie Society at the Lahinch Golf Club in Ireland for winning this year's annual Lido Prize.  I would like to extend a thank you to everyone involved with this year's Lido Prize and for the warm welcome I received at the Lahinch Golf Club.  To win the prize exactly one hundred years after Dr. MacKenzie is a true honour and a very humbling feather to have in my cap.  The whole experience was amazing to say the least, and for someone like myself who studies, plays,  and builds golf it was truly a dream come true.

While in Ireland I had the chance to study and play some great golf courses.  Not only was I lucky enough to play Lahinch several times, but also Royal County Down, County Louth, Ballybunion, and Tralee.  Lahinch and County Down were my favorite tracks followed by County Louth, Ballybunion, and Tralee.  The weather for my trip was incredible and probably the most surprising and interesting aspects of my trip was a visit to the Inch peninsula dunes.

 

The Inch Dunes....

View of only a small portion of the peninsula

Located close to Dingle on the West side of Ireland's coast lies the Inch peninsula.  This peninsula has some of the most massive and wild dune structures I have ever seen (bigger than the Cape Farewell dunes in New Zealand!).  Some of these dunes must have been close to 100 feet tall and the variety in dune types was really incredible to study.  There was everything from old marram covered dunes, rolling foothill dunes, and huge sandy peaks with blowout dunes.

Massive blowout features are  present everywhere

I spent two days in total at the Inch dunes walking and taking pictures, but one could easily spend weeks walking the site - it's 5 km long by 1.5 km wide!  There were golf holes to be found everywhere and if anyone could get permission to build a course on this site it would be tough to build anything that wasn't amazing.   Enjoy the photo tour, the pictures don't do justice in depicting the true scale!

 -Riley