Shan Coughlin talks with Brendan Keogh, Chief Executive of SWING, South West Ireland Golf Limited about the love affair the Americans have with Links Courses, how small the Country of Ireland really is, and how it is closer than you may think. This interview is entirely about the fantastic courses and their accessibility from the United States. Within Ireland, Brendan tells Shan that there are really two golf products; the parkland styled golf courses well over 100 years old showing the influence of British, and the true links styled courses which are sand based and created by nature. Brendan continues saying that there are really only 151 or 152 true links courses in the world with about one third of those residing in Ireland.
Because of the topography, there are very distinctive regions in the country including the southwest, arguably the most popular as it is home to very notable courses such as Ballybunion, Lahinch, Dooks Golf club, etc. This area is very popular due in part to the complete infrastructure for travel, including airports, train stations, resort accommodations, restaurants etc. Brendan even talks about how the restaurants and food has improved tremendously with celebrity chefs competing now for popularity. The country is quite small, only 6 million population, which offers a truly intimate experience. The hospitality offered in Ireland not only at the courses but the pubs and shops gives not only the golfers a fantastic vacation, but also the non-golfers. There is so much culture, history and tradition with the Normans and the Viking influences throughout the country, there is lots to see.
Hear Brendan talk to Shan about how the seascape and landscape was formed over time and the “wide Atlantic way” which is 1500 miles along the coast becoming the longest walking path in the world. Also along the coast is the sign, “Next stop America” at the most western point in Europe which makes for a great conversation piece. So get to Ireland via one of four international airports including Shannon in the south and Dublin in the north with direct flights from most major US cities, for a once in a lifetime golf trip that you will soon realize can occur more than once in a lifetime. It truly is closer than you think taking as much time to fly from the east to west coast of the us as from New York to Ireland. Couple this with the strength of the dollar now and it closer within reach.
Click on the player above to hear this entire interview between Brendan and Shan to hear more details about some of the great courses in Ireland. Thank you for interacting with TheGolfDirector.com and for your interest in this edition of Amateur Golf Talk LIVE and Golf in Ireland, Closer Than You May Think. Get more information about SWING at their website by clicking HERE. See you in the fairways!