Dublin Golf: Lahinch
I took a foursome of gals to play in southwest Ireland a few years ago. Upon arrival at Shannon, we pick up our minivan, which could not hold 4 sets of clubs in hard cases and 4 suit cases, so three sat across the back seat with a golf bag on their lap and the passenger seat up front held a suitcase, and carry-on bags. I had the pleasure of driving to Lahinch which is just south of the Cliffs of Moher on the Atlantic. There were fantastic winds coming off the sea that day. Upon arrival we were a sight to see pulling our hard golf cases out of the van, getting the clubs out, running to the bathroom to change into golfing attire and since we were running late we had to let the group behind us go out ahead of us.
Once we were ready, paid up and had our caddies, we were ready for our round. We had a small crowd watching us tee off. Mostly the local members who wanted to see how 4 American gals played. Two of us hit it right into the hedge on the right. Luckily the caddies were able to find them. We both had great 2nd shots and made par on hole 1. I love playing in Ireland and hiring a local caddy. This day we had a guy named “Count” an American who said he had been a caddy on the PGA tour and a local member who was kind enough to lend us his services. The caddies give you the local knowledge you need to play a decent round. Sometimes you just don’t know where the next hole is.
I do remember being in the deepest bunker that I ever saw. I had one of those shots where the caddy told me to avoid at all costs that bunker on the right side so what do I do? I hit smack dab into the middle of it. I had to climb down a ladder to get to my ball and the walls were about 15 feet high to get out. It only took 2 shots, since my caddy was right there telling me where to aim and what to do. Thank you!
We only managed to play the first 14 holes at Lahinch and I do plan to get back there to finish that round. When we had come in to the clubhouse a familiar face greeted us. It was Ken Venturi and his wife. I had been playing with a bright green ball given to me by a golfing buddy who asked me to use it in Ireland. He asked “who is playing that green ball and how can you find it?” I told him that it was the 41st shade of green and easy to find as Ireland has only 40 shades of green.