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24 comments

Comment from: rob sebeston [Visitor]
As a Brit i have been fortunate to play many courses in Scotland and Ireland and they are both excellent but the emerald Isle shades it for their friendlier approach . The Irish really are amongst the most down to earth , easy going people you are ever likely to meet . They love their golf , their social gatherings and centre to their life is the family unit . Money and material possesions is way down the list and huge ego's even further down . That to us Brits and im sure to the average American is a pleasant change and i recommend ,if you haven't been there make it top priority for next year !
07/21/05 @ 18:28
Comment from: John [Visitor]
As a canadian,I have had the pleasure of golfing in both Scotland and Ireland, I have always had an excellent time in both, however I agree with the previous comment, I preferred Ireland. They are totally down to earth and alot more friendly. We had some problems in Scotland with people having an attitude with us. In Ireland it was the opposite. They love the game and they love the social gathering afterwards.In one particular course we stopped off on, it was a local golf coursein Co Cork, there were so many families out golfing, mothers fathers, sons daughters all enjoying the game. Excellent atmosphere everywhere. I would strongly recommend the country.
07/22/05 @ 10:57
Comment from: Craig [Visitor]
Scotland has the best golf and people by far. Ireland is good but there is nothing like playing in Scotland. couldn't have met friedlier and more knowledgeable people than the ones in Scotland.
07/22/05 @ 12:27
Comment from: Rob [Visitor]
John ,
Did you get to like the local Guiness ! Really enjoyed Portmarnock and going over to the west coast next year to play Ballybunion . Have you played it ?
07/22/05 @ 17:33
Comment from: Barry Livingston [Visitor]
There is no real comparison here,Scotland has it all,History,scenic,friendly,lovable people,and most of all the SPIRIT OF GOLF.
How can you even compare these two,it's like chalk and cheese.
No offence to those Irish folks.
07/24/05 @ 10:21
Comment from: Neil Thompson [Visitor]
I am amazed how the Scotland/Ireland thing turns into a Soccer match, who is the best team! Well I hope it is a draw! Why not do both, 5 nights in each.What amazes me in all this is people are so stereotyped when they come to Scotland! Name 8 Scottish courses against 8 Irish courses and they would just about manage the Scottish ones, but not the Irish ones!This once in a lifetime mentallity also amazes me, you would thing the North Americans were flying to the moon, its only 8-12 hours travelling time from door to door!! Why when we have almost 600 courses in Scotland do you only want to play the top 5 or so named courses,is this for bragging rights down at the club!Staying in 5* Golf Hotels will prove expensive and you will only meet foreign staff in these places!So last point I want to make is the dollar is doing you guys no favours so why not enjoy 2 or 3 Championship Courses and 2 or 3 Hidden Gems,this way you will benefit all round!Enjoy!!!!
07/25/05 @ 04:55
Comment from: Dave Allan [Visitor]
I have to agree with the previous poster, you have to try them both and not just the big name courses.
07/25/05 @ 09:16
Comment from: Kiel Christianson [Visitor]
I also agree with both previous comments. One of the great joys of my job is discovering and playing "hidden gems." (See my series of articles on Scotland and upcoming articles on Ireland at my archive page (linked above). Unfortunately, though, there are plenty of golfers who will get one and only one chance in a lifetime to travel to either Ireland or Scotland for a golf trip. "North Americans" have no trouble with the distances--Americans on average in fact travel farther from home and move farther from their birthplace than Europeans. The cost is the issue for most golf travelers. (Perhaps Neil would like to share some of his wealth, instead of his incredulity...?) So for many folks who are limited by economics to one or two "trips of a lifetime," it is (sadly) the "big name" courses that get first priority.
07/25/05 @ 09:31
Comment from: Yvonne Downes [Visitor]
Just wondering have you any comment on Doonbeg Golf Course in Ireland Kiel?
07/26/05 @ 11:18
Comment from: Mark Barry [Visitor]
I have a comment on Doonbeg it is a poor test off golf and on one hole a bunker slap bang in the middle of the green what is that all about. All par 5's reachable in two with a drive and a 5iron. We played of the white tees and had calm day no wind. Not worth the green fee. It will never be in the league of Ballybunion\Waterville\ Tralee\ or Lahinch. Lahinch would be my favourite and I've only played it once. You will use all the clubs in your bag. A true test. I think that because Doonbeg it is a Greg Norman course and he's first in Ireland\links they are trying to build it up. Take my advice and spent you hard earned cash elsewhere.
07/26/05 @ 19:29
Comment from: Rob [Visitor]
I along with two good friends are planning our 40th birthday golfing trips for next year and would like some advice from people states side .
We have played in South Caroloina and Florida and are now divided over where to go . The contenders are Phoenix , The Rockies or a trip centered around Pebble Beach .
Any good advice welcome and for the record we are all single figure golfers . Thanks
07/27/05 @ 05:39
Comment from: Kiel Christianson [Visitor]
I'm going to have to disagree with Mark Barry (above). The group I played with at Doonbeg loved it. The wind laid down for us, too, and although that made it much easier, it was still completely memorable. Weather is a huge part of links golf. The 111-yard 14th at Doonbeg was a pitch-and-putt sand wedge for me that day. On opening day, though, Greg Norman had to hit a 6-iron on that hole into the wind. Conversely, the wind laid down for us at Ballybunion as well, and effectively took driver out of my hands on every single hole (or would have, if I'd played smart). Nothing fun at all about target golf with mid-irons all day (and the first 6 holes are dogs). At least Doonbeg allows you to hit driver to some beautifully framed yet natural fairways. I agree about Lahinch, though: Absolutely brilliant golf, where both strategy and strength will come in useful.
07/27/05 @ 08:53
Comment from: Lavallee [Visitor]
Rog...40th birthday....
If you have never golfed the mountains...you have no idea what you are missing. The Mountain courses in Alberta and B.C. are not to be compared to anything you have ever played. Kananaskis, Stewart Creek, Grey Wolf, Bear Mountain (on the Island in BC)...just to name a few will have you in awe!
07/27/05 @ 09:13
Comment from: Mark Barry [Visitor]
Kiel we will agree to disagree. I live in Ireland and live not far from all the courses I mentioned above and Doonbeg is the poorest by a long way. Now I need some info if you are in the know. I just read your link to crumpin fox and was wondering I am going to Boston for a golf holiday in September and some courses we are looking to play are Red Tail, Pinehills both courses and Granite Links along with Crumpin Fox a diffinite. My question is are these other courses as good as Crumpin Fox and if not which would you recommend.
07/27/05 @ 16:23
Comment from: Kiel Christianson [Visitor]
Mark--I have not played Red Tail, but have heard only good things about it. The Pinehills courses are excellent--I generally prefer Rees Jones' architecture over Nicklaus'. Would love to hear your take. I have not played Granite Links, and do not know much about it. While in Conn., I would give the public course at Lake of Isles in Mashantucket a try. I drove around it before it opened, and it looked spectacular. It's one of two new courses (one public and one private) opened by the Foxwoods Casino. The Michael Hurdzan design, Widow's Walk, is near Boston (Scituate, Mass.). I have not played it, and have read very mixed things about it, but I enjoy Hurdzan's courses, and certain aspects of it supposedly harken back to Ireland/Scotland.
As for Doonbeg, I see where our differences may lie: I fully admit that it is much more American--and less Irish--than the old classics (or even some newer classics, like Tralee), and this might be less appealing for someone such as yourself who lives in close proximity to so many great courses. As my father always says, "Reality isn't as much what you see as where you're standing when you look."
07/27/05 @ 16:40
Comment from: Mark Barry [Visitor]
Kiel as in email, I will report on all the courses I play
07/29/05 @ 15:48
Comment from: Shanks [Visitor]
Went to Scotland last year and played 11 different seaside links courses. Only played 2 Open courses - St. Andrews & Prestwick. There are so many excellent courses over there, you can't believe it. And excluding the "name" courses, the greens fees are reasonable, about $80-90 on average. Many of the courses play hard on the sea where a hook/slice will literally end up on the beach. And unless you read up on it you probably have never heard of tracks like Gullane, North Berwick, Glen & Dunbar, to name a few. About the people: they are WONDERFUL. We stayed in smaller towns in B&Bs and were welcomed by the locals with open arms. It was the best time I have ever had in my life. We're going back in '07, this time to the Highlands & Northeast. Can't comment on Ireland - haven't been there yet (but hope to).
08/01/05 @ 14:37
Comment from: Barry Jones [Visitor]
I run a specialist golf travel company that focuses on links golf. A few comments on the Ireland v Scotland debate:

1. If you put say the top 10 in Ireland up against the top 10 in Scotland, Ireland will probably just shade it.
2. However, Scotland has much better strength in depth than Ireland.
3. The nightlife in Ireland is probably a little better than Scotland.
4. Getting around Ireland cna be a pain due to poor roads.
5. Prices are now pretty comparable between the two.

Also, check out England and Wales which has plenty of great links courses at much better prices.





08/02/05 @ 06:53
Comment from: Shanks [Visitor]
One of the strengths of Scotland is that there are so many terrific links courses clustered together. From a well-located "base hotel" you can play several of these gems no more than 10 minutes away. The criticism I've heard about Ireland is that there is much more driving involved and the roads (ahem) leave something to be desired.

Note to Barry: I arranged the trip to Scotland for a party of 8 without an agent, mainly by doing a lot of homework - reading books & magazine articles, scouring the internet, etc. Your website is absolutely the most informative I have seen and extremely user-friendly. I especially like that the course reviews are written from the perspective of the good (not great) player.
08/02/05 @ 12:57
Comment from: Barry Jones [Visitor]
Shanks, thanks for your comments. If you get a minute drop me a line at my website, would be interesting to pick your brains on your trip, courses you liked / didn't like etc.
08/02/05 @ 23:32
Comment from: John [Visitor]
I agree with earlier comments that you can easily make a combined trip to Ireland and Scotland. There are cheap flights with Ryanair from Dublin and Shannon into Prestwick airport - right at the heart of where The Open was born in the south west of Scotland. 3 Open Championship courses and 5 final Open Championship qualifying courses, plus lots of other hidden gems.

You can even see Ireland from the Ayrshire coast - it's not far at all, so take advantage and experience the best of both worlds
08/16/05 @ 05:41
Comment from: Neil Thompson [Visitor]
Hi all, Just to pick up on a couple of points mentioned so far!We organise Golf Tours to Scotland and Ireland and i find it a little strange how Scotland comes out more expensive than Ireland. The only exception is The Guaranteed Old Course Tee - Time package !! However,7 nights B&B staying in a Castle in The Highlands and a Recommended Guest House in St Andrews with 5 Rounds on top Links Courses including Carnoustie and Royal Dornoch, St Andrews Old Course thru self-application ( 7th Sept 05 )and or Lottery entry and Rental Vehicle is under $2,000 U.S. Dollars! We could not match that to Ireland!I had a group of 16 American kids over last month to play some friendly games against Scottish kids and do some sightseeing. They were a credit to the U.S. Polite, Friendly and made friends quickly with their hosts! They all swapped. Hats, Towels, T - Shirts and Golfing Stories, its great to see golf is in good hands for the future!! Regards Neil
08/25/05 @ 10:20
Comment from: Stan [Visitor]
Response to Rob and his pals. You could go to Scotland for the price you would pay for a trip to Pebble Beach. Go to Scotland and play The Old Course, Muirfield with lunch and foursomes in the afternoon, and Carnoustie. Also, if flying into Edinburgh, play Braid Hills. While near Gullane play the Old Musselburg Links with hickory clubs and gutta percha balls. What a blast! Our regular foursome went last year ('04) and are planning a return trip in '06.
08/30/05 @ 18:55
Comment from: graham Rowley [Visitor]
I own a UK online Golf Memorabilia auction site, "oldgolfauctions.com" it is based in the UK and aimed at the US market, This year we will have 30000 visitors and 4 million page hits. I have never had advertisers on the site before. My thoughts are to ask reputable companies like yourselves if you are interested in having advertisements for your company with us, your link with be seen 365 days a year. Our registered members are always asking us abaout what are the best courses to play, where to stay etc. This could be ideal for your company
If you are interested please contact me.
Regards Graham Rowley
09/06/05 @ 12:26

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