Golf and travel in Ireland: the good, bad and ugly
Any American golfer who’s traveled in Europe, especially for the first time, knows it’s radically different over here. Aside from being divided by a common language, for the most part, a lot of things might bewilder the first-time American visitor. In Ireland, here’s just a sample of some of the good, bad and ugly.
– I hated roundabouts at first. Once I got used to them, I loved them. They cut down on waiting an eternity on traffic lights like we do here in the U.S., for one thing. For another, if you’re not sure where to turn, just keep circling. I’ve circled four and five times before I made a decision. Nobody notices because they’re already made their turns.
– Ireland is clean as a whistle. Out in the country, away from the cities, I haven’t seen any trash or garbage or litter at all. The little towns may be old as dirt, but they’re ridiculously tidy.
– I like the way everybody in town seems to be out walking the city centers, socializing. I know people in the U.S. who haven’t left their dens in years, like my friend Tommy Cain.
– What the hell is it with electricity over here? You don’t just walk into a hotel room and flick on the lights. That would be way too simple. You need a masters electrician’s license to figure it out. You have to poke your key card and other things into these weird boxes on the wall, and that’s just the start. Every appliance has its own switch. It’s annoying. I’m asking Europe here and now to get a simpler system, or I may not come back.
– The narrow roads combined with Eastern European immigrants with belly fulls of Guinness. Ireland is one of the most dangerous countries in Europe to drive, and it’s taking its toll on the immigrant population. Up to a quarter of people killed on Irish roads are immigrants, according to newspaper reports. I will say the streets are well paved with good signs; it’s just they’re so narrow a snake would have trouble slithering through.
– McDonalds Restaurants. McDonald’s is like a fungus, or an invasive species. It should be confined to the U.S. so other people in the world don’t get all purply and fat and die young.
– bidets (see McDonalds above)
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If you have the chance to travel abroad for golf, you absolutely have to go to Scotland for the tradition and the Open courses. However, overall Ireland is a more enjoyable trip, given the atmosphere, the food, the more festive people and the always spectacular courses.
Pat Ruddy is another great Irish architect. About 15 courses including European Club and Rosapenna. To sample his talent, you can get on his great Montreal Island Golf Club, in Montreal Quebec, a true links course.
As for bad things, I agree with you on the road system. However, given the cost of electricity production, you can only agree with not lighting up your whole house with one switch. They are not inclined to waste energy as we do in North America.
One of the greatest ideas in GB overall is the frequent arrangement of routing hot water pipes through places where you may hang towels and wet socks.
Used to be an old ad circulating that said, "Hire the Irish Before They Hire You." McGyver probably had that genetic ingenuity most North Americans don't even recognize, much less possess.
Send us a photo op of you in a kilt.
McGyver the TV show? Yeah, come to think of if, he was prety ingenious.
Top 10 Irish toasts (ongoing series)
"May all your ups and downs be in bed"
If I ever wore a kilt, I'd make damn sure no photographers were around. I'd do in in the privacy of my own home, or in the company of other transvestites.
Go to Crail (Balcomie Links)! Not really "hidden," but should not be missed.
There is a waiting list of around a year and a half to do a driving test, which has been always the case for at least 7 or 8 years now. Some time ago (in the 1980’s) because there were so many people waiting to be tested the government announced that they were passing everybody that had a Provisional Licence (learners permit) so you just had to apply for a full licence, no test. Now these people can go driving all over the world.
Today you can do your driving test, fail it, and still drive away without a qualified driver sitting beside you. You can do this as many times as you like provided you have applied for a test. You can drive anywhere even on motorways with “L” plates showing and the police wouldn’t even pull you over.
On top of all this you have no road signage of any significance, the local authorities don’t seem to think it’s important to signpost anything, with the result that a lot of signs are erected by local people, because they feel sorry for tourists getting lost and ending up in housing estates or dead ends and looking for directions for a way out.
But I think the drinking and driving is the worst. You see the publicans are a strong group of people in Ireland as is the whole drinks industry. So anything the government comes up with will not get through the house. It’s only now after a momentous battle that we have random breath testing. Not that this will matter, I don’t think it will change a thing because go to any pub after 10.00oc in the evening and try to find a parking spot.
It’s only now after a momentous battle that we have random breath testing. Not that this will matter, I don’t think it will change a thing because go to any pub after 10.00oc in the evening and try to find a parking spot.
How sad are you? If you're that up-set about the roads and road users, then why live here? Move out, bye-bye, so-long, the Airport is well sign posted.
One more parking spot vacant for 2 mins.
Oh, the Golf is good over here, and I'm not talking about the car, although the VW Golf is a nice car.
I've written a couple of stories on planning trips to Scotland and Ireland. See my TravelGolf.com archive page (URL above) and scroll down the page till you find what you want.
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