Given the value of the U.S. dollar, for me to recommend/inspire you to go to Europe on anything but business is teetering on irresponsible. That being said, golf in Ireland and Scotland can't be ignored. Not everyone is pinching pennies. The public relations email of the week--the golf package worth blogging about--came from Eire Golf Tours Ireland & Scotland. If I could only play one course for the rest of my life I would select Turnberry (pictured). Lahinch would be high on the list. I do not like the 18th hole at Ballybunion. It's a horrible hole. Uphill, par 4, blind approach shot to a narrow green. I prefer Tralee, but that's just me. Doonbeg gets better with age. The last time I went there I liked it much better than the first time, which was before it opened. Norman's original design was so tough they called him back in to make it more playable for the masses. I'll speak on behalf of the masses. Thank you, Shark. Here's the PR post:
WEST COAST to WEST COAST: A simply inspirational golf tour staying four nights on the West coast of Ireland and three nights on the West coast of Scotland (optional). The combined tour will include flights from Shannon Airport to Glasgow Prestwick Airport. (Doonbeg 45 minutes from Shannon Airport and Prestwick Airport 30 minutes from Turnberry). Doonbeg and Turnberry, both 5* luxury destinations, that enjoy spectacular coastal settings with breathtaking views surrounded by the most beautiful scenery. Play the three famous southwest Irish links courses of Ballybunion, Lahinch and Doonbeg together with two Scottish links courses of Turnberry (venue for the Open Championship 2009) and Prestwick one of Scotland's oldest links.
-Ireland: $2,096.00 per person (4 Nights/3 rounds)
-Ireland & Scotland (optional): $3,979.00 pp (7 Nights/5 rounds)
Day 1--Arrive Shannon Airport, overnight at The Lodge, Doonbeg, Co. Clare
Day 2--Play LAHINCH OLD COURSE, overnight at The Lodge, Doonbeg
Day 3--Play DOONBEG GOLF LINKS, overnight at The Lodge, Doonbeg
Day 4--Play BALLYBUNION OLD COURSE, overnight at The Lodge, Doonbeg
Day 5--Depart Shannon Airport to Glasgow Prestwick Airport or return flight to USA
Day 5--Arrive Glasgow Prestwick Airport, overnight The Turnberry Hotel, Ayrshire
Day 6--Play PRESTWICK OLD LINKS, overnight The Turnberry Hotel
Day 7--Play TURNBERRY AILSA, overnight The Turnberry Hotel
Day 8--Depart Glasgow International Airport for return to U.S.
Price to include: Full Irish & Scottish breakfast each morning and rental car. It's based on a party of four, double/twin occupancy staying in Courtyard Suites at Doonbeg and Classic rooms at Turnberry. The Scotland option: Flights Shannon to Glasgow Prestwick included in price. Traveling May through to September 2008, subject to availability.
Here's the link for more info: www.eiregolftours.com/southwest-3-course.asp