After a rather restful night at the Ballygarry House Hotel & Spa just outside the town of Tralee, we arrived to the Tralee Golf Club while noticing another near-perfect weather day with a brisk breeze coming off the water, mostly clear skies and no rain in sight. Perfection! Walking around the upper deck of the clubhouse, the views were simply out of this world. Though it’s a rather new course by Ireland standards, the course is fully integrated into the environment and looks as if it has been challenging golfers for a centuries, not mere decades.
While the Club was established in the late 1800’s, it wasn’t until 1984 that the present-day Arnold Palmer course was opened, and has been impressing the members and guests since. The golf gods came together on this day, as the course design was intriguing, the golf game was fairly solid, I was playing with a really enjoyable foursome and the weather… did I mention how amazing the weather was this day?!?
My caddie, Dom, was as dedicated as they come in terms of educating the players about the course design, club history, and simply making sure everyone had a good time. Together with Nile, these two caddies only enhanced the golf experience that day. Ryan’s Daughter was an Academy Award winning movie that was filmed on the beach along holes 1 and 2; the tower at the back of the 3rd green dates back to the 1190s (wow!); and the beach behind the 16th green and off the right of the 17th hole was where many ships ran aground, including one vessel from the Spanish Armada in 1588. Between playing golf, learning the history and taking an infinite number of photos; this playing experience should have been exhausting, but instead, it only left me wanting more!
This was honestly a very difficult course to leave, as I wanted to play more golf, see more of the surrounding areas and savor the perfect southwest Ireland golf experience. However, being this close to the town of Tralee, I elected to take the afternoon to walk the streets in what proved to be a town with a ton of character… not to mention the locals who never hesitated to chat about the area, the Kerry team winning the National Championship or anything else along the way. I even managed to learn a little from one of the locals about the family name, “Creighton,” and confirmed it was primarily Irish and Scottish, and like mine, the spelling often changed when they immigrated. Never short on history or enthusiasm, the locals here were fascinating. Fortunately, a local sports shop had two remaining Kerry jerseys I promised a few friends back home, completing my shopping list (Hennebery’s at 50 Ashe Street). Another fantastic day was concluded with a delicious meal at the Ballygarry House’s, Brooks Restaurant.