Dreaming Of Where The Irish Play

As Carly Simon noted in the eponymous song, anticipation can be a two-edged thing, combining, as it does, excitement for an upcoming event with the potential for a letdown.


See here, though, Carly was talking about going on a date, for Pete’s sake. The object of my nearly drooling anticipation is a ten-day golf trip, beginning next week, to the northwest quadrant of Ireland. Remote and underutilized relative to the Emerald Isle’s better-known venues, it’s known as the place the Irish go to play golf.


The names of the courses alone are enough to stir intrigue: Ballyliffen, Rosapenna, Narin & Portnoo (one course), Rosapenna, Enniscrone, Donegal, Carne. But unlike the three A Position colleagues who will be along, this will be a return visit for me.


Thus do I already know that we’ll cover some of the wildest, least tamed, most exotic golf terrain anywhere. Much of it is also extremely difficult to play, particularly in wind and rain. Famous last words, perhaps, but even an utterly inept round – the usual downside attached to extreme golf-experience anticipation – can’t dampen the thrill of playing in a destination like this.


“Anticipation” remains a classic 1970s hit, but it’s a good bet that Carly Simon never teed it up at Rosapenna’s Sandy Hills Links. It’s the single toughest course I’ve ever played; still, I can’t wait.


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