Ok, we’re back on the coast. Portmarnock is a private course located on the northern side of Dublin. I believe there are only 125 members (no women, though I’m not sure what benefit that tidbit of information could possibly provide) and that the membership is by invitation only… Despite being by invitation, the membership includes all manner of economic situation, so wealth is not the primary criteria… in fact I heard that the owner of the K Club’s membership request was denied!

CIMG2097 First Tee

Today the winds are blowing. There is some debate over which winds were stronger… Lahinch, European Club or Portmarnock, but it was unanimous that these winds rank at or near the top. My little cut shot was travelling about 30 yards from left to right… ok, maybe it was a slice.

Today we did something a little different. Each day Ron had set up the foursomes with couples and as we entered our last round for the trip, we decided to take the top 4 men in the competition and put them together. (There was even a rumor they were moving back a set of tees, but when they looked at the yardage on the “green tees” at 6,703 with 40 kph winds, decided green would be good enough.

CIMG2108

 And since this was such an important match, they each took their our own caddies… what a sight this must have been seeing 4 golfers and 4 caddies moving around the course…

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And of course these caddies were no different from all the other sets of caddies… they all just stared in disbelief at my “hooded” driver and how it ended up square at impact. I even caught one clean and was 325 yards down the middle of the fairway… downwind of course!

To add to the energy of the match, Rick and Steve challenged Terry and Mike to a “high/low” match… straight up, no strokes. Mike started off rolling in a 30 footer on the first hole for par and between Mike and Terry they must have rolled in about 10 putts just like that and at the end of 9 holes it was all even…

CIMG2099(Mike playing a shot between the biggest mushrooms I’ve ever seen, at least until he hit the ball)

On #16 Rick and Steve are up +3, on #17 Terry and Mike win 2 and are now just down -1 standing on #18… and at the end, as amazing as this might sound… Rick and Steve fend off Terry and Mike winning up +2. It was a great match. (Of course I was on the winning team which gave me a different perspective on the match)

Portmarnock may not have been the most elegant course we played, but it was a great track and continued to challenge you at every turn. How they got 16 holes to play INTO the wind I’ll never know! The Club was founded in 1894 I think… needless to say; they’ve had some time to figure it out.

What a great track to end on…

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