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Golf

house. Retirement opened avenues and Jerry’s dad got the golf bug; soon he was playing golf every day. When it came to a retirement present Jerry’s mom organized a vacation to Ireland for Jack, Jerry’s dad. By this time Jerry was well established in the travel arena and Tom Keenan from Aer Lingus suggested that Jerry check out the golf courses while in Ireland. The courses were indeed spectacular and the links courses in particular unique to this part of the world. The family had a great trip and Jerry saw an opportunity to combine his love of Ireland with an exciting new business. The next logical step was to test the water with a custom designed golf vacation. This was set for Avalon Golf Club on 13th September 1990. Jerry brought a group of 13 people over and by coincidence they all sat in row 13 on the crossing. A more superstitious person might have worried but luck was on his side and it was on this trip that Jerry met Mike Buckley. Mike ran a family business, Kerry Coaches and the friendly family setup, the great ethos of Mike’s company and his fleet of coaches were perfect for Jerry’s idea. Jerry and Mike’s friendship and business relationship started in 1990 and so began Celtic Golf. Jerry and Mike went off to Belgium to custom design the ultimate golf coach. Travelers on Celtic Golf trips today remark on the unbelievable comfort levels of these motor coaches – a golfers dream with refrigerators for cool drinks, tables for card playing, closet space, club space and of course an onboard rest room and full air-conditioning. Jerry’s clients call them ’land yachts’ and it is typical of what Jerry and the family have done – they basically think of the ultimate in everything and deliver it. With Jerry’s huge enthusiasm and his dad’s newfound love of golf, Celtic Golf was born. Despite having reached retirement Jerry’s mom and dad came fully onboard investing in the business with all of their time and money and to this day Celtic Golf is a fully fledged ’all hands on deck’ family business. Mum, Peg Quinlan nee Harrington, Jerry’s mother, is the Chief Financial Officer, Jerry and his dad Jack work closely with the courses (some people get all the tough jobs!) Jerry’s wife Josephine does everything from organizing the trips to marketing and advertising and even brother in law Joe Dwyer and niece Tracey Dwyer are key members of 148 | Silicon Valley Global

this well oiled team. Enthusiasm was never in short supply with Jerry but funds often were. The family all contributed and took on extra jobs to get the business going. Once the package was pretty much in place it was important to advertise however it basically cost too much so Jerry found a way; he signed up for the minimum sized classified in Golf Digest – a ten word advert costing $25 per word and to fund it he painted houses at weekends after a full working week. With what he got for painting he bought that ten word classified in Golf Digest and he kept painting houses until the bookings came rolling in. Years later golf journalist David Owen of the same Golf Digest came on one of Jerry’s trips. He loved it so much he commented “I wish Jerry Quinlan could organise my life like he has organized this itinerary.” Celtic Golf was now well and truly on the map! 2014 will be the 25th anniversary of Celtic Golf and Jerry can’t believe where the time has gone – or how lucky he has been to work at something that he loves. Nowadays Celtic Golf is firmly on the corporate map and a healthy and happy client base is testament to its enormous success. Perhaps the thing that really makes it work is that Jerry takes a firm hands-on approach to every aspect of every trip. He spends 5-6 months of the year on the ground in Ireland finding new places to visit, new experiences,

new properties and courses - adding to the many special touches that make a Celtic Golf vacation so special. When asked what is the secret to his success he is typically modest and says “If I knew that I’d bottle it!” “We take care of everything” Jerry explains, “from the courses people want to play, how often, where they want to stay, what type of transportation and accommodation that they wants to club hire, chauffeur or helicopter transfers and guides who have the gift of the gab and all the local tales to tell”. For anyone looking in from the outside - or for anyone who has been on a Celtic Golf trip the formula seems simple enough. The pure passion and joy that this family have for what they do is off the scale. Celtic Golf stands out from the crowd because the people that run it are so hands-on and they so love what they do, it shows in every aspect of the Celtic Golf experience. They have been thrilling the American golfer for 25 years with unforgettable vacations and corporate events. This is a family owned, dedicated, personal service that is second to none and it’s topped off by everything you’d expect of a great Irish welcome. Contact: www.celticgolf.com / info@CelticGolf.com 3 Pershing Avenue, Cape May Court House, New Jersey 08210 USA. Tel: 800 535 6148 www.ballybuniongolfclub.ie

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