If you’re looking for a special golf break then it’s well worth trying the golfing delights of Wexford in the South East of Ireland. With stunning courses and fabulous hotels only 20 minutes from Rosslare ferry, it’s just a case of loading up the car and catching the Fishguard ferry to Ireland for a golfing trip with a difference. My recent trip couldn’t have been easier. We packed up the car, drove to Fishguard Port, showed our electronic ticket at the entrance and within minutes we had parked up on the deck of the Stena Line Ferry and were making our way to the comfortable ship’s lounge. The ferry took just over 3 hours and it was surprising how quickly the time passed with free Wi-Fi, a hot meal, some comfy seats and our first taste of draught Guinness. What’s more, despite travelling at the tail end of gale force winds, the crossing was remarkably smooth and stable. The perfect preparation for what lay ahead. Travelling to Ireland by car and ferry is definitely the way to go as you can conveniently pack ALL your golfing equipment which is far more than you could on a flight. It also gives greater flexibility to tour the area and certainly stops the need to wait around Airport carousels for luggage to appear! A mere twenty minutes after driving off the ferry we could have been settled into our hotel, however, we were still fresh after travelling and choose to call in on the Bunclody Golf and Fishing Club.
Driving up the long winding road through woods to Bunclody Golf Club we were greeted with the unique and impressive round club house, complete with thatched roof and circular balcony. Bunclody were holding the 109th Irish PGA Championship the next day so we knew we were unable to play the course but they’d kindly offered us the chance to view the course on a buggy. Set in a stunning natural landscape of trees, Bunclody only opened in 2009 but has already received an award for being one of the top 25 park courses in Ireland. Surprisingly mature at only ten years old, it offers a true test of golf with tree lined fairways and the river Slaney running alongside and meandering through the course. There are numerous hazards waiting for wayward shots but it’s the last half a dozen holes that are really memorable. Even the 2019 Irish PGA competition winner admitted holes 15, 16 and 18 are pivotal and need to be respected. I’ll certainly remember how challenging this course is but it’s the quirky electric lift which
The unique clubhouse at Bunclody Golf & Fishing Club
TEE TIMES | September 2019
Overlooking the Blackstairs Mountains at Enniscorthy Golf Club
takes golfers up to the 18th Tee I’ll probably remember most! Our first hotel for the night was the four star Ferrycarrig Hotel situated in a stunning location, just on the edge of the river Slaney and a mere 20 minute drive from Rosslare Port, offering a great base and easy access to golf in the area.
The Ferrycarrig Hotel
The Ferrycarrig has a reputation of being loved by guests so it was no surprise we were warmly welcomed by engaging, friendly staff and shown to a lovely room complete with a spacious balcony and panoramic views of the estuary. The hotel has two restaurants; the award winning Dry Dock Bar for casual dining or the light airy Reeds Restaurant with its riverside views, comfortable dining room and crisp white table cloths. We visited Reeds which has been awarded 2 AA Rosettes for the last three years and thoroughly enjoyed its impressive menu which included an abundance of local provenance. My selection was fried Asparagus in crumb with Watercress, poached Duck Egg, crisp Pancetta Lardon with a Savage Honey and Wholegrain Mustard dressing. Followed by Prosciutto wrapped
Kilmore Monkfish with Macroom Buffalo Ricotta, Spinach, Red & Yellow Sun Dried Tomato and Wild Garlic Pesto. All beautifully served and quite delicious. Breakfast next morning was also a special treat as we sat watching a seal swimming just yards away from our table. A delicious full Irish buffet breakfast was available but there was also the unusual option of being able to make your own fresh pancakes on a special machine. For those with the time and the energy, there’s an excellent Active Club with a swimming pool, sauna, modern gym and range of treatments at the Riverwood Wellness. Enniscorthy Golf Club was the first course we played on the trip; 18 holes of mature parkland course, located in the foothills of the Blackstairs Mountains just outside of the town. Twinned with Carmarthen Golf Club in Wales, it celebrated its centenary in 2007 and is a gem of a course. Its scenic location and abundant wildlife makes it a truly unique Irish golf experience. With far reaching views of the countryside and a wide variety of flora and fauna it showcases the natural beauty of the course which is nurtured by the club and its passion to enhance the ecological system not eradicate it. The manicured, mature course has well-established native trees strategically placed around the fairway which are rooted high on banks of earth. The back nine will