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Unique Golf Opportunity

Written by: Kuki

There are some people who play golf only occasionally, and there are certainly those think golf is simply a total waste of time. But there is a significant number of people, who like me, are addicted to playing the  game.
I like it because it’s a game you don’t have to really excel at to enjoy. In fact I’d generally be considered a lousy golfer, yet I love to play at any opportunity. A part of what drives me is the ability to go out, play, and enjoy a game of golf with people of very different levels of ability.
I’ve been very fortunate, in that over the years, due to my work with CruiseMates, I’ve been able to play golf in the Caribbean, Central America, Europe, and Hawaii, during various cruises. I’ve done so either on organized golf cruise tours, or on my own in ports of call when time has allowed.
Just recently I received a public relations promotional email from European Waterways, Europe’s largest luxury barge cruising company. http://www.gobarging.com/ .
The promotion was not specific to golf, but because river cruising in general is exploding so rapidly in growth, I thought I’d invest some time in looking at this much more intimate version of that market segment. European Waterways luxury barges accommodate from 8-10 passengers (depending on ship), so this is about as intimate as it gets.
As I investigated the web site, on several of their barges, I came across the option for golf cruises. I thought what a unique opportunity it might be to perhaps find 8 golf enthusiasts amongst my friends, and combine a golf trip within an intimate barge river or canal cruise, where the entire experience would be targeted just for us.
Below I post one option I found that I think would be wonderfully unique, and though at least for now will be in the back of my mind, on my wish list, is certainly worthy of dreaming about.

SHANNON PRINCESS – IRELAND GOLF CRUISE

Killaloe to Glasson

Sunday, Day 1 Killaloe
We meet you at the designated meeting place and transfer you by coach to the Shannon Princess moored in historic Killaloe. On arrival, enjoy a welcome Irish Coffee or a pint of Murphy’s on tap. The afternoon is free to relax or stroll the picturesque town. Visit St Flannan’s Cathedral, which was originally commenced in 1180 but destroyed by Donal Mor O’Brian and rebuilt some 200 years later in a Gothic style. Welcome dinner aboard.
Monday, Day 2 Killaloe to Mountshannon
Enjoy an early morning cruise to the spectacular reaches of the lower Shannon to Mountshannon.  After a leisurely breakfast, you are transferred to Lahinch Golf Club – ranked in the World’s top 100 and dating back to 1892, making it one of Ireland’s oldest clubs! The golf course is a 70 minute drive each way, but well worth it! Enjoy 18 holes followed by lunch in the clubhouse. Dinner on board. (18 holes, 6115m, Par 72).
Tuesday, Day 3 Mountshannon to Terryglass
Sunrise cruise to Dromineer and then transfer to Adare Manor Golf Resort, an exquisite 18-hole Championship course features 230 acres of lush Irish countryside with lakes and river meandering throughout.  The Adare course was designed by legendary Robert Trent Jones Senior.  Return to the barge moored in Dromineer and then dinner on board followed by a late evening cruise to Terryglass, three times winner of Ireland’s tidiest town competition. (18 holes, 6815m, Par 71).
Wednesday, Day 4 Terryglass to Banagher
After breakfast we depart to neighbouring Mossfield Organic Cheese Farm & then Leap Castle, reputed to be Ireland’s most haunted house.  You will be hosted by Sean Ryan-a renowned musician and his family will invite you into their unusual home.  Return to the barge and enjoy a lovely lunch featuring local produce. We cruise through the ever-changing river flood plain bringing us to our overnight mooring at the lively little river town of Banagher.  After dinner, we enjoy music and banter at a local pub.
Thursday, Day 5 Banagher to Athlone
Cruise through the protected Callows, a wild life flora and fauna reserve, mooring at the ancient ruins of Clonmacnoise.  After a guided tour we enjoy lunch on board, whilst cruising to Athlone.  After lunch we transfer to K Golf Club, host golf club for the 2006 Ryder Cup.  The Arnold Palmer designed course is one of the premier parkland golf courses in Europe.  Return to the barge for dinner on board followed by golf lore and music at a waterside pub in Athlone.
Friday, Day 6 Athlone to Glasson
After breakfast, cruise to Glasson through Shannon’s beautiful Lough Ree & Inner Lakes and moor right next to the 17th tee at Glasson Golf and Country Club, a superb golf course with a variety of tees. A Christy O’Connor design quoted as “the best he has done so far”. The course presents you with many challenges and treats, as well as spectacular views from all 18 holes. A grand finale to an Irish Golf Week! Afternoon visit for a tasting at a local Whiskey Distillery. Old Kilbeggan Distillery is the oldest licenced distillery in the world, dating back to 1757. Farewell Dinner Aboard. (18 holes, 6400m, Par 72).
Saturday, Day 7 Glasson
After breakfast transfer by coach to the designated drop off point.
On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.

**The designated meeting and drop off point is Dublin
It’s certainly a mouth watering option to consider.
I understand that while this may only be a dream wish for me and others who are “golf afflicted”, but European Waterways has many other options available for those who might think the intimacy and slow pace of a luxury barge cruise with only 8 or 10 passengers might be an interesting adventure. It should be noted that the golf activities on these barge cruises do come at an additional charge over and above the trip fares that are posted.
- A View From The Kuki Side of Cruising -

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