Tralee – like Arnie, a back 9 wonder

Gary and Dave with our playing partner for the day – some guy called Arnold

Saying goodbye to our new friends Aoife, Seamus and Dermot at Teac de Broc we headed 45 minutes away to Tralee – an Arnold Palmer hidden gem.

Tralee is a relatively new golf course having been established in the 80’s with a design by Arnold Palmer. A life size bronze statue of the man sits overlooking the course near the 18th green.

Along the way we tuned into the local news. Must have been a slow news day because we got everything from some world news through to death notices (yes – including address and where the funeral was being held) and flight cancellations (for the record the Aer Lingus 12:30pm flight from Shannon to Boston was cancelled – lucky we weren’t playing golf in the US in the afternoon).

We were fortunate to get onto Tralee as today was Captains day where all the golf club captains in the County Kerry region congregated for an annual match. We pretended to look “captainly” and no one knew the difference!

We felt a little bit at home with the girl from the golf shop as she has recently returned from 9 months work in Australia. No points for guessing where she worked – Melbourne of course, the worlds “most livable city”.

The course starts gently but does not really get going until the 10th. The back nine at Tralee is awe inspiring and amongst our favourite nines on our whole trip.

On the back nine we were confronted with spectacular vistas, dramatic carries over 30 metre deep ravines and holes that ranged in length, requiring us to use most clubs in our bags.

Our favorite holes were numerous but the standouts was the par 3 13th.

The 13th can be summarized in one word – Wow! A par 3 where hitting the sliver of a green perched into the side of a 60 metre sand dune is the only option to guarantee your par. The sense of scale has to be seen to be believed here. Miss the green short (as Gary did) and you are faced with a chip back up to a green off a 70 degree slope. Keeping your balance is the main challenge.

We have come to the conclusion that everyone plays golf in Ireland. After our game and prior to the 2 hour drive to Waterville we had a quick bite to eat at a local pub – O’Donnells.

Our waitress could see we were golfers (scorecards in hand and pencils busily scratching notes on what we could have done better!) and started telling us all about Tralee Golf Club. This girl knew what she was talking about and plays off a low single figure handicap. Next to us was a friendly farmer and his wife who were also members of Tralee.

The only other note from today was to comment for the record that we saw 2 rams and 3 turkeys en route to Waterville.

We arrived at Brookhaven House around 10pm where our host Mary greeted us and started talking to us like we were old friends! We love Ireland and the people in particular.

Shot of the day

The 18th is a mid length par 5 playing back to the clubhouse. David hit a drive into the left rough but then blasted a hybrid onto the green to 20 feet. His eagle putt came up 5 inches short for a tap in birdie – his second of the day.

Overall birdie tally

Gary (0 birdies, cumulative 45)
David (2 birdies, cumulative 17)

Waterville awaits tomorrow – a beautiful top 100 course located in the south west of Ireland. Stay tuned….

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By golfselect

2 comments on “Tralee – like Arnie, a back 9 wonder

  1. Guys – best of luck for the home stretch, you’ve experiences something really wonderful on this trip and will remember it for a lifetime! Thanks again for sharing your stories, the updates are a great read every day. You are blessed to have been able to do this.

  2. G’day Dave & Gary and ditto to the previous comments!! You both still standing, looking good and better still, swinging the club beautifully to finish the round with an easy birdie. It’s been a marvellous effort and keep it going for the last few rounds – best wishes for a total of 20 & 50 birdies respectively!!

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