The Murray Family along with Tom Coyne and The Links Life production crew visited Ireland recently with their trip taken care of by myself, Tom Kennedy of Experience Ireland Golf & Travel.
It was all scheduled for June/July 2020 initially when Tom Coyne, American Golf Writer, approached Experience Ireland with the idea of bringing the Murray Family to Ireland as part of the filming for The Links Life series. Unfortunately due to Covid-19 there were a couple of rescheduled trips but eventually the group landed in Ireland in August of 2021!
First stop was the delightful Druids Glen Resort in Newtownmountkennedy in County Wicklow on Tuesday 17th August 2021. A late morning breakfast was enjoyed before heading out on the Druid Glen course which has played host to many Tournaments down the years including an Irish Open & Seve Trophy but to name a few. Aaron Leach from Swift’s Forge was on hand to present the Ed Murray Memorial Trophy, handmade in County Antrim by the man himself – we think it went down very well as did the hand forged Putter that Aaron also presented to Bill on the day!
Happy to say I took the money off Bill Murray after 18 holes that day, in a 5-ball with Bill, Cooper, Lincoln & Jackson (3 of his sons)! Some drinks were enjoyed afterwards on the Clubhouse Roof Terrace before setting off to spend the evening at Carton House with a few holes on the Montgomerie Course before dinner.
Following breakfast the next morning some of the group took on the “Amen Corner” of Carton House’s O’Meara Course – the Par-3 14th, Par-5 15th and the iconic Par-3 16th on Wednesday 18th August.
Following our morning activities it was onto our luxury coach courtesy of O’Callaghan Coaches from Killarney and we hit the road for Carne Golf Links in Belmullet, Co Mayo – a road trip which included the bus load of mainly Murrays, and one Coyne, serenading one RTÉ presenter, Kathryn Thomas, live on air!!
A great afternoon was spent at Carne Golf Links – lunch and some Guinness in the Clubhouse was followed by 18 holes on the Wild Atlantic Dunes Course and Dinner back at the Clubhouse that evening – where we enjoyed some stunning gifts from Carne Golf Links including personalised bottles of Jameson Whiskey for the group. An overnight stay at the Talbot Hotel was thoroughly enjoyed by all the group – I think they even got Bill Murray into a Mayo jersey!!
By Thursday 19th August, the Murrays and Tom Coyne headed for Donegal with the motley crew and Seamus O’Callaghan their fateful Driver/Guide taking them further into Ireland’s North West! Today they would play Donegal Golf Club followed by Portsalon, Cruit Island and the stunning St Patrick’s Links at Rosapenna with stays at the Abbey Hotel and the Nesbitt Arms to boot!Returning to County Mayo on Saturday 21st August the Links Life gang definitely had their fill of golf and proper Irish hospitality in Donegal!! For the next 2 nights we would enjoy some amazing accommodation and equally heavenly hospitality at the marvellous Mount Falcon Estate, thanks to Alan Maloney and all the Team for their warm welcomes and everything else they laid on for us!
A few sore heads greeted each other at breakfast the following morning, there was a bit of late night revelry but we had a delightful day to look forward to – falconry following a brilliant breakfast and then golf at the exquisite Enniscrone Golf Links on Sunday 22nd August. Keith and all the gang there put on a great show, and the Irish Coffees on arrival may have helped soothe some sore heads and settle some golf swings too! A stunning setting by the sea and the weather behaved as well, always a great experience to play Enniscrone and even better in this company in this weather.
After another great evening at Mount Falcon, including a wonderful Whiskey Tasting from Connaught Whiskey, it was off to Connemara – Killary Fjord Shellfish was the first stop and afterwards onto Connemara Golf Links for an afternoon round. It was onwards to the Abbey Glen Castle Hotel after golf where the Murrays were well and truly treated like Kings!!
The next day, Tuesday 24th August, was again spent in Galway as the Links Life Trip made its way to Galway Bay Golf Resort. Another warm welcome was enjoyed as the groups licked some golfing war wounds and got ready for what would be the last round of this Links Life Trip, an absolutely gorgeous day in Galway was enjoyed along with the great golf course! The group spent their final evening together in the Connacht Hotel in Galway before going their separate ways the following morning.
There had been plans to play Ballybunion Old on Wednesday 25th August but unfortunately these best laid plans did not come to fruition, the Murrays and Tom Coyne will just have to come back another time to experience this County Kerry gem – there is also Whiskey with their names on them from West Cork Distillers, as good a reason as any to return to Ireland!
So that was the Links Life Murray Trip to Ireland, thanks for everybody for making the trip possible from Tom Coyne to the Murray Family, O’Callaghan Coaches, Bake in Killarney (for that amazing cake!), Seed Golf (for keeping the Murrays taken care of for golf balls during the trip), our Team at Experience Ireland Golf & Travel, Tourism Ireland and all the wonderful golf courses, hotels, and other partners that took this trip from a possibility to a reality.
Stay tuned for the Links Life Murray Edition coming to a screen near you soon!