South East Ireland Tourism
Travel guide to Ireland's south east
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Think golf, think Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford. Home to the world famous Jack Nicklaus designed Mount Juliet, the South East boasts a staggering 31 excellent golf courses. With the best weather and value for money to be found anywhere in the country, it's little wonder Ireland's South East is such a popular golfing destination for both natives and visitors alike. Below is soem useful information to help you prepare for you golf vacation in Ireland.

Caddy Service
There are caddy services available at all of the high profile clubs. In clubs of their calibre you get the "character". Their knowledge of the game and the courses on which they ply their trade will not only take shots off your card, but sometimes the outspoken observations will add a "cultural" facet to your Irish golfing experience. Caddies come in all shapes and sizes. Young, old, senior, junior, well experienced, not so well experienced, single and double "bag carriers". The fee can vary from €10 to €35 depending on your requirement. Arrangements and fee payments should always be made direct with caddy master. You would also be expected to "tip" the caddy directly.

Ireland has a temperate climate which means no extremes of heat or cold. Temperatures between May and September are usually in the mid teens to low twenties. The coldest months are December January and February. Generally the country receives little snow and is the first European landfall to receive the warmth of Mexico's Atlantic Gulf Stream and the coastal areas are rarely if ever affected by frost. Ireland's climate allows for year round golf, but with the arrival of spring growth and more heat in the air golfers tend to enjoy their sport more regularly, April through to October.

The Rain

It rains in Ireland. Not a lot more than in any other temperate climate country but enough to give every chance of a 'soft' day. It is not usually a full day affair but there is enough of it around to suggest you bring rain gear. In the knowledge that golf naturally evolved in this type of climate we suggest you consider it a normal part of the golf experience and be thankful that a game immersed in tradition still holds many of the same experiences for today's enthusiasts as it did for its founding fathers. Just be prepared and enjoy!

Clubhouse Dress Code
The informality of Irish golf is well expressed in club house regulations. Generally, smart casual attire is acceptable in all areas of the club house. In some of the larger city clubs, men would be expected to wear jacket and tie at dinner or other evening functions.

Anywhere there is a professional shop attached to the course you wish to play, you will be able to hire playing equipment. You should also make advance arrangement to hire the clubs as on some occasions demand can outstrip supply. You should bring your own footwear though, and the normal tee-shirts, sweaters, etc.

Most clubs reserve the right to see your handicap certificate. In practice, handicap certificates are seldom if ever requested. However, if you wish to enter an "open competition" it would be essential to have your handicap certificate available as evidence of your handicap for scoring purposes. The advice would be to bring one just in case.

Pull Carts/Motorised Buggies
There are plenty of pull carts available at virtually all clubs. These usually cost about €2 to hire. Motorised buggies are becoming increasingly available but the "fleet" rarely exceeds six or eight. Some clubs, particularly the links, because of the severity of the undulating terrain and a wish to maintain the old traditions, do not have this service. Cost? About €20/ €30 per round. Arrangements to hire should be made in advance.

Spiked Golf Shoes
In more recent years there has been a small but none the less, growing number of clubs, operating a "soft spikes" policy. All clubs accept soft spikes but if you travel with metal spikes the club professional will change them "on the spot" at a charge of about €8.

What To Bring
If you are a serious exponent you will want to bring your full selection of clubs. The championship courses are tough challenges and if you really want to excel you have no choice but to take the full contents of your golfing armoury. It can be awkward though, pulling and pushing the big bag in and out of compact sized cars up and down the country, but that's the trade off for the big players. For the more modest or less ambitious exponent, a light bag, 2 woods, your favourite mid irons, a couple of high irons and your putter will cover the lot. Bring your wet gear and wet shoes, and the lighter dry ones just in case! Umbrellas can be handy too when it is raining and not windy. You can have fairly strong gusts on the links and in this situation an umbrella is useless unless you have a "gust-buster" or similar type protection.
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