Dingle; Star Wars and remarkable views
Despite various scenes from Star Wars being filmed here CP3O was not available to caddy for me. No matter the first flew down the middle, the second pin high on the left of the green and I drained the putt 30ft across the green. That was the only putt that fell and the only birdie so I had to get it into the story! The course is jammed against the cow pastures, the sea and the mountains and is not spectacularly linksy or on a level with the other two.
The views from the course were better than the views of the course but we had a glorious time in the sunshine and when the course was good it was very good but then it went slightly sleepy. The passing of time has left few memories as clear as the others we played that weekend.
I had a Dorian Grey round; serenely making the turn in 5 over despite a triple bogey on the tough 9th. Then my vices returned with a trip to the attic and my past caught up with me. The course, tiredness and a winding creek exacted their revenge all the way back to the clubhouse. 19 over in total.
I am very glad to have had the opportunity to play it and am amazed that the club could support itself, perhaps by selling land. It is mainly links but those wanting to be subsumed by all the classic links features might be a little underwhelmed but I wouldn’t have missed the opportunity to visit or enjoy the ride over the mountains and slowly home. It was joy in March sunshine but whether I could endure busy summer traffic or Atlantic gales would be another story.
A large part of this exercise is to see all these mythical places and get to know our islands and chat to the people along the way. It is not a journey to find the most difficult links course. So Dingle plays no less a part in the story and although we had no time to dally with the mainly Gaelic speakers I did have a jolly time with my children.
Having said that it was more of a DHLawrence communion. I find that whilst we chat on the golf course that isn’t where the connection is made it is in the place and the time and the weather and the shared experience. A little pretentious to call it mystical but there is something between osmosis and transubstantiation that happens in these beautiful places shared with people whose company you enjoy.
After a round of golf my wife happily asks how my partner or opponent is, and his wife and children etc and I find myself lost as we hadn’t really talked about that or anything else really, we just wandered around, chewed the cud and shared something more important than mere conversation and we were better friends for knowing enough but not too much and enjoying the views and the sport and the atmosphere.
It is a bit like saying sorry to your partner on the first tee when playing foursomes and then not really saying much more until asking the steward for a drink at the bar. It wasn’t that nothing was said it just went in and out as the shared day was more important.
The day ended after my daughter was dropped off at Kerry Airport, one son went swimming at Kells and we demolished a delicious Thai dinner in Ireland’s own Lost Gardens. The gardens at Kells are being restored, originally built up by a German family they capitalise on the benefits brought by the gulf stream to produce amazing tree ferns, Camellias and all sorts. I am hoping that if I can sell it hard enough I might just persuade my wife to make another trip. As a non gardener it looks exceptional and yer man is going to Chelsea so he must know what he is talking about