Carr Golf feature in Forbes Magazine

Scott Kramer – Wednesday 24 April 2019

If attending the British Open is on your bucket list, you might want to consider going this year. The Open Championship, as it’s properly known, will be held at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland the week of July 14.

Good news: Your U.S. dollar is likely going to stretch a little more this year — giving you some favorable pricing. “The value proposition for Americans remains very favorable for those travelling to Ireland, Scotland and the entire United Kingdom,” says Marty Carr, executive chairman of golf tour operator Carr Golf that’s celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. “The euro rate has improved throughout the course of the past year in favor of American travelers, particularly sterling for travel to England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Prices are rising however, in line with what’s happening across the globe in comparable world-class destinations.”

Ballybunion Golf Club
Ballybunion Golf Club

Typically, American golfers like to incorporate a visit to the Open within their own golf trip. While there are many fantastic golf experiences in the U.K., Carr says that some have been more popular than others lately. “The ever-reliable Southwest Ireland has yet again been our No. 1 destination for Americans,” claims Carr. “The quality of golf is nothing short of exceptional starting with Old Head Golf Links as the top course, co-designed by our company’s late founder J.B. Carr. Some have coined the design as Pebble Beach on steroids, given the daring shots players must commit to taking on over water. Waterville Golf Links is another favorite. Completing a southwest swing journey would be playing on Tralee, Ballybunion, Doonbeg and more recently the newly redesigned Golf Course at Adare Manor – hotly tipped to host a Ryder Cup in the coming years. Coupled with the world-class golf are five-star accommodations including Adare Manor which won the Virtuoso ‘Hotel of the Year’ 2018 at the Best of the Best Awards. The hub for a perfect southwest golf trip is without doubt Killarney. A special town to spend time in off the course, also boasting five-star accommodations, dining and drinks options as well as breathtaking sights nearby like the Gap of Dunloe.”

Doonbeg first hole
The first hole at Doonbeg

In Scotland, The Old Course St. Andrews remains the country’s most in-demand destination. I personally played there eight years ago and am still wowed by the experience. I also stayed at The Old Course Hotel, which overlooks the course. Even ate dinner one night –if you count a lot of beer as dinner — at the famous Jigger Inn, which is widely known as one of the best 19th holes in golf. Kingsbarns should also find a place on your itinerary, due to its incredible setting along the North Sea coastline, where each hole embraces the sea. As should nearby Carnoustie Golf Links. There’s also no shortage of whiskey distilleries in Scotland, which many golfers tend to explore on non-golf days.

Carr’s clients have also been asking for England’s Southport region — in a tightly packed area are three Open Championship courses; Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Royal Lytham & St. Anne Golf Club, and Royal Birkdale Golf Club. For what it’s worth, Carr Golf says that American golfers travelling to the U.K. typically play five rounds and stay six nights per trip. But add in an extra day if you plan on attending The Open.