The Famous 19th Hole & The Irish Welcome

It’s 1999 and US Open champion Payne Stewart is living it up in the packed bar of the Butler Arms Hotel in Waterville. He is belting out a tune on his harmonica, as fellow major winner Lee Janzen, world number one David Duval and Aussie star Stuart Appleby shake their heads, laugh and sing along.

The pub is heaving, so Stewart jumps behind the counter for a 30-minute shift as guest barman. He isn't taking in any cash, his caddy reminds him.

“Drinks are on me!” Stewart yells back.

Having visited Waterville with pals Tiger Woods and Mark O’Meara the previous year, Stewart couldn’t resist coming back. This time, he took friends to Kerry for a few warm up rounds at Waterville and Ballybunion in preparation for the following week’s British Open.

By the time he leaves the tiny County Kerry village on the Wild Atlantic Way, Stewart is telling people he wants to be the mayor. We don’t have a mayor, they tell him. But being Captain of the golf club is a much bigger deal. So they go one better and make him Captain for the 2000 season.

Tragically, Payne Stewart lost his life in a plane crash just a few months later. But his memory lives on in Waterville. A bronze statue has been erected in his memory by the many friends he made on those short trips.

We go into the pub and get around the piano. I bring out my harmonica and the next thing you know it’s about 4am!
— Payne Stewart

You see, finishing a round of golf doesn't mark the end of the day in Ireland... We always carry on to the 19th

 

TIGER WOODS has been one of the most regular visitors to Ireland and in particular the South West Region. He has also played a major role in raising Millions for local Charities through his support of The JP McManus Invitational Pro-Am Tournament in Adare Golf Club, County Limerick:

I had such a great time in Ireland that I’ve been coming over ever since
— Tiger Woods

And it’s not just the world’s best pros that can’t get enough of golfing along THE SOUTH-WEST SWING of Ireland. We don’t like to name drop but we’ve had visits from Bill Clinton, Dan Marino, Dan Quayle, Michael Jordan...and even the late Neil Armstrong.

And who better than Actor BILL MURRAY to sum up what everybody feels about Irish golf and the famous Irish Hospitality. Bill is a huge admirer of Irish Golf and in particular his personal favourite course, Tralee.

My favorite place to play golf is in Ireland, that’s where my ancestors come from and it’s the most beautiful country to play golf in. When you come as a guest to play golf you are treated like a King
— Bill Murray (AKA The Most Interesting Man in the World)

For your chance to Follow in the Footsteps of these Legends and to Experience the Ultimate Golf Trip to Ireland, check out our Suggested Sample Itineraries or to organize your own personalized Golf Vacation to South West Ireland please Contact:

E-Mail: mike@neilgolf.com

Phone: +353 87 990 1859

 

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