Our 2012 Irish trip concluded with a competitive event which I found on the internet. The Donegal Links Classic is played in early June over three classic links in Donegal: Rosapenna's Sandy Hills links, Portsalon, and Ballyliffin's Old Links. The event required that we field a team of four players. Scores would be kept by the stableford method for the team and individually. But where to find two other players to comprise our team in this far-away land? We called upon golfing friends Derek Guthrie and Pauline Mackie. We came to know them in another event, the Carnoustie Country Classic, some years before. And Derek and Pauline subsequently hosted us at their home club in the Midlands of England, Burton-on-Trent Golf Club. Derek, a Ayrshire, Scotland born and bred former rugby stalwart. is a fellow of delightful wit. He plays off a very capable 7 handicap. The winsome Pauline plays off a solid 15 and she more than matches Derek's repartee. We were most pleased when they agreed to take their caravan (we would call it an RV) across the Irish Sea and meet us for the competition. It was like old times reuniting with Derek and Pauline at Ballyliffin's Glashedy links where we played a practice round together, and lifted a couple of pints thereafter. They elected to overnight in their caravan while we stayed at an inn in Letterkenny which was midway between the three golf clubs. The tournament itself was a bargain! Our entry fee was 100 euro apiece for three rounds at great courses plus a tournament awards dinner! This is an example of how playing in competitions in the U.K. and the Republic of Ireland can minimize your cost of golf. Our team finished middle of the pack. Lisa was our star finishing with 36 points at Portsalon and 37 at Ballyliffin. My best effort in the event was a 78 at Ballyliffin's Old Links. It should have been several shots less.
Derek, Pauline and Bill-Ballyliffin
Bill eyes his approach at Ballyliffin
The Old Links
Lisa, Bill, Derek, and Pauline congratulate Rory