Travel Advice for Ireland
Most golf courses, particularly links golf course, are open all year round. Courses are in best condition and weather is most suitable for golfing from April to October, when it is recommended you visit. The climate of Ireland is temperate so it neither gets too hot nor cold. In summer, daylight hours extend to 10.30pm enabling two rounds of golf to be comfortably played with plenty of time for lunch.
Caddies, Golf Buggies and Handicap Certificates
Caddies are widely available in Ireland. It is recommended that they be requested in advance. As caddies are self-employed and not employed directly by the golf clubs, their availability cannot be guaranteed in advance. Golf buggies/carts are not very common and are limited in number where available. They should be requested in advance. Preference is generally given where needed on medical grounds. Some clubs require a handicap certificate so have one with you in case you are asked.
What To Take
In addition to your clubs, pack waterproof shoes and rain suits and two or three pairs of all weather (rain) gloves. Pack some warm clothing even in the summer. Bring plenty of golf balls as most likely you will lose some in the links rough.
Air and Sea Transport
Ireland's international airports are served by daily flights (direct or by onward connection) from airports around the world and are strategically located so that any part of the country is at most a two hour drive from an international airport. The main access points are Dublin, Shannon, Belfast International and Cork Airports. Ireland has several ferry ports served by car ferry from Britain and Continental Europe. Golf Vacations Ireland can advise on the most suitable options for your vacation.
The main choices are self-drive car or minibus rental, chauffeur-driven coach and helicopter. Golf Vacations Ireland can recommend and arrange suitable transport for your holiday. Golf Vacations Ireland deals with Irish Tourist Board approved companies only. If you choose to self drive, remember to drive on the left hand side of the road and to carry a detailed road map such as the Michelin we supply in your travel information packet. A preprogrammed GPS unit is provided on arrival in Ireland. Estimate an average travelling speed of 40-50 miles (60-80 km) per hour.
The options range from self catering holiday cottages and apartments to excellent guesthouses/bed and breakfasts to luxury 5 star hotels, manor homes and castles. For all hotel and guesthouse accommodation a full Irish breakfast is included each morning.
The unit of currency in the Republic of Ireland is the Euro (€) and the currency in Northern Ireland is the Pound (£). Currencies can be purchased at banks or foreign exchange departments using foreign currency, travellers cheques or Eurocheques with eurocheque card. Normal banking hours in Ireland are 10.00am to 4.00pm, Monday to Friday, and banks are open at Airports for all flight arrivals. ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines/cash dispensers) are located at banks in many towns and some retail outlets and most accept major credit cards, particularly Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus and Plus debit cards. Western Union services are available at Tourist and Post Offices throughout the country.
MasterCard/Eurocard and Visa/Electron are accepted widely in Ireland. American Express and Diners Club cards are accepted by many establishments.
Sales Tax (VAT) Refunds
The price of most goods includes VAT which can be refunded at the end of your trip. Obtain a tax-free shopping form with each purchase and follow the instructions for completion.
What to Buy in Ireland
Ireland offers a wide range of goods which reflect the quality and craftsmanship of its traditional industries. The influence of Irish Celtic art can be seen in many goods. Hand-woven tweed, knitwear and clothing, crystal and cut glass, pottery, silver and jewellery, hand-made chocolates and smoked salmon are but a few of the items you can buy.
Passports and Visas
UK and EU citizens do not require a passport or visa for travel to Ireland, with the exception of residents of Romania and Bulgaria, provided they have a valid national identity card as it is useful for identification purposes. Visitors of all other nationalities should contact their local Irish Embassy/Consulate prior to travelling to the Republic of Ireland and visitors to Northern Ireland should contact their local British Embassy, High Commission or Consular Office. For information on the visa requirements for non-EU citizens, please see the Department of Foreign Affairs website at www.dfa.ie/home/index.aspx.
Ireland has by many standards a low level of crime, particularly in the rural regions where our holidays are based. Visitors should however be careful and it is advised to leave expensive jewellery, excess cash, traveller's cheques, passports and travel documents (when not needed) in your hotel safe. Carry cash, wallets etc. in inside concealed pockets or in a tourist wallet/pouch strapped to the front of your body. Keep a copy of passports, credit card details etc. and relevant contact numbers in the event of loss. Label your luggage on both the inside and outside with your name, telephone number and address.
Medical Treatment and Health Insurance
A doctor is available all day in most towns. Dial 999 in case of emergencies. Prescribed medications are widely available through chemist stores. If on prescribed medication it is useful to bring an adequate supply for your journey and a copy of your prescription in case of emergency. EU citizens should bring an E111 form and are entitled to free treatment in public hospitals. All other nationalities should check with their insurance agent as to the validity of their plan in Ireland and take out additional insurance if necessary.
English is the language of the majority of the population and is spoken throughout the country. Irish is spoken mainly in Gaeltacht areas. Many tourist businesses employ personnel with additional European languages such as French or German.
There are six morning daily papers some of which e.g. The Irish Times have very comprehensive 'World News' sections. Papers from other countries are available in bigger towns and cities. National and international TV is available in most hotels.
GSM Mobile phones can be used throughout the country. Public phones are common from which all calls can be dialled. Credit cards from most countries are accepted by the international telephone exchange. In case of emergency, dial 999 and ask the operator for the emergency service you require. Internet access is widely available in hotels and guesthouses, along with a variety of other WIFI hotspots in larger towns and cities. In many accommodations, internet access is free of charge.
Electricity is supplied at 220 Volts. Plugs are flat with three pins. A transformer is needed to convert 110Volt appliances (except for dual-voltage equipment which needs only an adapter). Hotel rooms are often fitted with these and adapters are generally available at reception.
While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the above information no responsibility is accepted for errors, omissions or any other inconsistency, nor for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by any traveller in reliance on the above information or advice.