One Hail of a Time at Narin & Portnoo
They say that the actual Irish weather report is really a recording made in 1922, which no one has had occasion to change: "Scattered showers, periods of sunshine." When you travel from afar to get a taste of remote, natural, unpretentious golf in Ireland, the weather doesn't care that you would like it to cooperate, but with a little luck it mostly does. Well, our friends at Fairways To Heaven Golf Travel brought a group to Narin & Portnoo Golf Club in northwest County Donegal on the first day of October, and although at times it was quite desperate out, it really was a hail of a good time... we promise. We have the photos to prove it!
Although the club was formed in 1930 with 9 holes, golf has been played on this land since 1905. It gets it name from the surrounding towns of both Narin and Portnoo. It wasn't until 1965 that it was expanded to a full 18 holes. More recently, the course has undergone some changes and a new clubhouse was completed in 2008. Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner were later commissioned to reimagine the layout and completed their renovation in 2019. So although these links have over a 115 year history, for all intents and purposes it's almost like a new course. And golf enthusiasts are starting to take notice. Golf Channel's Matt Ginella said, "So here’s a little story about Gil Hanse & Jim Wagner coming to Ireland to renovate Narin & Portnoo: They worked wonders. The end. And now everyone will come and compare it to Pebble, Pacific Dunes & other seaside spectacles."
There were times you wouldn't put your dog out in the weather conditions these golfers endured. If it wasn't hailing or raining, the sun was shining yet the wind was still blowing hard. But all lovers of the game cherish every moment, adversity be damned. In fact, bring it on! That's part of what makes golfing in Ireland so challenging and special at the same time.
No matter what, this is Ireland, and everyone knows that there are rainbows and sunshine... and a tasty pint right around the corner.