Willie Scales is one of the most trusted and experienced drivers in South West Ireland and has been transporting visiting golfers to and from the region’s breathtaking courses for over 25 years. He’s also a member of Lahinch Golf Club so few would know as much about golf in Ireland than Willie – let’s see what he had to say about his favourite courses, places to eat and some funny stories from the golf tours he’s catered for throughout the years…
How long have you been working in the golf industry?
“Scales Golf Tours has been running since 1971 – I have personally been working in the golf industry for over 25 years.”
Which is your favourite course and why?
“I’m a member at Lahinch, so am fairly biased! If I’m away from the South West though, I’d highly recommend Royal County Down and Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland.”
“The lesser known North West coast of Ireland has some spectacular courses too and I would always recommend a trip to go and play Ballyliffin & Rosapenna as they offer a real remote Irish experience and the area itself is beautiful.”
Where is your favourite golf region?
“Again…I’m biased! South West Ireland is the region for me! It’s not just Lahinch, but you’ve also got the likes of Ballybunion, Waterville, Doonbeg & Killarney to name but a few. With so many to choose from, you could have two full weeks here and still have plenty of courses to play!”
Do you have a preferred hotel/s you would recommend?
“The lodges at Doonbeg are spectacular! The quality there is very much at the top end of the 5 range and you can see the American slant Trump has added to it since taking over, with top class customer service.”
“If looking for more of a central location and to be in the town during the evenings, I would thoroughly recommend Killarney Plaza.”*
What restaurant/s would you recommend during the tour?
“Where do I start? Focusing on the South West, I would say if you were in Cork, The Cornerstone restaurant can’t be missed for it’s amazing seafood. When you’re playing Lahinch though, head to Kenny’s for some proper Irish cuisine. Also, after a round at Doonbeg, either stay on site and eat at the hotel, or head to Morrisey’s…that’s a very good option…slightly less formal, but superb quality overall.”
What attractions/experiences are there in the day other than golf you would recommend?
“So much choice! The Cliffs of Moher is always a favourite, offering spectacular views! Dingle & The Ring of Kerry in the South West again offer some beautiful scenery and dramatic landscapes. If playing over at Old Head make sure you take a trip to Blarney Castle and of course give the Blarney Stone a kiss! Finally, no trip to Ireland is complete without a trip to a distillery. Middleton Whiskey Distillery is fantastic…while in the South, it’s a must see!”
What is the best story you’ve heard while on tour with a group?
“The Idaho Potato – I probably can’t go into too much detail here, however it involved a golf ball connecting with a tricky part on the male anatomy and requiring me to drive said player to the A&E. The rest of the party weren’t all that sensitive about the accident and made for much hilarity during the rest of the trip!”
“Another good one, was where I caught one guy just outside the car park at Old Head, looking out at sea, with a tee time in 20 minutes, I caught the end of his conversation…
“I’m absolutely swamped at work darling, there’s no way I’ll be back before Friday!”
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