"Goat Tracking Between Pints" (report filed by Sherpa [and foreign correspondent] JB January, 2008)
On a July, 2007 trip to the "old sod" of Ireland, I dedicated myself along with my two sons to Goat Track research. Although the trip was a family reunion with full itineraries carefully planned by the wives each day, I knew from the time our flight landed that I would blow off a few activities to "give back" to my fellow Trackers. I was answering to a higher authority and felt a responsibility to determine whether Goat Track golf exists in Ireland. My conclusion is affirmative. I have two examples in Killarney that I would like to share with my fellow Trackers, Dunloe GC and Castle Rosse GC.
Those of us that consider ourselves GT aficionados know that 9 hole courses are prime "fishing holes" for GT conditions. Seeking out a 9 hole course is a fundamental tactic used by Trackers to "weed out" the "nice" courses. I am uncomfortable with well-maintained, pretty courses with their pruned trees and flower beds; manicured golf courses are for guys with manicures and that's just not me. I prefer a pale yellow fairway that's as hard as a freeway. You will find none of those "yardage boosters" in Ireland though. It rains constantly and the temperature rarely approaches 70, so even the greens keeper at Long Hill CC (f/k/a East Hartford Public) would be challenged to kill the grass over there. Price is another important consideration in Track selection. No disappointments here; golf is cheap and cash transactions are preferred. There's a lot to love about Ireland, including these two venerable Goat Tracks: