How deep is your love for Irish golf?

Bernie McGuire

How far would you go to prove you loved your course?

Every now and again someone’s passion for this game of golf shines through. For one reason or another they receive the accolade of ‘golf nut’. It could be the guy (Barry Gibbons) who plays 850 rounds in a year. It could be the golfer who hits 100,000 range balls in a valiant attempt to get from a 17 handicap to scratch. It could even be the guy who drives around Ireland in a camper van for 14 months playing every golf course.

Everyone has their own definition of ‘golf nut’. Who knows, maybe you buy the latest spanking new driver as soon as it comes out… regardless of the brand. In fact, you now have more drivers than .1 handicap increases. Not sure ‘nut’ is the word I’d use to describe you, but let’s be generous. We’re all friends here.


And then there’s Tom Young, from Illinois… who adored a golf course so much he decided to join it – even though he lives on the other side of the Atlantic – and then got a tattoo of the club’s crest on his arm. Now that’s dedication.

“I was planning a golf trip to Ireland for a decade,” says Tom. “I think I have every book on Irish golf. Partly because of my Irish heritage, but mostly because of the great golf travel writing about Ireland, I wanted to find a pure links. Not something commercial, but pure links golf.”

And that links was Carne.

“When I finally could afford it, rather than playing 20 courses in 15 days I decided to make my trip exclusively to Carne. Living in Belmullet, playing 27 or 36 holes a day was incredible. I applied to join the club and, as soon as I had been accepted, I got the tattoo.”

“Carne is the most magical place I’ve ever been. My business – Ballpark Blueprints – has a few golf designs but I added Carne, just out of my love for the place.”

So, who else out there has a tattoo like that?

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