There are moments when you feel dumb… moments that are entirely of your own making. Oh sure, you can do it on the golf course every round you play but doing it off the course requires skill.
“Would you like to come for dinner?” asked Ray Molloy, recently when I was at Esker Hills. “It’ll be myself and Paul, our (Esker Hills) captain. We’ll be meeting at the captain’s house at 7.30.”
I asked where the captain’s house was and Ray told me it was just around the corner from the extremely welcoming Bridge House Hotel, where I was staying. “You can’t miss it,” Ray promised.
But indeed I could, and did. I had no idea, after all, what size of house the captain lived in. I walked around peering into people’s houses for 10 minutes until I called Ray again.
“I’ll stand in the doorway,” he said after giving me more directions.
I rounded the corner and there was Ray waiting for me, not in the doorway of the captain’s house… but the Captain’s House, Tullamore’s most famous restaurant.
We had a fabulous meal (the menu is vast) thanks to Okan Kiraz, the chef and owner, and combined with the excellent Bridge House, it served as a reminder that while golf is at the heart of a buddy golfing trip, the food, accommodation and service shape the overall experience.
Tullamore is a top-class destination for golf and with the important ‘peripherals’ it should never be overlooked. Tullamore and Esker Hills golf clubs are within easy reach, being five minutes away, with other nearby options including Portarlington, Castle Barna, New Forest, Moate and Birr. Very rich pickings, especially when you consider that a certain Shane Lowry may be hanging around town.
Oh, and try the Honey Chicken. Just be sure it’s at the right captain’s house.