The Early Bird

Kevin Markham

I have always been an advocate for early morning golf. Sunrises are spectacular, wildlife roams freely, there are few golfers to slow you down and you are guaranteed hot showers. 

Things are slightly different when sunrise is at 6.00am and you’re taking photographs; hunting for spots that give the best angles and maximise the brilliant light. Sometimes you’re clambering through deep undergrowth, getting your clothes soaked and hoping that a misstep doesn’t send you into a lake as you swat away insects that bite incessantly. It is the only part of photography I don’t like – I can hack the cold and early starts, and I’m happy to lug my kit and my ladder around if buggies aren’t available – but the insects can be infuriating. 

On Monday morning I had one of those ventures through waist-high undergrowth to capture a sunrise over Luttrellstown Castle’s famous clubhouse. The insects were out in full force on the lake beyond the 7th green and it took 30 minutes for the sun to break through. That’s a lot of time to stand around being bitten… especially when the photograph came to nothing. 

The other great advantage of being out early, however, is that you see the greens shimmering with dew. As someone who writes about golf courses, it also reveals how good a course’s condition is before the greenkeepers work their magic. 

I can tell you now that Luttrellstown Castle is in superb condition. The greens shine like silver and the fairways are pristine. It’s a fabulous sight to see and there will be a feature article on the course and castle in the next edition of Irish Golfer – due out shortly. 

And if you like what you read, the club is running some special membership offers on five and full day categories, which package up the rest of this year and all of next.  

Contact Liam McCool, Director of Golf, at 

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