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Ger Walsh is President of Ballybunion Golf Club. It's hard to think of a man who has deeper ties with a golf club, or cares about it more than Ger does. He is an intrinsic part of this famed golfing town - as editor of the local Newspaper and DJ on a local radio station. But where Ger comes in to his own is with a guitar and microphone. He's a captivating musician and has entertained locals and visitors alike across venues in Kerry and beyond for decades. But his favourite place remains out on the links of his beloved golf course.


Connoisseur Golf - Ger, Great to catch up with you. Being President at Ballybunion Golf Club must be a very proud honour. How are the courses looking? Any notable changes since we were last down in the summer of 2019?

Ger Walsh -  Firstly Jim, it is indeed a very proud honour to serve as President for 2021, having been Captain in 2003 and given my family connections with the club. As for changes on the courses, there have been no structural or design changes since  you last visited and as you know, we've had little or no visitor traffic since the end of 2019. The golf courses have been closed for the best part of 6 months during the pandemic, so both the Old Course and the Cashen have had time to rest and they are now in terrific condition. The "New" greens laid on the old course are now five years old and are really starting to show their true links form while we have planted a lot of Marram Grass around both courses during the closure also which adds to the seaside look.


CG - For many years, we've had no problem in the demand for golfers to want to play at Ballybunion, it's every visiting golfer's dream to play there. But the quality of accommodation hasn't always been to such a high level. Do you think that problem is finally solved? 

GW - I would say it was a lack of quantity rather than quality in the past Jim and a five-star hotel is something this town really needs to keep the vast majority of visiting golfers staying locally.
We have Kilcooly's Country House Hotel and Cliff House Hotel which are the two main hotels and cater for a lot of golf traffic, while McMunns and the Marine have recently upgraded their rooms to a very high standard and can compete with the best. 
Teac de Broc, The 19th Green and Cashen House are luxury  guesthouses located close to the golf club and these three are as good as you will find anywhere, so let's say there is more quality available now than before, but the dream remains for somebody to come into Ballybunion and build a Five Star resort. 


CG - You certainly know how to get a crowd going. The atmosphere at your gigs is second to none. Where are your favourite places to play? And where are we likely to catch you this summer when hospitality is fully re-opened?

GW - I've been the resident entertainer at the Railway Bar since the late 1990's and hope to continue to play there for as long as I can attract the punters Jim. It's a great family-run pub with an electric atmosphere where locals and visitors mingle and I don't play anywhere else in town. Because of Covid, I've not played a live gig since March of 2020 but there may be some light at the end of the tunnel and I hope to be back in the Railway towards the end of the summer. 

CG - There are a few contenders, but where do you class at the best restaurant in the town? And where is the best pint?

GW - Wow, where do I start ? I think people are spoilt for choice in Ballybunion where dining out is concerned. I don't think it would be fair of me to name a favourite but Strollers at Teac de Broc, McMunns, the Marine, Cliff House, Kilcoolys and the Wilde all offer quality food, each a little different to the others, and I would recommend all of them. As for the best pint, it depends on what you really want from a pub. For a busy pub with live music, look no further than the Railway or the Exchange. If you want to talk golf,  call in to Mikey Joe's, Listons or the Bunker, but if you just want to sit and chat with the locals over a quiet pint, then there's Courtneys, The Olde Attic or the Feale Bar. 

CG - Ger, thank you so much for your time. We wish you all the best with your upcoming club duties, and also with your gigs and recordings. Look forward to seeing you soon.

...but the dream remains for somebody to come into Ballybunion and build a Five Star resort.

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