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Nittany Lions Take on Ireland: Day 6

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Thursday marked our second to last full day in Ireland. Due to 8 a.m. tee times at Ballybunion Golf Club, our day got off to an early start. After grabbing breakfast to go and gathering our team, we stepped out of the hotel and into the rain. 

TeeBoxView.JPG The rain continued throughout our bus ride to County Kerry and arrival at Ballybunion. Despite the wet conditions, our team could not wait to experience one of Ireland's finest golf clubs. Ballybunion is home to two courses: the Old Course and the Cashen Course. Our team would be playing the Old Course, which was established in 1893. The format for the day was a two-person scramble match play. 

As we were walking to the first tee, several of us were stopped by another group of golfers. They noticed our Penn State gear, and since one of the guys was a Penn State alum, we had to take pictures! 

When standing on the first tee, it's easy to see why Ballybunion is so unique and historic. With the course situated on the cliffs of the Atlantic Ocean, almost every direction gives you a scenic view. Along with ocean views, thick heather, pot bunkers, and firm greens, the first hole even includes a graveyard. 

Although the conditions early in the morning were wet and chilly, we couldn't complain about the weather during our round. With a bit of Irish luck, we had no rain and wind speeds between 20 and 25 mph. 

Once our matches concluded, we set off to have lunch in the club's restaurant. The restaurant faces west and overlooks the 18th hole of the Old Course and the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean. 

Cathedral_T.jpg Our day would not be complete without a few afternoon excursions. Our first stop was to a beach not far from the golf course. In fact, the beach was north of the Cashen Course and included views of the ruins of Ballybunion Castle, which makes up the logo for the golf club. Our second stop was at an old Catholic Cathedral. The oldest part of the structure was built in the 12th century.

We spent our evening winding down at a traditional Irish pub in downtown Killarney. Experiencing traditional links golf at Ballybunion Golf Club and sightseeing on our return trip to Killarney made day four in Ireland one for the books!

- Kamerine Taylor, junior

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