Memories of Golfing Meccas: St Andrews, Turnberry and South West Ireland

Ernie Ruiz Speaks about his Two Trips to The British Isles

Ernie Ruiz‘s Scottish and Irish Trip Summaries

Ernie Ruiz, Director of Golf at La Gorce Country Club (Miami FL), has taken two trips with Golfbreaks.com. The first in May 2014 was for a group to 12 golfers to spend a week in Scotland covering East and West Coasts. The second in May 2016 was for a similar sized group to South West Ireland.

Scotland – May 2014
• 7 nights for 12 golfers staying at Trump Turnberry 5* and The Ardgowan Hotel, St Andrews
• 7 rounds of golf at St Andrews Old and Jubilee Courses, Kingsbarns, Crail Balcomie Links, Gleneagles PGA Centenary, Turnberry Ailsa and Kintyre Courses
• Arrival and departure from Edinburgh Airport

Ailsa Course, Turnberry

South West Ireland - May 2016
• 7 nights for 12 golfers staying at Fota Island Resort 5*, Killarney Plaza Hotel 4* and Dromoland Castle 5*
• 7 rounds of golf at Old Head of Kinsale, Tralee, Waterville, Doonbeg, Ballybunion Old and Cashen Courses
• Arrival and departure from Cork Airport

Old Head Links


The Big Interview

Ernie speaks to Golfbreaks.com about the two memorable trips that he has enjoyed with his members from La Gorce Country Club; Scotland in May 2014 and South West Ireland in May 2016.

Q: I understand you are Director of Golf at a private club in Miami called La Gorce and that you took a group to Scotland with Golfbreaks.com in 2014 and recently took a group to Ireland. I also believe that you and your members are already looking at Scotland again in 2018.

Ernie: All true. I completed my apprenticeship at La Gorce in the 1990's and am thrilled to be back as the Director of Golf.

Q: Do your members ask you to arrange trips like this fairly regularly? Have you used other agencies in the past other than Golfbreaks.com?

Ernie: Our members look to us on a regular basis to help them plan trips in the US and overseas. We will typically help arrange 10 - 12 trips annually. In the past we have used several different agencies as well as booking directly through the clubs.

Q: How did you select Golfbreaks.com to help with these trips? How was the set-up process with the company?

Ernie: My wife recommend Golfbreaks.com to me when I was planning our trip to Scotland in 2014. She had great success with them at her club and was quick to send me the information. The set up was very easy. Having never done a trip to Scotland I had a number of questions and the folks at Golfbreaks.com helped me through each step. I found that like most travelers we wanted to do everything during a week-long trip. Golfbreaks.com helped us organize our trip so that we could see as many great courses as possible while being able to enjoy ourselves. That was the service I needed to ensure a successful trip.

Q: How much golf do you play each day? What are your members’ handicaps? Any particular special memories of playing together?

Ernie: We typically only schedule 18 holes on a given day. We will book additional rounds based on clubs in the area. If there are two great courses close by we will double up. Our group is still fairly young so 36 in a day is doable. Our guys range from plus handicaps to as high as an 18. As a group our favorite memory would be our first day at Turnberry. Everything was so new to us. The weather went from perfect to terrible twice during the round and we loved it. Overall our favorite part of each trip has been meeting the people of Scotland and Ireland. They are fantastic and true lovers of golf.

Q: Tell me about your various itineraries. What were some of the highlights of your trips, both on and off the golf course?

Ernie: I will break these down by trip:

Scotland:
We began our Scotland trip at Turnberry. We then headed over to St. Andrews for the balance of the week. There are so many great memories. Clearly playing the Old Course was fantastic. Over the past few years it has been interesting to hear the group talk about the trip. They always mention the stay at the Ardgowan in St. Andrews as a great memory. The staff there was incredible. Golfbreaks.com had recommended that we stay at the Ardgowan and after initially being against it I am so glad we did. Our trip in 2018 will definitely include staying with our friends there.

Old Course, St Andrews

Ireland:
We traveled throughout the South of Ireland on our trip. Incredible is the only thing I can say about the quality of the golf there. Such dramatic views on every course. We thoroughly enjoyed Old Head on our first round and were thrilled that each course we played seemed to get better. Trump Doonbeg in particular was fantastic. Luxury property that stayed authentic too its Irish roots.

As a member of the hospitality industry I have been surprised by the process of the hospitality in both Ireland and Scotland. On more than one occasion we have been guided by local restaurants and their staff to other restaurants in the area for upcoming meals. Really pretty cool how the servers would ask us what we were looking for and then help make arrangements for us. Very different than here in the US and very impressive.

Doonbeg Golf

Q: What has made the experiences with Golfbreaks.com so pleasurable?

Ernie: Their guidance. It is daunting when you are responsible for a group of your members and want everything to go well. The folks at Golfbreaks.com have made sure we maximized our time and that we did not make any critical errors in scheduling. No easy task when you want to do so much on a limited time frame. I also appreciate that Golfbreaks.com takes into account different price points based on group wants/needs. It takes the guess work out of the equation.

Q: Is Golfbreaks.com your go-to tour operator now?

Ernie: Absolutely. Daniel Grave and his team have made a permanent fan out of me. I only wish we could go more often. I look forward to booking more groups in the future.

Q: Any other relevant details that you would like to add?

Ernie: Thanks for the opportunity to share my experience with Golfbreaks.com. I hope it came out how much I have enjoyed working with them.


If you’d like to experience a similar Scottish or Irish trip for yourself or any golf vacation in the British Isles, simply send us an inquiry and our golf vacation specialists will recommend the perfect trip for your budget and golfing ambitions!