The 2008 Tour - Sligo & Malahide
What a trip and what a place! Sligo! Sligo! Sligo! This year the Wild Drivers were joined for the first time by John Picken from Chicago, Tom Ball from Longton, Kevin Darbyshire from Longton - and Tony Hobin came along again, having been on the Northern Ireland & Cork tours. The Irish Tourist Board welcomed the Wild Drivers on landing at Dublin airport, and the Guinnesses were lined up in the airport bar as the boys contemplated the physical exertions ahead of them in playing 8 days non-stop golf. Fans had arrived from all over the world, and as usual the Wild Drivers were mobbed by the crowd who wanted a souvenir, an autograph or a feely touch from these exciting celebrities. For those statisticians - 984 pints of Guinness were downed during this tour, 3 bottles of water & one orange juice.
The green hat turned up as usual, but this year the winner on the day had to wear a BATMAN mask for breakfast and as he teed off on the 1st hole. Not a pleasant experience!
Strandhill GC on the Sunday, Enniscrone on the Monday, Donegal on the Tuesday, Rosses Point on Wednesday with a meal at the Smugglers Creek, Rossnowlagh. Go there if you're in the area. Hidden away up in the cliffs with fantastic views along the coast for miles.
Tony Hobin won the Sir A Roger trophy at Rosses Point golf club to bring it back to the UK. The history of this most prized asset in world sport is described more fully on a link in the website. Well done Tony, and hard luck on those Yankee Doodles who tried their hardest to retain it for the turd year running.
Simon & Jim fiddled the handicaps as usual, but Johnny Swarbrick was the outright winner for the week, showing his usual consistency & flair, hittin' the ball straight & true, despite the distracting audible tactics deployed by others. Sligo is a city full of life and the Wild Drivers were at home in the comforts of the 'Shoot the Crows' tavern, Foleys, the Harp and several others. If yer manage to get to this part of stunning Ireland, look in at 'Shoot the Crows'. Tony & the boys will have the craic & music ready for yers. Don't ferget now.
And so a night at Sligo Races. No 5 euros each way here. More like 50/100 euros. Some big wins! Yes - big wins! What a great evening, with a big screen up to watch the Champions League final. Golf during the day. Race meeting at night. Football match to watch, and down to Shoot the Crows! What more would a Wild Driver want?
So - over to Malahide near Dublin for the last part of the week, playing Rathcore on the way, St Margarets on the Friday & Hollystown on the Saturday. Kevin Darbyshire had been looking for a wife all week, and his wish was granted on Friday night when an announcement was made during an irish cabaret evening in Howth that the Wild Drivers were in town, and Kevin was looking for a wife. Up stood a lady (single and from New Zealand) and the pair were introduced. Unfortunately Kevin was on his 12th Guinness and could not remember those immortal words 'will you marry me' because if he had he would be in New Zealand now!
And so another stunning tour came to an end, with the boys in fine fettle and fit as butchers dogs! Yer can't beat fresh air, golf & Guinness, the craic, music & good company. Roll on next year, but fer now feast yer eyes on the photographs!!!!!!!!!
And - if yer a glutton for punishment, click here for the 'Awards Ceremony'. (recorded on YouTube)