THE SHAMROCK SKIES
Ireland has four main helicopter companies that charter to golfers. They typically charge an hourly rate (starting at $700) and require a minimum of at least two hours. (Clubs and bags add extra weight, so a second chopper may be necessary.) But it's easier to work through a tour operator, which usually charter the choppers from one of the four. Price depends on helicopter costs, distance of travel, the courses played, accommodations and length of stay, but most tour operators will customize trips. A sample itinerary for four people from Irish Golf Tours for seven days/six nightsincluding five-star accommodations, breakfast, five rounds of golf and all helicopter transportationwill run around $6,400 per person. In this case, airfare from the United States is not included. The busy season runs May to September, but trips are arranged year-round.
Carr Golf & Corporate Travel, P.O. Box 6385, Dublin 15; 011-353-1-822-6662 or 800-882-2656; www.carrgolf.com.
Irish Golf Tours Ltd., 34 Sweetbriar Lawn, Tramore, County Waterford; 011-353-5-138-1728; www.irishgolftours.com.
Irish Links, 400 Main Street, Suite 202, Stamford, CT 06901; 800-824-6538; www.irish-links.com.
Jerry Quinlan's Celtic Golf, 1129 Route 9 South, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210; 800-535-6148; www.jqcelticgolf.com.
PerryGolf, 8302 Dunwoody Place, #305, Atlanta, GA 30350; 800-344-5257; www.PerryGolf.com.
Celtic Helicopters Ltd., Celtic Heliport, Knocksedan, County Dublin; 011-353-1890-1361; www.celtichelicopters.ie.
Gaelic Helicopters Ltd., Dromahane, Mallow, County Cork; 011-353-222-2040; www.gaelichelicopters.com.
Irish Helicopters Ltd., Westpoint Hangar, Swords, County Dublin; 011-353-1-844-4500; www.iol.ie/irishhelicopter.
Westair Aviation Ltd., South-East Ramp, Shannon Airport, County Clare; 011-353-6147-5166; www.westair.ie.
Old Head Golf Links, County Cork; 011-353-21-477-8444.
Waterville Golf Links, County Kerry; 011-353-66-947-4102.
Lahinch Golf Club, County Clare; 011-353-65-708-1003.
Mount Juliet Golf Club, County Kilkenny; 011-353-567-3000.
The K Club, County Kildare; 011-353-1-601-7300.