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Wounded Warriors Irish Adventure Continues


Day 2 of the trip that's brought wounded American veterans to Ireland continued at Tralee Golf Club, where the group joined Irish golfers to compete in the Golf Digest's Winter Open.

The event is part of the magazine's popular series of events, which are held across the country and draw record crowds. The biggest tournaments of their kind, they offer prizes worth over €10,000 and provide golfers with an opportunity to play Ireland's many championship courses in tournament conditions. This time, at Tralee, it also allowed Irish golfers the chance to meet the visiting Americans, and learn of the amazing way in which golf has helped them overcome the traumatic injuries they suffered while serving their country.

A documentary is being made about the trip, which involves Peter Kessler, the Emmy-winning American TV personality and journalist who is known as "The Voice of Golf," and Bobby Farrelly, the American film director, screenwriter and producer whose movies include "Something about Mary."

The documentary will showcase the best of Ireland, the country's wonderful courses and the charm and character of its towns and cities. It will also tell the tale of how these soldiers, who have had to overcome horrific injury, are putting their lives back together and working hard to create positive, exciting futures.

"It's amazing!" laughed Chad Pfeifer, one of the soldiers who lost his leg to an explosion while serving in Iraq. "It's hard to put into words how beautiful and immaculate the views are here. A lot of the guys had expectations about the Irish weather, but when you're here, the elements don't even matter. Just being here is, like I said, amazing."

Linton Walsh, who owns Golf Digest Irish Tours, the company that, with the help of Fáilte Ireland is responsible for putting the whole trip together, noted: "We all had a ball today. The guys all had a long day yesterday with their flight from the U.S. and then a day on the course at Ballybunion, but today we all hit the fairways refreshed and ready to take on the course at Tralee."

"When you're out there on the fairways, the views are just incredible and it really brings it home that Ireland is an incredible place with a lot to offer tourists," Walsh added. "I was delighted to see the documentary interviews taking place as well, because I think that with someone like Bobby Farrelly on board it will be an amazing promotional tool for the country when it's finished. This documentary will reach tens of millions of people around the world, and wouldn't have been possible without the financial support of Fáilte Ireland."

Away from the course, the golfers' families enjoyed a tour of the Ring of Kerry, the famous tourist trail in southwest Ireland, and some relaxed shopping time around Kenmare, while the younger members of the party kept look-out for the wildlife that inhabits Kerry's national park . . . and for leprechauns.

About the Trip

The injured soldiers, who all play golf, arrived with their families to sample Ireland's best. Along with accommodations, their schedule includes some of such famous courses as Tralee, The Old Head of Kinsale, Ballybunion, Waterville, Fota Island, The European Club, Portmanock, Royal County Down, Royal Portrush and Dromoland Castle.

The trip was organized by Walsh's Golf Digest Irish Tours, a joint venture company with Conde Nast in New York. Golf Digest Irish Tours is new Irish company specializing in high-end Irish golfing holidays for the American, Canadian and Asian markets.