While you may love playing golf, it’s quite likely you also enjoy watching other sports, whether on TV or in-person. Traveling internationally is a great time to take in a game or match of your favorite sport live, or learn about the local teams in another destination. Here are a few of our favorite ideas for adding a sporting event to your next international golf adventure.
While golf can only trace its lineage a few hundred years back, the ancient Gaelic sport of hurling has been played for over 4,000 years. While Americans may see it as resembling lacrosse or field hockey, locally, hurling is closest to Gaelic football (which is also worth catching if you have a chance). The game is fierce and often violent, and players wear very little protective equipment beyond a helmet and shin pads. As with most outdoor sports in Ireland, hurling is played through the late spring and early summer, and it can be exhilarating to join local fans in cheering on their favorite team.
Rugby in South Africa
In talking to locals in South Africa, you will probably find that they care about at least one of three sports: football (soccer), cricket, or rugby. We can’t recommend a cricket match, because they are incredibly long and complicated (which translates as “boring” to outside observers), but rugby is absolutely fun to watch. The South African national team is the Springboks, and they compete to great national acclaim annually in the Rugby World Cup, which they won in 2018. You can catch a match in Johannesburg or Cape Town or even just a watch party throughout the year.
Tennis in France
France has become a true powerhouse of football (yes, we know, soccer) in the past several decades, so you’d be as happy watching a French match as you would an English match if you’re into the sport. But the French Open at Roland Garros must be on every tennis lover’s bucket list. It scores the largest television ratings each year in tennis (tied with the U.S. Open), which means that, even if it doesn’t offer the large payouts of the other Grand Slam events or have the prestige of being the oldest event (that goes to Wimbledon), it’s a pretty popular sporting event. If you’re going to play Le Golf National in Paris in the summer, why not add in an afternoon at Roland Garros as well?
American College Football in Dublin
If you’re a die-hard NCAA Football fan, you’ll be pleased to know you can see college football (not soccer, this time) when you’re in Ireland. Ireland hosts a college game every two years in Dublin, usually with at least one Catholic-affilliated team, most notably the storied Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Formerly referred to as the Emerald Isle Classic, the AerLingus College Football Classic, as this game is now called, is usually the first game of the season for the two teams playing, and thus takes place late in the summer, in August or early September. If you’re a die-hard Notre Dame or Navy fan planning your summer 2020 travel plans, including this game in your golf adventure itinerary could make it even more of a bucket list trip for you.
Of course, seeing The Irish Open, The Scottish Open, or The Open are major life moments for any golf fan. We love helping our clients find the right sporting events to round out their golf tours anywhere in the world and we’re more than happy to help you acquire tickets to any of the aforementioned events. Get in touch today for a free quote on your next golf adventure!