A Guide To Ballybunion Golf Club In Ireland

Ballybunion Golf Club in the south west of Ireland was founded in 1893 and for a great many golfers it is one of the most beautiful and idyllic links-style golf courses in the world. It regularly finds itself included in the top fifty courses in the world by most golfing magazines (even as recently as 2005, it made the number 7 slot in Golf Digest).

There are two championship golf courses to experience at Ballybunion Golf Club, both of which are served by a single club house. The first course built was the Old Course in 1893. The second is the Cashen Course which was created in 1984, although its greens and fairways have nestled in admirably over the intervening years so it hardly looks any different from the Old Course.

To clarify one point, it is the Old Course which normally ranks highly and the one to play if you are stuck for time. That said, The Cashen Course can provide an equally challenging and thoroughly enjoyable game of golf especially when the Atlantic breeze is factored into a game.

Both of the courses are traditional links style courses with their own character that follow a winding path alongside the beach. This part of the coastline receives strong ocean winds and extra difficulty is provided in the form of a variety of dunes (some of which provide for enjoyable blind second shots), pristine greens and undulating fairways.

The club features a driving range, a chipping green with bunkers and putting greens to practice on prior to a round of golf. If anything, the club house does prove to be a slight disappointment for some golfers because of its modern styling. This may feel a little out of sync with the long heritage of the course (for some people) but it is a comfortable clubhouse with every amenity to enjoy a great round of golf and perhaps some dinner and a drink afterward.

The Old Course starts with a first hole featuring the strangest of hazards along the right hand side – an old cemetery. The pace of the opening nine is dictated in part by the prevailing wind on the 4th, 5th and 6th holes which all play in the same direction into the wind. This makes almost 1,500 yards into a head-wind that can be a draining start on the opening holes.

That said, the 4th hole is a picture perfect par-5 with a blind second shot over the dunes. For the uninitiated, there are white stones placed on the large mound that rises 25 feet above the fairway that marks the line to take. Similar place markers are located around the course to aid on the several blind shots at Ballybunion Golf Club.

The unique 5th hole (known as the Dell) is a 190 yard par-3 hole with a blind tee shot – a real rarity in on a par-3 even for Ireland. Fortunately though, the hole has a sloping green that channels long shots back to the green surface (so aim to play long rather than short). Just with the fourth hole, the pitching line is indicated from the tee with a large white stone on the obstructing sand dune.

The back 9 at the Old Course has just as many challenging holes to play but most play with the wind on your back so it can prove less daunting. But I won’t spoil the surprise for you in this article by going into exacting detail of some of the challenges on the back nine, as that would only spoil the fun of discovering the course for yourself.

The sister Cashen Course at Ballybunion Golf Club is admittedly not as challenging as the Old Course but is worth the visit as the terrain has been put to equally good use and the fairways and greens are just as consistent as on the Old Course.

With many other great golf clubs in the region, the area has the range of courses to offer a very enjoyable golfing holiday. And while some would consider this region of Ireland to be relatively remote, this only adds to the fun of playing golf in such a picturesque and unspoilt setting.

A Guide To Traditional Irish Cuisine In Doolin Ireland

It is a fairly safe bet to say that Irish cuisine is perceived on the world stage as being bland thanks to the many ‘potato-related’ jokes and quips. Thankfully, the boom that the Celtic Tiger economy gave to Irish society also brought an appreciation of European and World cuisine that has prompted a huge resurgence in restaurant attendances and restaurant openings. This article shines a spotlight on the coastal town of Doolin Ireland which is leading the way in culinary terms for its range and depth of dining options and picks out some of the gems to be found in the area.

What will possibly surprise the average visitor to Ireland are the wonderful dining options that can now be found outside the bigger cities, in the coastal towns and country villages. One village that is leading the way is Doolin on the Irish west coast.

For many years the town has been known for its traditional Irish music which attracts musicians and music fans from all over the globe. But it is now the food in Doolin hotels, restaurants and pubs that is starting to draw in a new wave of culinary tourists.

In the heart of the village sits Cullinan’s Hotel and Restaurant. Their menu focuses on using the seafood and shellfish caught off the nearby coast and delivered daily to the local Doolin harbor. The overall spirit of the menu is one of classic Mediterranean spices and flavor combinations that really complement the fish used.

As with many restaurants in the area, using locally sourced produce is a matter of great pride in supporting their local suppliers and the standard of produce is quite high thanks to the region’s strong farming heritage.

For more romantic dinners, food lovers head to the 15th Century Ballinalacken Castle (a hotel and restaurant) a short drive from town. Their standard and a-la-carte menu is a wonderful parade of French-style dishes that make great use of the beef, veal, fish and organic legumes from the region. Dining here is made just that extra bit special thanks in no small part to the regal decor of the castle’s dining room along with the panoramic vista out across Galway Bay (sunsets on summer evenings are particularly nice here).

If you are simply unsure of what type of dining option you and your group wishes to enjoy then a visit to the Aran View Hotel north of Doolin village has plenty of options. The informal option is to go for the bar menu of wholesome pub fare and enjoy the best views out to the Aran Islands (from which the hotel and restaurant took its name). It is worth noting that this hotel bar is family friendly with a laidback atmosphere and occasional music sessions on summer evenings. The hotel restaurant provides a slightly more formal option which caters for regular and a-la-carte dining options for a proper sit down dinner.

And finally, a trip to Doolin Ireland would not be complete without experiencing the musical entertainment in its bars. It is possible to combine the music with informal pub fare in most of the bars in town. If you were to choose but two, then McGann’s Pub and Restaurant or O’Connor’s Pub both provide great music and hearty pub fare with menus full of scrumptious seafood chowder and Irish stews, along with other Irish favorites. The one proviso is to get along before the music starts as these pubs are renowned for their traditional Irish music so the bar has a tendency of filling up quickly most evenings.

Whether you are rushing off to the Aran Islands or heading off to see the nearby Cliffs of Moher, it is worth taking a time-out and making a stop in Doolin to sample some of the best seafood in Ireland.

Kollywood: the Tamil Movie Industry

Less known outside of India than its famous Mumbai cousin Bollywood, South India’s Tamil movie industry has a large following in India and in Tamil communities around the world.

The home of the Tamil language film industry is the South Indian city of Chennai (formerly Madras), a city that has been producing movies from the year 1916. Tamil cinema industry is also called Kollywood, as many films are produced in district of Kodambakkam in Chennai. Tamil films have become popular not only in Tamil Nadu but also in other parts of the world where there are large Tamil populations, including Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore. Directors from other parts of South India have also started to make films in Chennai in a variety of local languages, including Telugu and Kannada.

The History of Tamil Movies

The first Tamil movie to be produced in Madras (now Chennai) was Keechaka Vaadham or “The Destruction of Keechaka” in 1916. The first films were silent, but the 1931 movie Kalidas changed everything, and soon talking movies were being made at an increasing pace. The Electric Theatre in Chennai started to show silent movies, and soon the Lyric Theatre was showing silent films as well. In the early days, movies were often shown in tent cinemas. However, the first cinema to show movies full time in the city was the Gaiety cinema that was built in 1912 and can still be found on Mount Road in Chennai.

Short silent movies were shot around Chennai in the 1920’s, and in 1930’s studios were being set up in around South India. In the early films, the stories and characters were inspired by traditional folk music. In the 1940s, however, Chennai was becoming the centre of film studios in South India. The Gemini and the Vijaya Vauhini Studios appeared and the famous AVM Studios moved to Chennai. The city was now the centre of the emerging Tamil language movie industry.

The first film that gained commercial success around the country was the 1948 film Chandralekha. This is still seen as one of the most important movies in the local film industry.

Tamil Cinema Today

Together with Bollywood cinema, Tamil-language film industry makes some of the most popular movies in India. Recent Tamil hit movies include the 2007 film Sivaji: The Boss. This movie was hugely popular not just in India, but also abroad including the UK. The film Kanchivaram has been seen at the Toronto International Film Festival and other films that have gained appreciation and popularity abroad include Thevar Magan and Nayagan. During the 20th century alone, it is estimated that five thousand Tamil movies were produced, and the amount is growing. The Telugu and the Hindi movie industries also remake some of the most successful Tamil films.

Some of the most famous actors from the early days were P.U. Chinnappa and M.K.Thyagaraja Bhagavathar. Sivaji Ganesan and M.G. Ramachandaran became very successful between the 1950s and the 1970s, and today some of the brightest stars in Tamil-language cinema are Kamal Haasan and Rajnikanth. New stars are also appearing in the Chennai film industry.

In 2007, the increasingly productive Tamil movie industry released a total of 108 films. Budgets for the films are growing, however the most expensive film the Chennai film industry has ever produced was the 1948 movie Chandralekha. Tamil film music is also very popular and interest in film music has increased in the recent years. Some of the most famous music directors in Tamil films are A.R. Rahman and Ilayaraaja. The cinema industry is also linked to local politics in many ways. Some film directors and scriptwriters, as well as actors and actresses, have made it into politics

Creating and Sharing Fireworks Pictures

Fireworks pictures display stunning arrays of abstract and geometric patterns and colors, and photographers are naturally drawn to any opportunity to try their hand at capturing them.  While anyone can make interesting shots of blurred light, composing and freezing fireworks for a marketable shot requires specific techniques, and some good equipment.

How to Make Them

The best technique to produce great shots of fireworks at night is to use a wide open aperture and set the camera on a sturdy tripod.  The ideal setup requires a tripod, cable release or remote infrared trigger, and a camera.  With film and digital SLR cameras, the exposure can be set to stay open recording multiple images on a single frame or capture.  This results in several consecutive bursts of fireworks being recorded.  If the camera is on a tripod on stable ground with proper focus, the light show will come out sharp and properly exposed.
With no professional quality camera available, a point and shoot digital camera is the next best option.  Most models on the market today, like the Olympus Stylus 1050, Nikon Coolpix, or any in the Canon Powershot series have scene selections for fireworks, or allow manual control.  If the exposure and aperture need to be set manually, experiment with exposures of 1/8 second and lower, and keep the aperture wide, at f5.6 or more.

An important consideration for a camera when shooting fireworks is control.  As long as your camera allows you to choose a scene setting, or adjust settings manually, successful fireworks pictures can be created.  If all else fails, set your point and shoot camera on a wall or stable surface, and set the self-timer to avoid camera shake.

Share Your Fireworks Pictures Online free

The biggest joy of photography, whether it is done professionally or as a hobby, is showing off your best shots.  Fortunately, there are many options for free photo sharing, and accounts are easy to set up.  Two of the most popular photo sharing sites are Flickr, and Photobucket.  These sites make signing up for an account extremely simple.

To get started, visit the Photobucket or Flickr websites, and follow the instructions.  With the free accounts, you get a generous amount of storage space, the option to upload from a mobile phone, and you can easily share photos uploaded to these sites on your Facebook or other social media page.

Making Money with Your Photos

There are dozens of stock photography websites, such as iStock and Shutterstock, looking for fresh and well made photographs for their databases.  These sites typically accommodate buyers and sellers.  For photographers, once you have registered a free account, and demonstrated your talents with a sample of your work, your pictures are available for sale.  When your photos sell, you receive anywhere from a 10% to 40% royalty.

These websites are ideal for people looking to purchase fireworks pictures, but for those who wish to sell them, a multi-pronged approach may be necessary.  Marketing pictures for greeting cards through Smugmug or PhotoStockPlus is an easy way to get professional looking materials for distribution.

Another way to earn revenue from selling your fireworks pictures could be do put together a calendar, or placing your photographs on coffee mugs.   There are services on the internet such as “zen print” that provide complete order fulfillment to satisfy your customers.   They will handle everything involved in the transaction.   From taking the initial order, to manufacturing the product, to order fulfillment.   All you will need to do is figure out where to cash the check.

Whether you are selling or making pictures of fireworks for pure enjoyment, keep shooting.  Nothing replaces persistence and meticulous effort in photography.