The initial prize consisted of 3 rounds in St Andrews; Kingsbarns, the Castle and Old Course. In Ireland it would be 2 rounds; the Old and Cashen at Ballybunion. We were supposed to stay at the guest house in Ballybunion, which is out of town and off the course. No biggie, just something different. Hey, it's the prize, it will be nice.
We had to book the trip by the end of May, and had to take the trip by the end of the year. Thinking of dates, I didn't want to go when it's too cold to enjoy a vacation, nor during rainy season (I know. I know.) nor during when it's just way too crowded. Plus, with my wife's schedule, September seemed to be the ideal time. Just had to work around the Dunhill Links which they moved up 2 weeks to the end of September this year. And other R&A club events at the Old. Plus pre-booked times. So we went back and forth and settled on leaving Labor Day. Cool.
Shortly after settling on the date, I checked the itinerary. It was updated showing the Jubilee course. Ok, no preference between the Castle or Jubilee. Going to play whatever the book. I also noticed that they changed the Cashen course at Ballybunion for Adare. Adare? A quick google search turns up that it's about 1.5 hours away. Will I have to rent a car for this? I don't want to drive over there if I don't have to, especially in Ireland with the tight roadways. Then I see that they have us staying in Adare. In an old stone hotel that's a few hundred years old. Kind of cool. Then I googled the golf course. It hosted back to back Irish Opens! Nice...but it also has the highest winning score since 1986.
So it is set. Leave Monday. Land Tuesday. Play Jubilee, Kingsbarns, the Old Course. Travel on Friday from Scotland to Ireland. Play Ballybunion and Adare. Come back home the following Monday. All set!