Coming this Winter to Druids Glen is a series of open competitions that may set the tone for future open series in Ireland in 2018 and beyond. An alliance is coming that sets no limits.
Amateur GUI/ILGU handicap golfers may get to play alongside and compete with PGA professionals in a stableford format.
The Druids Glen Resort Winter Alliance sponsored by Titleist is running from the 23rd of October until the 11th of December, it will then go into recess until the 15th of January 2018 and run until the 2nd of March.
The series will conclude in an event where weekly winners will join the 20 players that opted to be included on an order of merit.
The events will be played over the Glen (€50pp) and Heath (€30pp) courses – those that opt into the order of merit are eligible for a discounted rate.
For some, this weekend is the time of year when they go down to the shed or venture under the stairs to untangle their golf clubs from all the other clutter. For others, it just marks the time of year when they can no longer pick up their ball, clean it and replace it on a nice tuft of grass and continue on their way to running up a half-centuary-not-out type score (the less said about that, the better.)
While Mr Kevin Markham may have beaten me to the punch in terms of where you can play an open on St. Patrick’s Day – 39 venues open and the list is growing – I have chosen a few others that are on over the course of the what is considered, to be the beginning of the hacker’s golf season.
The weather has been overly kind this week, all but a few courses will be in great shape with that long-awaited for return in natural growth, the greenkeepers will be kept busy.
The below fixtures all take place over the 18/19 March 2017. Please confirm your tee times with club.
And finally, for the month that’s in it. Please check out the GUI Handicap Awareness Campaign, #TheFairway – one of the best campaigns the organisation has presented in a very long time, and a much-needed one. Well done to all those involved.
The European Club in County Wicklow are running their Winter open season yet again.
Open days for players with valid G.U.I. or I.L.G.U. handicap cards and professionals who will play off scratch will take place every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday (after 10am on Sundays). until Sunday, December 18, 2016. They will resume on thursday January 5, 2017.
Entrance fee is €60pp for visitors.
OPEN SENIORS Singles will take place on the first and third mondays in November, December, January, February and March. Open to players of 50-years-of-age and over on the day of the event. Open to holders of valid G.U.I. or I.L.G.U. handicap cards and professionals who will play off scratch. Entrance fee €35pp to visitors.
Patrick Ruddy Jr adds:
We are also commencing the 8TH IRISH FOURBALL MATCHPLAY at The European Club.
Entries for the 2017 event open on Monday, October 24 and first round games must be played on or before Thursday, December 22. The entry fee is €100 per pair.
Players may arrange their own opposition for round one or just enter and have the club produce opposition. You play with no extra fee until beaten. Re-entry is allowed to losers at the same fee.
Again, play is allowed from Monday to Saturday all day, and from 10.30am onwards on Sundays.
The draw for round two will take place on December 27 and rounds will proceed at approximate three weekly intervals (depending on the number of entries and therefore number of rounds) from January 3 onwards
Without another bank holiday weekend on the horizon until October, for some, the August bank hollier will be the last extended weekend of golf. There may be no finer way to see it out than to play golf, guilt free, on a Monday.
There will be three Scratch Cups up for grabs, as well as a whole number of Open Singles events.
The Roganstown & Swords Pro-Am in aid of Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital tees off on 12 September 2016.
Prices per team range from €330 to €390 (there are early and late start times available on both courses) All fees include* breakfast, goodie bags, snacks and either a buffet lunch or post round 3 course meal.
Roganstown Hotel & Country Club will be offering special overnight accommodation rate for those competing. To reserve a slot for your team, please contact Ciaran Flaherty (Business Development Manager & Golf Sales) on +353 87 6886092 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kicking off in mid August, courses are sure to play in their summer prime.
The cost of the three day golfing marathon is €360pp: included in that are three nights bed and breakfast in the stunning Knightsbrook Hotel, golf and gala dinner. A golf only package is available at €105pp and also includes gala dinner.
A generous prize fund is on offer; in excess of €3000, longest drive and nearest the pin prizes will also be available on each day.
The European Challenge Tour 2016 will make two stops in Ireland this year.
The first port of call will be Ballymena’s Galgorm Castle, home of the 2015 Northern Ireland Open. This year, in the absence of the Irish Open the event will be the premier professional golf tournament to be staged in the province. The competition will run from 28-31 July.
In September, Mount Wolseley will again set the stage for the Volopa Irish Challenge – this year’s event may well be poignant with the loss of tournament ambassador, the late Christy O’Connor Jnr (course designer). An early autumn date is scheduled (8-11 September) with a prize fund of €180,000 on offer.
Both courses can be enjoyed by you leading into the Challenge Tour events. Catch the courses in their manicured magnificence this year.
Galgorm Castle are currently running an open series until the end of March from as little as £15 per round. Summer opens start from £20 while general weekend rack rates are £60.
Mount Wolseley, during 2015 held a regular series of open events with prices ranging from €21-€26 and were open to all, we should expect something similar when they release the summer 2016 listings.
So, go on, challenge yourself this year at either championship course.
In general, the outlook is good. Strong dollar/sterling versus euro rates , a 9% VAT rate in the hospitality sector, and, the long-standing view that Ireland is a safe place to visit.
These are three, of many factors that compliment an effective, high-impact marketing campaign by Fáilte Ireland, making this island an attractive destination.
Where does golf fit into this? – This, is still uncertain.
A quick scan across numerous platforms indicate that golf tourism has largely fallen off the agenda, perhaps, left to private tour companies, various club alliances and individuals to promote.
The last activity on the @Golf_Ireland account was in March 2014, the final golf related entry on the Fáilte Ireland website was also March 2014 while over on Discover Ireland things are slightly better with some content added in 2015, however tabs generally lead to dead ends.
Golf in Ireland is an accessible and popular activity and should be restored into the “package tourism” programme.
Played over three days (4/5/6 July 2016) it takes shape in a 3 person team format, golfers can compete for team and individual glory with a generous prize fund of €6000 on offer.
You can book your place here. The deadline for early bird spots has passed but great value still exists at the rate of €139 per golfer (consider that rack rates for these courses during peak summer can reach €140)
It’s a unique golfing experience on the edge of the world and one event, that’s not to be missed.