Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Golf, Health and Missed Opportunities

When the GUI and ILGU launched their ’Golf and Health Week’ campaign in the middle of March, it received good exposure in the golf media. This is no doubt on the back of the campaign being an R&A initiative and it being endorsed by big-name golfers including Padraig Harrington, Zach Johnson, and Annika Sorenstam.

That ‘Week’ has arrived and it started yesterday. The initiative is running immediately after the Masters and before Easter… just one of the times when golfers come out of full hibernation. Coincidence? It seems unlikely. The golfing public are paying attention, especially in light of Tiger’s remarkable come-back victory.

It is no surprise that the objective of the campaign is to get golfers of all hues to

Thursday, April 11, 2019

The Irish at Augusta. 15 and Counting

How many Irish golfers have competed at the Masters? 

The answer is 14... or 15 if you include the elusive Steve McLowry. Here's the full list from my piece in the Irish Examiner.

It should also be noted that the slightly reworded question of: 'How many Irish golfers have competed at Augusta?' has the different (and official) answer of 15. Olivia Mehaffey completed the Augusta National Women's Amateur event last weekend in a tie for 23rd. By finishing in the top 30 after two rounds at the Champions Retreat Golf Club, she qualified to play the final round at Augusta itself.

And maybe, when the weekend is finished, we'll also have an Irish golfer wearing the Green Jacket... Steve McLowry could surprise us all. 


Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Royal Portrush - Open Championship Update

For many golfers, Royal Portrush remains a mystical place of cascading dunes and golden grasses. The Dunluce links (and its sister Valley course alongside) was designed by the legendary Harry Colt in 1932 and this, too, gives this stretch of Co. Antrim coastline a touch of mysticism. Throw in views to Dunluce Castle and ocean rocks battered by relentless waves and it is easy to understand why this golf course is lauded around the world. It is firmly entrenched in the top echelon of Top 100 world rankings just about everywhere and it isn’t hard to see why. 
It has risen to number one in both the Irish Golfer and Golf World magazine rankings

Monday, March 11, 2019

St Patrick's Day Weekend Golf 2019

Fota Island's 18th
It's becoming a tradition.
In 2019, St Patrick’s Day falls beautifully on a Sunday. As if we needed more of an excuse to celebrate our Irishness we are presented with a long weekend to relax and enjoy ourselves.
And many of us will be doing that on the golf course. It’s the start of Spring, when the fairweather golfer tentatively comes out of hibernation and golf clubs nationwide open their doors and embrace the masses. That three day weekend ensures it will be all the more embracing.
Golf clubs up and down the country are running Open events so there’s no shortage of choice. Your only challenge is choosing the course to play and the companions you want to bring with you. With luck, we won’t have to endure a snow storm like the one that arrived last year and cancelled almost every St Patrick’s Day golf event. No, this year we deserve some cool sunshine and a light breeze.
Here is a selection of events at over 30 courses... but this is by no means an exhaustive list.

MUNSTER
Ballyneety
A parkland outside Limerick that continues to improve and return to its best, Ballyneety has

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Killarney Golf Club Finds a New Synergy


The 1st green views
This is an interesting one and it demonstrates how the reach of golf management companies continues to grow in Ireland. In recent years, a number of golf clubs have sought the assistance of these companies to help them with various aspects of their golf business. It can be as simple as performing the marketing function or it can run much deeper and involve every aspect of the business from management of the club to maintenance of the course and machinery.

One such company is Synergy Golf and the company recently netted a big fish in the form of Killarney Golf & Fishing Club, one of our most prestigious and historic

Saturday, January 19, 2019

GOLF CLUBS APPROVE GOLF IRELAND PROPOSAL

After landmark votes at separate meetings held today, the Irish Ladies Golf Union and the Golfing Union of Ireland have formally approved the establishment of Golf Ireland.

The Irish Ladies Golf Union approved a special resolution at their AGM, while simultaneously the Golfing Union of Ireland passed a motion at a Special General Meeting. In the case of the GUI, for the first time in its history postal voting was permitted, and 292 of the Union’s 395 clubs availed of this facility.  A further 34 clubs attended and voted at the meeting. 269 clubs attended the ILGU AGM to cast their vote.

RESULTS
  • GUI RESULT 94% in favour of the proposal
  • ILGU RESULT  100% in favour of the proposal

The result of both votes is the outcome of a three-year process of discussion and consultation between the two Unions, internally with their respective clubs and regional bodies, and externally with key national and international stakeholders.

It will mean the game of golf in Ireland will now, for the first time, have an all-inclusive governing body.

Throughout the consultation period, the benefits of this have been acknowledged in terms of attracting funding and commercial partners, as well as providing a boost for the image of the game. Once established, Clubs will only have to deal with one body when it comes to handicapping, inter-club events, club supports and game development.

A Transition Period will immediately commence, with the intention for this to culminate with the first AGM and regional meetings of Golf Ireland happening in the final quarter of 2020, paving the way for the organisation to 'go live' on 1 January 2021. 

The transitions period will involve the organisation taking shape through creation of a regional and national structure and the drawing up of rules and processes to underpin the activities of the organisation, all overseen by a CEO who will be appointed early in the Transition Period and who will work with a Transitions Team.

The GUI and ILGU will continue to operate through the Transition Period with the transfer of functions and staff to Golf Ireland prior to the ‘go live’ date for the new organisation.  

 JOINT STATEMENT BY THE CHAIRPERSONS OF THE ILGU AND GUI BOARDS

“We are delighted with the outcome of the votes at our respective meetings, and thank everyone who has given this proposal their support.

“Bringing two strong organisations, the ILGU and GUI together to create a stronger, more influential organisation, Golf Ireland, will not only enhance golf in Ireland but will enhance Irish golf worldwide. The result today indicates that members of both Unions are in support of creating a new organisation which will be built around promoting core principles of equality, diversity, inclusion and excellence.

“The result today is a validation of the work put in by everyone involved. The input which has been received from our member clubs, our staff and volunteers, and everyone else who has in some way contributed to the final proposal should be recognised. The result of their efforts will be a new dynamic organisation, charged with the promotion of the game of golf, with a commitment to excellence and inclusivity.”

Clodagh Hopkins, Chairman of the Board of the Irish Ladies Golf Union

Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, Chairman of the Board of the Golfing Union of Ireland

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Getting Personalised at ForeGolf

The Driving Bay Studio at ForeGolf
New Year, new you. How are those resolutions coming along? If you’re a golfer then you might have made a few promises to yourself for the year ahead. Play more... play less. Join a club. Travel further afield. Work on your swing. Take lessons. Buy a new putter. Cut your handicap by a shot or two. Win the Captain’s Prize.
How many of you decided this is the year to be custom-fit for new clubs?
Let’s hear the excuses.
It’s too expensive, I’m not a good enough golfer, I’m too embarrassed with my swing, I’d need to take lessons first, I don’t understand the process. Yes, all excuses that have been heard before… and excuses that shouldn’t in any way prevent you from going to an expert who will work with what you’ve got

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Powerscourt Golf Club - A Year in Review

The 3rd hole on the East course
Powerscourt is one of Co. Wicklow’s and Leinster’s top golf resorts with 36 holes and beautiful views over the county’s countryside. It is renowned for the quality of its greens. Here is a Q&A with the club's General Manager, Gavin Hunt, outlining his thoughts on the past year.

Overall progress in 2018"The unique weather conditions (Feb/Mar and June/July) impacted not just on visitors and members but also on the club’s green-keeping team and the preparation and presentation of the golf courses. Elsewhere,