Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Winter Golf & Accommodation... try the Clanree Hotel in Donegal

The par five 15th at Narin & Portnoo.
Let's not beat about the bush... there are Irish holiday breaks galore around Ireland at the moment, with many of these targeted at golfers. If you tie accommodation and golf together you have an easy and attractive mix. The challenge is finding one that fits your budget and appeals to your golfing ambitions... and given the volume of courses and hotels at our disposal that is hardly going to be an arduous task
From the high end offers (K ClubCastlemartyr and Lough Erne), to the astounding

Monday, January 15, 2018

Portmarnock Links Winter Golf Pass

The Links at Portmarnock have a special Winter Pass at the moment. Running from January to the end of March, it's a very tasty deal.

For €550 you get unlimited golf between now and the end of March, seven days a week, playing off the turf... so no mats required. There are plenty of golfers who have memberships at Dublin parkland clubs who may not visit their home courses during these quiet months because of temporary greens, wet fairways and bunkers out of play due to flooding... so this offer ensures top quality golf for the next three months. If you like, look at it as keeping your eye in for the main season ahead. 

And who knows, maybe you'll like it so much much you'll want to join Portmarnock Links full-time.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Top and Tail - the perfect end/start to the year

It is not often that you leave one year playing golf at your favourite Irish parkland and start the next year playing your favourite links.

Sometimes you just get lucky I guess.
The par five 5th at Druids Glen on New Year's Eve.
On December 31st, four of us rolled up to Druids Glen. The sun was out, trying to ward

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Euro prize limit reduced in Ireland for amateur golfers

The GUI announced the following today:

Euro prize limit reduced in Ireland for amateur golfers
Following requests from affiliated golf clubs in Ireland, the Amateur Status Prize Limit in the Euro area in Ireland will be lowered from €750 to €575 and will take effect from 1st February 2018.
The move, which is supported by The R&A following requests for consideration by the Golfing Union of Ireland and the Irish Ladies Golf Union, will ensure that the Prize Limit for amateur golf is now better aligned to the Sterling Pound limit of £500 and continual review of this will be undertaken by both Unions to assess the impact of this change.
Speaking about this decision, Pat Finn CEO of the Golfing Union of Ireland said: "The feedback from our clubs was that the limit was set too high in the Euro area and it needed to be brought into line with that of the Sterling zone. Working with the Irish Ladies Golf Union we approached The R&A and they supported the lowering of the limit. We welcome this support from The R&A and both Unions will monitor the effects of the change over the coming months.”
Under Rule 3-2a of the Rules of Amateur Status, which are jointly approved by The R&A and the USGA, an amateur golfer must not accept a prize (other than a symbolic prize) or prize voucher of retail value in excess of £500. This limit applies to the total prizes or prize vouchers received by an amateur golfer in any one competition or series of competitions, but does not include hole-in-one prizes. Under Rule 3-1, an amateur golfer must not play for prize money of any amount.

I'd be pretty certain that we all know someone who has won a prize that threatens the €750 limit... let alone €575. There has been a trend since the early 2000s to increase the value of prizes to ever greater heights. It seems to be almost an ego thing, especially with Captain's prizes.

In my opinion such significant prizes (holidays, TVs, sets of clubs) only encourage cheating, in its various guises. I hope that ALL organisations running amateur golf tournaments take note and appreciate that bigger prizes don't mean better competitions... sometimes the exact opposite.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Top Ten Golf Course Photos 2017

Here is a list of my top ten golf course photographs for the year. It's been a busy one and a very enjoyable one, too.

1. Portstewart Golf Club, in the weeks before the Irish Open, looked magnificent. For a photographer, the light was glorious. I could have chosen all 10 'best' photos from those taken in these towering dunes... but I've landed on two. The angle for this shot of the 6th green is unusual (the tee is to the right of the sand, about 2 o'clock) but the flag, overwhelmed by the dunes, demonstrates perfectly what you will face at this links.
The 6th green, Portstewart Golf Club

2. The 2nd hole at Portstewart is a short par four. This lone golfer shows the scale of

Sunday, December 24, 2017

The 2017 Christmas Golf Quiz

The Christmas Golf Quiz Goodie Box

If Christmas Day proves a touch boring or you just need 30 minutes of quiet time after the turkey feast... take the irishgolfblog 2017 Christmas Golf Quiz. 

There are over 40 questions and I've now added the answers at the bottom of the blog. 

Congrats to Ronan Byrne on winning the Golf Goodie Box. He correctly predicts that Tiger will win the Masters!!!

Q.30 The 2017 IGTOA Golf Resort of the Year
  1. Paul Dunne won the British Masters at Close House, in September. What Irish

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Doonbeg's Sea Defences Approved - the Good, Bad and Ugly

The new 14th, looking across White Strand
beach to the resort.
On Thursday 21st December, Clare County Council granted planning permission for Trump Doonbeg to build coastal defences to protect its links golf course. It is little surprise that this permission is going to be discussed on this blog... as it has been in the past.

So let's consider it under three headings: the good, the bad and the ugly.

But before we get started there's one thing I'd like you to consider and it is this: for the

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Christmas Golf... Time to Get Planning

Weather be damned... golf is golf... so consider some of the competitions and offers which will be in play over the Christmas and New Year period. There are plenty of them... here are 22 clubs to get you started.
Arklow Golf Links
If you want to find out what's on near you, take a look at the Open Fixtures tab on