Tuesday, October 6, 2015

St. Margaret's Golf Club - a Re-evaluation (and a free 4ball)

Views to the clubhouse over the 1st green.
When I contacted St Margaret's Golf Club in September last year, ahead of the 3rd edition of Hooked going to print, I was informed that the course was not in great shape. In the preceding years the course had been 'let go' and its lustre had been dulled.

Here was a course widely regarded as one of the best around Dublin, so the county's golfers must have been

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Druid's Glen The Winter Series

It’s great to see some winter golfing events doing the rounds. Golf courses can often be too quiet as the fair-weather golfers pack up for the cooler months. So it’s very welcome to see clubs coming out with fresh/interesting ideas. 

The exquisite Druid’s Glen has decided to give golfers something rather special to aim for… four qualifying events, four big prizes and one bigger prize… in the Audi

Friday, October 2, 2015

Gimme Gimme Gimme - the Psychology of Calling a Penalty in Golf

Last Sunday, it was the semi-final of our golf club's annual Father & Son tournament. Dad and I were up against a pairing we lost to three years ago. Playing off 9 and 4 they were a formidable and knowledgeable team. So, when the father started brushing away a few grains of sand with his putter on the 3rd green I was surprised. Penalty, right!

But, as we well know, some of the rules of

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Arklow Golf Links - September Sunshine

Views over the 7th, 6th and on to the distant 8th
at Arklow Golf Club.
Yesterday was the last day of September, and the sun was out to show us what a late burst of Indian Summer sunshine feels like... once again proving the beauty of Irish weather late in the golfing season.

I was at Arklow Golf Club, playing with Dermot Synnott, of Destination Golf and Top Golfer acclaim, and at 3.10pm we had the course pretty much to ourselves. This is a sweet links course and one of only three on the east coast, south of Dublin (The European and Rosslare being the other two).  It is well worth the trip down from Dublin, as it now takes little more than 30 minutes following the opening of the new section of the M11.

As you can see from yesterday's photos, it is well worth a visit and the course was in wonderful condition. Over-seeding has been completed so the greens (with all their big swings and interesting shapes) are a touch slower than you might expect on a links - although they are not slow and the roll is perfect.

I'll let the pics do the talking but if you're interested in joining a club, Arklow have an annual membership offer of €599, and, if you're prepared to commit for three years, they may even give it to you for less than that.

As for the golf, well, nothing says commitment like this image. All square on the 18th, €2 on the line...
copyright Kevin Markham
Bunker shot from one of the notorious bunkers on Arklow's 18th.
And here's a video of how you play a bunker shot... watch where it ends up... and, yes, he still made par.


Tee shot on the par four 8th at Arklow Golf Club
Late sun on the 8th green, Irish Sea beyond.
The opening hole at Arklow Golf Links, hitting towards the sea
and the Arklow Bank of wind turbines. 
Views from the 12th fairway towards the 17th green and the clubhouse.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Irish Golfer Issue 6 - Slieve Russell

The charge of Irish Golfer Magazine continues apace with the 6th issue now on the shelves, in clubhouses and online, here.

I made a return visit to Slieve Russell, in Co. Cavan, for this edition and I took my dad along for the day... and a round of golf blessed by glorious sunshine. There's no doubt that there's a 'hidden gem' feel to the place - a bizarre quirk given the exceptional quality of this big parkland experience - but for those who have played here they know full well just how good it is.

Considering the volume of maintenance that goes into the course, that is no surprise.

Here are a few photos I took on the day. It should

Monday, September 28, 2015

Irish Links, a Canuck, and a Solo Golfing Adventure.

Carne Golf Links
A while back I received a comment on this blog, from William Morgan, a Canadian golfer who was coming on a solo golfing trip to Ireland. Thoughts and suggestions were exchanged as he was heading to the north west - one of my favourite parts of Ireland for golf... and just about everything.

William has now been and gone to this fair isle and he has written some succinct thoughts on Ireland, Irish roads (and car hire), Irish weather, Irish terminology and the nine courses he visited. It's always interesting to read what our friends on the other side of the Atlantic think about the Irish golf experience. For one, it's nearly always positive... and for two, they might point out certain failings, as Mr Morgan has done.

William goes as far as rating the courses into a selection of top threes. Take a look here on the Toronto Golf Nuts forum.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Communications Executive required by GUI

Carton House, the headquarters of the GUI.
A Jobs Alert for anyone who feels that Irish golf is their natural environment.  

The Golfing Union of Ireland wishes to appoint a Communications Executive to join their team at GUI National Headquarters in Maynooth, Co. Kildare.

Reporting to the Communications Manager, the Communications Executive will have excellent written communications

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Golf... Fashion or Freak Show

It is said that bad things happen in threes... I disagree... clearly they come in fours

Four German golfers 'living it large' (or something like that) at
Portmarnock links

Has golf fashion gone too far? Of course it has. Check out the article on page 7 of this week's Irish Golfer Digital magazine, here.