Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Praia D'El Rey - on the Portuguese Silver Coast

I played this beauty today, at the start of a 10 day dash around the region. The weather this morning was overcast... but things brightened up a lot this evening so I headed out to the most spectacular string of holes right above the beach. The entire course is superb... but few would argue that this is where Praia D'El Rey bursts into the ranks of great European golf courses.

Some photos

View back up the 12th with the five star Marriott on the right.

The short par four 13th

The 13th again

The par three 14th green from the right hand side

The 16th green and 14th green beyond

Friday, December 7, 2018

Brand Value in Golf: A Doonbeg Case Study

You might wonder if you’ve accidentally hit the wrong key and been transported into a marketing magazine. You haven’t. Brand values may most commonly be discussed in terms of the global giants (Coke, McDonalds, Facebook, British Airways) but they are an essential component of every company, big and small, local or multinational. Protecting and projecting those values is paramount to how a company positions itself against its competitors, and how it is regarded in the eyes of its customers, suppliers and stakeholders. 
A golf club is no different. Ireland has small country parklands that few golfers outside the

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Catalogue 18 - The Perfect Golf Gift This Christmas

The front cover of Issue 1
Catalogue 18 is a new endeavour which brings together many of the world’s best golf course photographers and illustrators.
If you get enjoyment out of looking at beautiful course imagery then you probably know the names of Evan Schiller, Channing Benjamin, Aidan Bradley and Kevin Murray. This new catalogue includes all of these photographers as well as many more - including myself.
Thanks to the hard work of Canadian Guy Nicholson - a former newspaper editor, writer and golf fanatic - Catalogue 18 is developing fast. Now is your chance to get in on the ground floor, so to speak. 
Half way between a magazine and a catalogue, this is going to be bold, professional and striking… and it will come in a 300-page large format (32cm x 23cm) publication. It

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Sand, Sea and Sunsets - Enniscrone Celebrates 100 Years

It was a long time ago when I first visited Enniscrone. I was 13 and I played a links that Eddie Hackett designed in 1970. The course had been here since the 1930s but now holes slipped into the big dunes that divided the links from Killala Bay. It was also in 1970 that Hackett extended Enniscrone to 18 holes. Such an expansion was a long held dream of the golfers who called this club home… but in what has become a common theme of the past five decades, Enniscrone was never happy to rest. Instead the push for improvement and expansion, be it to the course, the facilities or the clubhouse, continued year after year.
On Sunday two weeks ago, Enniscrone launched its centenary book. And while most tomes that celebrate a club’s longevity are penned by the elderly club historian, Sand, Sea and Sunsets: 100 Years of Enniscrone Golf Clubwas written by Cathal Mullaney, a young man just 23 years old.He has played golf at Enniscrone since he started at the age of 10 and has a special tie to the place. 
“I’m obviously biased,” says Cathal, who holds a degree in Journalism, Irish and Sociology and

Monday, October 29, 2018

Food for Thought - A Clubhouse Menu

I was sitting in the Greystones Golf Club restaurant (my home club) recently, enjoying a fabulous Yellow Chicken Curry. The golfers around me looked like they were similarly impressed with their choices. There was a quiet contentment all round as we contemplated the successes and failures of our Saturday game of golf. 
At our club we have gone through our fair share of chefs and franchises in recent years but the current incumbent has raised the standard, and that is benefitting the club as a whole. Golfers are now far more willing to stick around after their game which ensures a greater

Saturday, October 20, 2018

The Lough Erne Winter Series 2018/19

The par five 6th skims along the highest
ground at Lough Erne
Lough Erne Resort launches inaugural Winter Series

Winter is coming but that doesn’t mean you should put your clubs away. Far from it. Golf clubs are running all manner of competitions and the inaugural five star Lough Erne Resort Winter Series which will be played on the Faldo Championship Course.

On the first Thursday of each month, from November 2018 to March 2019, competitors will battle it out for a place in the Grand Final on March 28, 2019.

This six-event Stableford Winter Series is open to all and the four leading male and female

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Diamond Offer for Golf at Enniscrone

This is a blog I should have written some time ago. That’s the nature of things when you end up writing for several publications – your own ‘channel’ gets forgotten or ignored. Instead of writing you put your feet up watching Strictly Come Dancing. 
I’m kidding of course. I never put my feet up when I watch Strictly*. 
The 16th green getting a heavy watering in July after weeks of no rain.
There’s also an exceptional stay-and-play type offer from the Diamond Coast Hotel that

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Doonbeg Offer Golf for €45!!!!

The par four 6th at Doonbeg
It's safe to say that Doonbeg are not my biggest fans at the moment. I am not fond of their owner and I have made this obvious on social media and on this blog. For some reason, though, they seem to think that my dislike of the President reflects a similar view of their Co. Clare links... which it doesn't.

The changes made by Hawtree have improved the course and I was very impressed when I played the 'new' Doonbeg in 2016. It has to be said that greens have lost their 'Greg Norman character' but then several greens lost that