Sunday, February 19, 2017

A Kings Ransom at Lough Erne This May

There are so many great tournaments, classics and events being run across Ireland that it can be difficult to keep up. You spot an opportunity to play a great course or to try to qualify for some glorious prize, only to discover that the opportunity has passed you by.

Not this time!
The 17th tee, looking towards the resort.
Leading amateur golfers from Ireland now have the opportunity to play Lough

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Golfers ‘Rock and Hole’ Holywood Golf Club

There are plenty of charity events going on in golf clubs around the country and trying to find ways to make them attractive is one of the big challenges.  So ‘Golf and Guitars’ makes a bit of a splash, doesn’t it!

The event in question will be taking place at Holywood Golf Club, where local superstar Rory McIlroy learned his trade, on 19 May '17. Golfers will tune up and tee off against a mix of celebrities and well-known local musicians, and the proceeds will go towards the Mary Peters Trust, to help the budding sports stars of tomorrow.
Mary Peters and Andrew Hollywood
Already stars like Brian McFadden and Keith Duffy from Boyzlife have

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Irish Golf Clubs Sparking Debate

There are certain Irish courses which are constantly discussed in terms of how good they are… or how over-rated they are... Sometimes they just lead to bemusement. Most of our Irish golf courses sail under the radar but when it comes to green fees, difficulty and what comprises good design, here are six which constantly generate

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Top 150 Golf Courses in Ireland - Destination Golf

The new guide to Ireland’s Top 150 Courses has just been published by Destination Golf. This is the second year the guide has been produced and it is 178 pages long (16 more than last year)… that’s a substantial size when you get your hands on it. It is a glossy and impressive production (online or in hard copy) with dozens of photographs and reviews of all 150 golf courses.

Courses are rated across three categories: Platinum, Gold and Silver.

You’ll find my favourite courses included… which is no surprise as I am the editor of this particular guide. Destination Golf also produces guides to Spain, Portugal and Turkey, as well as Europe’s Top 100 Stay & Play Resorts, just in case you’re thinking of a holiday anytime soon.
Portmarnock's 9th hole
You’ll find the new guide in clubhouses around the country – they’re free – and also online (click here), so grab a copy, put your feet up and check out what Destination Golf consider to be the top 150 courses on this. Those photos should help you find somewhere new to play this year.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Irish Golf Expo Feb 25 & 26... On Your Way!

Strandhill Golf Club
For many of us, the golf season hasn’t yet kicked in. The days are still too short, the frost, the temporary greens, the rain, the placing, the day of the week. Yes, fairweather golfers find any old excuse to avoid a round of golf. Bizarre, isn’t it when we claim to love this game of ours so much.

Well, stay in hibernation if you like but there is something in the near future which should send a shiver

Friday, January 27, 2017

Economic Benefit of The Open Championship 2016... Stg £110 Million

Copyright Kevin Markham
Royal Troon
I was sent a press release today by the very nice people at Visit Scotland (see edited highlights below). It’s a fascinating read on two levels: first is the detail and the importance placed by Scotland on the Open Championship; and second, done right, this bodes well for Northern Ireland and Royal Portrush in 2019.

The attention-grabbing headline number is this: there was a Stg £110 million benefit to Scotland from the 145th Open at

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Rathcore Golf Club... Yours for €650K

Yes, sad but true, but Rathcore has not made it through the decade of recession unscathed. Despite the valiant efforts of the members the club was forced to 'close' late last year.

It didn't close completely: the members are keeping it open a few days a week, ensuring the 124-acre Rathcore Golf Club is maintained... and enjoyed... and I take heart from that. It is one of my favourite courses (it gets a "Top Ten Parkland" nomination in the 3rd edition of Hooked) and while it may not have the big glamour of  a Mount Juliet or the length of a Killeen Castle, but it is intimate, clever and thoroughly enjoyable. Thoroughly!

Rathcore Golf Club
The 18th green at Rathcore
If you fancy purchasing this peach of a golf course and the two-storey clubhouse for a 'snip' at €650,000... here's the Irish Times spread.

Those lucky €88 million Euromillions winners could have a field day. I'm available to advise... for a modest fee.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Golf Digest Ireland Top 100 Ireland Courses 2017

Galway Bay at 63rd
The 2017 golf course rankings by Golf Digest Ireland have finally been released. These are laid out below. Just like last year you can pick and needle and doubt and gripe and despair at what you see here, but that's rankings for you.

Courses highlighted in green are those that have made significant moves.

Courses highlighted in blue are