Thursday, December 18, 2014

Top Ten Photos of Irish Golf Courses (2015)

The Island clubhouse over the 18th green.
I've taken some 4,000 photographs of Irish golf courses this year. Mad, really, when I could have been spending all that time golfing. Still, golf photography has its own rewards and taking a shot that shows off a course/hole in all its glory is incredibly satisfying.

Here are my ten favourite shots from this year, in alphabetical order. If you click on the name of the club, it will link you through to a full set of photos on Flickr.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Golf Digest Ireland Top 100 (2015)

View of Galgorm Castle's 3rd green.
The Golf Digest Ireland Top 100 Rankings are done and dusted for another year... and here they are, along with the rankings from the last 3 and 4 years. It shows some major shifts... and none at all! The top 10 have moved marginally in those years, but all have remained in the elite top 10.

County Sligo, Ballyliffin (Glashedy) and The Island are banging on the door, but for the past four years they haven't managed to break through. Adare remains the only parkland to make that elite Top 10.

On The Way Up
Those showing meteoric rises over the past five years include:

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Christmas Golfing Offers from Around the Country

The par 3 3rd at Newcastle West
Some are specifically about playing golf... others are to do with gift ideas. See if any of these float your boat?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Win a four ball to a 'Mystery' Irish Golf Club

Photo 1: the Pro Shop
The first three 'guess the mystery Irish golf course' blogs have shown that your competitive streak is alive and well.

I have another four ball to give away so here's what you need to do to get yourself a nice freebie ahead of Christmas... who knows, maybe you'll be palming this off as the perfect Christmas present for the golfer in your life.

Three clues... three photographs. Then guess the course by leaving a Comment using the Comment box below.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Irish Open... A Christmas Opportunity (£25) for Royal County Down

The par three 10th, with the 11th beyond
In 2015, the Irish Open will be played at one of the greatest golf courses in the world. This is no overstatement, exaggeration or embellishment. Royal County Down is a remarkable course that is revered worldwide. It vibrates with brilliance and perfectly reflects its glorious setting at the foot of the Mourne Mountains on Dundrum Bay.

Next May, between the 28th and 31st, many of the world’s best golfers will vie for the Irish Open title. As a spectacle it will be, well, spectacular. Rory will be centre stage, but with Ricky Fowler also confirmed, there may be a rush of big American names who will see it as an opportunity to play not only such a famous course but also to start their preparation for the Open Championship at St. Andrew’s.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Who Wants to Play Rory McIlroy? No, Seriously

The only thing is, it's not playing golf with Rory McIlroy. It's for an advertisement to play Rory at three stages of his life. 

Louise Kiely, of Louise Kiely Casting, in Dublin has been asked to cast an exciting new TV commercial starring Rory McIlroy. It will shoot in early January 2015 but casting for these three roles is next week. It is a fully paid job for the boys chosen.

She is looking for three boys to play the younger versions of Rory:

Friday, December 5, 2014

Larry and me... Photographs of The Island

The Island's clubhouse and 18th green
Not for one second am I about to compare my photography skills with the revered Larry Lambrecht, but this is still a funny coincidence.

I played The Island, yesterday, thanks to an invitation from Kevin Connolly, who organises the North West Open. It fell in with a requirement for a Golf World article I'm working on as I needed a photograph of The Island's clubhouse. After the golf, and just as the sun began to dip along the horizon, I grabbed the camera and took a few shots of the building across the 18th green.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

How Do You Yell 'Fore' in Cricket?

Phillip Hughes was buried today. He was 25. I won't repeat the story of how he died - if you don't know then you've been living under a rock.

If you play a sport that involves a hard ball being thrown or hit very hard, then there are inherent risks. If that ball is coming straight at you, then consider those risks multiplied.

In cricket, bowlers can reach speeds of close to 100mph*. In golf, the ball can reach speeds over 170mph.