Friday, July 13, 2018

Open Weeks... Slieve Russell for €30

Of all the Top Tier Irish golf courses out there, Slieve Russell offers some of the best value going. And with Open Week starting this Sunday (15th July) you can play this Paddy Merrigan-designed beauty for just €30. That's an irresistible price - seriously!

Here are the details and some photos to inspire you to make a booking. The course opened in 1992 and has matured spectacularly over the Co. Cavan rolling landscape.








The full set of my Slieve Russell images is here.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Greystones Golf Club Open Week 2018

The par three 1st - a surprisingly tricky start. (Photo
from Monday afternoon)
In my opinion, you won’t play on better greens this year. Yes, that’s a spectacular claim with the DDF Irish Open in full swing at Ballyliffin (and I played Ballyliffin’s Glashedy links on Wednesday), but I also played Greystones on Monday and the greens are running fast… scratch that… they’re like lightning. The current weather has given the course that crispy, dry feel but the greens here are always one of the club's key features, so it's not like the perfect putting surfaces are down to the recent weeks of sunshine.


And with Open Week only a few days away, you can experience my home club’s greens as well as the course where Paul Dunne played as a youngster and continues to play today.

It is a par 69 and while many think that makes it a short or easy course… don’t! Greystones will test you with its two different nines and its stand-out holes: 
Front Nine
Holes 4, 6, 7 and 8 make the front nine the more exciting and shapely of the two - the holes loop around Jones' Hill overlooking the sea and with views across to Bray Head and beyond. The picture below is of the 5th green, taken from the 6th tee. Look at those tiers! (And there will be a few tears on this hole, that I can promise you.)
Photograph from Monday afternoon
Back Nine
Holes 10, 13, 15 and 16 deliver the greatest impact on the back nine which is a more rhythmic and calmer routing through the trees. That said, I have always enjoyed the 17th (pic below) as it throws in a really tough hole late in the day. Water lies short of the shallow green and you need to be inch perfect to avoid that, as well as the bunker behind.
Ring 01-2874136 or check online at http://www.greystonesgc.com 

Entry fee is a mere €20 and this includes entry into the twos... and with five par threes you'll have plenty of chances!




Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Lough Erne – offers and events this summer

The current issue of Irish Golfer Magazine includes an article reviewing Lough Erne. Three golfers joined me in April to assess the course and there were some interesting observations. Here’s a link to the article.
The walkway to the 1st hole at Lough Erne.

If you fancy some golf on a big and plush parkland (lakeland) course, the resort is running a variety of offers and competitions. Don’t say you don’t have ample opportunity… and the restaurant in the hotel is sensational - it really is something very special indeed.


1. DAY OFFERS
2-BALL SUMMER OFFER- From only £99
4-BALL SUMMER OFFER- From only £195

2. STAY & PLAY
Experience championship golf this Summer on The Faldo Course with a luxury overnight stay at Lough Erne Resort and indulgent breakfast the following morning with use of the

Monday, July 2, 2018

Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Qualifier concluded

The battle is over... but the war has just begun! All 122 Irish Open hopefuls arrived at Rosapenna (Sandy Hills), looking for one of four berths to play in the main event this week... not to mention a winner's cheque for €6,000. They had perfect links conditions but the cream still rose to the top as Simon Thornton, Neil O'Briain, Colm Moriarty and Cian McNamara claimed their Dubai Duty Free Irish Open places.

PGA in Ireland regional manager, Michael McCumiskeyJohn Casey, Director,
Rosapenna Hotel and Golf Resort, Cian McNamara
Colm Moriarty,
Neil O'BriainSimon ThorntonRosapenna 2018 captain, Liam Breen.

Simon Thornton (Tulfarris Golf Resort) edged out Neil O'Briain (Old Conna GC) on the

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Ballyliffin

Approach to the par four 1st
There is a constant string of news about the Irish Open being held in Ballyliffin next week. That's no surprise as it's a not only a huge event for the European Tour (their $7 million Rolex Series), it's also a massive occasion in Donegal, where Ballyliffin's General Manager, John Farren, compared it to hosting the World Cup. Here's the latest press release... which provides a perfect opportunity to show off the Glashedy Links in photographs.

Lowry excited ahead of homecoming at Ballyliffin
SHANE Lowry cannot wait to return to his homeland when the former champion arrives at

Friday, June 29, 2018

Miracles at Belmullet - Carnage and Celebration at Carne, Part 2

Approach to Carne's 6th from the right hand side.
Here is Part 2 of Mike Considine's Carne story (You can read Part 1, here).

But then, in a moment, as often occurs in golf, something happened.  Things changed.  It was a moment that would define the weekend.

After five perfect holes, on the 6th tee, Finian slightly pulled another prodigious drive. But this time, the wind carried his ball perilously close to the out-of-bounds marker on the left side of the fairway. [which is no longer there, Ed.]  We thought there was a good chance that his ball stayed in bounds. Finian then proceeded to hit a provisional drive which proved a dead pull hook about 100 yards left of his first.  Out of bounds.  We grimaced. Then he hit

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Miracles at Belmullet - Carnage and Celebration at Carne

As the Atlantic Coast Challenge draws near (9-11 July) it's time to post a wonderful tale of golf that was emailed to me by American, Mike Considine. Mike has some special memories of playing in Ireland and playing at Carne in particular. As you'll deduce from the opening sentence, Mike and his friends met the South African golfer, Wayne Westner, in Belmullet. Here is Part 1:
The 8th green at Carne (clubhouse to the right)
The recent passing of the South African golfer Wayne Westner prompted a search of dusty boxes containing materials from old Irish golf tours.  I was looking for a particular file.  The year was 2000, and, in our new springtime tradition, I and a few college friends were preparing for a golfing trip to Ireland, the Green Isle.  Unlike many links purists, we had not included Scotland on our itinerary.  Scotland was never our focus.  With a nod perhaps to our Irish heritage, our group's links lust centered on the courses introduced to the world by the siren call of Herbert Warren Wind in Sports Illustrated, and the stirring prose of Irish writer Dermot Gilleece. Ballybunion, Lahinch, Waterville and regal Royal County Down -- these were the courses that lit our imagination.  My very first round of Irish golf had been at Ballybunion Old in 1987, where I was greeted in the unassuming clubhouse by a friendly dog, and escorted around the course by an affable caddy named Eric Glasper.  The modest old clubhouse, now replaced by an imposing edifice, featured a large wall

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Mount Juliet - The New Hunter's Yard Hotel

It’s not often you’ll find two hotels in one resort… but then again, it’s not often you’ll find somewhere as astoundingly beautiful as Mount Juliet
Hunter’s Yard is a ‘new’ four star hotel of modern flourishes and calm sophistication. It will complement the five star luxury of Mount Juliet House, perfectly. The distance between them is a few hundred metres but Hunter’s Yard is right next to the new clubhouse and golf course. It surrounds the old courtyard and is a combination of renovation and inspiration. If you remember the leisure centre or the