Friday, July 2, 2010 vs. Castleknock

[Photo: Castleknock 18th, with double green for the 9th. Both par threes]

Here's another tip for golf clubs around Ireland - after my one about mobile phone chargers. Take a few minutes and sign up to the very popular golf forum on

You don't have to contribute, but you can keep an eye on what Irish golfers are saying are about anything from comments on new drivers to debates on rules. More importantly, you can see what's being said about your club. Recently, two clubs were getting some stick - Elm Park and Castleknock - for very different reasons. Elm Park was being bashed for its elitism, whereas Castleknock was being abused for the poor quality of its prizes in its weekly opens, as well as the price of the opens.

I don't think a 30 euro entry fee is that bad, but it would seem that there are plenty who do. When compared with other courses I can see their point, but Castleknock considers itself one of Dublin's top parklands, so a premium might be expected.

The prize won by the open comp winner was the chance to pick something from the '45% off' rack in the pro shop. That's not what I call a prize, and there are many others who agree with me. As a result, the feedback is all negative - even from those saying they like the course. The manager of the club has contacted me subsequently to say that many of the emails were inaccurate, but he didn't say how and he didn't go on to the forum to post a response.

Mount Juliet have cottoned on to the forum and replied to some queries about the price and availability of food at the club. As a result, they got eight golfers eating in the clubhouse bar who might otherwise have gone elsewhere.

So, whether you want to be seen contributing, or whether you want to skulk in the wings and see who's saying what about you, every Irish club she be on the forum. It's the only one that really counts.

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