Saturday, April 2, 2011

Irish golf course reviewers wanted

[Photo: The Island's 1st hole, green to tee]

Every year magazines/websites produce their 'best courses' list. It has to be done because golfers were born to compare - be it their swing, their handicap, their clubs or their sweaters. And every year, when a 'top courses' list comes out, golfers everywhere mock it. I count myself among them.

The trouble is, as soon as you have more than one person compiling a list, the chances are that NOBODY is going to agree 100% with that list - not even the people who compiled it, because it's all about averages and/or points. That's the very nature of producing lists by panel.

[Photo: Skellig Bay's par four 4th hole]

Golf Digest Ireland produces the Top 100 courses list that most people pay attention to in this country, and every year there are some right howlers that sneak in or get left out. They take a lot of stick for their choices and, no matter what system they appear to use, there are always rumours that something fishy is going on.

So, this year, they've decided to get us day-to-day golfers involved, by offering 10 people the chance to be a part of their panel.

[Photo: the claustrophobic pine trees at Shannon]

If you’re selected, you’ll be required to play 15 courses between April and September. You’ll even be trained in how to review the courses. That's something that I would be fascinated to find out. I imagine it's about specific things to look for and how to rate particular parts of the course/club.

And here's the important bit - you play these courses for free! So, who knows, you might get to play the likes of Old Head of Kinsale (47th in 2010 ranking), The Island (12th) and Adare (8th) for free. Or it might be some of the less known courses, like Skellig Bay (87th) , Balbriggan (77th) and Shannon (72nd)... but it's free and you get to boast that you're part of the panel that decides the best courses in Ireland for 2011.

And how do you put your name forward for this? Simple! By email or phone.

Or call 01 4199 604

[Photo: Old Head's amazing 2nd hole]

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