Tuesday, December 31, 2013
This is a timely reminder for all golfers that winter, particularly, brings its own set of dangers to the golf course. The UK and Ireland have been battered by winds in recent weeks leading to falling branches and entire trees. And while you're unlikely to be golfing in 150 km/h winds, please remember that the aftermath can be just as dangerous. The winds may have stopped but, combined with the rain, root systems might have been weakened and trees can still topple. They do so, silently.
And since we're on the subject of dangerous weather conditions, do you know what you should do if you're caught out in a lightning storm? Sheltering under the tallest tree is not the answer! Also, stay away from your clubs/trolley/buggy as the metal can conduct electricity... as can your metal spikes, so take off your shoes if that's what you're wearing.
Follow the link for the full Leicester Mercury story.
If you're on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus or any of the other dozens of social media channels, please share this blog (buttons at end of this post) and/or the Leicester Mercury story... and help to ensure that we avoid any more weather induced fatalities/injuries on our golf courses. Thank you.
[Story/Link via Al Dunsmuir of http://www.golfclubmanagement.net]
Saturday, December 28, 2013
Evan Hilbert, apparently.
It's from the CBS Sports website (December 26) and not only do they list the golfers, they also rank them.
What exactly is the point of an article like this?
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Need a break from the family festivities? Fancy a few minutes of peace and quiet? Need time to digest all that delicious grub?
Sit back and relax with this Irish Christmas Golf Quiz. Here are 30 questions covering the golfing year. The majority focus on Irish golf, but there are some with a more international flavour, too.
It's really just for fun, but I have a goodie bagof bits and pieces I've been given during the year if you want to leave your answers in the 'Comments' box at the end of the post.
Monday, December 23, 2013
A nice start to the Christmas festivities.
If you want to win a free four ball for Dundrum House in Co. Tipperary, see the blog below.
Saturday, December 21, 2013
|Approach to the 17th at Dundrum House|
(photo courtesy of Dundrum House)
You can win four balls to one of these 6th-ranked courses, while the two free fourballs for the 7th-ranked courses can still be won up until 6pm on Monday Dec 23rd (follow the link below).
Parkland: Dundrum House
Links: Royal County Down (Annesley)
For the 7th-ranked, click here
Thursday, December 19, 2013
|The tall dunes of Enniscrone loom up beyond the |
7th green (photo taken from 8th tee)
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
|The new 4th at Corballis - a par three with views out to Ireland's Eye|
You can win four balls to both of these 7th-ranked courses:
For the 8th-ranked, click here
For the 9th-ranked, click here
Monday, December 16, 2013
|Mulranny and a 3 iron.|
Cathal Shanahan, who wins a free four ball to both 10th-ranked courses, Bearna and Mulranny. And they're pretty close together, too.
Shane O'Donoghue wins the four ball to the 9th-ranked course, Esker Hills.
Spurs Murray (aka Darren) wins the four ball to both 8th-ranked courses, West Waterford and Seapoint... a bit more travel involved in that one!
Congratulations guys. I'll be emailing you for addresses.
The 7th-ranked courses will be going up tomorrow. I'll give you a hint: one's in Dublin, the other's in Monaghan... any guesses?
... here's one we prepared earlier!
€60 for a four ball to Dunmurry Springs.
It's a fine course and one that's getting finer by the day. You'll find a blog about the course from this summer, here. You'll find photos here. You'll find their new website here.
Don't say I haven't got everything gift-wrapped for you. The course recently ranked at number 44 in Golfing Magazine's Top 50 Parkland Courses... and the course was designed by Mel Flanagan (a favourite designer of mine) so quality is assured.
Saturday, December 14, 2013
It's probably important to mention at this point that these golfers are seven years old and they're competing against their peers from over 50 countries.
Is it worth a look? Absolutely, and here are 10 reasons why:
Friday, December 13, 2013
|12th hole at Dromoland Castle|
|The 13th at Seapoint|
The 8th-ranked courses are:
Parkland: West Waterford
For the 9th-ranked, click here
There are two free fourballs up for grabs at the end of this post - one for each club... and you can still win fourballs for the 9th and 10th ranked courses.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
|Esker Hills 8th - a sharp dogleg right|
These are the 9th-ranked courses. For the 10th-ranked, click here.
Parkland: Esker Hills
Links: Laytown & Bettystown
There's a free fourball up for grabs at the end of this post.
Monday, December 9, 2013
|Barbed wire around Mulranny's sloping greens|
After some input from the gang on Boards.ie I got some useful alternatives... of which Fairways Less Travelled was perfect.
So here are Ireland's top 20 Fairways Less Travelled: 10 links and 10 parkland. Each blog will have free fourballs to be won.
Friday, December 6, 2013
|Ballybunion Cashen - one of GDI's biggest|
climbers, up 13 to 66th
"The list is a joke, when I saw Strandhill in the high 40s that said enough."
"I have no problem seeing Tralee and Lahinch number 2 and 3, you couldn't say they aren't good enough."
"Ardglass Down 14 (to 89)! The biggest drop on the list - crazy! Rest my case"*
That's the nature of lists like these. Here are two tables comparing the links and parkland top 15 rankings from:
- Golf Digest Ireland's (GDI) Top 100
- Golfing Weekly's Top 50s and
- Backspin's Top 30s
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Sunday, December 1, 2013
I'm sure Ronan won't appreciate me calling him an elephant, but his memory demands no other comparison.
People have expressed surprise at how well I can remember all the golf courses and holes that I played in those heady camper van days of 2007 and 2008... but Ronan makes such memories look like amateur-hour.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
|The 3rd hole (from the back tees)|
Friday, November 22, 2013
It would be something else wouldn’t it! Not to mention being in Las Vegas, with cameras and hordes of spectators following your every stroke, your every step, your every nervous twitch. In these parts they call that pressure… the kind that the Woods and McIlroys of this world endure every week.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
|Connemara's sweet par three 13th|
Actually, it's embarrassing.
Monday, November 18, 2013
Generating Customer Loyalty can wait till another time.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
|Doonbeg's stunning seaside 6th hole|
The age profile hovered around the 30-40 mark which made the evenings... lively. With accommodation arranged (it was an optional part of the package) it also meant that a good camaraderie was established early on, and isn't that the best part of golf. If you can't slag off the guys you're playing with there's little point turning up!
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
|Approach to Waterford's 14th|
I played a lot of golf but I also spent much of my time taking photographs and building up my Flickr account to over 6,000 images. Here are some links to the 28 golf courses visited. Some were taken on clear, sunny days and some were taken with grey Irish skies - it couldn't all be perfect. Click for links:
Monday, November 11, 2013
|The Heritage. Despite its woes, it has strong marketing.|
Thursday, November 7, 2013
I shall write a more detailed blog in due course - David's eagle on the par five 1st deserves no less - but for now, the following images should inspire the soul.
Monday, November 4, 2013
|Any guesses which course this is (from the list below)?|
Friday, November 1, 2013
|Statue of Payne Stewart by the practice green|
The result of that post was Golficity asking if I cared to write a piece for them naming Ireland's Top Ten Bucket List courses. It seemed only fair that I put myself in a position to be hauled over the coals, so I accepted willingly.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
|Dunmurry Springs, par three 15th, green to tee|
An unfair comment on three fronts:
- Green fee prices have fallen dramatically in the past four years (frequently by 40-50%)
- There has ALWAYS been value in Irish golf... if you knew where to look
- GB green fees are not exactly 'bargains'
So, what next?
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
He was in his teens, gangly and clearly confused. He was standing on the 1st tee with an older man who was doling out advice.
Monday, October 21, 2013
Sunday, October 20, 2013
As an active member of the Boards Golf Forum, there are plenty of threads that interest me greatly... but earlier today a new member signed up and started posting. With the cunning User Name of 'Fescue' it is apparent that the man is a greenkeeper... and he's here to help.
Friday, October 18, 2013
|The 15th, and a whole lot of water.|
But either way, it keeps Ireland and Irish golf in the spotlight... for all the right reasons!
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Go on, before you start, list off your top five parklands.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
|Lone golfer heads down the 1st, the sun setting |
behind the Slieve Mish Mountains.
... but never have 285 minutes been so worth it.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
|The beach at Portnoo (golf course on the dunes behind)|
Which two courses? Two of my favourites:
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
|Approach to the 1st green at Claremorris|
Here are 18 holes (in a standard par 72 format) that are definitely worth the detour (and the green fee). How many have you played?
Monday, October 7, 2013
This month, Golf Monthly magazine brought out their list of Top 50 UK and Ireland Stay and Play Resorts, which included 12 Irish venues.
The question was - how did my top 5 stack up against theirs?
True, it's a British survey, but our markets are so close that it makes no difference.
Link to the survey on the Golfshake website.
Some outcomes will be familiar, others might not be. Either way, it's food for thought.
Friday, October 4, 2013
Never mind building a new nine holes (the Kilmore Nine, review here) for €200,000, the golf club is now offering fourballs next year for €100 for 18 holes (or €140 for the full 27). €25 for one of the most thrilling courses you could ever hope to play...
|The par three 7th on the Kilmore 9. |
A brute of a hole that measures 200 yards
|The 8th on the Kilmore 9. One hell of a shot in|
It's worth noting that closing day of the 14th October. If you're in America, I'm guessing this offer is impractical, but for anyone in Ireland or the UK, this could easily go down as 'too good to miss'. I'd plan a week's golf around that, no bother, and play at Carne three times at least... I learn so much every time I play it and Irish golf doesn't get any bigger than this.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Established in 1983, this is a member's club and it's a tree-lined peach - it is in Dublin too (Rathcoole), making it easily accessible off the N7, just 10 minutes from Newlands Cross.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Since this blog is all about Irish golf I assessed the rankings with great interest. My conclusion is this:
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Thursday, September 26, 2013
|The Entrance to Martinhal|
- Enjoy Luxury in the Sun
- Golf in the Sun
- Golf on the Irish Links
- Northern Lights
- Lazing at Liss Ard
Warning: Readers are advised that this article contains non-golf-related copy from the very start.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
|The 18th, with water along the left, all the way to the green|
The Heritage, in Co Laois, is giving away a year's free membership. The offer/draw kicked off tonight and will run for a bit (3 to 4 weeks), but it is only available on Twitter.
This is the proud home of the Seve Ballesteros course (and Academy) - the only one in Ireland. It's a big, expansive course, laid out on the top of the Laois landscape. It is best known for its lake which separates the 9th and 18th holes. Terror territory, that's for sure.
|The 8th hole, green to tee, showing off the Laois landscape|
Monday, September 23, 2013
Inside The Ropes – October, Saturday 12th, 2013
[The winners have now been picked (30/9/13 18.00) - Paddy 1234 (Boards), Webbs (Boards) and Gentle Soul (Blog). Thanks for the interest]
Thursday, September 19, 2013
|The Castlemartyr clubhouse being built in 2008 and |
how the wood has 'weathered' today.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
|View from 1st green to 4th green on Deer Park|
Monday, September 16, 2013
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Monday, September 9, 2013
Saturday, September 7, 2013
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Friday, August 30, 2013
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
|Talk about catching the rough!|
Sunday, August 25, 2013
|Small, neat packaging|
(pens not included!)
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
|The launch of the new driving facility at Hayfield Manor.|
Some golf courses are next to or part of a hotel resort - Fota Island, Portmarnock Links, Lough Erne, Mount Juliet, Rosapenna, Macreddin, Roe Park, Mount Wolseley, Rathsallagh, Slieve Russell... the list goes on and on...
... some courses are little more than a walk or a minute's drive away - Royal County Down (Slieve Donard Hotel), Killarney (several hotels), Headfort (Headfort Arms) and Enniscrone (Diamond Coast Hotel) among others (many of which offer combined deals with the courses)...
... and then there are hotels seriously lacking in the golf-course-access department that make up for it in other ways, by adding their own little golfing twist. Build it and they will come.