Thursday, January 31, 2013

How Many Majors for Rory McIlroy in 2013?

It's hard to believe that only three years ago the question would have been: how many Majors will Tiger win... now it's all Rory, Rory, Rory...

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Slow Play - Golf's Curse (Part 2)

We know Slow Play in golf is a problem (For Part 1 Click Here), so what are we going to do about it? There are plenty of solutions, from ongoing education (for both juniors and adults!) to constant reinforcement by fellow players, Managers, Pros etc.

The thing is, we tend to sit back and let others tackle the problem... that's where politicians came from and look how well that worked!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

You've Been Trumped Trump

I remember my schooldays with great affection. All that arsing about and generally doing nothing became an ambition that has since become a way of life. I don't know about you but, back in those days, when a kid 'passed wind' it was called trumpeting... and many a competition was held to find who could conjure up the biggest and best 'trump'.

Well, post Trump International Golf Links, we now have the answer do we not!  

Friday, January 25, 2013

Personal Putter Preferences

Are putters not the most personal club in the bag! Certainly there can be no club with a wider array of shapes, sizes and lengths. Blades, two balls, darts, hotblades, belly, mallets and horned beasts of the apocalypse.

I’ve always struggled with putters. Put me 180 yards out with a 5 iron and I’m a happy man…

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

FREE Irish Golf - Thanks to Golf Digest

I thought the 'FREE' might grab your attention. It's not misleading either... assuming Golf Digest Ireland (GDI) picks you as one of their 80 golf course raters.

And the only thing you need to qualify is a golf swing and a GUI handicap. You don't need to be a single figure handicapper - they're looking for golfers of all abilities...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Slow Play - Golf's Curse (Part 1)

Type 'golf' and 'slow play' into an Internet search and watch the 31 million results bounce back at you. Of all the problems in golf, slow play is widely regarded as the greatest curse. Never mind the hours wasted on the course, it is also dissuading young people from taking up the game... young people who are the lifeblood and future of golf.

So what do we know about slow play?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Irish Golfing Challenges - Update

The launch of The Golfer's Guide to Ireland 2013 includes a long article on the different and best Irish Golf Challenges this island has to offer, and this appears at the front of the Guide. I submitted the piece in late November, and since then there has been an update to two of the tournaments: the oldest and my favourite - the Causeway Coast Challenge and the Atlantic Coast Challenge.

A new tournament has also made an appearance: Let's Play Golf Open

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Golfer's Guide to Ireland 2013 Launch

The 22nd edition of the Golfer's Guide to Ireland was launched last night at the always-impressive O'Connells in Donnybrook. A crowd of about 70 gathered upstairs for drinks, canapes and a rabble-rousing speech by the Michael Ring, T.D. Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport. The mood was enhanced no doubt by the selection of Paul McGinley as Ryder Cup Captain, but Ring had a thing or two to say about:

Friday, January 11, 2013

Mount Juliet Scratch Cups 2013

For the many golfers who like to get competitive on courses other than their own, the Open competitions held around the country are a major lure. Scratch Cups are at the pinnacle of these and the courses are set up to be in the best possible condition.

A view of the 18th green from the 17th fairway.
A course as good as Mount Juliet should have no bother achieving that and they have just announced their three Scratch Cups for 2013. All of which take place on Bank Holiday Sundays, as follows:

  1. Intermediate Scratch Cup - Sunday 5th May (Handicaps 11-18)
  2. Junior Scratch Cup - Sunday 2nd June (Handicaps 5-10)
  3. Senior Scratch Cup - Sunday 4th August (Handicaps up to 4)

The Junior and Senior Scratch Cups are also part of the calendar of events (pay them a visit and register if your handicap is 9 or below - it's free).

This is the first time that Mount Juliet have run three separate Scratch Cups and the timesheets are likely to fill up fast. Green fee is €60.

You can book online via, by phone on 056-7773012 or via email –


Ladies at the Driving Range

I decided it was time to visit the driving range and get in some January practice. It's been about six weeks since I've struck a ball, so it was important to keep working on the lessons I was given last year.

I was wrapping up my session when three elderly ladies arrived. They stood by the ball dispensing machine and their conversation went something like this:

Mary: Right girls, we should get the large bucket of 120 balls and split them between us.

Deirdre: Excellent idea, how much is it?

Mary: How much is what?

Deirdre: The 120 balls.

Mary: I don't know. I haven't got my glasses. Can anyone see what it says.

Sinead: Here, use my glasses.

Mary: Oh thank you dear. (Pause) It's 8 euro. Alright girls, we need coins.

[The ladies root around for money and Mary places the coins in the machine.]

Sinead: Don't forget the basket Mary. I forgot last time and the balls went everywhere.

[120 balls prove too many for the basket and balls start bouncing down the aisle, proceeded by mass panic, women scattering and frightful embarrassment as balls are collected.]

[The ladies move off to three bays, side by side, and the balls are divided up. Only there's a problem with using the automatic ball dispensers.]

Deirdre: How do I use this? I've never seen one of these before.

Sinead: Oh, do you need my glasses?

Deirdre, snappily: No! I just can't see where to put the balls.

Mary: The balls go in the hole.

Deirdre: I beg your pardon.

Mary: In the slot. The hole at the top. Put your balls in there and they come out automatically.

[A lot of rattling as balls are emptied into the dispensers.]

Mary: Now then, where are we hitting to?

Sinead: Do you need my glasses?

Mary: No dear, I still have them on.

Sinead: Well that explains why I can't see a thing.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Let's Hear It For The Rain

Golfers may not be lovers of rain, but Google is. Who'd have thought that our cool, damp climate would prove so attractive to computer and online corporations? But that same climate means that they require less power to keep data servers at their optimum (cool) temperature.

It's one small reason why companies such as Facebook, HP, LinkedIn, Twitter, Amazon, Dropbox and, of course, Google, find our grey, solarly-challenged country so attractive.

So, the next time you're teeing it up in a downpour of misery, be thankful that servers all over the country are revelling in it and keeping the online world alive.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Let's Play Golf Open - a Very Irish Challenge

Next week the Golfer’s Guide to Ireland will be appearing in clubhouses around the country. In its 22nd year, it includes an article on the 12 big golf challenges that take place across our beautiful country.

Now that number has risen to 13 – or should that be 131 given our suspicious nature – with the launch of the inaugural Let’s Play Golf Open, organised by Concierge Golf, a company founded and run by John Dooley, the former Club Professional at Doonbeg.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Golf for Irish Insomniacs

A popular expression used to explain a person's illogical obsession is: 

He eats, sleeps and breathes... tiddlywinks, campanology, or golf. Except on this occasion Westport Golf Club have decided to forego the 'sleep' part. All in the name of 'The Gathering' you understand...

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Ireland's Best Par Threes - Parkland

It's been a long Christmas break, so apologies for the delay in posting my Top 10 Irish Parkland Par Threes. Ranking and photographs are below, including some details on how/why the 'best' were picked... things such as: