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:

  • Golf volunteers (clubs wouldn't get by without them), 
  • Tourism numbers (up 4% in 2012), 
  • Job creation (for every 35 people who come to Ireland it creates one job - an intriguing statistic), and 
  • The Gathering (which hopes to attract 325,000 extra visitors to Ireland). 

Dun Laoghire's 9th hole (Middle 9)
To date, over 2,591 Gathering events have been registered. Indeed, at the time of the speech I was standing next to Christy Madigan, Westport GC's Captain, and they're running an Insomniac's golf challenge as part of the Gathering, in June.

Portside Media produce the Guide and they have introduced awards to recognise different facets of Irish golf. There were 23 awards, as follows:

Parkland: Dun Laoghaire Golf ClubLinks: Royal County Down

Royal County Down, approach to 2nd hole
Leinster: Hermitage
Ulster: Malone
Connacht: Ballinrobe
Munster: Cork 

Leinster: Portmarnock
Ulster: Royal Portrush
Connacht: Connemara
Munster: Tralee 

Connemara Golf Club, the glorious par five 14th
Overall: Druid's Glen
Leinster: Mount Wolseley
Ulster: Hilton Templepatrick
Munster: Fota Island

Overall: Adare Manor (not the big Adare course, but the one next door)
Leinster: Esker Hills
Ulster: Portsalon (where McGinley's mother-in-law is about to be the first female President ever!)
Connacht: Oughterard
Munster: Newcastle West

Esker Hills, par three 15th
Best Golf Club Manager: Patrick Bradshaw, Blainroe

Best Hotel: Doonbeg

Best Hotel Manager: Michael Davern, the K Club

Best Boutique Hotel: Killeen House Hotel, Killarney

For last year's winners, click here.

My thanks to Paddy and Marty, from Portside Media, for the invitation. It was another very enjoyable night full of optimism for the golfing year/s ahead.

The Guide includes a lengthy piece, written by me, about the dozen amateur tournaments/challenges that take place around the country, in which almost any golfer can play. Take a look, sign up and play in one.

The Golfer's Guide to Ireland 2013 will be available in all clubhouses around the country in the days ahead. 


  1. Really nice info about Golf Clubs.i've posted your ideas on our suggestion box.

  2. Golfers like this Golf Course Guide. It also features Golf friendly accommodation with special rates for Golfers.
    Kathleens Country House is a Golfer's Haven in Killarney offering to arrange for tee times and special B/B Rates for Golfers quoting this guide.

    1. Thanks Kathleen - nice looking place you've got there. Hope it's full for the year!

  3. Thanks to everyone at Golfer's Guide to Ireland. Oughterard Golf Club was delighted to win the Connacht Hidden Gem really is a gem! Check it out at
    The Ladies Captain, Men's Captain and the President enjoyed a great night in O'Connells.
    Anne Walsh

  4. That is a very good tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere. Brief but very precise information… Many thanks for sharing this one. A must read article!