Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Golf courses are getting longer: Fact or just a myth?

As in many other sports, advances in technology have made golf far better to play for people at all levels, from the most successful professional to the casual amateur who heads to his local club once a week. The technology behind everything from the clubs and balls to the clothing and footwear has become far more sophisticated of late.

Open Weeks 5 - Irish Golf

Enniscorthy's short par four 16th
Three more clubs with upcoming or ongoing Open Weeks/Events:
Enniscorthy in Co. Wexford - one of the nicest and friendliest country courses I've played.
Galway Bay in Co. Galway - a Christy O'Connor Jnr designed course that takes you right down to the water. It's stark, windswept and rather beautiful.
Rosapenna in Co. Donegal - a superb resort with two links courses, one designed by Pat Ruddy (Sandy Hills) and the other an intriguing mix of Old Tom Morris and Mr Ruddy again (Old Tom Morris).

Monday, July 29, 2013

Adare - Bank Holiday Competitions (from the Back Tees)

The 11th hole at Adare, from the 157-yard White
tees... now add on 73 yards.
No introduction needed on this beauty - Adare is holding two competitions this coming weekend, including playing from the Tips. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

What makes the most satisfying birdie?

Approach to the 17th at Greystones
This is my question to you, based on something that happened a couple of weeks ago. On two consecutive days I made birdie on different courses and in very different ways.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Golf World and Ireland's Top 100 Golf Courses

Rosslare (Ranked at 62). Views over the 3rd green.
The current issue of Golf World - with Justin Rose looking determined on the front cover - includes a supplement of Ireland's Top 100 courses.

Yes, it is another rankings table, but I happen to like this one...

... why? Because I was involved in creating it.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Open Weeks 4 - Irish Golf

Fin drives off the 10th at County Sligo
Here are three more Irish golf clubs with Open Weeks starting late next week or the week after (the Bank Holiday weekend, in case you'd forgotten). Two are links (Co Sligo and Arklow) and the third is the under-appreciated parkland of Naas Golf Club.

Sunday, July 21, 2013 at Grange Golf Club

The impressive clubhouse behind the 18th green
I played Grange a lot in my school years. We'd sneak down, cross the road and then slip under the fencing that separated Marlay Park from the Grange's 14th tee box. You can't do that today because the road we crossed back then is now the M50. Not easy lugging your clubs across six lanes of traffic.

But when announced its Junior Scratch Cup at Grange Golf Club in Rathfarnham, the opportunity to visit this old stomping ground was too good to miss. Good memories; top course.

Monday, July 15, 2013

OptiShot +3 Infrared Golf Simulator - A Golf Product Review

I’ll start with what may be the most important thing in this review – assuming you are in the market for a golf simulator such as this – which is that I don’t play computer games so I have nothing to compare the OptiShot with. There are no Playstations or X-Boxes in my house, and there are no games loaded on my computer or smartphone. Don’t get me wrong, I like them well enough, it’s just that with my addictive personality I sometimes can’t let go. I once spent 36 hours playing the entire EA’s John Madden NFL game non-stop, from Week 1 to the Superbowl showdown.

As a result, when I was sent the OptiShot game I had a devil and an angel on opposite shoulders and they have messed with my head. But I did manage to squeeze out a review and here it is:

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Top 10 Irish Golf Courses and Summer Rates

The sun has clearly gone to their heads
All this great weather has inspired the Irish to go out and
soak up the nation's stock of ice cream, instead of sun screen. It has also seen our golf courses enjoying the best summer footfall in years. Who wouldn't want to be out on a golf course under these skies.

I saw a K Club offer on the back of the Irish Times yesterday - I use the term 'offer' loosely - and it got me thinking about how much it will cost to play Ireland's best parkland golf courses this sumer. Here are my Top 10.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Just Treats at Co Longford Golf Club

The 6th, green to tee
(lots of water to the right as you approach)
I was driving from Belmullet to Wexford this day last week, and I stopped in Longford town for a break. It took me a while to find the golf club (it is a comment I make in my Hooked review, and even though I'd been there in 2008, it still took me a while to find it). It was worth the effort as the course was looking superb... so it seems only fair that I blog about Just Treats latest offer, which is for the Co Longford Golf Club.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Open Weeks 3 - Irish Golf

Some more July Open Weeks to continue the list. This time it's Greystones (my home club) in Co. Wicklow, St. Anne's in Dublin Bay and Dunmurry Springs in Co. Kildare. There are also a couple of events at Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links - where I played today.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Open Weeks 2 - Irish Golf

Given our exceptional Irish golfing weather - a whole week of sunshine due next week - it really is a good time to keep eyes out for Open events around the country. 

There are two Open Weeks this coming week at Concra Wood and Faithlegg. And the weeks after that (12th July - 3rd August) you can pick from a variety of events at Bunclody, Killeen Castle and Waterford Castle.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Open Championship - Facts, Figures and Graphics

From Your Golf Travel, some interesting info on the Open. If you can't see the following graphic clearly enough, try clicking it. If that fails, try visiting Your Golf Travel.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Atlantic Coast Challenge - Day 3 (Enniscrone)

The drive from Belmullet to Enniscrone takes about an hour and a quarter. It takes you through some barren landscapes with only the distant mist-capped mountains breaking the horizons. It is as eerie as it is beautiful.

Our final round in this year’s Atlantic Coast Challenge was at Enniscrone. We were playing for nothing but pride and I was waiting to see Ronan’s reaction to this stunning course. After missing out on Carne’s jaw-dropping back nine, he was about to discover a course with blind shots, dramatic dunes and twists and turns that not even Fred and Ginger could begin to imagine. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Atlantic Coast Challenge 2013 - Day Two (Carne)

The 1st tee and that drifting drizzle
"I can feel it running down my chest," Finbarr said, as we slogged through the rain on Carne's 8th hole.

I'd had water running down my legs since the 4th. Sometimes waterproofs come down to the gaps around the edges. And Ronan's 'showerproof' top was proving as effective as a fishing net at stopping the rain.

Here we were on one of Ireland's mightiest, most dramatic golf courses and you could see next to nothing. Every swing was uncomfortable, and every golf shot a stab rather than a swing. One of my goals at the start of this tournament was not to lose a ball. There was no fear of that at Carne - I could barely hit the ball out of my way.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Atlantic Coast Challenge 2013 - Day One (Rosses Point)

Practice putting green and the grand old clubhouse
The last few days have been building up to this. The courses of Tuam, Claremorris, Castle Dargan and Castlebar - not to mention the mad 5am dash around Westport - were appetisers before the main event of this trip. The Atlantic Coast Challenge has drawn me to the north west since it started in 2011. And with three of my favourite courses why wouldn't it.

County Sligo Golf Club (Rosses Point), Carne and Enniscrone are worth anybody's time.