Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Royal County Down – Inspiring The Soul (Part 2)

The 3rd hole (from the back tees)
David Owen flew in from the United States, landing in Dublin before sunrise. He drove his hire car ever northwards, heading for the rust-coloured Mourne Mountains that slide into the Irish Sea. Once there and in glorious sunshine he teed it up on the par five 1st hole of one of the world’s greatest courses, and split the fairway with his drive.

It doesn’t get much better than that… but it did. Two shots later, David sank an eight foot putt for an eagle. Royal County Down (RCD) doesn’t give up many eagles, and one on the 1st hole is as good as a trophy on the mantelpiece.  The Head Pro, Kevan Whitson, picked David’s ball out of the hole and expressed his admiration… I was still going from one side of the hole to the other, feeling like a spare wheel. David took three shots to get into the hole; I three-putted and still hadn’t found the cup.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Golf1Million - Amateur Golf's First $1,000,000 Trophy

What would it feel like to stand over a three foot putt, knowing that if you – a mere amateur golfer – sink it a gold trophy worth $1,000,000 is yours? That’s one million dollars in case you doubt all those zeros. There is no other event in world sport with a trophy of this value.

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.

My question is – are you man enough?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Top Ten Golf Courses in Galway

Connemara's sweet par three 13th
The lads at Bearna Golf Club contacted me the other day about a 'Top Ten Golf Courses in Galway' that they'd discovered online. They sent me the link and it made my hair stand on end... quite a feat for me. The lads were also confused because not only was Bearna not on the list, but neither was Connemara Golf Links (aka Ballyconneely). Add in that the renowned Galway Golf Club was listed as a '9 hole executive golf course' and the list is shockingly bad.  

Actually, it's embarrassing.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Making Golf Marketing Work (part 2 of 2)

Following on from the first part of this article on Golf Marketing, here are six more ideas that golf clubs can pursue to build business. As said previously, these vary from the social media sphere to the downright obvious (and yet people still get them wrong).

Generating Customer Loyalty can wait till another time.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Social Media Golf Open 2014... Year 2

Doonbeg's stunning seaside 6th hole
2013 was the inaugural year of this golf event and to say it was a success is an understatement. 30 something pairs came together to fight it out (four ball better ball format) for an impressive trophy that took four rounds of golf to decide. The courses played are frequently listed among Ireland's best. 

The age profile hovered around the 30-40 mark which made the evenings... livelyWith 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

Irish Golf - A Summer of Photographs

Approach to Waterford's 14th
The superb summer we enjoyed this year meant great golf for hard-pressed members and tourists alike. No doubt there are many Irish golf clubs that will be breathing a sigh of relief... and praying for more of the same next year.

 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

Making Golf Marketing Work (part 1 of 2)

The Heritage. Despite its woes, it has strong marketing.
How many Irish and British golf clubs out there would you say are hip and trendy, living in the now, reaching out to the younger golfing generation?

Yea, that's what I thought too! A lot of our golf clubs are trampling their way through marketing undergrowth that is so tired it has been flattened, widened, paved and turned into a super highway of indifference. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Royal County Down - Inspiring The Soul (Part 1)

Royal County Down on a November morning. I have yet to play this Irish links royalty outside the autumn/winter months, but there are no temporary greens here, no mats to play off and no lifting the ball from the fairway and placing it in the rough. No, here it's just the links as the heavens and the likes of Old Tom Morris intended you to play it.

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

Golf Clubs Attending 2nd Annual Dublin Golf Promotion Night Are...

Any guesses which course this is (from the list below)?
Following on from last week's post on the Golf Promotion Night... here's a list of the golf clubs who will be attending this coming Wednesday, Nov 6th. Come to the Ballsbridge Hotel (formerly Jurys) after 5pm. It's free and clubs will be promoting their courses, offering special packages for societies and membership and giving away free fourballs, among other things.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Ireland's Golfing Bucket List - The Top Ten

Statue of Payne Stewart by the practice green
A couple of weeks back, I gave the American website Golficity a bit of a dig about their Ten Courses To Play Before You Die... because they were all in the US.

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.