Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Atlantic Coast Challenge 2014

It is the 4th year of this tournament  and some 360 golfers are flooding the fairways of Carne, Enniscrone and Rosses Point. It just keeps growing in popularity and, given the quality of the courses and the price of the entry fee, that's no great surprise.

Our rota started at Rosses Point and, as for the last three years, we were blessed with the weather. Yes, there was a light shower late on, but I don't think I have ever played links golf on such a still day. The tide was out but if it hadn't been we would have had a mirror reflection of Benbulbin in the waters that snake in behind the 10th and 11th holes.

It was glorious, whatever way you look at it. And the condition of the course was superb. The greens especially. I have never seen them so good.

The 1st tee

View over 11th green

Approach to the lethal 17th

View back down the 17th with much of the
course on show beyond

The golf? Well, that's another matter. As a team we didn't exactly dovetail... more like duckarse. Two one pointers on the opening two holes put paid to any ambitions we might have had... but then this isn't event to be taken too seriously. Three of the best courses in Ireland shouldn't be fought over. They should be enjoyed and adored.

That's my excuse anyway.

Jim, if you read this - love the Driver you made. Goes a mile... as long as I swing slow.

1 comment:

  1. Totally agree, Rosses Point was in superb condition - we played on Day 2 with the sun shining and a reasonable wind blowing, it was thoroughly enjoyable. Rosses was played off the whites which helped - presenting a good challenge but not overly punishing.
    This year was my 2nd year playing - and while I love the golf courses and the competition I agree with the facebook posts that the competition is still a bit fragmented and communication needs to be improved.

    The courses are great! no doubt, however Carne definitely suffered this year with damage to the greens - and the forward tees didn't help.
    Unfortunately for Carne the par 4 12th was out of play (a great little hole) due to reconstruction? and a pokey little par 3 from the addition 9 was substituted - but I guess you can live with that ... but hoping the 12th proper will be back in play again next year.
    Being picky I think that Carne could have been prep'ed / groomed better for the competition. On Day 3 some tee boxes, fairways and greens could have done with a trim to show them off at their best ... and I guess it didn't help that we played Carne the day after Rosses Point - with fab greens, fairways, etc.

    I would love to see a more joined up approach between the 3 clubs to running the event, ie. simple things like all courses playing the same tees (whites please!), scorecards for the team event (as per Carne), and other little changes that would enhance the tournament experience.
    We all love the golf courses - that's not in question - but don't forget the buzz of the competition and tournament - its not often we get to play 3 days back to back in a tournament so there is an air of excitement which should be supported.

    And lastly communication! this is such a simple element but often poorly managed and becomes a detractor when it so easily can be something that adds to the enjoyment / experience.
    Does this competition have a Singles / Individual format ?? ... when I first played 3 years ago it did, last year my brother played and it didn't (although it advertised an Individual event) ... and this again year the flyer states "Individual & Team of 3 Event", however on Day 2 we were informed that no Individual Competition was in play ... after we had recorded individual scores the first day ? ... disappointment that could easily have been avoided.

    Simple clear communication, nothing difficult.

    At least this year I did see print-outs of the scores, but in the club house and not in time for the earlier starters ...
    Why not post the scores on the first tee the next day, or by the putting green, or the Pro Shop.
    And / or post on online that evening ... pretty sure most folks discuss the days events that evening, would be great to see the general lay of the land too that evening to add to the banter.
    *I believe the standard BRS system supports the team event (and / or non-qualifying singles, etc) - this could assist with closing the competition each day.

    The Facebook page for the event is under-utilised.
    Why not capture team photos on the first team - have random photos from the course.
    Post scores, comments, solicit feedback and drive positive interaction about the event - reflect the activity and interest online! Searching for the Atlantic Coast Challenge online returns little or nothing.
    I guess a Mobile phone app is a bridge too far for this event just yet.

    All in all this is 3 days great golf, Rosses Point was fab, Enniscrone was great and Carne was good (please no more yellow tees!).
    But with some small changes it could really be a great event.