Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ireland's Golf Rankings - The 20 Clubs That Missed Out Part II

Views over the 5th green at North West
Here is the second batch of ten courses that didn't make the Golf Digest Ireland Top 100 Irish golf courses... nine of which have green fees between €20 and €35. If that's not value I don't know what is.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Ireland's Golf Rankings - The 20 Clubs That Missed Out

View of the 11th green at Corballis
Golf Digest Ireland came out with their Top 100 rankings for 2015, in December last year. The list included three new entries (New Forest, Dunfanaghy and Macreddin) which is always good to see, but what about those clubs on the margins who might justifiably have appeared in the bottom quarter of the draw. Some will probably feel aggrieved not to have made it… yet again. 
The following 20 courses (listed alphabetically) have excellent conditioning, or are beautifully located or are packed with thrills… or are all three.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Golf Job Opportunities... General Manager

You wait all day for a Manager to comer along... and then two come at once.

The par three 17th on Powerscourt's West course.
In recent years, clubs have been cutting back on staff and it has been surprising to see Secretary Managers/General Managers etc. being cut from the roster. This is especially true at country golf clubs where finances have shrunk drastically. So it is positive for the Irish golf industry that two well known clubs are now searching for fresh blood.

Powerscourt and Seapoint.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Golfers Guide to Ireland - 2015 Awards

Best Hidden Gem in Ulster went to Portsalon GC.
Paddy McCarthy (Portside Publications), Johnny Shields
(Portsalon), Joe Bedford (Project Co-ordinator for Paul
McGinley Design), and Mary Mitchell O'Connor TD
It was a big event at Druid's Glen last night. Portside Publications - which produces the Golfers Guide to Ireland - decided it was time to move the event from O'Connells in Donnybrook, to Druid's Glen Resort. From an intimate Dublin setting to the rather more spacious and luxurious surroundings of Co Wicklow. Both work well, but the more formal setting of Druid's Glen Resort lent an air of gravitas to the evening.

The food was excellent, the company entertaining and the mood exuberant. What else would you expect when there's a room full of award winners!

At the end of the evening, Greg Allen did a Q&A with Eamonn Darcy who was in attendance as the 'guest of honour'. And here's something that is quite remarkable about Eamonn... he turned Pro at the age of 16, in 1968. But guess what his handicap was when he turned Pro. Go on, guess.*

This is a man who won four big events (as well as a host of others) and sank the putt that saw the Ryder Cup team winning for the first time ever on US soil, at Muirfield Village.

So here are the awards that were handed out last night:

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Samuel Jackson - The Coolest Man in Golf

OK, so maybe he's the coolest man in the world and not just golf, but he's talking about coming to Ireland and building his own golf course.

Take a look at this Goss article. There'll be a few landowners in Cork and Limerick (assuming they own 'lush hills') who might be getting very excited.

As long as Samuel L designs it, I'll have no complaints.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Bushmills Dunes - The Dream Is Over

The dream for the £100m Bushmills Dunes resort has died. That became official earlier this week with confirmation that Dr Peter Fitzgerald has new plans for Runkerry. It comes as no surprise: the writing was already on the wall when Dr Alistair Hanna, the man behind the Bushmills Dunes development, died last year.

Dr Fitzgerald's plans envisage no golf course and no hotel, although in true fingers-crossed-behind-your-back fashion the plans are 'currently being assessed'. Fitzgerald is more interested in the corporate hospitality end of things.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Irish Golf for Under €20

Fermoy's par 3 11th
A while back there was an article on about the 18 best golf courses in Ireland that you could play for €30 or less. And that means a maximum green fee of €30 at peak times.

No sooner was it published that someone quipped, 'what about green fees that are €20 or under?'... thank you Jamie.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Ireland's Rankings... The Comparisons
The 14th at Rosapenna (Sandy Hills)
Over the last year or so there have been five major rankings of Irish golf courses. These come from an Irish magazine and four UK golf media. The ranking comparisons are shown in the table below.

The top 30 courses according to Golf Digest Ireland (GDI) are in the left hand column - call these the benchmark as they're taken from the Top 100 Irish Golf courses. The remaining rankings are alongside, showing which Irish courses make the top 100 GB&I ranking. The overall GB&I ranking is then shown in brackets.

Friday, January 2, 2015

An Irish Golfing Year in Review

Approach to Cork GC's 2nd hole.
Here are a few of the key ingredients that made up the Irish Golfing Year, 2014:

Star of the Year: Rory McIlroy
Rory got a huge amount of bad press over the Wozniacki affair and then the Horizon court case. Yet, considering those burdens and the new (ish) golf clubs he put on a spurt of golfing brilliance that saw him collect back-to-back Majors. But perhaps the classiest moment of all was after the Australian Open, when he and the field were thrashed by Jordan Spieth. His 63 on the final day drew the following (Twitter) praise from McIlroy: