Monday, March 7, 2016

St Patrick's Day Golf

Ballyliffin Glashedy par three 5th
Do you like winter golf in Ireland?

It's not a trick question... although after the winter we've had you might consider it an ironic one. If the answer is 'yes' then I admire your perseverance and love of the game; if it's no then you must be relishing
the return of Spring.

I play only occasionally during the winter because my home club is an hour away and the drive through the cold and rain curbs my enthusiasm.

Like many, I see St Patrick’s Day as the start of Spring golf, which is fortunate as a lot of golf clubs see it as an opportunity to attract visiting golfers. In recent years it has become almost a custom for me to play at the wonderful Druid’s Glen, in the company of friends who have flown home for the ‘greening’. But you could steer your car in any direction and find a golf course ready to welcome you.
Green to tee on The European Club's 17th
Singles, Teams, Mixed, Fourballs, Scrambles… there are a lot of Open events to choose from - here's a list of 31 - and all of them offer exceptional value... just take a look:

Republic of Ireland

  • Arklow - Team (4 person) €25 pp
  • Athenry – Singles €15
  • Ballyliffin - Mixed Singles €30
  • Beech Park - Singles €15
  • Blarney – Team (4 person) €20 pp
  • Concra Wood - Singles (including tea/coffee and breakfast bap) at €30
  • Coollattin - Team (4 person) €15 pp
  • County Sligo - Singles €35
  • Donegal/Murvagh - Gents Singles €30 pp
  • Enniscorthy - Mixed Fourball €15 pp
  • Esker Hills – Team (4 person) €20 pp
  • The European – Mixed Singles (GUI/ILGU) €50
  • Glasson – Team (4 person) €25 pp, in aid of LauraLynn
  • Glen of the Downs – Mixed Singles €20
  • Gort - Men's Singles €15
  • Headfort New – Singles €25
  • Mountrath - Mixed Singles €12
  • Newcastle West - Mixed Singles, or Team event €20 pp
  • North West - Gents 'Shamrock Open' Single €25
  • Portumna - Champagne Scramble (3-person team) €15 pp
  • Rathcore – Singles €15
  • Rosapenna - 4 person Scramble (Shotgun start 11am, includes one main course meal) €25 pp
  • West Waterford – Team (4 person) €25 pp 
  • Wicklow - Scramble (Shotgun start 8.30/1.30, includes Irish stew) €15 pp
Views over the (temporary) 1st green at Ardglass

Northern Ireland

  • Ardglass - Mixed Singles £13
  • Bangor – Singles £10
  • Castlerock - Scramble £25 pp
  • Dunmurry - Mixed Singles £15
  • Spa – Singles £20

The par three 5th at Castlemartyr
There are a couple of other noteworthy events:
  1. St Patrick’s Day at Lough Erne will see night golf (five holes) for experienced golfers, played with revolutionary LED golf balls. Entry is for teams of four at £25 pp. There will also be a fireworks display and a trick shot artist performance… and a chance to ‘Beat the Pro’. It’s all in aid of Marie Curie.
  2. Castlemartyr is also hosting a ‘Paddy's Day’ event… albeit on Friday 18th March. This is a three-person Scramble, costing €120 per team, which includes a Green Curry lunch. Now, I'm guessing it's a 'green' curry to tie in with the occasion, but I'm assuming it won't actually be green... unlike the seafood chowder I had in San Francisco 20 years ago, which was very green indeed. Delicious, for sure, but difficult to eat with your eyes open!
And remember, unlike the lads and ladettes who feel obliged to wear giant green leprechaun hats on Paddy's Day, you don't have to. Among other things, putting would be a nightmare!

So go on, get out there and give your Paddy's Day a very different swing.

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