Friday, June 10, 2016

Golf Open Weeks Ireland 2016: Batch 1

Look around you. Whether you’re on the bus, at your office or in a coffee shop, chances are there’s someone nearby who is burning red and trying not to smile for fear of the pain. Sales of barbecues sky-rocketed over the Bank Holiday weekend, while petrol stations and newsagents struggled to keep up with the non-stop demand for 99s.

Yes, summer* has arrived and for golfers around the country that means Open Week
season is in full swing.

Actually, it’s more of a feeding frenzy as some 300 golf clubs clubs cram their Open Weeks and events into the months of Spring and Summer. For golfers it’s about picking the times and places to dive in. There are various sources of information where you’ll find the listings. The most obvious are the GUI ( and the somewhat more navigable websites, both of which allow you to book directly. There’s also @OpenGolfIreland on Twitter, which promotes the Open events going on around the country, while adding a touch of entertaining commentary too.

Coollattin's tricky par three 16th
What makes an Open Week or event so special? That’s easy: there are few better times, few better opportunities, to play Ireland’s great courses. In fact, there is no such thing as a downside to an Open event… unless you’re one of those golfers who gets miffed because your regular-as-clockwork 10am Wednesday tee time has been snaffled by some damn blow-in.

The Cost: entry fees are a fraction of the normal green fee: I played in Tullamore’s Open Week recently and the fee was just €15. Considering the quality of the course that is an absolute steal.

The Condition: Clubs will ensure that the course is in its best possible condition for Open Week, for obvious reasons – they want visitors to have the best possible experience and, hopefully, return at a later date, as well as saying positive things about the course. Take Tullamore – the conditioning was exceptional and the greens sublime. If you haven’t played it… go play it.
Tullamore's tight par four 13th
The Prizes: You get to play a course in top condition, at a fraction of the price and you have a shot at winning a prize, too! It might be golf gear, wine, crystal, a weekend break… or a lamp with a golfer on it. Yep, sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you don’t.

Here are half a dozen Open Weeks coming up:
  • Beech Park, 11-19 June. €10-€20 for visitors.
  • Connemara, 11-19 June. €30 for visitors.
  • Coollattin, 11-19 June. €20 for visitors.
  • Gort, 11-20 June. €15 for visitors.
  • Knockanally, 12-19 June. €5-€20 for visitors.
  • Portumna, 2-8 July. €15 for visitors.

But there are so many regular weekly Open events that you could go play golf at the drop of a hat or, based on recent trends, the drop of a 99.

* In the interests of transparency, it should be noted that by the time you read this article the Irish summer will probably be over.


  1. I was in the Dublin area two years ago and chatting to a golfing friend from the area. I commented on the obvious quality of the courses and said that green fess much be expensive (as they would be here in France for the same quality.) when he told me some of the prices, especially during open week, I was amazed! I have been planning a week's golfing in Ireland ever since and this article has just whet my appetite again.

    1. Thanks, I hope you find some new beauties on your next visit