Sunday, February 19, 2017

A Kings Ransom at Lough Erne This May

There are so many great tournaments, classics and events being run across Ireland that it can be difficult to keep up. You spot an opportunity to play a great course or to try to qualify for some glorious prize, only to discover that the opportunity has passed you by.

Not this time!
The 17th tee, looking towards the resort.
Leading amateur golfers from Ireland now have the opportunity to play Lough
Erne in May, this year, against amateurs from the USA, in a competition which will see the two countries battle it out for one of the most prestigious trophies in amateur golf.

Billed as the amateur Ryder Cup, the International Kings Cup Match Play Event is a leading amateur event played in honour of golf’s greatest ambassador, Mr Arnold Palmer.

Four provincial qualifiers will be staged across Ireland in a bid to find the best Irish amateurs to take on the USA in a three day, 54 Hole Matchplay Tournament, from 22-25 May, 2017.
Approaching the par five 6th
The event is structured like the Ryder Cup and was created in 2016 when the United States Golf Challenge, the largest pairs, better ball tournament brought their leading eight pairs to Northern Ireland to compete against Ireland in the first ever International Kings Cup.

The format of the event is unique as it has openings for every person who holds an official GUI handicap. There are also two age brackets from which the two man teams can qualify - 18+ and Senior 50+ - to try to represent Ireland. There are also four ‘Flights’ of handicap categories – see details below as restrictions apply.
The 2nd hole at Lough Erne, in deep woodland.
There are two stages of qualification with the first being held across a leading course in each province.

Ulster Qualifier – Ardglass Golf Club                                Friday 24 March
(Tel: 02844841022  ROI : 048 44841022)

Leinster Qualifier – Dunmurry Springs Golf Club             Sunday 26 March
(Tel: + 353 45 531400 ROI: 045 531400)

Munster Qualifier – Ennis Golf Club                                 Friday 31 March
(Tel: +353 65 682 4074 ROI: 065 682 4074)

Connaught Golf Club – Westport Golf Club                      Saturday 1 April
(Tel: +353 98 28262 ROI: 098 28262)

Final Qualifier - Lough Erne Resort                                    Sunday 23rd April
(Tel:+44 (0)28 6632 3230 | 048 6632 3230 44)

Eight teams from each qualifier will go forward to compete in a final qualifying stage to be played on the magnificent Faldo Course at the five-star Lough Erne Resort, in County Fermanagh.

Speaking as the event was announced, Lynn McCool, Director of Golf and Head Professional at Lough Erne Resort, said it was a fantastic tribute to the legendary Arnold Palmer and an event which would attract golfers from all across Ireland.
Views over the 7th hole and the lough.
“Following the success of the 2016 staging of the International Kings Cup this is one of the most eagerly anticipated amateur tournaments in 2017. We at Lough Erne Resort are thrilled to be hosting this event for the second consecutive year which will see 32 golfers from across the United States and Ireland play on the legendary Faldo Course. 

“We look forward to welcoming players from both sides of the Atlantic to the event, which looks set to stir up Ryder Cup-style rivalry amongst the teams. Competitors will be able to experience first-hand Lough Erne Resort and why Northern Ireland is truly a country made for golf.”

Rules of Play

Format: The format for play is Four-Ball stroke play as defined in Rule 31 per the USGA® Rules of Golf in which two players play as partners, each playing their own ball. The lower score of the partners is the score for the hole. If one partner fails to complete the hole there is no penalty.

Amateurs Only: International Kings cup is open ONLY to amateur golfers holding an official GUI handicap

Teams: Teams in the Irish Team Qualifiers may be formed by any combination of male participants (18 Years or older).

Divisions: There are two divisions - Open Division and Senior Division. The Open Division is open to all ages. The Senior Division is for Players 50 years of age and above prior to the provincial qualifier. A Player that is 50+ is allowed to compete in the Open division.
Views back down Lough Erne's par five 14th
Flights: Each Division has four flights. Championship, A-Flight, B-Flight and C-Flight 

Flight Handicaps:

·      Championship        4.9 or less
·      A Flight                     5.0-9.9
·      B Flight                      10.0-14.9
·      C Flight                     15.0 and above

A Team Handicap is determined by totaling the handicap index of player A and player B together and dividing it in half. Example - Player A is a 10 handicap and player B is a 15 handicap totaling 25. Divide the total of 25 in half and the Team Handicap is 12.5. That team would be in the "B" Flight.

Important Note: no team can have a handicap differential of more than 8 strokes between teammates. Example - a player that is a 10 handicap cannot play with a player that is a 24 handicap, unless that player drops his handicap down from a 24 to 18. Their team handicap would be 10+18=28/2 = 14.

Entries for each provincial Qualifier will run directly through the office of each hosting
club. Contact Details above.

ENTRY FEE PROVINCIAL QUALIFIER                                 
£40 / €50 per person  

IRISH TEAM Representatives will be announced in their pairs at the National Final
Qualifier on 23 April 2017. All team members announced must be available for all four tournament Dates:  22 - 25 May. Each member of the Irish Team will stay at the 5-star Lough Erne Resort for the duration
of the event.

Day 1: Team Practice Round and Opening Ceremony Gala Dinner
Day 2: Tournament Day
Day 3: Tournament Day
Day 4: Tournament Day and Closing Ceremony Dinner

Uniforms will be provided for all 3 Tournament Days

Go on, give it a lash. Sounds like it would be serious fun if you qualified.

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