Friday, March 24, 2017

New Portmarnock Links Professional

The Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links (PHGL) has been making significant changes in the past two years. Large sums of money (€10M) have been pumped into the golf course and the hotel, improving and revitalising what was an already impressive golf product, and now the next stage in the resort's evolution is taking place.

Conor Russell has been appointed head professional by PHGL. This is the first time that PHGL has appointed a professional.  Conor comes to Portmarnock from Sutton GC (not far to travel, so) where he has been the professional since 2005. In his new role he will work closely with PHGL’s Director of Golf Moira Cassidy to maximise the potential of the golf offering.

From a member perspective, as well as enhancing the reputation of the golf course, a new Pro

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Ladies... You're On The Tee

After last week’s plug in the Irish Golfer Digital+ magazine for the Dooks Father & Son tournament (and similar events) on 21st April, it seems only fair to give the ladies a share of the limelight.

With women’s golf growing more popular it makes sense that more events and opportunities should be dedicated to lady golfers. Ladies can play in plenty of Open events and the

Monday, March 20, 2017

Arise Rathsallagh

The resurrection of Rathsallagh restored my faith in Irish golf last year. The work done to get it back to its best was and continues to be the big story for this Co. Wicklow golf course. It was always too good to disappear for long.

There have been numerous debates about how golf will evolve in this country and the closure of nearly 20 courses in the past decade is a sign of the times. If I’m honest, I’m both surprised and disappointed that it isn’t more. For golf to thrive we need a strong membership base… not one that sees golfers switch from one club to the next, following the best low price deals. 
The 18th green and clubhouse.

It just means that a majority of our clubs are left in limbo, never quite sure what’s coming next, and struggling to make ends meet. Remove another 30 golf clubs from the 400+ stock we currently have and those remaining courses have a much better chance of survival.

Anyway, I digress. This month’s Course Feature in Irish Golfer Magazine is on Rathsallagh. Here’s the link (or pick up a copy in a golf club or newsagent near you). It doesn’t take long before you appreciate how much I like this Co. Wicklow parkland.
The par five 6th approach.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

St Patrick's Day Golf

Maybe it's just me, but this year there seem to be an awful lot more Irish golf clubs running open events on St Patrick's Day (and over the weekend). Is that because it's a Friday? Is it because St Patrick's Day is becoming the traditional day that fair-weather golfers come out of hibernation? Or is it because clubs have realised that they can open up their course to visitors and - without being cynical - they can generate some cashflow?

Or is it because some of these events will be the first of the year to affect handicaps. Given that this is the GUI's month of #TheFairWay campaign it is worth noting that for every golfer who

Friday, March 10, 2017

The GUI Handicap Cheat Debate #TheFairWay

There's an impressive debate going on at the moment as the GUI's dedicated #TheFairWay campaign runs throughout March. Aimed at targeting the handicap cheats we all have a role to play in making our game fairer... every club... every golfer.

Here's an article I wrote on the matter for the Irish Examiner.

It is no easy challenge and this is undoubtedly the first step on a long path... but it's a step. If you want to take part in this debate why not leave a comment and suggest some ways to counter the (very small percentage of) cheats who are having far too much impact on our game. Come on, how do we stop them?

Thursday, March 2, 2017

A Matter of the Masters - Six Irish Golf Events

Sun kisses the 18th hole at Esker Hills at last year's event.
What golf nut isn't already thinking about the Masters? What golf nut isn't contemplating how they'll play their regular weekend round while ensuring they still get to watch every thrilling minute of the year's first and, for many, best Major?

May I steer you in the direction of a number of themed events, starting with From Esker Hills to

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Double Whammy for Wexford Golf

This is a short blog post. Not much more needs to be said about the front pages of our two local newspapers this week - a picture, as they say, is worth a thousand words. Each front page centres on a depressing story about a local golf course. What is bizarre, however, is that the two papers which come out on the same day focus on a different golf course.

The par three 18th at Courtown... it's the other end of the
course that is at risk from erosion.