Golf writer & photographer. Author of ‘Hooked’, the most comprehensive guide to Ireland's golf courses, and ‘Driving the Green’. Published by Collins Press. Editor for Destination Golf Ireland, feature writer for Irish Golfer Magazine freelancer for Irish Examiner. Golf is in the blood. http://www.kevinmarkhamphotography.com
Monday, May 29, 2017
Atlantic Coast Challenge 2017 (Golf at Carne, Enniscrone, Co. Sligo)
Views back up Carne's par four 3rd
As a golfer what’s the one thing you look
forward to most in the year? There must be something!
The hour going forward? The first day of
The Masters? Your first tee shot, whether it’s January or June? That holiday
abroad? Or the arrival of your new driver? More than likely, it’s a combination
of more than one of these things.
For me, over the past six years, it has
been the anticipation of playing in the Atlantic Coast Challenge (ACC). The
three-day tournament (3-5 July) plays over Carne, Co. Sligo and Enniscrone golf
clubs and is open to all amateurs. It is links heaven, it’s a lot of fun and it
is, by any stretch of the imagination, excellent value
for money. Funnily
enough, none of the reasons listed above enter into it for me because the ACC is
about playing three of my favourite golf courses and hanging out with two great
mates – one of whom comes back from New York every year to play in the event.
Yes, it is competitive (Stableford scoring)
if you want it to be but, like most of the golfers who turn up from numerous
countries around the world, I tend to look at it as an opportunity to play
great links courses with close friends for not a lot of money.
Tee shot on Carne's 8th
You can play the courses in any order as
there are three rotas. I’ve always favoured the Co Sligo/Carne/Enniscrone rota
as it’s easy to get to Co. Sligo from Dublin on the 1st day (and therefore you
only need to find accommodation for two nights). Plus, the prize-giving is at
Enniscrone on the final evening… not that we’ve ever been within an arse’s roar
of winning anything. The cost of entry is €145. Look at the rack rate fees and
you’ll appreciate that you’re paying less than 40 per cent of the regular green
fees. In July!
There are over a dozen other ‘challenges’
around Ireland (from Waterford to Donegal), and I urge you to try at least one
of them. It really is one of the best ways to experience many of our top
courses, especially as you are more than likely to be doing it with friends.
And who knows, you might win a prize (the ACC prize fund is worth €6,000)… or you
The terrifying and terrific 17th at Carne
Accommodation options are plentiful… but
you do need to think about where you want to base yourself. The two most
popular options tend to be Enniscrone (I highly recommend the Diamond Coast,
which overlooks the course), or Ballina, where there are more options and a
As for the ACC, you can enter a team of
three or get paired up with other golfers if you’re on your lonesome. To enter, contact +353 97 82292 or email email@example.com