Wednesday, June 28, 2017


Views over Portstewart's famous 1st hole.
THE countdown is well and truly on and the excitement is building ahead of next week’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation at Portstewart Golf Club. As part of the prestigious Rolex Series, this year’s event is expected to be the biggest Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in the tournament’s illustrious history… but how well do you know your

Sunday, June 25, 2017

County Louth Golf Club 125th Anniversary

A couple of weeks ago, County Louth launched their official 125th anniversary celebrations. A week long string of events started with a four person team event. It was beautiful day, a well managed occasion and a lot of fun. And yes, I was fortunate to be one of the invited guests, playing with two members (Michael and Emer) and Ron Smartt, from Travelling the Fairways. That's Ron, below, demonstrating how to play the

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Take on the Druid

The very wet par three 17th at Druids Glen
Is there a more daunting tee shot in Irish golf than the par four 13th at Druids Glen? There's something about the fairway far below, whipping right and out of sight around a rock face, that makes it utterly terrifying. Knowing that a long approach shot over water then awaits will have you gripping your driver far too tightly. The hole measures 451 yards... from the forward tees. I have played it numerous times over the year… and every time fills me with a thrill and not a little dread.
The par three 8th
From the back Blue tee it is 491 yards. I have never played it from there but on Friday 30th June that is exactly what I will be doing as Druids Glen hosts its first ever Open Singles back tees event. The par 71 course will measure a full 7,046 yards. OK, so that's not of Killeen Castle proportions (7,677 yards) but on the plus side it makes Druids Glen more accessible. The 13th may be a monster but the longest of the three par fives is just 538 yards (the 16th) and the par threes measure 190/166/174/203 yards... making it all manageable, although woe betide you if you get to the par three 17th with any kind of score. At Index 5 it is not a hole where you can 'play safe'. At least on the 13th you can play it as a par five.
The famous par three 12th
A couple of months ago, Aaron McAllorum outlined Ireland's various clubs hosting 'back tee' events in the pages of Irish Golfer Magazine’s Digital ezine. I mean, think about it: how many of the big courses have back tees that are never used yet every day they are diligently tended by the greenkeeping staff? Use it or lose it, I reckon.
Approach to the 15th
The cost of entry is €50 per visitor, a €20-€50 discount on the normal green fee. Now bear in mind that this is Ireland' most colourful and fun parkland (IMO), host to four Irish Opens, and you're going to have plenty of golfers queuing up to play.  And you’ll be playing from the same tees as Sergio when he won the Irish Open in 1999 – his first professional victory.

You can book here

See you on the tee.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

114th Ladies British Open Amateur Championship

Approach to P&K's 5th hole
Anyone who thinks the ladies game of golf is taking a back seat to the men's should think again. Eleven amateurs are competing in the 114th Ladies British Open Amateur Championship, which starts today at Pyle & Kenfig.

The Championship, being hosted by the R&A for the first time after the merger of the Ladies Golf Union (LGU) and the R&A at the beginning of this year, will be contested by 144 competitors from 24 countries, including 33 players ranked in the top 100 of the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR).

Of the 58 players representing the Home Nations 11 are from Ireland. World Number One and

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Golf World Top 100 Irish Golf Courses 2017

Lahinch Golf Club. A dramatic climb into the Top 5.
The biennial Top 100 Irish Golf Course rankings by Golf World have just been released. Golf World is a UK magazine and as well as producing a GB & Ireland Top 100 ranking, they also produce individual rankings for England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

The ranking criteria have evolved over the years, as have the panellists, their number and their areas of expertise. It is very easy to have a panel heavily weighted with professional golfers, golf course architects, golf writers and those working in golf itself (general

Friday, June 9, 2017

Golf and Glasson's Sunday Special

The Glasson Golf Hotel is currently running a Sunday Special of 1 night's Dinner, Bed & Breakfast, and 2 rounds of golf (the 2nd comes with the compliments of the hotel) for the price of €125 pps.

Glasson’s driveway glides between big trees and above the course’s best holes which drift down to the edge of Killenure Bay… and one of the most stunning par threes in

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Carton House - Monty Mashes It Up

When I wrote an article on Carton House for Irish Golfer Magazine a couple of months ago, I stated that the Montgomerie was a seriously tough course… one of the top ten most challenging courses in the country, in my opinion.

At the time, I had played it on my own and scored well… if unofficially... and I left feeling pleased with myself and not a little bit relieved. I love the course but you come in knowing you're taking on a heavyweight.

Yesterday was the Carton House Media Day, and the Montgomerie was all set to flex

Monday, June 5, 2017

Social Media Open Portugal, November 2017

Combine all that is good in Irish golf and what you love about the game… and add some warmth and sunshine.

The original, Irish-based Social Media Open kicked off in 2013. Forty golfers turned up at Mount Juliet for the opening day of a four day amateur pairs’ event that also visited Adare, Old Head and Castlemartyr. Golf Monthly magazine was so impressed by the tournament’s idea that they sent a reporter to take part (what a hardship!).

Since then, the event has gone from strength to strength, with this year’s Social Media

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Golf Sixes with Rory - at the DDF Irish Open

Portstewart's 6th green
Now this is a rather special idea for all Irish golfers, young and old. How would you like to win a six-hole, inside-the-ropes experience with Rory McIlroy at the 2017 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, hosted by the Rory Foundation at Portstewart Golf Club?

The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation is teaming up with VOX Golf and Rory McIlroy to offer golfers a truly unique experience ahead of the prestigious Rolex Series event, which takes place from July 6-9.

“Golf Sixes with Rory” is a six-hole competition launching on Friday June 2 throughout the island of Ireland, with the qualifying events running until Wednesday June 28.

The lucky winners of a six-hole competition, throughout the island of Ireland, will walk six holes inside the ropes with Rory McIlroy during this year’s tournament.

To compete, download the VoxGolf app, select your course and enter the “Golf Sixes with Rory” competition by playing any run of six holes – it must be the first six, middle six or final six holes of any course of your choice.

Then after you have played your six holes, simply submit your score and view a live leaderboard.

The best six scores from each course will qualify into a draw to win a special six-hole walk inside the ropes with Rory during the opening two rounds of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.
The 6th green at Portstewart
Entry is completely free and golfers can enter as many times as they wish, with their best score counting. Entry is open to all GUI registered club members and MyGolf Group society players.

All golfers who enter the six-hole competition will receive the opportunity to purchase a discounted Dubai Duty Free Irish Open ticket and, in addition to that, will have the chance to win Nike apparel, Taylor Made equipment and tickets to the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

VoxGolf is an Irish-based software company developing mobile applications for golfers and the golf industry worldwide. The VoxGolf platform enables users to compete nationally in competitions over any number of holes.
A close look at Portstewart's par four 11th
The free mobile app acts as a digital scorecard for players, with a live leaderboard to monitor performance after the round.