Thursday, February 27, 2020

Golf Ireland Launches Its Brand Identity

On Monday this week, Golf Ireland launched its logo... as seen here.

I wrote this piece for the Irish Examiner, explaining the launch and the background to Golf Ireland. If you are an overseas visitor to my blog then you won't have any idea what Golf Ireland is all about. The article will explain it in depth but, basically, it's the new body that combines the separate Men's golfing union (GUI) and Ladies' golfing union (ILGU). Remarkably, Ireland is the last country in the world to have two separate unions based on gender.

I posted a Tweet showing the logo and inviting feedback from the Twittersphere. It wasn't positive.

"As a Venn diagram it would have been tricky in the junior cert."

"Take away the words and what are you left with. Spud-men? Mating amoeba? Two elastic bands?"

"With a squint of the eye it looks like someone is carrying something. Spud man with golf bag."

There wasn't one response that was complimentary.

Logos and branding are so difficult to get right and even more difficult to explain to the 'man on the street'. I was at the launch and listened to the rationale behind the logo's creation. Green shapes, bunker shapes, intertwining, moving away from the typical golf logo (of ball/flags/golfer silhouette)... sure, it made sense when it was explained in detail but if the typical golfer doesn't have this information to hand and they look at the above logo... what are they going to think?

Well... what do you think?

Saturday, February 1, 2020

The Top 100 Irish Golf Course Rankings... x 2

January comes to an end but the month saw two Irish golf course rankings published. Oh sure, golf rankings cause people to argue or even sneer but they also entice people to visit courses they might not otherwise have played. 
By all means debate whether Grange is better than Castle, better than Hermitage. Is Ballybunion better than Lahinch? Which is the best parkland in Northern Ireland, or Cork for that matter? 

Rankings will spell that out in black and white and whether you agree with them or not they’re a starting point for a conversation… and, in the end, it’s a consensus of experts so it has some standing that deserves a look…
… so take a look
Destination Golf Top 150
Destination Golf's 150 best Irish courses are ranked in three categories: Platinum for the top tier, then Gold, then Silver. Lots of photographs and lots of descriptions (written by me) of the courses.

Carton House (Montgomerie) 16 green

Irish Golfer Top 100 
This changes every year thanks to changing personnel on the judging panel and follows a set of ranking criteria that put design to the fore. I am part of this panel and it is an exhausting process to rank 100 courses, decide which don’t make the cut this year (this is seriously difficult), and who out of Castle, Grange, Hermitage… and all the rest… get the bragging rights this time around. A lot of courses are doing work and thins influences things considerably. Take Ardglass, Dundalk, and Dingle – all three making changes that will alter things considerably on their courses.
Connemara Links