Friday, October 30, 2020

The K Club Enters a Different World

The K Club may have changed hands in the past year and the two courses may have been renamed (Palmer North and Palmer South) but this week the golf on offer at this famous venue introduced something very different... K Golf World

Located next to the Palmer South course, K Golf World promises you the opportunity to play some of the best courses in the world at this most iconic of golf resorts. Weather? No bother, it's all indoors. 

K Golf World is a sophisticated, comfortable, suite of state of the art standalone golf simulators with eight spacious and high-tech bays, each accommodating a maximum of four golfers at a time, and all backed with the exceptional five-star service and attention to detail of The K Club.  

Here's the technical detail:
With two hyper-speed cameras operating at 3,000 frames per second, which also produce a stereoscopic effect, the K Golf World simulator system provides real-time footage of ball spin, club path and true impact — and one of the very few systems available that can measure actual spin data. The overhead monitors also track both ball and club data with unmatched accuracy, allowing golfers to swing freely because of their ceiling mounts. Swing analysis cameras are directly integrated with the software in addition to the tracking cameras, and the videos are displayed after each shot to give proof of what happened, making it suitable for all users, especially club fitters and coaches.

The user-friendly interface ensures you will always have the right data, right there in front of you, so you can drive your own continuous self-improvement with unrivalled graphic quality. And have one hell of an experience at the same time.

Star Attraction

You can go solo and enjoy your own virtual driving range, work on your short game and practice your drives, approach shots, chips and putts on any hole in the world

Yes, you and your friends can also play a virtual round and compete on some of the world’s greatest golf courses from the comfort of Ireland’s first custom-built public simulator facility, with its spacious and luxuriously furnished bays, bar and excellent food.

Imagine the enjoyment of playing the 17th island hole at TPC Sawgrass, the Postage Stamp 8th at Royal Troon, the tiny acre that houses the iconic 7th hole at Pebble Beach — and being back home in time for dinner. 

Bays are available from €40 per hour*. For further information and to reserve your time see K Golf World will open as soon as it’s safe to do so.

So even despite the lockdown, winter golf is looking brighter with K Golf World opening next month. Low handicappers to fair weather players, and those who won’t make it to Spain or Portugal this year, you still have the opportunity to head to County Kildare to experience golf with a difference... and leave your wet gear at home.  

*Masters discount - for the week of the Masters, starting November 12th -  15th - buy a K Golf World voucher and get an additional 20%. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Donegal: The Power of New

It is surprising – to me at least – that Irish golfers are not that aware of the many ‘new’ things happening at Irish golf courses. We all knew about the massive upgrade at Adare Manor and many of us had heard that Skellig Bay was evolving into Hog’s Head, but the changes going on in Co. Donegal over the past three years have slipped by relatively unnoticed.

One of the new (Pat Ruddy) holes on the Old Tom
course at Rosapenna.

I conducted a poll on Twitter asking if people knew that Tom Doak was redesigning

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

€600,000 R&A Funding for Irish Clubs Announced

110 clubs took advantage of the funding that was made available to Irish golf clubs during the 1st phase of the Covid19 pandemic. Personally, I can't decide if I'm impressed or disappointed at that number of 110. It's approximately a quarter of Irish golf clubs, and I'd expected more clubs to take advantage of the 'free' funding. 

Here's the press release from Golf Ireland with the details.


  • Almost €600,000 secured for golf clubs across Ireland
  • 110 clubs awarded grants
  • Boost for clubs after difficult year


A total of €596,550 will be awarded to 110 clubs which applied for The R&A Covid-19 support fund. Since its return, golf had been under immense pressure in a number of respects and a second closure will now heighten that pressure.


The phased nature of its initial return, beginning with limited tee time capacity for members only and without revenue-raising potential through green fees, open competitions, shop sales or catering meant that clubs were required to operate their facilities without any revenue streams to support the significant ongoing maintenance requirement. 


Notwithstanding this, the level of compliance with the Covid-19 Protocol had been extremely high, however many golf clubs and facilities will be facing serious financial difficulties as the global pandemic continues.


The R&A launched a Covid-19 Support Fund earlier this year with the aim of assisting National Associations in GB&I to support their affiliated clubs. Golf Ireland was responsible for administering a funding package of £555,000. 


The application process has now been completed in Ireland, using a criteria that targeted small to medium sized clubs and specifically those that could showcase immediate financial need. Of the clubs that applied for funding, 96% of clubs were successful in their applications.


Clubs who were successful in their application will receive a grant, ranging in value, and have met specific criteria including the following:

  • The club is eligible for relief from income tax and corporation tax for clubs under the exemptions provided for Games/Sporting bodies in ROI and clubs registered under the Registration of Clubs Act in NI. 
  • The club is member owned.
  • The club is in urgent need of The R&A funding in order continue to provide facilities for the normal playing of the game for their members and visitors.
  • The club has no entrance fee or an entrance fee of less than €1,500/£1,500.
  • The club’s membership income is lower than €600,000/£535,00 and/or green fee/society revenue is lower that €100,000/£90,000 as reported in the clubs 2019 financial statements. 
  • The club does not provide a financial return to stakeholders/owners.
  • The club's subscriptions are paid up to date for 2020 to both the GUI & ILGU.


Clubs successful in their application for funding must commit to signing the Women in Golf Charter and create an implementation plan to achieve the gold standard within an agreed timeline. In addition clubs must be compliant in all safeguarding regulations and will receive a safeguarding audit.


Mark Kennelly, CEO of Golf Ireland said: ‘‘Covid-19 has significantly impacted all areas of our society, sport and golf are no different. We are extremely grateful for the on-going support of The R&A throughout this turbulent period. While there are challenges ahead for golf, the funding supports made possible by The R&A will help those clubs most in need at this time. Clubs have demonstrated a need for this funding which will assist them in recruiting and retaining members while also ensuring appropriate safety procedures are in place at their facilities”.


“The R&A Covid-19 Support Fund will enable clubs to invest in areas which will make them more sustainable. Investment will be made to the way services are provided to club members and guests including to online platforms and/or facilities that will ensure the safety of all going forward.” 


Phil Anderton, Chief Development Officer at The R&A, said, “The pandemic is continuing to have an impact on the day-to-day operations of golf clubs and many of them have suffered loss of income due to circumstances not in their control. We have a responsibility to help protect golf from the effects of this crisis where we can and so we hope that our Covid-19 Support Fund will allow affiliated national associations to support clubs in dealing with the challenges of the pandemic and begin the process of recovery.”