Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Five New Courses added to the Carr Golf Fold

Blainroe 7th hole
There have been few good news stories doing the rounds of Irish golf recently so it is always welcome to dwell on those when they do appear.

Carr Golf announced last week that five new golf clubs have been added to its Course Maintenance portfolio across Ireland. That brings to 18 the number of courses being serviced by the company. At heart, clubs want to improve course standards and as specialists in golf course maintenance, Carr Golf brings a level of professionalism that achieves just that. Look on social media or on chat forums and you’ll read that Corballis – one of those 18 – is in the best condition it has ever been.

It is no surprise therefore that Carr Golf is continuing its drive in the domestic golf market with the announcement of several long-term deals. Over the past six months, the company has been enlisted by five clubs: Ardglass in Down, Blainroe in Wicklow, Edmondstown in Dublin, Ardee Golf Club and Seapoint Golf Links in Louth.

Despite the economic challenges posed by Covid-19, golf enjoyed a domestic boost during those periods when courses were open for play in 2020. So, it appears, did Carr Golf. What’s more, there are plans for continued growth by a company recognised as the industry leader.

Seapoint Golf Links 16th

Ed Pettit, Managing Director of Carr Golf Maintenance Division said: 'We are delighted to be working with the teams across these five incredible courses. The new signings are extremely exciting for us as we continue to work with courses throughout the country to improve and streamline their course maintenance. While Covid has widely impacted the golf industry in the past year, we have seen an increase in appetite amongst the domestic market in Ireland."

Pettit added: "We are working with the green keeping teams at the clubs to help them maximise their ability to present the golf course to the highest possible standard. Our goal is to create the best possible playing surfaces and provide members with an enjoyable and challenging experience year-round. Our aim is to work with each of these clubs to increase their national ranking, to strategically improve their course and equipment fleet and to work with them to help increase memberships year on year. Once the current lockdown restrictions lift, we cannot wait to see people back out enjoying the courses in Ardglass, Blainroe, Edmondstown and Ardee Golf Clubs and Seapoint Golf Links."

The lockdown has been ‘good’ for not a lot, but greenkeeping teams have certainly had the hours and opportunity to get much needed work done at courses nationwide. Golfers are indeed itching to get back on the fairways and they can expect courses in excellent condition when that moment finally arrives.


Ardglass Golf Club, in Co. Down, is the most recent club recruited, with the partnership commencing in January. Paul Vaughan, PGA Professional and Director of Golf at Ardglass commented: "Carr Golf Maintenance has now been with us here at Ardglass since the start of the calendar year and they have already made a huge impact in such a short space of time. The team is working closely with our green-keeping staff to provide expertise and resources to help produce first class playing performance at this crucial time for our club. We believe that Carr Golf's innovative techniques and technologies will enhance the golfing experience and provide the best possible surfaces all year round while developing the performance of our own team by creating a culture and broadening their skills through training and mentoring. We look forward to working with them over the next few years".

Carr Golf has developed its technology and approach over 30 years and the company’s experience allows clubs the opportunity to increase productivity and efficiency, which results in increased performance and improved standards across the board. In recent years, Carr Golf has seen a steady growth in the uptake of their maintenance service with, on average, three to five club partnerships being signed each year.

Golf clubs always want their course to be presented to the best possible standard. In a few weeks’ time, when we do get back to playing golf, one of the first debates we will be having with fellow golfers is what kind of condition our courses are in. Five of those courses will undoubtedly impress their members.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Golf's Stay & Play 2021

2021 is not yet two months old, Covid19 remains rampant and vaccines provide no guarantees. 

On the other hand, things are looking a lot better than they were a few months ago when certain morons were suggesting the cure was to inject bleach. The cautious optimism heading into spring and summer has golfers waiting patiently (or impatiently, depending on your point of view) for courses to re-open. International travel will be severely limited for the global cohort of golfers so the stay-at-home stay and play offers will be keenly anticipated by all. Hotels and local golf courses, golf resorts and the likes of Fairways & Fundays are all gearing up for the holiday-at-home audience.

Druids Glen par-3 8th

This was made abundantly clear by three things in the past week:

1. The Irish Times Weekend magazine (Feb 20) had a six-page spread on Staycations, covering 38 different accommodation providers (from 5 star to camping). Nine of these were were hotels with golf courses attached and the Irish Times was kind enough to mention the availability of golf. Included were Adare, Ashford Castle, Castlemartyr, Druids Glen, Faithlegg, Farnham Estate, Fota Island, Kilkea Castle, and The Heritage. 

Places like Carton House, Mount Juliet, The K Club, Slieve Russell, Waterford Castle, Dromoland Castle, Glasson, Moyvalley, Powerscourt, Portmarnock Links, Ballykisteen, Dundrum House, Mount Wolseley, Ballymascanlon, Doonbeg, Rosapenna, Macreddin, Knightsbrook, and Castle Dargan failed to be mentioned. We have a wealth of them so it's no surprise that not would make the cut.

2. Fairways & Fundays have started their 'at home' offers. There will be many more companies and hotel/golf course combos doing the same thing in the weeks and months ahead but Fairways and Fundays tend to have a march on their competitors and come up with some cracking deals. See below for just one example!

3. Destination Golf Top 150 Courses in Ireland

This annual publication - of which I am the editor - has a five page spread on the Stay-and-Play opportunities in 2021... and it includes many of the resorts and locations missed by The Irish Times. The article starts on page 14.