The Irish PGA is looking for a new home following a decision by The European Club not to host the event next season.

And that means more headaches for PGA Irish Region secretary Michael McCumiskey, who has struggled to find sponsorship since long time backers Smurfit pulled the plug in 2003.

Pat Ruddy, the designer and President of The European Club, has decided to take a break after hosting the famous championship for the past three years.

Disruption to the membership and the loss of green fee income at the height of the season are some of the reasons behind the decision.

Ruddy said: “It is hard to see an 'old friend' go ... but it is to be hoped that we will get back together again down the fairway!”

Padraig Harrington used the Irish PGA at The European Club as a stepping stone to Open glory at Carnoustie and Royal Birkdale in 2007 and 2008.

He won his sixth Irish Professional title and his third in a row at The European Club last July but failed to complete a hat-trick of Claret Jugs at Turnberry the following week.

In a letter to Mr McCumiskey, Mr Ruddy wrote: 

I have been considering our position regarding hosting the Irish Professional Championship and decided to write asking whether we might be released from the event in 2010.

We have been honoured to host the event in 2007, 2008 and 2009 and everyone in Irish golf was thrilled with the outcome as our champion Padraig Harrington went on to win The Open twice and the US PGA. Our original plan of hosting a fine championship and helping one of our star players prepare for The Open could hardly have met with greater success!

It was indeed remarkable that he won in a playoff here in 2007, after having difficulties on the 71st hole, and went to Carnoustie the following week to win in a playoff after having difficulties on the 72nd hole. Then, in 2008 he won by four at The European Club and retained The Open the following week by the exact same margin. Further coincidence, or maybe we had our links about right for championship fare, was that he won by two fewer strokes at Carnoustie and Birkdale than he had won by here!

The fact that he didn't complete a "double treble" of three Irish and three British titles in a row in 2009 was hardly disappointing as golf is like that.

In any case, we have hosted five National Championships in the last four years, Trish Mangan and Rory McIlroy having won the Irish ladies' and men's amateur titles respectively here in 2006, and the time has come for our members and guests to have a break and to that end we have begun a severe cutting back of our roughs to accommodate normal humans.

Hopefully, we will have other happy days together and even see your great and historic championship return here. Until then we wish you, the PGA and the championship all the very best.

Sincerely in Golf,