Over 50 teams have already signed up to take part in the fifth Laois International Golf Challenge from 18-21 May.
The challenge has been created in a bid to showcase Ireland, and particularly Laois as an important tourism and golf destination to both domestic and international golfers.
Former Republic of Ireland and Manchester United star Paul McGrath officially launched the event at a reception at the Heritage Golf & Spa Resort in Killenard, Co. Laois on 19 March.
The event is a fourball, betterball competition played over six parkland golf courses in Laois - Portarlington, Abbeyleix, Mountrath, Rathdowney, The Heath and Portlaoise - with the Grand Final set for the Seve Ballesteros designed Heritage Golf & Spa Resort on Thursday 21 May.
Players can opt to play in individual daily competitions or they can choose to battle it out over the four days. Daily prizes will be awarded with an overall prize being presented to the winning team on the last day at a special tournament reception in the Heritage.
Sponsors of the event include; 4 Aces Wholesale Ltd, Laois County Council, Gala, Fáilte Ireland and The Laois Vintners Association. The entry fee for the day competition is €25 while the entry fee for the overall challenge is just €120.
Liam Lindon Managing Director of 4 Aces Wholesale said: "We are delighted to sponsor The Laois International Challenge. We believe this event will allow us to expose our brand to a wider audience. The sponsorship of this event compliments our own business which includes Gala convenience stores and the supply of product to the food and beverage industry”.
Laois is home to some of Ireland’s most impressive parkland courses and The Heritage Golf & Spa resort, where the final will be held is both a challenging but enjoyable course.
Co-designed by Seve Ballesteros and Jeff Howes it features 98 bunkers, five lakes and many streams which bring water into play onto 10 holes. It was selected by Golf World as one of the best courses in Great Britain and Ireland.
Over the last few years it has hosted the Seve Trophy, the AIB Irish Seniors Open, The Heritage Challenge and the finals of The Laois International Golf Challenge. Some of the world’s best golfers who have played here include Sam Torrance, Nick Faldo, Justin Rose, Vijay Singh and Colin Montgomerie
Honor Deevy, Tourism Officer with Laois County Council said: "We are really looking forward to this year’s event and are thrilled to have so many teams signed up already. This challenge will allow us to showcase Ireland and Laois as a very attractive golfing destination. We are hopeful that this event will encourage tourism and support business in Laois and believe it will help to boost the overall profile of the county and its many attractions."