Ever played 54 holes of championship golf for €30? In a time of economic crisis what could be better value than the Connacht Mid Amateur Championship, which will be played at Roscommon Golf Club from September 26-27.
If you are aged 35 or over on the first day of the event and have a handicap of seven or better, you're guaranteed at least two rounds in the 54-hole championship, where the top 30 and ties will play the third and final round.
In fact, players with handicaps higher than seven have an excellent chance of testing their skills on a course that has been lovingly redesigned by former amateur great Ken Kearney. At the time of writing, only 23 players had entered.
According to the General Secretary of the Connacht Branch, Enda Lonergan: "The field is restricted to 69 players in handicap order due to the 36 hole format on day one. But to date in Connacht the maximum number of starters we have had was 63 in 2008 so don't be put off entering by this number. With late withdrawals, it is likely that all those who enter will get a chance to play."
Enda adds: "The Mid Amateur phenomenon is new to the Irish Golfing Championship calendar in relative terms with Munster getting the ball rolling about six or seven years ago and Connacht and Leinster both following suit in the last four years.
"The idea is to provide a competitive Championship platform for those over 35years of age (on the first day of the event) who perhaps due to work and family pressures or a slight rise in their handicaps are unable to compete in the Senior Championships, but can still meet and compete with their peers on a Championship level though the Mid Amateur events.
"The Mid Amateur Championships worldwide are a huge part of the golfing scene with the US being the front runner and Europe has also shown a strong growth in this area since 2000.
"The event's format is a 54-hole strokeplay with 36 holes on Saturday (Day 1) and the top-30 and ties then playing a final 18 Holes on Sunday morning (Day 2).
"The entry is a mere €30 which includes a Soup & Sandwich between Rounds 1 & 2, so for potentially three rounds of golf and your s&s you are getting the best value there is in golf today and on one of the province's finest parkland courses to boot.
"Prize vouchers to the value of €2000 will be awarded with numerous gross and nett prizes (Overall & Each day).
"Entries are by Official Championship Entry Form to the Connacht Branch Office by no later than Thursday September 10 and forms can be downloaded from the Brach’s website at www.gui.ie/connacht
2006 Ken Kearney (Roscommon) 218
2007 Eamon Haugh (Castletroy) 222
2008 Alan Condren (Greystones) 217