This year’s Great Irish Links Challenge will take place from May 7-9 at Ballybunion, Lahinch and Doonbeg.
Three years ago the three clubs, which were all voted to be in the World’s Top 100 Golf Courses as chosen by Golf World, joined forces to offer golfers the opportunity to play three of Ireland’s best links courses in teams of four over three days.
The winning score is based on the cumulative team performance using the Stableford scoring system. Nearly 200 played in both 2011 and 2012 with participants coming from the US, Sweden, Australia and UK. In both years there was a strong representation from local teams.
Last year’s Great Irish Links champions were a Galway based team of Gus Connors, Pat Curtis, David Daly and Mike Odell, who held off a strong overseas challenge to take the top spot.
This year’s event begins on Monday, May 6 with registration and a welcome reception at Doonbeg followed by 18 holes of competition over the next three days.
The entry fee for this year’s Great Irish Links Challenge is €595 per person. The fee includes a welcome reception, golf at the three courses, daily transport to the three courses, prizes and the final gala dinner. It does not include flights or accommodation.
Doonbeg’s general manager, Joe Russell said: “While the event showcases some of the best links golf Ireland has to offer, we are finding that the guys enjoy the craic and Irish hospitality equally as much. It is the type of program that highlights the whole tourism offering in Ireland.”
Vari McGreevy, general manager, Ballybunion, said that the fact the three courses were so close together gave golfers a fantastic opportunity to play three of the world’s top 100. She also said that there was a real desire particularly amongst overseas players to play Irish links courses which for them are very much a major part of the history of the sport.
Paddy Keane, general manager, Lahinch, said that he believed the Great Irish Links Challenge was doing a great job in drawing further attention to Irish links golf worldwide.
“The event has put a spotlight on the southwest region as a place that has some of the finest seaside links anywhere in the world and with easy access through Shannon, we’re optimistic about the future of this event,” he said.
Full details can be found on the website www.greatirishlinkschallenge.com or by phoning +353 65 9055 602.