Rosapenna named 2013 Golf Resort of the Year by IGTOA

Rosapenna named 2013 Golf Resort of the Year by IGTOA

RosapennaRosapenna Hotel & Golf Resort in Co Donegal has scooped the Ireland Golf Tour Operator Association’s (IGTOA) prestigious 2013 Golf Resort of the Year award.

The award ceremony took place at the Gala Irish Golf Awards in The Europe Hotel in Killarney last night.

John Casey, Director at Rosapenna said: “The Ireland Golf Tour Operator Association is the most prestigious organization for the recognition of Irish golf at home and internationally.

“Receiving the accolade of Irish Golf Resort of the Year 2013 is a tremendous honour for all at Rosapenna as we pride ourselves on providing the highest standard in championship links golf and accommodation to rival anywhere in the world for everyone that visits our resort.”


Rosapenna in the early days. Rosapenna - which features the Old Tom Morris Links, the Sandy Hills Links, the No. 3 Links, No. 4 Links and the Coastguard Nine - has a long illustrious golfing history dating to 1891 when Lord Leitrim brought Old Tom Morris of St Andrews to design the first links.

The Old Links opened for play in 1893 and a timber structured hotel was built soon afterwards, accommodating golfers from all over Europe and making Rosapenna the oldest golf resort in the country.

In 1906 professional golfers Harry Vardon and James Braid both travelled to play at Rosapenna and they made some alterations to the course, adding length and more detailed bunkering.

The three golfers have 16 Major Championship titles between them with Old Tom winning four Open Championships), Braid five Opens and Vardon six Opens and one US Open.

George Duncan, Alex Herd, Tom Ball and Harry Vardon
George Duncan, Alex Herd, Tom Ball and Harry Vardon

George Duncan, Alex Herd, Tom Ball and Harry Vardon. Photo courtesy of back nine of the original layout crossed the main road on a number of occasions and on 1 September 2009, the Strand Nine opened as the new front nine to link in with the original holes 2-10 (Valley Nine) which are now played as the back nine of the Old Tom Morris Links finishing at the new Golf Pavilion (clubhouse) which opened on 1 May 2005. 

This pure links layout is now ranked No. 34 in Golf Digest Ireland’s Top 100 Course List.

Rosapenna’s newer championship course, the Sandy Hills Links, was designed by Pat Ruddy and opened for play on 25 June 2003.

Rosapenna wins IGTOA Resort of the Year 2013
Rosapenna wins IGTOA Resort of the Year 2013

Representatives of Rosapenna collect the award in Killarney on Monday evening. It has steadily risen up the many ranking polls since and was ranked No. 42 in Great Britain & Ireland’s Top 100 List by Golf Monthly Magazine 2012, with only nine Irish courses above Rosapenna’s Sandy Hills Links in Golf Monthly’s Top 100 in GB&I it is effectively ranked 10th in Ireland.

Rosapenna has been owned and operated by the Casey family since 1981 and has seen the resort grow from one 18 hole golf course with a 40-bedroom hotel to the resort as it is today, boasting a four-star, 66-bedroom hotel, a leisure centre, Golf Pavilion and now 81 links holes with the successful acquisition of the neighboring St Patrick’s Golf Links (No.3 Links & No.4 Links) in November 2012 as well as the practice facility with its own 12-hole, Par-3 course.

“We are very excited that we can now extend golf at Rosapenna beyond what we know as ‘the top of the Valley’ along the shores of Tramore Beach,” said Frank Casey Snr, resort owner and operator for the last 31 years, of the St Patrick’s purchase.

“The dunescape is some of the finest in the world and very similar to what we already have. It is essentially one piece of dune land that is ideally suited to championship links golf and the views of Sheephaven Bay are spectacular.”

Aerial view of Rosapenna
Aerial view of Rosapenna

An aerial view of the Rosapenna Hotel & Golf Resort in Co Donegal.


on 2013-10-23 18:07 by Brian Keogh

A host of Ireland’s leading golf tourism companies were recognised in Killarney at the 2013 Gala Irish Golf Awards, the pinnacle of a three day National Golf Tourism Conference supported by The European Tour, writes the European Tour.

The 16th IGTOA National Golf Tourism Conference and 2013 Gala Irish Golf Awards is the largest gathering of golf industry and golf tourism professionals across the island of Ireland each year and is hosted in conjunction with Fáilte Ireland, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and Tourism Ireland.

Each year the IGTOA – Ireland Golf Tour Operator Association – recognises a person in the international golf industry that has made a significant contribution to Irish golf throughout their life and career, through the presenting of the Jerry Donworth Lifetime Achievement Award, an award presented last year to European Ryder Cup Director Richard Hills.

Jay Connolly, Director of the Waterville Golf Links was recognised this year for the pivotal role he has played throughout his life in Irish golf, the award being presented to him by Minister Michael Ring, the Minister for Sport and Tourism.

Richard Hills – who was once again in attendance in Killarney alongside a number of special guests including Minister Jimmy Deenihan from Kerry, the local Minister for Arts, Hertiage and Gaeltacht – was the first to offer his congratulations.

“Speaking personally, I know how much of a thrill it is to receive the Jerry Donworth Award and I want to congratulate Jay on his achievement,” said Hills. “I also want to congratulate all the award winners on a wonderful night which once again recognised the sterling work undertaken by the golf tourism industry as a whole in Ireland.”

  • Companies accepting awards on the night were as follows:
  • The Ross, Killarney   2013 IGTOA Boutique Golf Hotel of the Year Award
  • The Conrad, Dublin   2013 IGTOA Large Golf Hotel of the Year Award
  • Rosapenna Hotel & Golf Resort  2013 IGTOA Golf Resort of the Year Award
  • Royal Belfast Golf Club   2013 IGTOA Parkland Golf Course of the Year Award
  • Lahinch Golf Club    2013 IGTOA Links Golf Course of the Year Award
  • Eoin O’Sullivan    2013 IGTOA Golf Manager of the Year Award The Royal Dublin Golf Club   
  • Jay Connolly, Waterville Golf Links  2013 Jerry Donworth Outstanding Contribution to Golf
  • Award     

The event is run each year by the Ireland Golf Tour Operator Association (IGTOA) which is an organisation represents the National Irish Golf Tourism Industry and is pro-active in the promotion, growth and development of Irish Golf Tourism overseas.