Dundalk Golf Club will host the Irish Professional Championship for the third time from 1-4 October — 46 years after Jimmy Martin lifted his only Irish title there.
In 1953, Harry Bradshaw won his eighth Irish title with a four round total of 272 before my Martin collected the famous trophy with a score of 268 in 1969. Now it's a new-look Dundalk's chance to shine again and the PGA are excited about the tournament and the September 30 Pro-Am.
“Dundalk GC has been a venue associated with the PGA in Ireland for many years not only in terms of hosting Championships but also as the home of the PGA since May 1987,” said PGA in Ireland Secretary, Michael McCumiskey.
“Each and every time we have organised an event at Dundalk it has been well supported by the PGA members and we fully expect that will be the case again this year.”
Set on an elevated site above the seaside village of Blackrock, Co Louth, Dundalk Golf Club offers stunning views across Dundalk Bay to the, legendary and imposing, Cooley and Mourne mountains.
The 18 hole, par 72 championship parkland course, which was redesigned by Peter Alliss and Dave Thomas in 1980, offers golfers of all abilities a true test, measuring 6,826 yards from the tips. The renowned facility features an extensive practice ground that includes a driving range, pitching, chipping and bunker areas and a putting green.
“We are thrilled to be having the event and see it is a great opportunity to showcase Dundalk GC, and the recent investment that has been made to the course,” said Captain Brendan Keane.
“There is a strong association with the event here in Dundalk, having hosted the tournament in 1953 and 1969. I know our membership will be really enthused by the prospect, especially as a result of our close association with the PGA in Ireland.”
There has been extensive improvement work carried out on the course at Dundalk over the last 18 months. A number of new bunkers have been added but the main focus has been on redesigning and improving the drainage of the existing green side traps. A tree-thinning process has also been in operation, with the 15th and sixth greens opened up to the elements.
Brendan continued, “We are very happy with the consistency and design of the bunkers following the work conducted over the winter. A lot of the credit must go to our hard working green keeping staff, and vice-captain, Maurice Soraghan, who is also Chairman of the Course.
“They have adhered to a programme of works in consultation with Gerry Byrne and it is has paid off. We took some advice about our greens and they are now in fine condition. We recently held our Senior Scratch Cup and the feedback was tremendous.”
Last year's Irish PGA Championship, hosted by Adare Manor GC, was won by Niall Kearney, who birdied the 18th to edge out Michael McGeady.