Golf Article

North & West Coast Links Challenge

Ireland's North & West Coast Links

By Peter Hellman

Classic GOLF Tours


If you are just a tiny bit competitive on the golf course, you need to listen up.  We've got a golf trip just for you. So, grab your clubs and your golfing partner and join in on the fun.  Who knows, you may even come home with a trophy. 


Here's the deal.  With the help of the Irish Tourist Board, four great Irish golf courses, a fine hotel and other sponsors, a small group of US based golf tour companies have organized a golf tournament in Ireland.  We call it the North & West Coast Links Golf Challenge 2007.  It's to be held on some of Ireland's finest links courses from September 8 - 15, 2007.


The format is 2-person teams and Stableford Scoring.  The best score on each hole will count as the team score.  The tournament will be played over four days and on four different courses.  Maximum handicaps utilized for scoring will be 24 for men and 28 for women.  Daily tournament team prizes will be awarded as well as overall tournament prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd based on net scores (after handicap deductions). 


Here are the courses you will play: 


Enniscrone Golf Club, designed by the famous Irish golf course architect Eddie Hackett and added on to by Donald Steele, Enniscrone skirts some beautiful beaches and meanders through a mountain range of rugged dunes.  This par 72, 6,877 yarder is a test of skill and soul.  Many of our clients call it one of their favorites.


County Sligo/Rosses Point, designed by Harry Colt, it's the oldest of the four courses you'll play.  It was founded in 1894, has 27 holes and is a par 71 at 6,609 yards.  It's ranked as the 44th best golf course in Ireland and the United Kingdom by Golf World Magazine.  This course has hosted many of Ireland's championships.  Peter Allis calls it "a tremendous test for the highest quality player and great fun for the modern competitor."


Donegal Golf Club, another Eddie Hackett design, is one of the longest courses in Europe at 7,280 yards and a par of 73.  When talking about this course, Hackett said, "I found that nature is the best architect, I just dress up what the Good Lord provides."  Golf World Magazine lists it among the top 100 Must Play Courses.  Golfers who have played both Muirfield (in Scotland) and Donegal see many similarities in the courses.  Pro golfer Darren Clark calls it, "one of my favorite courses in the world."


Carne Golf Club, Hackett's last and to many his best course, overlooks Blacksod Bay.  The golf writer James W. Finnegan describes it this way.  "From the 1st tee to the 18th green, it is all that one could ever yearn for."  Jim Engh, 2003 Golf Architect of the Year, and designer of several Colorado courses, has designed a third nine schedule to open this year.  The course was recently voted the 28th best course in the world by Golf World.

Well, if these golf courses don't make your driver yearn for the Irish green, read on.  Look what else is included and all for a surprisingly great price


We'll be staying at the beautiful 4-star Clarion Hotel in Sligo for six nights.  Daily breakfast and lunches are included as well as a welcome cocktail party and dinner.  A farewell awards banquet is also included.  You won't even need a rental car because all of your transfers from and to the Shannon Airport and between the hotel and the courses are provided.  A practice round on the Country Sligo course will help to tune your game for the tournament.  Prices start as low as $2,395 per person double occupancy for a superior room.  A suite goes for $150 per person more.  Bring a non-golfing spouse or friend along and take $845 off the price. 


Neil McKinnon of Classic GOLF Tours was recently in this part of Ireland and can tell you some secrets about these courses that just might help your team.  Call us or email Neil soon.  Space is limited.  You can reach Neil at   Ask us for an airline quote.  There are some great airfares this fall as well.


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