PGA series to aid pro game
An innovative response to recession has come from the PGA, which launches a series of one-day events for professional golfers across Irish courses this summer. The prize money comes from the golfers themselves -- an entry fee of €100 and a field of 100 players delivers a prize pot of €10,000 -- and keeps the professional game ticking over for the more than 500 professionals working in the country.
The first one-day tournament will be played at Killeen Castle in April, with the new course at Bunclody hosting the second tournament in May, followed by its own high-stakes Pro-Am the following day. "There'll be about €26,000 to play for over two days," says Bunclody's Ian Kerr, "which these days is a lot."
Other venues for the PGA series include Carlow, Tipperary, Concra Wood and Edenmore, mixing traditional courses with new courses across the country. Redistributing the golfers' own cash is not a long-term solution, perhaps, but it at least creates six tournaments, a cash pool of up to €60,000 and critical order of merit points for professionals and their assistants in the middle of a recession.
Mea Culpa. A number of readers have highlighted an error in last week's column: The King's Hospital, a co-educational school, reached the Leinster Schools' Cup final 28 years ago, losing to Blackrock.