Thursday 23 November 2017

A rank bad idea, insists Kearney

Liam Kelly

Liam Kelly

ARISING from our recent feature on course rankings, former Irish international and course designer Ken Kearney has some interesting views on the subject.

Kearney has served on ranking list panels but is now an opponent of the process.

"The rankings generate much chatter at the 19th hole such as 'is Tralee really a better golf course than the European Club?'" he says.

"Well, some rankers of golf courses seem to think so. I have even ranked golf courses when requested to do so but more often I decline the request.

"The reason is simple -- I don't see any merit in the process. Why would we assign a different numerical ranking to Royal County Down than to Royal Portrush? How can one say that Ballybunion is better than Lahinch?

"I certainly know which course I would prefer to play but does that mean that my choice of golf course means that it is better than the other? No is the answer of course.

"I have no objection with any golfer opining as to the shot values of a golf course or the element of fun in the challenge of a golf course. I object to the folly of ranking them. Golf courses are designed to be played, not ranked."

Fair point, Ken. And let's not forget that so many good Irish courses offer excellent value for a game. As the Failte Ireland slogan says: "Go play!"

Suffering cold Turkey

THE vagaries of climate turned the ILGU 'warm weather training' in Turkey into a version of the Irish winter, but the elite panel of seven golfers got stuck in and worked hard over an intensive four-day period last week.

Leona Maguire, Lisa Maguire, Paula Grant, Jessica Carthy, Chloe Ryan, Ariana Coyle Diez and Jean O'Driscoll played two practice rounds and five competitive games over the course at Gloria Verde Resort and Spa.

Concra Wood to test pros

CONCRA Wood GC in Monaghan has gained a favourable reputation since it opened in 2008 and is set to stage a PGA Europro Tour event from July 9-13.

The course was designed by Christy O'Connor Snr and Jnr in a joint venture, and measures over 7,300 yards off the back tees, with a par of 72.

The course record is 68, set by European Tour pro Simon Thornton in 2010 during a PGA Irish Region Sprint event.

Club captain Noel Gorman and head pro Conor McKenna are confident the professionals will get a good test from the course.

Athlone up to Scratch

ATHLONE GC is staging the Maurice de Lacy Staunton Scratch Cup, whose illustrious former winners include Padraig Harrington, on Sunday, May 20.

For a mere €25 including lunch, competitors have a chance of adding their name to this prestigious trophy.

The event was inaugurated in 1964 when former Irish international and champion golfer Noel Fogarty of Royal Dublin became the first winner.

Since then top players including John O'Leary (1969), home club member Eddie Dunne (five times between 1972 and '83), Richie Coughlan (1987), Harrington (1994), Colm Moriarty (1999, 2001) and former Tour player Stephen Browne (2000) have won the Cup.

Irish Independent

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