Interesting times for Irish Golf Industry

Interesting summer for Irish Golf

This summer has been quite interesting on a number of different fronts for Irish Golf and the Golf Vacations Ireland industry.

In May Shannon Airport welcomed Donald Trump, his children Eric and Ivanka, his undoubted investment power and ‘Trump Factor’ which Doonbeg golf resort as it was known will now enjoy under its new guise, the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel Ireland.

Having taken so many of our discerning golf tourists to Doonbeg over the last 11 years, we can see Donald Trumps attraction to Doonbeg. The quality of the links is world class for sure. This is bolstered by the Irish tourism factor, a healthy mix of friendly locals, knowledgeable golfers, accessibility from Shannon Airport, quality 4 star, 5 star and castle accommodation, and Ireland’s infamous hospitality and quality restaurants and pubs, all available within a few country miles.

Donald Trump plans expansion at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel Ireland.

Donald Trumps own perception of Doonbeg is lofty, as are his plans for its future, at the recent launch of his investment he advised “We have a place like no other, we have 500 acres on the Atlantic Ocean and we are going to do something the likes of which probably has not been seen for many, many years. We are very excited about our investment in Ireland. Ireland is a great place. I love the people and the country and I felt it was just an appropriate time. Having an opportunity to get this kind of land on the Atlantic Ocean is unprecedented.”

The word locally seems to be that Mr Trump might not have finished all his business yet and that there may be more investment opportunity for him in the region. Nearby Limerick was recently rated the 7th most attractive City in Europe to invest in, so whether its golf tourism or a separate industrial investment only time will tell.

In terms of the Irish Golf Vacation industry, Doonbeg has long been an attractive lure for our American and Canadian clients as it is the definitive Irish west coast product. And now, we are all feeling good locally here because our airport which has recently become independent of the central aviation authority in Ireland has begun to spread its own wings if you can forgive the pun. New routes to the US as well as Europe are being expanded, and existing route frequency is being enhanced. Chairperson of Shannon International Airport Rose Hynes said that the investment is coming at a right time. “Shannon Airport, of course, is very much on the upward curve just 14 months after gaining its independence and this means the airport will support, as well as benefit from, Mr Trump’s investment. We have nine new destinations this summer and just recorded 140% growth in passenger numbers on our European services in April compared to the same month last year.

Irish Golf Vacation Resorts and Heritage

Doonbeg however is one golf resort that makes the overall product of what is the Irish golf vacation experience, and indeed heritage. At Executive Hire we chauffeur our golf clients to several courses of distinction as part of our customized golf vacations Ireland wide such as Old Head, Waterville, Ballybunion, Lahinch, Tralee…the names just roll off the tongue, and that’s just the west coast links! To the east we have Portmarnock, Mount Juliet, the K Club, and in the North we have Royal Portrush and Portadown. All these courses rate highly in various lists that rank world and European links and parkland courses. This concentration of top end nucleus of quality golf courses is born out of Ireland’s golf history and heritage, a point not lost on Mr Trump: “The fact that there are so many great courses in Ireland makes it even better. We want to build one that is bigger and better and more beautiful than anything else. The fact is you have great courses in Ireland and that’s a very, very important factor.”

At Executive Hire, home of Ireland’s quality golf vacations and customized tours we wish Doonbeg and Mr Trump well as they become the new Trump International Golf Links & Hotel Ireland. It would be a particular pleasing outcome if the Irish Open were to revisit this region, having being held here at Adare in 2007 and 2008.

The second interesting development in Irish Golf this summer is Rory McIlroy’s declaration for Team Ireland at the forthcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2016. It was felt in Ireland for some time that Rory may declare for Team GB, but many hoped here in Ireland that it would be Team Ireland. It might be fair to say that speculation in this area drifted with Rory’s top end form, and public commentary on his engagement and subsequent break up with tennis superstar Caroline Wozniaki. However, we at Executive Hire believe that golf is the winner here, and Rory has stated as much himself in his own press conference held before the recent Irish Open in Cork. The Olympics is a show case like no other and any sports best talents should be there. Rory’s approach to his golf game is attacking, daring and full of guile as well as deft touch, and that is what wins him the huge worldwide fan base he enjoys.

Golfing Union of Ireland

Curiously, the Golfing union of Ireland is the governing body for golf in the Republic of Ireland as well as Northern Ireland. This arrangement is similar to that of many other sports in Ireland. Rugby, hockey and cricket share all island governing bodies. Sometimes in other sports a pro has to choose between Ireland, Northern Ireland and maybe England but Northern Ireland competes as part of Great Britain in the Olympic Games. It’s a settled issue now, and we wish Rory a return to top form ahead of Rio 2016. After a promising showing with tied 6th at the Players Championship, just 4 shots behind winner Martin Kaymer, McIlroy re-entered the world’s top ten and seems to be working towards his best form again. McIlroy is a two time major winner, and fellow major winning Northern Irish man Graeme McDowell has previously declared that he would represent Team Ireland at the Olympics. Ireland doesn’t top any medals list but usually scoops some hard earned medals, and hopefully golf will be one of them in 2016.

As the old Chinese saying goes, ‘may you live in interesting times’, lets hope the rest of the summer continues to be as interesting as it has been up until now! Thanks for reading folks, if you or your friends and family are considering a golf vacation to Ireland, you can call us anytime on our toll free line (US & Canada) at 1 888 793 0416 or +353 (0) 87 793 0447 from every where else.

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