Caddie Colin Byrne offers alternative view for golfers

In more than 30 years as a caddie to pros such as Ernie Els and Retief Goosen, Colin Byrne has seen more than his fair share of the world’s top courses but now the Irishman is lending his expertise to help guide golfers around them from a new vantage point.

Caddie Colin Byrne offers alternative view for golfers

Byrne has teamed up with technology expert Cathal Leonard to create hole-by-hole video flyovers captured by drones using 4K imagery.

The innovative visual platform showcases courses and their nuances in stunning detail with Byrne providing commentary with strategic insights on how best to play them.

Available on their website and with an app to be released shortly, Byrne is enthusiastic about the concept.

“Imagine a rally driver setting out without a really good overview in his mind as to what lay ahead and without a navigator to negotiate through all the turns and speed requirements — well that’s what most golfers do when they arrive to play a new course.

“What we are doing is bridging that gap and giving golfers not just a beautiful visual presentation of the courses — but really practical, solid advice as to how to best to play them.”

No change at top but Fota joins 2016 course ranking

No changes at the top for the latest rankings of Irish golf courses but Fota Island can celebrate as the only newcomer in Backspin’s annual poll for 2016.

The magazine has been ranking parkland and links courses separately since 2008 in its annual Irish Golf Course Poll of professionals, amateurs and Irish golfing media, including the Irish Examiner’s Charlie Mulqueen.

This year’s results have seen the Jack Nicklaus-designed Mount Juliet remain the number one parkland layout for a fifth consecutive time in the biennial poll, while 2019 Open Championship venue Royal Portrush has held firm as the best links course on Irish soil.

Adare, K Club (Palmer), Druids Glen and Killarney (Killeen) complete the top-five parkland line-up with Fota Island leaping from 12th to seventh place.

Royal Portrush’s Dunluce course returns to the summit of Backspin’s links rankings having topped the 2012 poll, this time edging out Portmarnock and third-placed Royal Co Down, which was on Friday named as the Irish Amateur Open host for 2017, while Waterville rises two places from sixth in 2014 to enter the top four.

Brittany calling golfers to cross the seas to France

Golfers with a taste for the high seas will be interested in the latest offering from Brittany Ferries which has added a three-venue tournament in June to its 2016 programme aimed at Irish golfers.

The company, which operates weekly sailings from Cork to Roscoff between April and early November, yesterday announced the tournament at Dinard, Val André and St Cast from June 5-7, built into a week-long package including travel for golfers (including cabin) and their vehicle, five nights B&B in a hotel and all tournament green fees for €615 per person.

The option to play other courses during the week is also available through the Brittany Ferries golf desk at, by emailing or by calling 021 4253118.

Latest world rankings

Men’s Official World Ranking:

1 Jordan Spieth (USA) 11.83pts, 2 Jason Day (Aus) 10.01, 3 Rory McIlroy (Irl) 9.86, 4 Rickie Fowler (USA) 8.11, 5 Henrik Stenson (Swe) 7.20, 6 Bubba Watson (USA) 7.14, 7 Justin Rose (Eng) 6.39, 8 Dustin Johnson (USA) 5.65, 9 Patrick Reed (USA) 5.07, 10 Branden Grace (Rsa) 4.79. Others 23 Shane Lowry (Irl) 3.44.

Women’s Official World Rankings:

1 Lydia Ko (Nzl) 11.31pts, 2 Inbee Park (Kor) 9.90, 3 Stacy Lewis (USA) 7.28, 4 Lexi Thompson (USA) 6.49, 5 Sei Young Kim (Kor) 5.79

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