With over 20 years at the top of the Irish golf and leisure scene, Maurice O’Meara is a man who really knows golf. As a general manager he hosted two Irish Opens at Killarney Golf & Fishing Club, two Open Championship Qualifiers at The Island Golf Club, and, most recently, brought the stunning Dooks Golf Club to the forefront of links golf in the Southwest of Ireland.
He left the game to pursue an opportunity with the Kerry GAA, as Commercial Manager, but the call of golf was too strong and he returned to the sport in 2019. Only this time with new ambitions.
“I left golf for a period in 2018, but my heart has always been in the game,” admits O’Meara. “Now, today, Discover Ireland Golf Tours gives me a huge opportunity to combine my experience and passion for golf in a new venture. As a General Manager, I gained a lot of experience providing clients and tour operators with the highest levels of service. I also learned the right way and the wrong way to do things.
I believe that my experience and the contacts I have built up over the years put me in the perfect position to provide unique golfing experiences.
The golf industry is in a buoyant place at the moment, with increasing tourist numbers arriving on our shores. Over 200,000 overseas visitors play golf during their visit to Ireland every year, contributing almost €270 million to the economy and driving over 1.7 million bed nights across the country.
Meanwhile, the high profile Rolex Series has put the Dubai Duty Free in the premier tier of the European Tour’s events and the upcoming Open Championship at Royal Portrush will ensure a spotlight is shone on all of Irish golf for years to come.
There has been a spurt in the number of Irish golf tour operators in recent years and, with Ireland proving such an exceptional golf destination, it is easy to see why.
Having worked in and with Ireland’s top golf clubs, and listened to golfers from around the world, O’Meara combined his expertise, his knowledge and the strong market to launch a tour operator business.
Based in Kerry, Discover Ireland Golf Tours offers a suite of premium destination packages for golfers visiting Ireland. The company is targeting North America, Canada, Scandinavia and the UK. Bespoke services include in-house PGA professionals available for escorted tours/tuition, and 24-hour concierge services during a golfer’s trip to Ireland.
But that is not the end of the story: O’Meara is a well-known and respected golf aficionado, and he has launched a second endeavour alongside his tour operator business. The Irish Golf Consultancy is focused on helping small to medium-sized golf clubs to maximise opportunities and profitability in the current buoyant economy. The consultancy’s expertise will be much sought after by golf clubs that lack the in-house resources or skills themselves (e.g. sales & marketing (offline and online), HR, project management).
“I believe the most important thing in the majority of clubs is timely and accurate communication, at all times,” says O’Meara, “be it good news or bad news. Sometimes clubs can be doing incredibly good and important work behind the scenes but nobody knows about it or, if they do, they may only have some of the information.
It is important for clubs to communicate fully and accurately with members, staff and all key stakeholders. Helping clubs manage their communication strategies and sales and marketing plans will be one of our specialties at Irish Golf Consultancy.
O’Meara will give each of his businesses an equal focus. That seems fitting as one will concentrate on bringing golfers into Ireland and the other will empower golf clubs within Ireland. “I have never shied away from hard work,” O’Meara adds, “and all of my efforts will be fully invested to ensure the success of both businesses.”
To celebrate the launch, O’Meara is hosting the Links & Lakes Championship, on April 5 and 6. The event will take place over two days at Dooks and Killarney Golf Clubs. Competitors will be hosted at the Castlerosse Park Resort.