The International King’s Cup is one of the most anticipated amateur golf tournaments of the year.
Started in 2016, this Ryder Cup-style event pitches pairs of Irish amateurs against their USA counterparts.
It is no small affair and after qualifiers and a national final the best eight teams from each country fight it out for the Cup over four days. The qualifying events start this week, with the National Final taking place at Glasson, on April 9, and the Cup itself contested at Castlerock Golf Club, from May 26-29.
Partnerships can be men, ladies or mixed. Certain requirements on handicap brackets (pairs must be within 8 shots of each other) and ages (18-54, and 55 and over) apply but it is open to all of Ireland’s affiliated golf union members.
Competitors play a fourball betterball format. The grand final is contested over 54 holes with team uniforms (by Glenmuir) adding authenticity. Those who qualify will be accommodated at the Roe Park Resort, in Limavady, for four nights.
Ireland won the first three years, with the USA winning last year at Bay Hill.
The King’s Cup is played in honour of golf’s greatest ambassador, Arnold Palmer, whose honesty, integrity, sportsmanship and commitment to excellence represent the ideals for which the game of golf is known.
“I knew Mr Palmer and I’m so proud it is played in his honour,” says Lynn McCool, who helped establish the tournament.
“He knew of the event and last year, at Bay Hill, his family came and watched the players tee off. They felt it was an amazing tribute to Mr Palmer.”
Qualifiers are: March 6, Donegal; March 14, Connemara; March 16, Castlewarden; April 2, Belvoir Park; April 4, Ennis.
Entries must be made directly through club websites. Entry fees are €35 for members and €50 for visitors.
For more information, usgolfchallenge.com/ireland
Cork Golf Club launched their new website last week.
It follows a significant amount of work over the past 18 months, both to the course and on the development of the new site.
“Our old website was operating for nearly 20 years,” says Matt Sands, Cork’s general manager, “with one revamp seven years ago. It was looking dated.
“The new website will give a more modern look, but also highlight our past and the many greats who have played the course.”
With the Alister MacKenzie design heritage it is hoped that the website, designed by Fingerprint Digital Media, will attract more international visitors to the course.
The website has more photography, a new, cleaner look, an in-depth history of the club, major events, and the legends who have played here.
Shane Lowry, for instance, won the Irish Close Championship in 2007, while the Spanish Chestnut on the 11th hole was planted 37 years ago to celebrate Seve Ballesteros’ visit to the club, after winning the Irish Open at Royal Dublin.
One particularly interesting new feature for visitors to the website is a live view of both the 1st tee and 14th green.
Irish golf company, Clubs to Hire, has just introduced a loyalty scheme for customers hiring their clubs when they go on holiday.
The leading golf club rental company provides the rental service in 25 regions across the world. The scheme means that golfers can immediately get money off their next rental set.
The points-based loyalty system is based on the value of the golfer’s booking. A rental set can cost as little as €40 per week and the company provide some of the best clubs on the market, including the latest from PXG, TaylorMade, Ping, Callaway, Titleist, Mizuno, and Wilson Staff. The scheme is designed to reward the company’s 65,000 clients.
Clubs to Hire founder Tony Judge said: “We have a lot of repeat business and most of our customers are extremely loyal and will use Clubs to Hire for all of their golf trips. Once people use Clubs to Hire, they rarely go back to bringing their own clubs, as they often get better and more up-to-date clubs when hiring through us and it’s just as cost-effective. We have been exploring ways to reward and thank our regular customers for some time now and this new loyalty scheme will benefit a lot of golfers who frequently travel abroad.”