Kevin Markham discovers Irish golf clubs embracing the magic of the Masters.

At this time of year every golfer is thinking about the Masters.

The first Major at Augusta is the most anticipated and the most familiar.  

The sights, the sounds, the battles… the defining moments.

The biggest challenge for golfers at the moment is trying to decide how they’ll play their regular weekend round over April 8/9, while ensuring they still get to watch every thrilling minute of the Masters.

Every golf club will have its regular competitions, but here are six Masters-themed events to get your teeth into if you want a taste for yourself.

Esker Hills (April 6-9)

This four-day open competition celebrates Shane Lowry’s participation in the Masters. Lowry, a member of Esker Hills, learned his craft on one of Ireland’s most entertaining and exuberant courses.

It rises and falls constantly, much like Augusta, promising many thrilling shots and intriguing challenges.

There will be prizes every day in a singles stableford format — many supplied and signed by Lowry — plus a nearest-the-pin on all the par threes which adds a bit of spice.

Entry costs just €30pp, including lunch. The event will see over 650 golfers participate, but it books up fast.

Contact Ray or Caroline on 057 9355 999, to reserve a line.

Bangor Golf Club (April 7-9)

Similar to the Masters, Bangor Golf Club runs a dedicated par-three competition.

This takes place on Friday, with a nine-hole competition on Sunday.

The winner receives his (or her) own green jacket. Bangor is a fine parkland course that tends to sail below the radar — certainly for golfers south of the border — yet it has many excellent holes set amidst intimidating trees and wrapped around a gentle hill.

The event has been running for several years.

Contact the pro, Stephen Gordon, on 048 9127 0922.

Dooks Golf Club (April 7)

The most perfect setting for a links golf course is on the Ring of Kerry. Indeed, there are two such settings: Waterville to the

Indeed, there are two such settings: Waterville to the southwest and Dooks to the northeast. From the second green at

From the second green at Dooks you can enjoy 360-degree views of the MacGillycuddy Reeks and across the waters of Castlemaine Harbour to the Dingle Peninsula. As well as being a fun course it is also one of the friendliest. On the Friday of the

As well as being a fun course it is also one of the friendliest. On the Friday of the

On the Friday of the Masters you can play in the club’s ‘Major Madness’ Open singles. Cost of entry is €30 with special prizes on offer.

Contact: 066 976 8205.

Fota Island Golf Club (April 6-9)

Fota Island has been running Major-flavoured events for a number of years.

For the four days of the Masters, there will be an open singles running, with a themed menu in the clubhouse.

Cost of entry is €50, with a range of prizes up for grabs.

Fota Island will be running four of these events (one for each Major) and if you play in each one and you have the best combined score, then you will receive a tasty prize indeed.

With the Fota Island hotel alongside, Fota Island Wildlife Park next door, and Cork City a few miles away, this is a great opportunity to get a few days away with the family... and sneak in that all-important round of golf.

Contact: 021 488 3700.

Galway Bay Golf Resort (April 8-9)

Galway Bay is hosting its first ‘Masters Tournament’ with gents and lady golfers competing for a green jacket and the ‘Augusta Cup’.

An 18-hole singles stableford event will be held on the Saturday and Sunday of Masters weekend, playing over one of Christy O’Connor Jnr’s finest creations, tumbling down to the bay and testing golfers of all abilities.

There is €2,000 in prizes up for grabs and entry fee is €30. Food will be served on the 10th tee.

Contact: 091 790 711.

Tipperary Golf Club (April 7-9)

There is an interesting Masters open singles at Tipperary Golf Club on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The number of professionals who make the Masters cut are drawn against the same number of players from the open singles.

Then, your gross score in the singles is added to your professional’s score from the Sunday to give you a total score.

So, if you have a 71 and you are drawn with Jason Day, who has a 68 on Sunday, then your total is 139.

Contact: 062 51119.


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