Munster clubs dominated the 2017 Gala Irish Golf Awards, with the Killeen Course at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club named “Parkland Golf Course of the Year” by the Ireland Golf Tour Operator Association (IGTOA).
The news is a major boost to the resort ahead of its 125th-anniversary celebrations in 2018, and another sign that the famous Kerry golfing haven is moving forward since ownership passed from majority shareholders Fáilte Ireland to the members just a few years ago.
“It’s brilliant news for Killeen, absolutely brilliant,” said Killarney’s general manager, Cormac Flannery.
“We have invested as much as €500,000 in the resort over the past few winters, and it is nice to see the work, led by our head superintendent Enda Murphy, really paying off.
“It’s the same process all the time: Looking at what we have done well and what we can improve and tying that in with our overall capital projects,” said Flannery.
“We have big plans, and they cost money, so we have to make a profit to operate and then reinvest in our courses.”
Plans include building new tee complexes on the 12th and 13th on Mahony’s Point and an extension of the first green on the Killeen Course.
“We plan to extend the green slightly further out into the lake, so it will make for a nice Sunday pin position on the edge of the water by next May,” Flannery said.
The award recognises Killarney’s long-term conditioning programme and it comes at just the right time.
“It is great timing for us, because it is our 125th anniversary next year and it’s a great feather in our cap,” said Flannery. “We will have lots of events throughout the year celebrating that, so we are looking forward to it.”
The other award winners included Waterville Golf Links’ long-serving secretary-manager Noel Cronin, who received the Jerry Donworth Outstanding Contribution to Golf Award for his work at the Kerry links over the decades.
Jim O’Brien from Old Head Golf Links was named Golf Manager of the Year, while the Quinlan & Cooke Boutique Townhouse in Caherciveen was named “Boutique Golf Hotel of the Year.”
There was also a new award for Kerry Coaches, who were named in the Best Customer Experience – Service Provider category.
The Roe Park Resort in Limavaddy was named “Golf Resort of the Year” while the Bushmills Inn in Co Antrim won Best Customer Experience – Property.
The awards ceremony was held at Trump International Golf Links Doonbeg.
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