The 2015 Social Media Links Challenge took place from Friday 14th – Sunday 16th August 2015 at County Sligo Golf Club, Carne Golf Links & Enniscrone Golf Club with over 90 golfers tackling some of the best tests of links golf over 3 days in the West of Ireland. This was the 2nd staging of the tournament, the Inaugural Event won by the Deasy brothers, John & Liam, who were defending the title they had claimed in July of 2014.
What had started out a blustery and rainy early morning soon turned into clear and sunny skies as we neared our 10.14am starting time. Thomas Byrne & Ross Soye got the 2015 Tournament underway alongside Aad van Oos & Patrick van der Klooster from Holland as the clouds moved away over Ben Bulben. One of our sponsors, Just Golf, had provided each team with Goody Bags and these were much much welcome for the golfers taking on the test at “Rosses Point“. The scoring was decent on Day 1 at County Sligo Golf Club but 3 teams stood out from the crowd – Chris Garde & Seamus Beecher led the way on 46 points tied with fellow Corkmen, brothers Michael & Henry Tobin. The lads who started off the tournament in the morning, Thomas & Ross, were just a shot behind with 45 pts. Shot of the day definitely went to Barry Hennessy who scored a Hole-in-One at par-3 4th hole.
Day 2 saw us at Carne Golf Links with the weather calmer but not quite as sunny, there were plenty wind and sun burnt golfers (possibly hungover too) taking to the 1st Tee in Belmullet so they may have been thankful for the respite! This was definitely a better scoring day with one half of the 2015 Social Media Open champions, Bob Leggett, gelling well with playing partner Kevin Keating to post 47 pts and get right into contention just a shot off the lead on 83 pts, in fact there were 4 teams sharing the lead going into the Final Round on 84 pts – Suzanne Hegarty & Paul Magee and Billy Farrell & Jerry Kearney alongside 1st round leaders Chris & Seamus and brothers Michael & Henry Tobin. Another 10 teams were only within 7 shots of the lead so it promised to be a very dramatic final day at Enniscrone.
The “social” element of the SM Links Challenge was very much to the fore all week with golfers from all over Ireland, the United States of America, Holland and the People’s Republic of Cork, among other places, enjoying each other’s company both on and off the course. It made for a great few days making pars (and occasional birdies!) and frequenting bars! The Fleadh Ceoil was on Sligo and the surrounding area over the same week so it made for a very enjoyable time for one and all – of course there was the small matter of watching The PGA Championship after the golf most evenings too, as if we weren’t talking enough golf for the 3 days already!!
The Final Round of The 2015 Social Media Links Challenge took place at Enniscrone Golf Club with many teams in contention teeing off on Sunday 16th August. Conditions were changeable on the day with most teams getting a few sprinkles of rain over the course of their rounds. The day did clear up as the majority were finishing their front 9s or playing the back 9 so the scoring remained quite good overall. Shot of the day must go to Dan Purcell who scored a Hole-in-One on the 3rd hole! The best score on the day was posted by the overall winners, with Suzanne & Paul posting 47 pts for a 3 round total of 131 to claim the title by 3 shots from Billy Farrell & Jerry Kearney who finished with a final round of 44 pts. A further 2 shots back were Darren Crawford & Gerry Wall on 164 while Chris & Seamus beat Michael & Henry into 4th place on the countback, both tying on 124 pts for the 3 rounds.
It was a great few days in the West of Ireland – the golf was great, food fantastic and the craic was mighty! Many thanks to all our sponsors & tournament partners – Golf Voyager; Ogio Golf; Muldoon Whiskey; Club-Clean; BreakingPar.ie; Ireland Golf Balls & Just Golf – for contributing so much to the tournament and helping us make it what it was. A huge thanks also to our host venues – County Sligo, Carne & Enniscrone – for providing 3 great tests of golf all in great condition!
Three days of superb links golf and many friendships were made on and off the course. To our 26 American friends we hope to see you again soon, hopefully we might even get a motley crew over to play a few holes Stateside in the near future! So that was The 2015 Social Media Links Challenge – 4,968 holes of golf played, countless number of pints and wonderful whiskey consumed, many bowls of chowder & superb steaks eaten and of course 2 Holes-in-One and much much more. Not bad for 3 days in the West of Ireland!!
We hope to see you for our 4th Annual Tournament in August 2016, drop us a line for details on firstname.lastname@example.org! You can also give a follow on Twitter or like our Facebook Page to check out all our Tournament Photos.