Experience Ireland partners with Gary Hurley

Experience Ireland Golf & Travel are delighted to announce a multi-year sponsorship deal with Waterford’s Gary Hurley.

The experts in designing bespoke itineraries in Ireland for those visiting the country, Experience Ireland Golf & Travel are your one stop Tour Operator for an authentic Irish experience, to not only play on some of Ireland’s best golf courses, but to also learn about the culture and heritage while staying in some beautiful properties and enjoying luxury transport and our unique Irish hospitality.

Speaking on the day of the announcement, Experience Ireland’s CEO Tom Kennedy said:
It’s great to be linking up with Gary for the next 2 years and it’s hopefully something we can continue into the future as well. We have been looking to support one of the Irish Pros on Tour and we are proud that Gary will wear our logo for the coming 2 years. We’re sure he will have some great results in 2023 & 2024, following on from his excellent end to the year in 2022”.

Gary recently gained his DP World Tour Card for the 2023 season having come through the notoriously difficult DP World Tour Q-School and this result will see him compete on Europe’s biggest golfing stage next season.

It has been a fascinating professional career to date for Hurley, who competed on the Alps Tour for the 2022 season and thanks to victory at the Alps de Andalucia, T2 at the Roma Alps Open and 3rd at the Castelconturbia Alps Open he secured his Challenge Tour card for 2023, following a 5th place finish on the year long Order of Merit.

However, just a couple of short weeks later, Gary finished tied 13th at the Final Stage of DP World Tour Q-School, exemplifying the high level of golf that he has been producing all year. He has since competed at two DP World Tour events in South Africa and has successfully made both cuts.

“I’m delighted to announce this partnership with Experience Ireland Golf & Travel and begin showcasing what they have to offer while I compete on the DP World Tour this season”, said Hurley. “I’m so proud to be Irish and to be working with a company who specialise in showing off our great country, not just our great golf courses, but our history too, is such a perfect fit.”

Experience Ireland Golf & Travel

Experience Ireland Golf & Travel are a luxury tour operator based in Killarney, specialising in Golf & Sightseeing Tours around the entire Island of Ireland. They design bespoke itineraries with overnights in some of the most outstanding hotels in Ireland, playing golf on Ireland’s top courses and all in the comfort of their luxury VIP chauffeur vehicle. Their personal touch ensures that you get a truly Irish experience. For more information, please see details below:

Tel: +353-64-6622830
Email: info@experienceirelandgolfandtravel.com
Web: www.experienceirelandgolfandtravel.com

Hambric Sports

With offices in Dallas, London and Dublin, Hambric Sports specializes in the management of male and female professional golfers and has been fortunate to have worked with some of the game’s greatest players, including 23 Major Champions and 6 Members of the World Golf Hall of Game. In addition to Gary, the list of clients includes Scottie Scheffler, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, the Højgaard twins, Jordan Smith and Thorbjørn Olesen.

By tomkennedygolf Posted in Golf

Returning to the Scene

On 21st January 2020 my Dad died in Limerick. That’s a perfectly normal English sentence. Of course, there’s a lot more to that story.

Dad had been sick since early to mid January that year, he didn’t really take great of himself but he’s rarely been in hospital for any length of time. The Fecker was as strong as an Ox but he was on the way out – early 80s and in the hospital bed he wasn’t the larger than life character than I remembered as a kid. You look up to your Dad, physically for sure as Patrick C Kennedy was a tall man but unfortunately I don’t always look up to him. He wasn’t a good Father but your Dad is your Dad and he always had our best interests at heart.

He kept defying the Doctors so I made the decision to go to the PGA Show (really Big Shoe!) in Orlando, if it wasn’t my own company I would have stayed at home. Day 1 in Florida I set off for Streamsong with James Sheehy, the Caddy Guy from Ballyduff/Ballybunion GC, after arriving the previous night and catching up with my good buddy Paddy Aiken (thanks Paddy, more than you know) in Orlando along with most of the Irish crew. God help me if I was travelling on my own.

A great day at Streamsong, is there ever a bad day there?? Wonderful welcome, nice lunch (the news still encouraging from home, would the Auld Lad pull through??) and then out onto the course. It’s easy to switch off as a golfer when you’re playing, you get fixated on hitting the shots and of course chatting on the course with your playing partners – try and stop me doing that!! 17 decent holes in and I’m in the middle of the 18th Fairway facing a 5-wood approach in. Nutted it to within 4 feet and held the putt for Eagle, best shot of my life. Less than 24 hours later, Dad would be gone.

It’s a 2 hour plus drive back to Orlando from Streamsong so we lingered for a quick drink (non-alcoholic beer for me as the driver) and then we were on our way, me with my Eagle ball marker in my pocket forever with the story ready of “there’s a good story about this marker…” Dinner at the Ravenous Pig in Winter Park was wonderful before arriving back at the hotel. Bed straight away, a long day.

The next day it was the Watson Course at the Reunion Resort with Patrick Aiken and 2 Guests, their names escape me now. Nice start but a cold morning, swinging well and scoring well too. Most of the round is a blur now but it shot into focus right before I teed off on 17. I saw a missed call from Wife, Catriona, so I called her back at the back of the tee box – “Your Dad’s gone, I’m so sorry Tom”, I think they were her words but I can’t remember anymore. Holding it together out there in the middle of Florida was probably my main aim as the wind was well and truly taken out of my sails. Not a lot of people get told while on the golf course and a few thousand miles from home that your Dad has just died, wasn’t easy but my thoughts were with my brother Alex who was in the room with Dad at the time and my dear daughter Lucy, 3 months old, who was sick in hospital. I was the lucky one, on the golf course.

Finishing up on 17 & 18 wasn’t easy but I did need some time to just let it all sink in, I still had the drive back with Paddy to the hotel and then the call to my marvellous Mum back home – that was not easy. Sitting in the car park of the hotel talking to my Mum after Dad had just died was probably the loneliest experience of my life and then sitting at the bar with Paddy telling him what I’d know from the 17th Tee was really tough, I completely broke down – not exactly what the barman was expecting!

That evening in Orlando trying to reschedule my flight was tough but thankfully the Aer Lingus staff were great. The rest of that night I was in the company of friends and those who acted as such will never be forgotten.

Next morning I had golf scheduled with Jerry Wisler at Isleworth. Another unusually cool morning greeting me as I went down to breakfast, numb and raw from the previous day. What to do? I had a day left in Orlando so rather than sit on my bed scrolling through my phone I thought it best to do something, it entailed early morning golf and afternoon meetings. It was a much needed experience at Isleworth, I would like to return when not playing this picture perfect Course after a parent has died but it was memorable all the same. My playing partners didn’t know what I had been through the previous day & night and thankfully I had the golf cart to myself to dwell on things as the rounds progressed. Getting back into my rental car before heading back to the hotel and then the PGA Show my thoughts turned to Dad & Lucy – I hope both were okay with their own struggles.

Morning meetings over the next day I set off for the Airport and the trip home, not exactly knowing what to expect. An early arrival home into Shannon is great but the jet lag didn’t exactly make for an easy evening in Limerick at the Removal.

Lucy had just come back from hospital and Catriona had experienced an awful week, never mind her at times foot-in-mouth Father-in-Law dying! It was an emotional homecoming to say the least as we prepared for the next couple of days.

Saying farewell to Dad seemed the easiest part. It’s a process, if you’ve been to a funeral you know what’s coming – of course not until you have got to put together a Eulogy. I said things as they were, I never thought you should sugar coat your thoughts on the dead just because they’re gone, even if it’s your Father.

Stealing a line from Jose-Maria Olazabal – “all men die, but not all men live”! Dad lived before he died, that’s the best tribute I can pay to him.

Miss you Dad. I return to the scene next month in Orlando.

By tomkennedygolf Posted in Golf