Social Media Open 2018

The Social Media Open has been going since 2013 at some of the finest golf courses in Ireland – Adare GC, Ballybunion, Castlemartyr, Dooks, Doonbeg, Mount Juliet, Old Head and Tralee. You can check out details of our previous tournaments below via the following links – Inaugural Social Media Open2014 Social Media Open2015 Social Media Open; 2016 Social Media Open & 2017 Social Media Open.

The Social Media Open returns again next April for its 6th Annual Tournament! The venues of 2016 & 2017 return once more as well – namely, The Old & Cashen Course at Ballybunion Golf Club, along with Dooks Golf Links and Tralee Golf Links to make up 4 fabulous tests of golf. The dates for the Event will be Tuesday 24th – Friday 27th April 2018.

Day 1 of The 2018 Social Media Open will involve a 2-course start at the Cashen Course & Old Course at Ballybunion Golf Club on Tuesday 24th April with half the field playing on the Cashen and the other half taking on the Old Course for the 1st Round. The Cashen Course, opened in 1982 and designed by renowned golf architect Robert Trent Jones Senior, requires acute precision especially off the tee as fairways frequently disappear around corners. The careless tee shots can easily run out of fairway and find their golf ball buried in the marram grass, hopefully there won’t be many of them next April! The BallyB website puts it well in that “if the Cashen Course at Ballybunion Golf Club was anywhere else it would attract far more attention and plaudits than it does. It’s hard on a girl if her older sister is Sophia Loren!”

The 2nd Day of The 2018 Social Media Open will again involve a 2-course start taking in the World famous Old Course and Cashen Course at Ballybunion Golf Club on Wednesday 26th April. The famous English golf writer, Peter Dobereiner said of BallyB’s Old Course: “If sheer pleasure is the yardstick, then Ballybunion’s Old Course gets my vote as the No. 1 in the world”. According to Ivan Morris’ editorial on the Ballybunion GC website, “by the mid-1970s, there was a growing trickle of well-read, international visitors that overnight turned into a flood in 1982 when Tom Watson made his famous off the cuff eulogy after accepting the Claret Jug at Royal Troon: ‘Nobody can call himself a golfer until he has played at Ballybunion; you would think the game originated there!’ Ever since, the North Kerry links has been one of the most lucrative and recognizable brands in world golf. Knowledgeable golfers realize that if they haven’t played golf at Ballybunion their golfing education is gravely incomplete”.

The 3rd Round of The 2018 Social Media Open takes us back to Dooks Golf Links in Glenbeigh. This beautifully located links course was a favourite of many a team last April and it promises to present a great golfing test once more along with the now famous Dooks welcome! Also known for its narrow links fairways and well contoured greens, you will get a real taste of traditional links golf at its very best. The west Kerry scenery and a scattering of gorse, heather and wild flowers will go down a treat as well. Dooks has been welcoming golfers since 1889 and the course has gone from strength to strength each year, we are very much looking forward to returning here on Thursday 26th April!

The Final Round of The 2018 Social Media Open will once again take place at the tremendous Tralee Golf Links on Friday 27th April! Course designer, Arnold Palmer, claims credit for the front 9 but has always maintained that “God designed the back 9”, unfortunately for all golf fans Mr Palmer has now passed on but we can luckily still enjoy his amazing work in County Kerry. Tralee Golf Links only opened in 1984 but has been getting rave review ever since, as PGA Tour player Kevin Stadler attests to…. “My favourite courses are Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and Tralee Golf Club”. Not bad company eh! Beautiful views of Kerry’s picturesque surrounds and beaches are the perfect backdrop and the sounds of the Atlantic Ocean make up an ideal soundtrack to bring the curtain down on what we promise will be another excellent week of craic, with a bit of golf in between!!

Defending 2017 Champs – Jim Dunne & John Howard

The format for the Event will continue as in previous years – Team of 2 with both scores on holes 9 & 18 and 1 score to count on the other holes each (3/4 Handicaps apply) – while the Tournament packages are as follows:

  • Golf Only – €670 per Team of 2 (€335 per person)
  • Play & Stay – €1,150 per Team of 2 (€575 per person, includes 4 nights’ accommodation – 1 night in Ballybunion & 3 nights in Killarney – and Prize Giving Dinner in Killarney, Venue TBC)

Other2013-12-10-21-59-27 Packages available on Request – Contact Us for details.

Along with the great golf and awesome accommodation there will also be some “social gatherings” organised over the course of the few days, always something to look forward to post-round! We are looking forward to another great few days of golf & craic in the South West of Ireland and hope you can join us next April! If you have any queries regarding The 2018 Social Media Open please email smopen@tomkennedygolf.com or call +353-87-6453537.

 

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Social Media Links Challenge 2018

Having enjoyed the best courses in the West of Ireland for 4 years now – SM Links 2014, SM Links 2015 SM Links 2016 & SM Links 2017 – the 5th Anniversary Tournament of The Social Media Links Challenge will take place in August at 2 of the finest links courses in Ireland over 3 days when it tees off in late August. Carne Golf LinksEnniscrone Golf Club once again provide stern but very different golfing tests from Thursday 23rd – Saturday 25th August 2018.

Teeing Off at Enniscrone GC!

The First Day’s play will be hosted at the exquisite Enniscrone Golf Club, on Thursday 23rd August 2018. It has been the host course for the Final Round over the past 4 years of the event and provides an excellent venue in all aspects. It will again host the Final Round this year but also provides the venue for the Opening Round in 2018. This world renowned course will test each and every player as they strive to get into the leading groups from Day 1.

One of the many views at Carne!

Day 2 on Friday 24th August will take in the awesome Carne Golf Links in Belmullet, Co Mayo. The 2017 competitors faced beautiful conditions last August and we are hoping for more of the same come the 2nd Round next year. This is one of the more remote courses in Ireland but as a result of that it has one of the most amazing locations for a golf course anywhere in the World!

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Enniscrone Golf Links, 16th Hole

The Final Day of the 2018 Social Media Links Challenge will be played at Enniscrone Golf Club on Saturday 25th August. This outstanding links course will provide a fitting finale to 3 days of sublime links golf on the West Coast of Ireland. The winning team this week will certainly deserve their prize!

The entry fee per person is only €165 Golf only (€330 per Team of 2). Accommodation is available at The Great National Hotel Ballina which is less than 1 hour’s drive from Carne and approximately 15 minutes from Enniscrone GC. The Play & Stay packages are as follows:

  • 2 nights’ B&B and 3 rounds of Golf – €269 per person sharing / €538 per Team
  • 3 nights’ B&B and 3 rounds of Golf & Prize Giving Dinner – €335 per person sharing / €670 per Team
  • 4 nights’ B&B and 3 rounds of Golf & Prize Giving Dinner – €385 per person sharing / €770 per Team

(The 3 & 4 night packages include Prize Giving Dinner at Hotel Ballina on Saturday 25th August)

2017 Champs – Bob Leggett & Alan McGovern

First Prize for the Social Media Links Challenge will include a Motocaddy Golf TrolleyFREE GOLF to come back and Defend the Title in 2019 along with the SM Links Challenge Trophy to take home for the year! Other prizes will be announced in due course but will include golf vouchers for Carne Golf Links and Enniscrone GC and many other golf related goodies from LJ Golf among others!!

The format of the Tournament will be a Pairs Event so Teams of 2. Scoring will be the same each day – 2 scores to count on holes 9 & 18 with 1 score to count on the other holes (1-8, 10-17). 3/4 Handicaps will apply for the event as well.

If you have any queries on the Social Media Links Challenge or would like to enter a team you can email smlinks@tomkennedygolf.com. You can also follow the event on Twitter @SMLinks or like us on Facebook.

Hope to see you on the links in August!

Social Media Parkland Championship

The Inaugural Social Media Parkland Championship comes to Ireland in 2018 with Woodbrook Golf Club, Powerscourt East & West courses providing 3 fantastic tests of golf over 3 days – Thursday 14th to Saturday 16th June (US Open week)! It’s been a while since we had a parkland course as part of our Events so it is great to get some golf in on 3 of the finest parkland courses in the country.

Day 1 will take us to Woodbrook Golf Club in County Wicklow on Thursday 14th June 2018. Although a flat course, the wind plays a most significant role at Woodbrook. When it blows from the North, 9 holes are affected, including 3 out of the last 4 which will make it a great closing stretch of holes for the Opening Round. When it’s from the South, the 10th plus the par three 11th, and the par five – 12th, 14th and 16th, all become very difficult long holes. A crosswind from the East affects almost every hole on the course and calls for shot making of the highest calibre. With its configuration of five par threes and five par fives, Woodbrook’s layout is unusual but, in the opinion of those who have played there, it is a championship course in every meaning of the word. We are very much looking forward to having Woodbrook host the Opening Round of #SMParkland in June next year!

Round 2 of #SMParkland takes us to Powerscourt’s East course on Friday 15th June 2018. “The East” was designed by successful Walker Cup Captain Peter McEvoy and it is enjoyed by members, corporate clients, societies, visitors and guests alike. It has hosted the 1998 Irish PGA which three time major winner Padraig Harrington won in a playoff. The East course also hosted the 2001 Irish Seniors Open. The course is maintained phenomenally and has some of the best greens in Ireland.

The Final Round of the #SMParkland Championship will be hosted at Powerscourt’s West course on Saturday 16th June 2018. “The West” was designed by David McLayy Kidd (of Bandon Dunes fame!) and his experience and detail for creating a challenging, rewarding and highly enjoyable golf course comes to the fore here at Powerscourt. The beautiful scenery and the greens from the West course can be heard talked about in the clubhouse all evening long from golfers who want a second chance at it. At the end of 54 holes The Inaugural Champions will have well and truly earned their triumph!

The Format for our Inaugural Tournament will be Pairs so Team of 2. Both scores are to count on 9 & 18 while 1 score is to count on holes 1-8 & 10-17, 3/4 Handicaps Apply with Stableford scoring.

Our Tournament Packages are as follows with accommodation available at the picturesque Parkview Hotel which is just 15 minutes away from all 3 courses!

  • Golf Only – €298 per Team of 2 / €149 per person
  • 2 night Play & Stay – €538 per Team of 2 / €269 per person sharing B&B
  • 3 night Play & Stay – €658 per Team of 2 / €329 per person sharing B&B
  • 4 night Play & Stay – €768 per Team of 2 / €384 per person sharing B&B

We will also be arranging some social “meet-ups” each Evening including the possibility of a Prize Giving Barbeque / US Open Night on Saturday 16th June 2018 at Powerscourt, stay tuned for details of this! If you would like to enter a Team please call +353-87-6453537 or email Tom Kennedy at Experience Ireland Golf & Travel. We look forward to seeing you in June for The Inaugural Social Media Parkland Championship!

 

The Golf Guide Tour – Irish Event

The Golf Guide Tour makes it first stop in Ireland in June when it visits The Heritage Resort. This coincides with the relaunch of its Irish Edition of the Magazine with plans for further Irish Tournaments in 2018.

This 36 Hole event at The Heritage Resort in Killenard, Ireland – just 30 minutes south of Dublin – takes place on Sunday 11th & Monday 12th June 2017. Packages are as follows:

  • 2 Rounds of Golf plus 2 nights B&B in the 5-Star Heritage Hotel £270 / €295 per person sharing
  • 2 Rounds of Golf plus 2 nights B&B staying in The Ballesteros Apartments £220 / €240 per person sharing
  • Golf Only – £100 per person / €110 per person

The Competition Format is a Pairs Better Ball with Stableford scoring played off 90% handicap. The winners from each event are invited to the competition week on the Costa del Sol in November 2017 or February 2018, which includes a 3 night stay at the 4 star Tamisa Hotel Mijas including Breakfast, return flights, all transfers and 3 competitive rounds of golf.

To enter the Race to Mauritius, you must enter a minimum of 4 GGT events. After the St Andrews event, the top 10 pairs from our Order of Merit will then qualify for a UK Final to decide the overall winners of the amazing 7 day trip to Mauritius!!

You must have a current CONGU handicap to win any of the top three prizes. Non-handicap golfers are welcome to attend but can only win the other prizes on offer. Due to the increased popularity of the events, a £50 deposit per person is required to secure your place. Contact competitions@thegolfguide.co.uk for payment details.

 

Social Media Open 2017 – Tournament Review

Our 5th Anniversary Tournament would take us to the same venues as 2016 – Ballybunion Old Course & Cashen Course, Dooks Golf Links & Tralee Golf Links – from Tuesday 25th to Friday 28th April 2017. This year had a record entry of 160 golfers (80 teams), having started with just 40 golfers 4 years ago when we took on Mount Juliet, Castlemartyr, Adare & Old Head.

Plenty golfers made it down on the Monday evening before play started the following morning, some taking it easy and preparing without the usual hangover while others were starting as they meant to go on that week! The craic was mighty in Kilcooly’s that night which did bode well for a great week, on and off the course!

The first day’s play took in a 2 course start (never used that before!) on The Old & Cashen at Ballybunion Golf Club on Tuesday 25th April 2017. While the 2 course start worked well it still entailed an early start on The Old Course with the first golfers setting off at 7.24am on a still but chilly morning. Rune Karlsen, Manager of Tromso Golf Club in Norway, and his playing partner, Paal Kjelsrud, got things started as they did in 2016 as well, this time in the company of Umberto Biagi & Tarek Aref. The early scores were decent as the early risers seemed to be getting the better of the scoring conditions. However it was 2 teams that started later on The Old & Cashen courses that led the way after Round 1 – Cork brothers, John & Liam Deasy, returned an excellent 45 points followed closely behind them by another Cork team, John Howard & Jim Dunne on 44. Plenty teams were still in the hunt only a few shots back of the leaders including Defending Champs, Joe Kennedy & Peter Murphy, along with Lindsay Hamill & Tom Baldwin, Chris Garde & Billy Farrell, Lewis Jones & Gavin Bonham and Leo Dunne & Paul Madigan.

Day 2 started under sunny skies at Ballybunion while those who took on The Old Course on Tuesday moved to the Cashen Course on Wednesday 26th April for Round 2 while the teams that took on the Cashen on Day 1 moved onto The Old Course. Scoring was definitely better for the morning starters, even after the previous night’s festivities at Kilcooly’s, with the wind picking up in the afternoon making both courses a true test of links golf. John & Jim powered ahead in the 2nd Round with a great score of 45, giving them a 7 shot lead from Warrenpoint duo Brian McKee & Joe Lenfestey. Lewis Jones & Gavin Bonham added a solid 40 points to their 41 on Day 1 to lie in 3rd place. 10 shots covered the Top 8 but the chasing pack had it all to do to catch the Cork boys out in front. Ireland led the way in The Nations Cup with 2 rounds to go. Onto Killarney as our base for the next 3 nights with a combination of local hotels hosting us.

The 3rd Round of Social Media Open 2017 started under gloomy skies and a little rain but this soon cleared to a fabulous day at Dooks Golf Links on Thursday 27th April. Our Italian friends, all 22 of them, were some of the first golfers out on the day on the testing links course as all teams tried to climb the Leaderboard on “Moving Day”. Scoring was the best of the week so far with many teams returning scores in the mid to high 40s. Best score of the day come from Kate Docherty & Martina Syron who returned a fabulous 47 points while there were many teams returning 40 or better in the kind scoring conditions. John & Jim again recorded a consistent score, 44 this time to extend their lead to 8 going into the Final Round at Tralee the following morning.

Tralee Golf Links was the venue for the Final Round of our 5th Anniversary Tournament on Friday 28th April and again this tremendous golf course lived up to all the expectation. The course was in phenomenal condition with the greens slick and rolling beautifully. The early starters definitely got the best of the scoring conditions, with the first team fourball out on the course producing the best team score of the day in the shape of Stuart Hasson & Gay Hannon who returned 45 points to shoot up the leaderboard. Nearest the Pin on the day also went to an early starter, Kate Docherty! As the wind picked up in the afternoon teams did struggle, especially on Back 9, but this did not detract from an amazing experience at Tralee. John & Jim has their worst day of the 4 in terms of scoring at Tralee but still managed to post a creditable 40 points to ensure victory was guaranteed to become 2017 Social Media Open Champions! Chris Garde & Billy Farrell, regulars at our Tournaments, took 2nd place. Lewis & Gavin secured 3rd place with a 4 round points total of 162 while Lindsay Hamill & Tom Baldwin grabbed 4th place on the countback from 4 teams on 159 with Paschal & Noel McMahon getting a Top 5 finish on the same score. Everybody thoroughly enjoyed themselves as thoughts now moved to our Prize Giving Dinner at Randles Hotel in Killarney that evening. Ireland again triumphed in The Nations Cup while Honourary Irish Captains, John Mooney & Shay Kelly, took The Conefrey Shield.

The Prize Giving Dinner began just after 9pm in Killarney at Randles Hotel with all teams in the mood for celebrating, especially our Dutch contingent that provided the backing track for the evening from their table! A huge thanks to everybody for making the week what it was, all the players; the Golf Courses – Ballybunion, Dooks & Tralee – and all their staff; the wonderful Guest Houses and Hotels and of course our Tournament Partners – Conefrey’s Pharmacy, Druids of Ireland by LJ Golf, Irish Biltong, Open Fairways, Jonathan McDonnell QFA, Vox Golf, Royal & Awesome, Club Clean Ireland, Wyldsson and Fresh Today. We are already planning for our 2018 Tournament and hope to see many of you there next year!

Check out our Facebook Albums from our 5th Anniversary Tournament, you can also check us out on Twitter. Any queries regarding our Event you can email smopen@tomkennedygolf.com

SM Open Scotland – Aberdeen Event 2017

We are delighted to launch our 2nd Scottish Tournament taking place in Aberdeen at Trump International Scotland, Cruden Bay Golf Club & Murcar Golf Links from Wednesday 12th – Friday 14th July 2017! The event will be run in conjunction with Tournament Partners, Deeside Golf Tours in Scotland.

trump-aberdeen

Day 1 will take us to Trump International Golf Links Scotland in Aberdeen on Wednesday 12th July 2017. This 7,400 yard, par 72 championship golf course was designed by renowned golf course architect, Dr. Martin Hawtree, and follows a classical pattern of two out-and-back loops of nine holes. All 18 holes thread their way engagingly through The Great Dunes of Scotland; rising to find panoramic views of the North Sea and dramatic coastline, and plunging into secluded valleys rich with native vegetation.

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The 2nd Round of Social Media Open Aberdeen will be hosted at Cruden Bay Golf Club on Thursday 13th July. This amazing Links Course offers an internationally famous golfing experience – old fashioned links golf at its best – on one of the best links courses in Scotland. Cruden Bay creates unique challenges demanding the skills of power, placement and fine judgement upon the discerning golfer. The course is set against a backdrop of subtly contoured greens and magnificent panoramic views and when you read the list of recent accolades it is easy to understand why it is so popular

  • 2012 in “Golf World Magazine” 2nd Top Fun Course in Great Britain & Ireland
  • 2013 in “Links Magazine USA” 54th Best Course in the World
  • 2013-2014 in “Golf Digest Top 100” 70th in the World
  • 2013 in “Golf Course Architecture Magazine” 29th in the World (voted by over 240 golf course architects from 28 Countries)
  • 2015 in “Golf Magazine52nd in the World

The Final Round of Social Media Open Aberdeen will take place on Friday 14th July at the majestic Murcar Links. The par-71 layout features in the Top 100 courses in the UK and is in the VisitScotland Top 40 Great Scottish Links Collection as evidenced by the fact that in 2005, it hosted pre-qualifying for the British Senior Open. Recently it has also hosted  the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre Northern Open in June 2014 and in 2013 the European Boys Team Championship. In 2009 hosted the European Challenge Tour’s Scottish Challenge and the British Boys Plate. It is a venue held in high regard and we are delighted to be concluding our Aberdeen Tournament on this fantastic course in July!

The Format of the Event will follow past Tournament in that it will be Pairs so Team of 2 – both scores to count holes 9 & 18 and 1 to score on 1-8, 10-17 (3/4 Handicap Applies). Our Golf Only Package is £349 per person / £698 per Team of 2, Play & Stay Packages to be finalised very soon. If you have any queries or would like to enter a team please call +353-87-6453537 or email smopen@tomkennedygolf.com! In the meantime give us a Follow on Twitter and a Like on Facebook!

 

Father & Son Tournament at Dooks

Dooks Golf Links celebrates the hosting of “The Kingdom Father & Son” Tournament on Friday 21st April 2017 as the Inaugural hosting of the Event! The Tournament will feature a Foursomes format and with its staging on during the Easter Holidays it gives the opportunity for both young & old Father & Son teams to compete in the Event on one of Ireland’s best links courses.

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The Glenbeigh Golfing Gem has been welcoming golfers for over 125 years now and continues to be a firm favourite with Members & their Guests, Tourist Golfers, Golf Societies and Green Fee paying Visitors alike! Dooks Golf Links is a superb venue as we saw first hand at the 2016 Society Challenge hosted there on Saturday 29th October, and we hope to return there later this year as well!

Dooks is also a superb club to join as a Member and they have various Membership categories available including their Links & Lakes Membership with Killarney Golf & Fishing Club.

Dooks would love for you to join them for their Inaugural Tournament in April and the timesheet is open, and filling up fast!! You can book online via their Open Competitions section, by email via office@dooks.com or by phone on +353-66-9768205. The entry fee is just €60 per pair (€30 per person) which is amazing value for a golf course of that quality, with some fantastic prizes available the day. Do you want to be the Inaugural “Kingdom Father & Son” Champions? It’s times like these that I wish my “auld fella” played golf!

 

Social Media Links Challenge 2017

Having enjoyed the best courses in the West of Ireland for 3 years now the 4th Annual Tournament of The Social Media Links Challenge will once again take place in August at 3 of the finest links courses in Ireland over 3 days when it tees off in late August. County Sligo Golf Club, Carne Golf LinksEnniscrone Golf Club once again provide 3 stern but very different golfing tests from Thursday 24th – Saturday 26th August 2017.

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The First Day’s play will be hosted at West of Ireland Amateur Open venue, County Sligo Golf Club, on Thursday 24th August 2016. It has been the host course for the 1st Round over the past 2 years of the event and provides an excellent venue in all aspects. This world renowned course will test each and every player as they strive to get into the leading groups from Day 1.

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Day 2 on Friday 25th August will take in the awesome Carne Golf Links in Belmullet, Co Mayo. The 2016 competitors faced some very tough conditions in driving wind and plenty rain but even the weather did not take away from the enjoyment of the golfers. This is one of the more remote courses in Ireland but as a result of that it has one of the most amazing locations for a golf course anywhere in the World!

enniscrone-image

The Final Day of the 2016 Social Media Links Challenge will be played at Enniscrone Golf Club on Saturday 26th August 2016. This outstanding links course will provide a fitting finale to 3 days of sublime links golf on the West Coast of Ireland. The winning team this week will certainly deserve their prize!

The entry fee per person is only €165 Golf only (€330 per Team of 2) with the following Play & Stay Packages available. Accommodation is currently available at either Hotel Ballina or the Ballina Manor Hotel which are both less than 1 hour’s drive from Carne, approximately 45 minutes from County Sligo and only 15 minutes from Enniscrone GC. The first night’s accommodation on the 4 night package will be at the Riverside Hotel in Sligo.

2 nights’ B&B and 3 rounds of Golf – €255 per person sharing / €510 per Team
3 nights’ B&B and 3 rounds of Golf & Prize Giving Dinner – €325 per person sharing / €650 per Team
4 nights’ B&B and 3 rounds of Golf & Prize Giving Dinner – €370 per person sharing / €740 per Team

(The 3 & 4 night packages include Prize Giving Dinner at Hotel Ballina on Saturday 26th August)

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First Prize for the Social Media Links Challenge will include a Golfing Holiday to the Sun, FREE GOLF to come back and Defend the Title in 2018 along with the SM Links Challenge Trophy to take home for the year! Other prizes will be announced in due course but will include golf vouchers for Carne Golf Links, County Sligo GC and Enniscrone GC and many other golf related goodies from LJ Golf among others!!

The format of the Tournament will be a Pairs Event with 2 scores to count each day on holes 9 and 18 with 1 score to count on the other holes (1-8, 10-17). 3/4 Handicaps will apply for the event as well.

If you have any queries on the Social Media Links Challenge or would like to enter a team you can email smlinks@tomkennedygolf.com. You can also follow the event on Twitter @SMLinks or like us on Facebook. Check out the Review of our 2016 Event for what’s in store for you in a few months time!!

Hope to see you on the links in August!

The Social Media Open 2016

The 2016 Social Media Open will be the 4th Annual staging of the ever growing tournament! The dates for your diary are Tuesday 19th – Friday 22nd April 2016.  We will also see two new golf courses added to the 2016 roster with Dooks Golf Club and Tralee Golf Links joining forces with the previously visited golf courses at Ballybunion Golf ClubThe Old Course and The Cashen Course.

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Day one of The 2016 Social Media Open will start off the week on the wonderful Cashen Course at Ballybunion on Tuesday 19th April 2016. Often lost in the shadow of its older sister, The Old Course, The Cashen serves up a great test for all levels of golfers. Opened in 1982 and designed by Robert Trent Jones Senior (who also designed Adare GC among other golfing design gems), The Cashen will set us up for a great week of golf and craic. Keep it on the fairways around here though, the Cashen course won’t shy away from punishing a careless golfer, not that that will be a problem next April!! The Cashen Course at Ballybunion is built on what Jones Snr called “the finest piece of links-land that I have ever seen, and perhaps the finest piece of links-land in the world.”

Day two of T2015-04-15 14.58.12he 2016 Social Media Open will see us take on the aforementioned older sister, The Old Course at BallyB on Wednesday 20th April! After tackling the Cashen Course, what better way to follow it up than to play this 1893 vintage classic? The Old Course has been voted one of the best in the world by every golf publication worth its salt and rightly so! Tom Watson, 8 time major champion is a former club Captain and he went on the record to say “Nobody can call himself a golfer until he has played at Ballybunion; you would think the game originated there!” Why not check it out for yourself and report back to Uncle Tom!!

Dooks GC1

Day Three, Thursday 21st April, will have us travelling further into Ireland’s beautiful south west region. Dooks Golf Club, one of our welcome additions to the Social Media Open for next year and it will certainly be an exciting venture for golfers who have already play and also who have yet to play this fantastic links course. The Dooks website captures it perfectly by stating ‘’a truly magical location for a stunning golf course. Experience breathtaking views and a unique links challenge that golfers have enjoyed since 1889’’. Known for its narrow genuine sandy fairways and well contoured greens, you will get a real taste of traditional links golf at its very best. The west Kerry scenery and a scattering of gorse, heather and wild flowers will go down a treat also! It will be a perfect host after two spectacular days at Ballybunion.

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The Final Day of the 2016 Social Media Open, Friday 22nd April, will take place at the world renowned Tralee Golf Links, known affectionately to the locals as Barrow. The youngest of our selected courses for 2016, opening for business in 1984. Arnold Palmer was the designer but only takes credit for the front 9, he says that God created the back 9 long before he got there! The world famous back 9 is a stretch of some of the most challenge, quirky and sublime golf holes on the planet. During a recent interview PGA Tour member Kevin Stadler explained…. “My favorite courses are Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and Tralee Golf Club”. Not bad company eh! Beautiful views of Kerry’s picturesque surrounds and beaches are the perfect backdrop and the sounds of the Atlantic Ocean make up an ideal soundtrack to bring the curtain down on what we promise will be another excellent week of craic, with a bit of golf in between!!

2015 Champs - Bob Leggett & Al McGovern

2015 Champs – Bob Leggett & Al McGovern

The Golf Only package is €598 per Team of 2 (€299 per person) while the Play & Stay package (4 nights accommodation) will be the same price of this year at €998 per Team of 2 (€499 per person). We have limited space and with team entries already flying in for 2016 we anticipate another hotly contested Tournament in April!

If you have any queries or would like to enter a team please EMAIL us, you can give us a follow on Twitter or a like on Facebook too!

 

Social Media Open 2015 – Tournament Review

What started off as a twitter conversation between some fanatical golfers in October of 2012 has definitely turned into something much more in just 3 short years. The Social Media Open has blossomed into an event with 100 golfers from its humble beginnings in late 2012. The first event attracted 40 golfers in 2013, then 72 in 2014 and 100 golfers this year.

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The 2015 Social Media Open started on Tuesday 14th April at Ballybunion’s Cashen course with players from the Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom, America, Italy, Ireland and of course the People’s Republic of Cork teeing it up to take on the 4 round challenge in teams of 2. The format would be the same each day – 2 scores to count on holes 9 & 18 with 1 score to count on the rest, 3/4 Handicaps would apply as well to ensure it would be a proper golfing challenge! Bob Leggett & Alan McGovern got our 3rd Annual Tournament underway in company with Rune Karlsen & Paal Kjelsrud from Tromso.

The Cashen course was in great shape for the tournament’s opening round and provided a stern test in the wind on Day 1 – the best scores being 48 points from Niall Lenihan & Conor Sheahan, followed closely by Bob Leggett & Alan McGovern on 47 while Paddy Carmody & Joe McShane and Christopher Wojnar & Frank Kane shared 3rd spot on 46 points. Many bad scores were forgotten in our “social hub” in Ballybunion that evening, Mikey Joe’s, while the teams with the better scores regaled us with stories of how well they did.

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Tee off on Day 2 stayed in Ballybunion with the challenge of the Old Course presenting itself in all its glory. The work the team at “BallyB” has done has been truly magnificent and while not much has changed in the way of the layout, the overall look of the course is superb – not that it wasn’t great to begin with of course! Wednesday 15th April presented slightly better scoring conditions but the tricky greens around this infamous links course ensured that the teams would have to battle hard to get favourable scores on their scorecards. The best score on Day 2 was 47 points from Shane Russell & Padraic Lynskey, which catapulted them into a tie for 2nd on 88 points, while Bob & Alan added a 46 point tally in the 2nd round to take a 5 shot lead from Christopher & Frank who managed a 42 point total on the Old Course. Day 1 leaders Niall & Conor lay in a tie for 4th with Richard Hurley & Stephen Finlan on 86 points after scores of 38 and 44 respectively on Day 2. The all Dutch team of Mathijs Fieten, who won Longest Drive at the Cashen, & Ludo Linsen were 8 shots off the pace on 85 points going in the 3rd Round at Adare GC.

A great night was ahead of us at Pat Collins Bar in Adare where many a golfing story was told, and some non-golf activities were also enjoyed! With the majority of the teams staying in Adare Village or on the grounds of Adare Manor in the Townhouses and Villas it made for a very enjoyable evening, that rolled over slightly into the wee hours of the next morning!!

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The 3rd Round of the 2015 Social Media Open took us to the awesome Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort to take on the Robert Trent Jones Senior layout, his last ever design in fact. The American also designed the Cashen course so those in the field who hadn’t yet played Adare were in for a real treat while those returning knew the excellent golf course they were about to play.

In benign scoring conditions, the actual scores on Day 3 did not reflect that with a few tough pin placements and the overall challenge of Adare GC taking its toll on some possibly tired and emotional golfers…….! 45 points was the best score on the day – with John & Liam Deasy, Dave McCarthy & Seamus O’Leary and Rune Karlsen & Paal Kjelsrud all achieving that feat. On the overall Leaderboard, with the field now split into “The Grace Murphy” Category for the top end and the “The Caillin Conefrey Shield” Category, for those who missed a cut of sorts, Christopher & Frank now led the way by 3 points from Dave & Seamus on 131 points going into the Final Round at Old Head. Bob & Alan, Rune & Paal and also Mathijs & Ludo were 2 further shots back on 126. Still in with a shout of bringing home The Grace Murphy Trophy and the 2015 Social Media Open title were Richard & Stephen on 124 and the Deasy’s on 123. 10 shots separated the top 10 teams and with the Old Head still to come anything was possible. In the Shield competition, John Simpson & Nick Coolen led the way on 112 just 1 shot ahead of Italian pair, Alex Filippi & Davide Devenuto, and also John Foster & Colm Kinsella.

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The Final Round, luckily for us, has always been at the Old Head Golf Links and long may this hopefully continue! We were again greeted by good golfing conditions, albeit a little more overcast and breezy than the previous days. Play started from 9.15am for Day 4 and although the previous night’s social gathering in the Folkhouse and Malt Lane looked to take its toll on some golfers this spectacular golf course ensured they thoroughly enjoyed their day. The new 13th hole was in play since opening last year and it definitely added to the already phenomenal layout at Old Head. For some golfers today this was a huge tick off their golfing bucket list, along with the other 3 courses as well as most had not played any of the South & South West’s finest tracks.

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In a year of playoffs on the PGA Tour there was 3-way tie for the lead at the end of 72 holes with Bob & Alan, Mathijs & Ludo, and also Dave & Seamus on 169. On the countback Mathijs & Ludo claimed 2nd spot from Dave & Seamus due to a superior final round while Bob & Alan claimed the overall title on the back 9 by just 1 point! Huge congrats to Bob Leggett & Alan McGovern on their victory, two absolute gentlemen and two fine golfers too – we’re sure they will give Grace Murphy a great home for the next 12 months! In the Caillin Conefrey ShieldJohn & Nick held on to win this category on 153 from Shay Kelly & John Mooney on 149. The Long Drives over the 4 days were claimed by Mathijs Fieten (Day 1), Alan Doyle (Day 2), Linda Toomey (Day 3) & John Deasy (Day 4). Closest to the Pin at Adare went to Keith Brannigan while the Golf Nut of the Week went to Mike Moriarty. We also had a Hole-in-One this week, on the 11th Hole at Old Head by Tadhg Harnedy, which added even more to an absolutely amazing few days.

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Now for some thank yous……….

A huge thanks to all the players for making the Social Media Open 2015 the event it was, the atmosphere amongst the players (many of whom had never met before this week) was superb both on and off the course. Many thanks also to our sponsors and tournament partners – Conefrey’s Pharmacy, P&M Golf in Ennis, Blacks of Kinsale, Royal & Awesome, Muldoon Whiskey, IrelandGolfBalls.ie, BreakingPar.ie, Metro Golf Dublin and Golf Player Card – for their support of the event. To the one and only Ollie Ryan for his wonderful photography and also his help on the 1st Tee on Day 1! To Glen Holmes, for his great suggestion of running a Shield competition.  To the teams at all the golf courses – Ballybunion, Adare & Old Head – for hosting us over the 4 days and having all their courses in fantastic shape. To the many Guest Houses & Hotels for taking such good care of us all – top quality service from start to finish. And last but by no means least, to Tony Regazzoli and John Deasy for all their help getting some pre-tournament stuff sorted.

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All in all it was a wonderful week of golf and of course the craic wasn’t too bad either! Many memories and many new friendships formed too! The feedback we have received so far has been overwhelming and we look forward to hopefully seeing all of the 100 competitors in Ireland again next April, planning for 2016 is already underway! Check us out on Twitter and Facebook for updates and if you have any queries you can send us an Email as well.

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