Social Media Open 2019

Social Media Open 2019

The Cashen Course’s 16th Hole

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. Next year is no different!

The Social Media Open returns next April for its 7th Annual Tournament! The venues of 2016, 2017 & 2018 return once more as well – namely, The Old & Cashen Course at Ballybunion Golf Club, along with Tralee Golf Links & Dooks Golf Links to make up 4 fabulous tests of golf. The dates for the Event will be Tuesday 9th – Friday 12th April 2019.

Day 1 of The 2019 Social Media Open will involve a 2-course start at the Cashen Course & Old Course at Ballybunion Golf Club on Tuesday 9th 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!”

Ballybunion’s Old Course, 7th Hole

The 2nd Day of The 2019 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 10th 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”.

Social Media Open 2019

Tralee’s iconic 17th Hole

The 3rd Round of The 2019 Social Media Open will take place at the tremendous Tralee Golf Links on Thursday 11th 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!!

Dooks’ Par-3 4th Hole

The Final Round of The 2019 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 Friday 12th April!

There will be a slightly new format for the Event from previous years – Par 4s & Par 5s:
Both players tee off and pick 1 tee shot, from this spot both players then play their own ball from there. The first player to play will be the player whose tee shot is chosen (Play as Lie depending on the Local Rules on the day), the 2nd player may then place their ball within a scorecard not nearer the hole. Par 3s: Both players play their own ball for the duration of the hole. Team of 2 with Stableford Scoring – both scores on holes 9 & 18 and 1 score to count on the other holes each (3/4 Handicaps apply). The Tournament packages are as follows:

  • Golf Only – €379 per person / €758 per Team of 2
  • Play & Stay 4 nights – €639 per person sharing / €1,278 per Team of 2 (includes Prize Giving Dinner)
  • Play & Stay 5 nights – €699 per person sharing / €1,398 per Team of 2 (includes Prize Giving Dinner)

Other 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 2019 Social Media Open please email or call +353-87-645 3537.


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!


Society Challenge 2017 at Dooks Golf Links

The delightful Dooks Golf Links will host our Society Challenge for the 2nd year running on Saturday 28th October with the 1st Prize on offer being a FREE OUTING FOR 16 GOLFERS! The County Kerry course has been welcoming visitors since 1889 and is a fantastic venue for all levels of players.

The format of the day itself is a Team of 4 competition with 2 scores to count on each hole, full handicaps apply. The entry fee per Team is €200 (€50 per person) which includes a Breakfast Bap with Tea/Coffee on arrival, your Round of Golf of course and a Main Course after play in the Clubhouse.

You can book your team in Online or if you have any queries please call +353-87-6453537 or email

Make sure to check out Dooks on Twitter and Facebook as well!

Causeway Coast Amateur 2017

The Causeway Coast Amateur Golf Tournament enters its 5th Decade and continues to be the largest amateur golf tournament in Europe. Their 2017 tournament will be played over 4 superb links course – Ballyliffin Golf Club (Old Course), Castlerock Golf Club, Royal Portrush Golf Club (Valley Course) and Ballycastle Golf Club from Monday 5th – Friday 9th June 2017.

Ballyliffin Old Course

The tournament is a 72 hole event, with a rest day in between to recuperate from the test the links courses will provide and maybe to shake all some of the tiredness from the social element too! Participants are able to book into any of the below play orders, by choosing their rest day and time, subject to availability. Rest days are allocated on a first come first served basis, with the tournament organisers doing their best to accommodate all requests.  The field is limited to 144 participants per day. with the order of play as follows:

  1. Rest Day, Ballyliffin, Castlerock, Ballycastle, Royal Portrush
  2. Ballyliffin, Castlerock, Ballycastle, Royal Portrush, Rest Day
  3. Castlerock, Ballycastle.  Royal Portrush, Rest Day, Ballyliffin
  4. Ballycastle,  Royal Portrush, Rest Day, Ballyliffin,  Castlerock
  5. Royal Portrush, Rest Day, Ballyliffin, Castlerock, Ballycastle

Ballycastle GC

Participants are invited to a Welcome Event held at Royal Portrush Golf Club on Sunday 4th June. There will also be a Bushmills Distillery Tour & Entertainment on Wednesday 7th June with the Closing Event & Prize Giving being held at Royal Portrush Golf Club on the Final Day.

Tournament Terms and Conditions

The Causeway Coast Golf Tournament is open to Amateurs with an official club handicap of 20 or less. Each player must carry a current handicap certificate on each day of the Tournament. A current handicap certificate must be submitted with entry form.

Castlerock GC

The overall competition is run on the Stableford system. Concurrently with the main Tournament a Subsidiary Competition is run on each course with a separate trophy and prizes for the best score returned.

Entrance fees:

  • Host Club Members £75
  • GUI Residents £150
  • Visitors £200
  • Entrance fees include all green fees.

Withdrawals will only be refunded provided they are notified before Friday 21st April 2017.

All players must be members of Golf Clubs recognised and affiliated to their country’s governing body and must have an official club handicap. In accordance with 2016-2018 CONGU Unified Handicapping Scheme all scores in this competition must be returned to the home club by the player concerned – see Clause 8.12 The Handicap Committee of the home club will consider them in accordance with Clause 23a Annual Review or, if appropriate, for an immediate cut under Clause 23B – General Play Adjustment. The Committee reserves the right to revise any players handicap before or during the Tournament.

Entries will not be accepted from anyone under 18 years of age. Draws will be posted in Host Clubs the week preceding the Tournament. Entries close when the tournament limit of 800 is received.

For further information contact

History of the Tournament

The Causeway Coast Golf Tournament (CCGT) was first played in 1967 and has continued as an annual tournament every year since.

Royal Portrush Valley Course

The CCGT is owned by the four founding Golf Clubs – Ballycastle Golf Club, Castlerock Golf Club, Portstewart Golf Club and Royal Portrush Golf Club – with each member club nominating two representatives from their membership to run the tournament through the Tournament Committee.  In 2014, Portstewart Golf Club informed the Committee that they would be unable to take part in the Tournament due to other commitments.  This year, Portstewart will host The 2017 Irish Open and we wish them every success!  Due to this departure, Ballyliffin Golf Club was approached to take their place and they are a welcome addition to the Tournament.

The CCGT started off life as a small event, with the majority of participants coming from the host clubs. However, with the growth in popularity in golf in the 1970’s and 1980’s, coupled with the incredible value and quality of the host courses, the tournament quickly grew.  In the late 1990’s the tournament boasted over 1,100 participants.

2017 is a very exciting year for the Causeway Coast Golf Tournament as we enter our fifth decade. It is a fantastic Tournament and a massive achievement to be celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year, I just hope I can make it to play!

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.


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.


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! In the meantime give us a Follow on Twitter and a Like on Facebook!


Social Media Open Portugal 2017

The Inaugural playing of The Social Media Open Portugal will take place from Friday 10th – Sunday 12th November 2017, in the Alvor region of the Algarve and will present the challenge of 3 of the best golf courses in the area to test the teams that will be competing to become the 1st Social Media Open Portugal Champion! The Tournament will be played at 3 of the Pestana Resort Courses – Silves, Gramacho & Vila Sol with accommodation available at the picturesque Pestana Dom Joao II Hotel.


Day 1 of SM Open Portugal will take place at Silves Golf Course on Friday 10th November 2017Silves is a serene spot at the foot of the Monchique mountain, but it is anything other than ‘a walk in the park’ – a drive at the opening hole has to flirt with water hazards on both flanks. This course is for all levels of players – low handicaps will find it a serious challenge to come in under par while high handicaps, with a bit of courses management, will thoroughly their round. Most holes offer spectacular mountain views overlooking palm trees and olive groves, the surrounding cork and citrus farms generate a true feeling of authentic Portuguese golf. We look forward to starting our Inaugural here in November!


The 2nd Day of SM Open Portugal will be hosted at the Gramacho Golf Course on Saturday 11th November 2017. Having hosted the Portuguese Ladies Open on a number of occasions Gramacho is indeed recognized as a championship course. Designed by Ronald Fream, who also designed Vale de Pinta in the region, teamed up with the former world No. 1 Nick Price to create the unique design of Gramacho. With 18 holes & 27 greens, plus numerous different tee box locations, players are able to enjoy the same course time and time again but always with slightly different challenges.


The Vila Sol Golf Course will be the venue for the Final Round of The Social Media Open Portugal on Sunday 12th November where the Inaugural Champions will be crowned! Designed by renowned golf architect Donal Steel, the Vila Sol course was opened in 1991 and is a superb test of golf. The course is planned to give all visitors who come to play a golf course where the preservation of the natural environment is sharply in mind. This plan consists of pine, almond & fig trees, plants, flowers, lakes and streams, which all add to the pleasure and challenge of playing this championship golf course. Located in the Central Algarve, the Vila Sol Hotel and Golf resort is set in 75 acres of natural beauty which includes the Championship Course and also the 9-hole Academy course.


The Format of our Inaugural Tournament will encapsulate the same setup as The Social Media Open, Social Media Links Challenge and Social Media Open Scotland before them – Team of 2 with 1 score to count on holes 1-8, 10-17 and both scores to count on 9 & 18 (3/4 Handicap applies) with Stableford scoring each day. The Tournament Packages are as follows and include all Tournament Rounds of Golf, SM Open Portugal Goody Bags and All Prizes!

  • 3 Rounds of Golf & 3 nights’ B&B – €299 per person sharing (€598 per Team of 2)
  • 3 Rounds of Golf & 3 nights’ B&B – €349 per person sharing (€698 per Team of 2)

If you have any queries on The Social Media Open Portugal or would like to enter a team please email or call +353-87-6453537. You can also give us a Follow on Twitter or Like us on Facebook, hope to see you in Portugal this November!!

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.


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 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!


The Mental Fundamentals of Golf

It’s great to have another Guest Author on the Blog, we hope you like this article from Matt of!

It’s fair to say that at least half of the game of golf is played inside your head. There’s as much technique involved with keeping your head in the right place for the length of a game as there is for placing the ball. Of course, it always helps to have a few tricks up your sleeve, especially when you get yourself in trouble and frustration rears its ugly head. The following techniques should help you stay out of the pain cave and focused on what really matters — having fun.


Pre-Shot Routine

Having a set pre-shot routine is absolutely critical. It prepares your body and mind for the shot. The pre-shot routine should get you lined up and ready to swing, as well as clear your head so you can step up to the tee and trust your ability to hit the ball without over-thinking.

A good pre-shot routine goes something like this:

  1. Stand ten feet behind the ball and imagine a line through it to the target
  2. Picture a line through the ball to the target
  3. Choose a spot on the line to focus on three to four feet in front of the ball
  4. Approach the ball and position your clubface behind the ball, perpendicular to the target
  5. Position your feet while staring at the target
  6. Choose a spot (probably a dimple) on the ball to aim for
  7. Trust your fundamentals and swing

Develop a shot strategy

Even the pros don’t always put the ball exactly where the want it. In fact, many pros will tell you they hit their target about two-thirds of the time. One in three shots off-target is the norm, and these guys are the best in the world. What you’ll notice as you watch a tournament, however, is the pros’ uncanny ability to miss to the correct side, leaving themselves a solid follow-up shot.


The trick is to determine where your perfect shot would fall, then determine which side and distance you’d be OK with missing to. Then aim between the two. This may require using a different club than you’d use for the perfect shot; that’s OK. Giving yourself a wider margin of error will give you more confidence and, inevitably, shave strokes.

Have a default shot

One bad shot can cause a lot of trouble. If poorly managed, that one shot can come back to haunt you later — it can even ruin your game if you let it. There are lots of techniques that are designed to help you let go of the frustration and move on with your game. One very effective technique is to fall back on old reliable — use a club that will help you rebuild your confidence, even if it’s not the perfect club for your next shot. Take a swing with the 6 iron if that’s comfortable, or maybe an 8 that you can play form any lie. The idea is to get confidence back in your swing, and a comfortable club can often do just that.

Introduce Distractions

Another way to stay loose during the game or forget about a bad shot is to create a distraction. Strike up a conversation with a golf buddy on the way to the next hole, and make it about anything BUT golf. Just taking your mind out of the moment should help put things back into perspective and relive a little of the intensity that can make the game more serious and take away some of the fun. This technique can be applied to life away from the course, as well. If you find yourself obsessing about the game when you’re at work or driving your wife nuts by talking about golf all the time, it may be time to add another hobby — one that’s not golf-related, like fly-fishing or pool.


Golf’s mental aspect can be as intimidating and as difficult to master as its athletic aspect, and the mastery of both can take decades of constant training. Fortunately, there are a few techniques that you can use to control your mental game … think of them as the “mental fundamentals.”

Bio on the Guest Author:

Matt is an avid golf enthusiast and part of the team. When he’s not working on his fairway shot, you will find Matt writing about his passion for the process of the game.

Golf in Cambodia – Angkor Golf Resort

I never thought my first game of golf in 2017 would happen to be on Honeymoon (I didn’t bring the clubs for fear of an early divorce!) and I was even more surprised when I teed it up for the first time in the New Year in Cambodia, at Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap to be precise!

The setup is superb, along with getting picked up in their Courtesy Bus from my hotel which was a very nice touch indeed! David Baron, their Director of Golf, was on hand to greet me and I was given a very warm welcome from all the staff. A locker with my name on it and all, I took a little bit of time to check out the facilities before I headed for a back 9 start with my caddy! The facilities at Angkor Golf Resort are excellent and rival any other golf course or resort in Europe, the US or further afield. They are as follows:

  • 300 Yards Grass Range and Practice putting green
  • Chipping/ Betting Hole (19th Hole)
  • Contemporary Designed Clubhouse
  • Pro Shop with range of top brands
  • Modern Locker Room & Showers
  • Golf Cart, Clubs and Shoes rental
  • Restaurant that serves both Western and Asian cuisine (the local beer is great too!)
Hole 13, par 5. Angkor Golf Resort, Kasekam Village, Sra Nga, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Mandatory credit: Richard Castka/

Hole 13, par 5.
Angkor Golf Resort. Mandatory credit: Richard Castka/

So, onto the golf course. What a great test, starting on the Back 9 I managed to split the first fairway and life seemed easy for a moment…….all that changed when I pulled my approach into the greenside bunker and proceeded to make bogey! Nick Faldo, who designed the golf course,  was always a great bunker player and the greenside bunkers especially will prove difficult to even those with fantastic short games. 11 is a short par 4 with a very smart design, play safe and give yourself another testing approach with probably a mid to short iron depending on how close you want to get to the water or go for the carry to a narrow landing area short right of the green. Suffice to say I tried to play safe but it didn’t work out too well, another bogey on the card!

Hole 18, par 4. Angkor Golf Resort. Mandatory credit: Richard Castka/

Hole 18, par 4.
Angkor Golf Resort. Mandatory credit: Richard Castka/

At this stage I was getting worried if my caddy had already given up hope on me but luckily a nicely struck 8-iron to a few feet on the par-3 12th gave me my first birdie of the day, especially useful as I was playing through an American couple at the time. 13 is an amazing par-5, meandering through the bunkers and finishing up at a beautiful green at the top right, definitely a par-5 when par is a welcome score. 14 & 15 are testing par-4s with water in play on both of them while I remember 16 well as the par-5 presented me with second birdie of the day, life seemed easy again!! It’s a tough finish to the back 9 at Angkor Golf Resort, 17 is a long par-3 with water right and not much room to bail out on the left. There is a safer short either short or front left of the green but I was in birdie mode but unfortunately my swing forgot I was, PBFU (as some of us know it) followed. 18 is a lovely finishing hole, with water your constant companion down the left hand side. With the pin cut tight to the back left of the green I felt another chance at birdie coming up, when my ball seemed to stop 10 feet from the hole it looked like it but a bit of backspin sent it trundling down towards the water. Another bogey and a chance gone but a super finish to what was an excellent 9 holes. Onto the front 9 and my back 9!

Hole 2, par 4. Angkor Golf Resort. Mandatory credit: Richard Castka/

Hole 2, par 4.
Angkor Golf Resort. Mandatory credit: Richard Castka/

The front 9 is different to the back 9 which provides a good contrast, starting again with a par 4 which is pretty much straight up. 2 good shots to the front of the green ended up with a stress free 2 putt, good start! The short par-4 2nd hole ended up with a bogey after too many visits to sand and avoiding trees and then it was onto the 606 yard par-5 3rd hole (off the Faldo Tees!).  What a monster of a par-5, thankfully I walked off with a par! My swing felt good and things were starting to click, my caddy was superb as well though as the putts started to drop. A routine par on 4, a nice short par-3 was followed by nearly driving the short par-4 5th. A lovely up-and-down from sand gave me my 3rd birdie of the day. Good pars followed on 6 & 7 and everything seemed rosy in the garden standing in the middle of the fairway on 8 with wedge in my hand for my approach. A couple of yards long though and a bogey resulted, another bad swing on the 9th left me walking off with 2 bogeys to finish but all in all a thoroughly enjoyable round of golf on a stunning golf course.


Angkor Golf Resort isn’t just about the tourist or ex-pat golfers though. They are making great strides to help develop Junior Golf in Cambodia, ranked as the Best Course in the Country they are definitely leading the way here. Run in 5 Stages, it has opened up the opportunity to play golf to many children in the locality and Resident Professional, Alan Martin, must take a lot of credit for this. In November of 2015, over 250 children visited Angkor Golf Resort to experience golf which is fantastic. The Junior Golf Programme is very much linked to the Faldo Junior Series as well which provides even further opportunities for the children to play golf and play competitively too. Angkor Golf Resort even have their own Academy Ambassador, 16 year old Tevy Sareoun!


A fantastic trip to Cambodia was made all the better for taking on the challenge of their best golf course, and Angkor Golf Resort is just that! They have something fantastic events coming up in the near future as well – Angkor Spring Event (Singles Stableford) on Sunday 26th March; their popular Fourball Championship from 7th-9th April and also The Faldo Challenge from 2nd-4th June. Check out their Events Section for further details!

For those on Social Media, Angkor Golf Resort is active on both Twitter and Facebook, so give them a follow and a like! It is a great place to tee it up if you are ever planning a trip to Cambodia and especially Siem Reap.

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.


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.


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!


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)


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 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!