Last week, the Oscars of the golf travel industry, the IAGTO (International Association of Golf Tour Operators) Annual Awards, were handed out to a select group of resorts, courses and travel destinations.
IAGTO’s operators, which includes well over 2,000 accredited golf tour operators, as well as countless resorts, hotels, golf courses and tourist boards from around the world, control an estimated 85% of golf holiday packages sold worldwide so being recognised as an industry leader at their Annual Awards is a true mark of quality.
Awards were handed out for Sustainability, lauding environmental excellence and social responsibility in the golf tourism industry, as well as Resort and Destination of the Year from six worldwide regions including North America, Latin America & Caribbean, Africa & Gulf States, Asia & Australasia, Rest of the World and Europe.
With so many golfing hotspots across the continent of Europe, competition for Destination of the Year was fierce, but eventually, Dublin and the East Coast Ireland came out on top.
More than 540 golf tour operators in 62 countries, all members of the IAGTO members, voted Dublin East Coast as the European Golf Destination of the Year. The Award recognises the greatest achievements of golf destinations and golf resorts in terms of the experience they deliver to travelling golfers and the professionalism with which the destination and local industry work with golf tour operators.
Now…while the weather can’t exactly be guaranteed on the Emerald Isle, the quality of golf and accommodation options, as well as the historical and cultural intrigue associated with the Irish Capital, not to mention outstanding value for money on offer, is all but guaranteed!
Dublin East Coast Golf Alliance Director Aine Mangan accepted the award and said, “It is a great honour to accept this award and a wonderful recognition for the region from the world’s leading golf tour operators. Dublin East Coast is home to some of the finest parkland and links courses and resorts all within easy access of Dublin International airport and the many attractions our capital city has to offer. Our aim is to consistently provide a great golf experience and warm welcome to our visitors to Ireland.”
So what do Dublin and the East Coast have to offer in terms of golf? Let’s have a look at some of the resorts and courses that helped Ireland’s capital scoop this prestigious award…
The K Club
2006 Ryder Cup host venue – 2 Championship Golf Courses – Named Ireland’s only 5 Red Star venue by the AA
Portmarnock Golf Club
19 time Irish Open host venue – Ranked among the best courses in Ireland
Former Irish Open and Seve Trophy host venue – 2 Championship Courses – “The Augusta of Ireland”
The Island Golf Club
Former Irish PGA Championship host venue – “The best course in Ireland you’ve never heard of.”
2 Championship courses designed by Colin Montgomerie and Mark O’Meara – Former Irish Open host venue
Portmarnock Golf Hotel & Links
Bernhard Langer designed championship links course – Superb value for money
Original Harry Colt designed championship links course with tweaks made by Dr. Martin Hawtree – Former Irish Open host venue
Of the award, Tourism Ireland’s Director of Markets, Simon Gregory, said: “This is a tremendous honour for the clubs working to promote this part of Ireland – and the superb golf on offer here. The fact that 540 golf tour operators in 62 countries voted for Dublin East Coast Golf Alliance is testament to the superb experience these clubs offer international golfers.”
The quality of golf on offer in this region is also reflected by the prestigious professional and amateur events that have been held here. Irish and European Opens, two marquee events on the European Tour, have been held in and around Dublin, as well as the Seve Trophy, Walker Cup and, of course, the 2006 Ryder Cup.
Add to all of this a superb nightlife, the legendary Irish hospitality and numerous points of cultural and historical interest and there is little doubt that a Dublin golf break offers a truly magnificent experience.