3.00pm 13th December 2019 – Property – This story was updated on Saturday, December 14th, 2019
Dr. Michael Smurfit is pleased to announce a definitive agreement to sell The Kildare Hotel & Country Club (‘The K Club’) in Straffan, Kildare, Ireland to Mr. Michael Fetherston. The transaction is expected to close in early 2020.
Dr. Michael Smurfit said: “Since opening in 1991, The K Club has and continues to be an incredible source of pride for my family, its members and its wonderful team. I would like to sincerely thank The K Club team and its members for their support and contribution over many years. There is always a time to move on. I firmly believe that the K Club’s long-term interests are better served under a new owner and that Michael Fetherston is uniquely placed to build on the heritage and success of The K Club.”
Mr. Michael Fetherston said: “I am delighted to reach an agreement to purchase The K Club which is both a unique and an iconic asset. Dr. Smurfit’s foresight established The K Club in 1991 and his vision and sheer force of personality brought the Ryder Cup here in 2006. We are excited by the opportunities presented and we will build on The K Club’s unparalleled reputation as both a hotel and as a golf resort.”
The luxury AA Five Red-star resort, located in County Kildare, Ireland, sits on 550-acre estate featuring a 134 bedroom hotel, a spa facility, two bars, one fine dining restaurant and conference facilities. The resort features two Arnold Palmer 18-hole championship golf courses – the Palmer and Smurfit courses; together with two club houses,
The K Club has hosted the 2006 Ryder Cup, the 2016 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and thirteen European Opens. The resort facilities include the award-winning dining facilities including The Byerley Turk restaurant, Vintage Crop Cocktail Bar together with 2 restaurants and three bars within the golf course club houses. The conference and banqueting facilities are extensive –extending to 18 rooms.
The K Club www.kclub.ie
4.30pm 13th December 2019 – Growing the Game – This story was updated on Friday, December 13th, 2019
Stephen Gethin (above right), co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Golf (https://parliamentary.golf/) and since 2015 the SNP Member of Parliament for North East Fife, which includes St Andrews, has been defeated by Liberal Democrat Wendy Chamberlain.
At the 2017 General Election North East Fife was the most marginal constituency of all and Stephen Gethin held the seat with a majority of just two votes after three recounts.
Meanwhile Craig Tracey (Conservative), the other co-Chair of the APPG for Golf (pictured above left) and Member of Parliament for North Warwickshire, home of The Belfry, was re-elected with an increased majority.
There was more drama involving the Group when founder member and former Group Chairman Karl McCartney (Conservative) regained the Lincolnshire seat that he had lost at the 2017 General Election.
Is this golf’s latest recruit? Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn supported the launch of ‘National Golf Month’ in 2016. We understand that he may soon have more time to practice.
All Party Parliamentary Group for Golf https://parliamentary.golf/
Agrovista has today announced the completion of its acquisition of leading sports turf, landscaping and horticulture business, Maxwell Amenity.
First announced in October, the acquisition brings together two of the most experienced and progressive teams in the sector, further strengthening Agrovista’s position as a key player in professional turf management.
A combined senior management team is now working on plans to ensure a smooth integration of the two businesses – Agrovista, which currently services the sector through established brand Sherriff Amenity, and Maxwell Amenity.
Existing customers are encouraged to continue working with their current account manager and service provider as usual, until further information is provided.
For more information, visit www.agrovista.co.uk
12.51pm 11th December 2019 – Media – This story was updated on Wednesday, December 11th, 2019
National Club Golfer has revealed its first-ever ranking of the best courses in Great Britain and Ireland at a glittering awards ceremony in Leeds.
Over 150 guests gathered at the Royal Armouries for an evening hosted by sports commentator Andrew Cotter.
Royal County Down (main image) was crowned the best golf course in Great Britain and Ireland, while Royal Birkdale was the highest-ranked course in England, Royal Porthcawl the best in Wales, and Muirfield the best in Scotland.
Awards were also presented in each of the following categories:
“Our first ever Top 100s Awards is the final piece of our Top 100s franchise, which also includes a quarterly print magazine, a website, busy social channels and an amateur tour,” said Tom Irwin, Commercial Director of Sports Publications. “We now have all the building blocks in place to become the most trusted home of Top 100s to give the best golf courses the oxygen they deserve. To get together 140 people from exclusively Top 100 courses at this event was inspiring and a unique sponsorship and networking opportunity.”
The full list – and many more – can now be viewed on the new NCG Top 100s section on the National Club Golfer website.All major lists will be refreshed on a two-year cycle – including GB&I, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Continental Europe, GB&I Resorts and EU Resorts.
“We’re extremely proud to launch our new site with this painstakingly constructed list of the best golf courses in GB&I,” said Dan Murphy, Content Director at of Sports Publications. “It’s the culmination of three years’ work. We’re not setting out to be controversial – just to create the best lists. We understand, and respect, how much people care about their own clubs. In return, we hope they respect our integrity and professionalism in compiling these lists. Our ambition is for NCG Top 100s to become the home of course rankings – both online and in print.”
Golfers heading to Lisbon in 2020 can look forward to an impressive new ‘stay and play’ resort venue following the opening of the Aroeira Lisbon Hotel at the beginning of December.
The Aroeira estate – 25km south of the Portuguese capital – already has a reputation for quality, with two widely-acclaimed 18-hole golf courses nestled amid tranquil natural pine forest, and the opening of the new hotel will only further enhance the golfing allure of the resort.
The Aroeira Lisbon Hotel features the ultimate in chic modern design. Including 68 bedrooms and suites, an outdoor pool, a spa and a choice of five bars and restaurants, it also provides easy access to the many golden sandy beaches in the Costa Azul region.
Visitors can combine world-class golf with a stay at the newly-opened Aroeira Lisbon Hotel when they book with ORIZONTE – Portugal’s largest golf management company – with four-night, three-round breaks for next year available from just €328 (approx £285) per person.
Bookable until October 2020, the four and seven-night packages include the opportunity to play six of the leading courses around Lisbon and access to the facilities at the new four-star hotel.
Players can choose from a range of options, with four-night breaks featuring three rounds of golf – two at Aroeira and one at Quinta do Peru Golf & Country Club – while seven-night stays with five rounds of golf – to be taken at any of ORIZONTE’S courses – cost from €531 (£460) per person.
All prices include bed-and-breakfast basis and are based on two people sharing a room, while guests can upgrade to a semi all-inclusive package (including dinner and drinks from 5.30pm-11pm) for an extra €29 per day.
ORIZONTE – Lisbon Golf provides golfers with the opportunity to play six of the leading courses in close proximity to Portugal’s capital in the stunning Costa Azul, together with exceptional value for money on a wide range of accommodation options. Included among its layouts are Quinta do Peru, the two courses at Ribagolfe, and Aroeira I and II.
The R&A and the USGA are conducting a review of the Rules of Amateur Status to make them easier to understand and apply.
The comprehensive evaluation is part of the continued joint effort to modernise the Rules by reducing complexity and ensuring they effectively guide how the game is played today.
As part of a review process that began earlier this year, the governing bodies will seek the perspectives of golf’s stakeholders as an integral component of the review process, including elite amateurs, golf event organisers, national golf associations, professional golf associations and other industry partners.
The aim is to provide the golf community with a modernised set of Amateur Status Rules in late 2021, with the goal of an effective date of 1 January 2022.
Grant Moir, Director – Rules at The R&A, said: “We will be looking at the Rules of Amateur Status carefully and considering ways in which we can modernise them and bring them more into line with the way the modern sport is played. The code remains a fundamental framework for amateur golf and we will be listening to the views of players, officials and associations to give us a fully rounded view of how we can improve them.”
Thomas Pagel, Senior Managing Director of Governance at the USGA, said, “One of golf’s greatest benefits is that it can be played by all ages and played for a lifetime. It is our goal to ensure that the fundamental concept of what it means to be an amateur golfer is clear and retained to promote fair competition and enjoyment for everyone, while still addressing many issues that seek to protect the game. This is a forward-thinking approach and engaging golfers is a key component of doing what’s best for golf.”
In a separate move, with effect from 1 January 2020, the R&A and the USGA will introduce one change to Rule 3-2b of the Rules of Amateur Status, which regulates hole-in-one prizes. The rules will no longer limit the prize an amateur golfer may win when making a hole-in-one outside a round of golf (e.g. on a driving range, golf simulator, or putting green) provided that shot is at least 50 yards long. It is hoped the change will help to promote the game and cater to new audiences, as well as eliminate unnecessary restrictions for event organisers.