Derg Isle, Scarriff, Co Clare, April 30th 2014: The 15th annual All-Ireland GAA Golf Challenge was officially launched today by GAA trustee Jimmy O’Gorman and Clare hurling manager Davy Fitzgerald in Derg Isle, Scarriff, Co Clare.
Challenge organisers are proud to announce that for the second year running the GAA club of the winning four-person team in Waterford Castle on September 12 and 13 will win a training weekend at Derg Isle on top of individual prizes.
Firmly established as the premier golf competition for GAA members, the All-Ireland GAA Golf Challenge has become synonymous with September, the ultimate month in the Gaelic games calendar.
Run on a voluntary basis, all profits from this year’s Challenge will be directed towards local Waterford charities. A presentation of cheques to our 2013 charities will take place in Waterford city tomorrow (May 1).
Louth’s Stabannon Parnells claimed last year’s All-Ireland title by the skin of their teeth from Tipperary club and the Challenge’s inaugural champions Boherlahan-Dualla.
Dublin football legend Barney Rock played an integral role in guiding Parnells to the victory, just eight days before his son Dean featured in the Blues’ All-Ireland senior football success over Mayo.
As well as their individual and club prizes, Parnells took home the specially-commissioned Waterford Crystal replica of the Liam MacCarthy Cup.
The Challenge is a two-day competition contested by four-person teams with GUI handicaps representing their GAA clubs on a four-ball better-ball basis. Although we have a significant number of clubs returning, entries are being taken.
A large contingent from the UK as well as clubs from the US will once again compete this year. Introduced in 2012, the one-day singles competition on Thursday, September 11, will also feature.
Speaking at yesterday’s event, GAA trustee Jimmy O’Gorman said: “I am honoured to be able to help launch this year’s Challenge, which continues to increase its appeal among GAA members who love their golf too.
“It’s wonderful that so many like-minded GAA people of almost all ages can converge on Waterford and compete for an All-Ireland title as well as enjoy the craic that is customary to the event.”
All-Ireland GAA Golf Challenge organising committee chairman Liam Daniels said: “Winning an All-Ireland title is something we all dream of, but the carrot provided by Derg Isle in the form of a training weekend at this spectacular location for the winners truly sweetens the pot.
“I thank Padraig Giblin, a hurler of some repute in his day, for welcoming us here. From one island resort in Derg Isle to another in Waterford Castle, we try to make the Challenge as unique as possible and we look forward to providing more and more Gaels with the Challenge experience this year.”
All-Ireland GAA Golf Challenge patron and Kilkenny hurling legend Eddie Keher said: “I’m glad to say my association with the Challenge is a long one. Between the All-Ireland senior final each September, it is one of first dates I put in my diary at the start of the year. The friendships I’ve made through the Challenge are enduring ones and the balance between competition and camaraderie is why so many people come back each September to play in it.”
Derg Isle managing director and former Clare hurler Padraig Giblin remarked: “It is a privilege to be able to stage this year’s All-Ireland GAA Golf Challenge launch at Derg Isle today. We are delighted to be involved again with Liam and the Challenge, which is quickly becoming an institution.”
The All-Ireland GAA Golf Challenge is open to all GAA clubs who enter teams selected from their 2014 members.
The competition is run as a four-ball better-ball format – 3/4 their Golf Union of Ireland (GUI) handicap. Both men and women are invited to compete, with the handicap limit set at 20 for men and 28 ladies.
Spaces for the final in Waterford Castle GC are limited but for more information, please contact Liam Daniels at email@example.com or on 087-2746271.
Sportsfile will be issuing photographs from today’s launch as well as the All-Ireland final in Waterford Castle, Co Waterford.
All-Ireland GAA Golf Challenge roll of honour:
2013 Stabannon Parnells (Louth)
2012 Sarsfields (Galway)
2011 Sarsfields (Galway)
2010 Tipperary (New York)
2009 Claremorris (Mayo)
2008 St Brigids (Dublin)
2007 Waterford (New York)
2006 St Brigids (Dublin)
2005 Claremorris (Mayo)
2004 Cavan Gaels (Cavan)
2003 Midleton (Cork)
2002 Parnells (Dublin)
2001 Drumragh Sarsfields (Tyrone)
2000 Boherlahan/Dualla (Tipperary)
For more information, contact All-Ireland GAA Golf Challenge organising chairman Liam Daniels on 087-2746271 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow us on Twitter (@golfgaa), Facebook (www.facebook.com/allirelandgaagolfchallenge) or visit our websites (www.gaagolf.com, www.dergisle.com).