*Photograph: Arthur Ellis
With international travel almost at a standstill, there has been a noticeable drop in the number of overseas visitors to Trump International Hotel in Doonbeg in 2020.
Length of course: 7,026 yards
Captains: David Eastham and Irene Neylon
President: Gearoid Williams
Unique features of course: Start and finish holes,
Most difficult hole: Hole 4, par 5, index 1
Lowest handicap of a member: 1 handicap
Course Structure: 5 par 3’s; 5 par 5’s 8 par 4’s
This has resulted in a big increase in the number of people from the domestic market playing the links course which opened in July 2002.
Originally designed by Greg Norman the course was re-designed by Martin Hawtree in 2015.
Currently the club has close on 400 memberships which includes a lot of family memberships. “We lost a lot of income due to the lockdown but our members stayed true and all kept their memberships”, explained Brian Shaw, head professional at Doonbeg since the club opened just under twenty years ago.
“We have seen a huge increase in local green fees and guests play. The hotel has been extremely busy during July and August. September would normally see a lot of international visitors and that’s not going to be there this year. We would have visitors from the US, from Europe and from the UK which provides a big part of our business. Hopefully things will pick up and that people will be back in their droves”, commented Brian.
He believes that “the break was good for all golf courses as it took away some of the pressure and, hence, all courses have been in superb condition in recent times”.