Photograph: Brian Morrison
More than 25,000 spectators are expected to attend next week’s KPMG Women’s Irish Open at Dromoland Castle’s 18-hole Championship Course.
Supported by the Government and Clare County Council, the return of the Ladies European Tour (LET) event marks the first time since 2012 that women’s professional golf has been staged in the Republic of Ireland.
Ireland’s leading female golfer Leona Maguire is the star attraction in the event, which commences with a Pro-Am competition on Wednesday 21st September with the main event getting underway Thursday and continuing through Sunday. The two-time Olympian is currently ranked 16th Rolex Women’s Rankings.
Cllr. Tony O’Brien, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, has congratulated Dromoland Castle on securing the rights to host the prestigious golfing event, adding that it offers a huge opportunity for Clare to once again promote the golfing experience on offer in Clare to a national and international, audience.
“When it comes to golf, we really are spoiled for choice in Clare – a fact not lost on visitors who travel from around the world to play on our links and parkland courses. There are eleven top-class courses in the county, and most are open year-round,” he explained.
The Cathaoirleach continued, “The Local Authority and my Councillor colleagues are committed to working with local accommodation providers, the golf sector, Tourism Ireland and others to ensure that the potential for delivering dividends for the county from the hosting of Irish Women’s Open and the upcoming 2027 Ryder Cup at Adare Manor in neighbouring Limerick is maximised, just as we have done during and after the hosting of the 2019 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in Lahinch.”
Staff of Clare County Council’s Shannon Municipal District and the local community of Newmarket-on-Fergus have been busily preparing ahead of the event in recent weeks. The works include maintenance of green areas and vegetation on routes leading to the venue, drainage works in the area, together with assistance and advice to Dromoland Castle and the tournament organisers based on the experience of previously hosting large events in Clare in recent years.
A Traffic Management Plan also has been put in place by the tournament organisers in conjunction with Clare County Council and An Garda Síochána to ensure that spectators enjoy a stress free journey to and from Dromoland.
Meanwhile, Clare County Council will host a marquee on the grounds of Dromoland Castle to promote Clare as an attractive destination for golf enthusiasts, as well as showcase Clare’s abundance of visitor attractions and activities. Visit Clare will be present to distribute information on the local tourism sector, while Local Enterprise Office Clare is hosting producers from across Clare to exhibit artisan food, drink and photography.
Pat Dowling, Chief Executive of Clare County Council, commented, “We are proud to be associated with the KPMG Women’s Irish Open and are delighted to support Mark Nolan and his staff at Dromoland Castle in hosting this prestigious event.”
“The number of golf visitors to the island of Ireland continues to grow year on year and this event offers the local tourism sector the opportunity to further promote Clare as popular destination for golfing trips,” added Mr. Dowling.
The Chief Executive commended Clare’s Local Enterprise Office, Rural Development Directorate, including the Tourism Department, as well as the staff of Shannon Municipal District and the Local Authority’s project lead Adrian Kelly for their work towards delivering a successful event at Dromoland.
Held 15 times between 1994 and 2012 the Women’s Irish Open has been won by some of Europe’s top golfers including Norway’s Suzanne Petterson, Sweden’s Sophie Gustafson, England’s Laura Davies and most recently by the 2021 Solheim Cup winning Captain, Scotland’s Catriona Matthew.
The 2022 KPMG Women’s Irish Open will see Europe’s leading professional female golfers battle it out for a total prize fund of €400,000. Tickets can be purchased online at www.kpmgwomensirishopen.ie. Under 16s are free when accompanied by a paying adult.