Legendary Golf Course Architect Martin Hawtree was recognised for his outstanding contribution to golf at the 2019 Gala Irish Golf Awards presented by the IGTOA (Ireland Golf Tour Operator Association) at The Ballygarry House Hotel, Tralee.
He received the Jerry Donworth trophy from Kyra Donworth and Riceal Kelly of JD Golf Tours and David McCoy of Waterford Crystal. Previous winners of this prestigious award include Wilma Erskin, Pádraig Harrington, Pat Ruddy, Christy O’Connor Senior, Christy O’Connor Jnr, Mary McKenna and Noel Cronin.
The Gala Black Tie event was emceed by Shane O’Donoghue, CNN’s Host of the international monthly golf programme, Living Golf. The official welcome to the event was made by Denis Kane, Chairman of the IGTOA and Brendan Griffin, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism.
Liam Murphy received the 2019 Golf Manager of the Year Award for his work at Co. Louth Golf Club. The 2019 Links Golf Course of the Year went to Royal Portrush Golf Club accepted by Gary McNeill Club Professional and Dr. Rab Brady, Immediate Past Captain of Royal Portrush Golf Club.
2019 Parkland Golf Course of the Year went to The Golf Course at Adare Manor with CEO Colm Hannon accepting the award. 2019 Golf Resort of the Year went to Trump International Golf Links & Hotel, Doonbeg and accepted by Joe Russell, General Manager. The Grand Central Hotel Belfast won the 2019 Large Golf Hotel of the Year Award which was accepted by Stephen Meldrum, General Manager and Aoife and Dermot Broc, proprietors of Teach de Broc accepted the award for the 2019 Boutique Golf Hotel of the Year.
The IGTOA also recognised 2019’s Service Excellence in three categories with Aghadoe Heights Hotel, Killarney receiving Service Excellence – Property and this was accepted by Niall Coffey, General Manager and Trish Covarr Director of Sales and Marketing. Service Excellence – Service Provider was accepted by Damian Hanrahan, Cathy Byrnes and Joanne Lewis, Kinsale Limos and Service Excellence – Golf Club went to The K Club, which was accepted by John Costelloe, Director of Sales.
The Gala Irish Golf Awards are held annually as part of a two-day event which included the National Golf Tourism Conference on Sunday 20th October at The Rose Hotel, Tralee, the 2019 IGTOA Golf Classic took place on Monday 21st October at Ballybunion Golf Club. The Gala Irish Golf Awards took place at Ballygarry House Hotel and Spa, Tralee.
The IGTOA National Golf Tourism Conference & Gala Irish Golf Awards is the largest annual gathering of Irish Golf Tourism Industry professionals, who participate from all areas of the Irish Golf Tourism Industry. Representatives from Ireland’s accommodation providers, golf courses and golf resorts, transportation providers, PGA Professionals, Golf Media and Golf Merchandising companies all gather for this national networking event.
The event was supported by The Rose Hotel, Ballygarry House Hotel and Spa and Ballybunion Golf Club and was attended by representatives from leading international golf and tourism organisations such as Fáilte Ireland, Tourism Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland. This event was also supported by Kerry County Council and Tralee Chamber Alliance, Hertz, Ping, Waterford Crystal, Irish Golfer/Match Play Media, Executive Helicopters, Kerry Coaches, O’Callaghan’s Coaches, ENO Wines and iDirect.
A selection of leading Irish companies in the golf tourism industry received accolades on the night with winners in the hotel, golf course and golf resort categories. The event is held each year by the Ireland Golf Tour Operator Association (IGTOA), an organisation that represents the National Irish Golf Tourism Industry and is proactive in the promotion, growth and development of Irish Golf Tourism.
Full results from a great night in Tralee:
1st AWARD The IGTOA Service Excellence – Property
Winner: Aghadoe Heights Hotel & Spa, Killarney
Accepting the award: Niall Coffey, General Manager and Trish Covarr Director of Sales and Marketing
Presented by IGTOA Member Eamonn Kennelly Golf Vacations Ireland
2ND AWARD The IGTOA Service Excellence – Service Provider
Winner: Kinsale Limos
Accepting the Award: Damian Hanrahan, Cathy Byrnes and Joanne Lewis
Presented by IGTOA Member Pierce Wall, Ireland Golf
3RD AWARD -The IGTOA Service Excellence – Golf Course
Winner: The K Club
Accepting the Award: John Costelloe, Director of Sales
Presented by IGTOA Member John Baker, Haversham and Baker
4th AWARD– IGTOA 2019 LARGE GOLF HOTEL OF THE YEAR
Winner: Grand Central Hotel, Belfast
Accepting the Award: Stephen Meldrum, General Manager
Presented by IGTOA Member Ron Smartt, Travelling The Fairways & IGTOA Sponsor Leanne Rice, Tourism Northern Ireland
5th AWARD– IGTOA 2019 BOUTIQUE GOLF HOTEL OF THE YEAR
Winner: Teach de Broc
Accepting the Award: Aoife Brock and Dermot Brock
Presented by IGTOA Member Barry Keane Irish Pro Golf Tours & IGTOA Sponsor Noeleen Furlong, Hertz
6th AWARD– IGTOA 2019 LINKS GOLF COURSE OF THE YEAR
Winner: Royal Portrush Golf Club, Co. Antrim
Accepting the Award: Gary McNeill (Club Professional) and Dr Robert Brady (Immediate Past Captain)
Presented by IGTOA Member Garreth Cooke, Links Golf & IGTOA Sponsor Brenda Johnson, Tourism Ireland
7TH AWARD– IGTOA 2019 PARKLAND GOLF COURSE OF THE YEAR
Winner: The Golf Course at Adare Manor, Co. Limerick
Accepting the Award: CEO Colm Hannon, Andy McMahon (Director of Golf Operations) and Ben Dickens(Golf Sales Manager). Presented by IGTOA Member Jerry Quinlan, Celtic Golf & IGTOA Sponsor Donal McEvoy, Ping.
8TH AWARD– IGTOA 2019 GOLF RESORT OF THE YEAR
Winner: Trump Doonbeg, Co. Clare
Accepting the Award: Joe Russell, General Manager and Marie Collins, Sales Manager
Presented by IGTOA Member Rachel O’Neill and Svenja Burmeister, Carr Golf & IGTOA Sponsor Donal McEvoy, Ping
9TH AWARD– IGTOA 2019 GOLF MANAGER OF THE YEAR
Winner: Mr Liam Murphy, Co. Louth Golf Club
Presented by IGTOA Member Cathal O Donoghue, Speciality Ireland & IGTOA Sponsor Chris Shiel, Executive Helicopters
10TH AWARD – IGTOA 2019 JERRY DOWNWORTH OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO GOLF
Winner: Martin Hawtree
Presented by IGTOA Member Kyra Donworth and Ricael Kelly of JD Golf and IGTOA Sponsor David McCoy, Waterford Crystal.