There was extra cause for celebration when the 2022 Gala Irish Golf Awards got underway in the McCalmont Suite at Mount Juliet Estate.
The Irish golf tourism industry’s biggest prize-giving ceremony, presented as always by the Ireland Golf Tour Operator Association (IGTOA), was not only marking its 25th year but also a return to in-person following a two-year hiatus.
Shane O’Donoghue, host of CNN’s Living Golf, reprised his role as emcee from 2019 for a black-tie soiree that opened with a welcome address from IGTOA Charman Denis Kane.
It was a night to savour for the Donegal golf community. Rosapenna Hotel & Golf Resort was named Golf Resort of the Year while Narin & Portnoo Links won Links Golf Course of the Year. But the honours didn’t stop there for the Ulster contingent with Royal Belfast Golf Club taking home Parkland Course of the Year.
The south-west also had a strong representation among the winners. The Suites at Old Head Golf Links scooped Boutique Golf Hotel of the Year and Ballygarry Estate Hotel & Spa won Large Golf Hotel of the Year.
The individual honours went to Jeff Fallon of Royal Dublin Golf Club, who was named Golf Manger of the Year. And the family of the late IGTOA member Jerry Quinlan, who founded and owned the Florida-based tour operators Celtic Golf, accepted the Jerry Donworth Outstanding Contribution to Golf award on his behalf. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house after an emotional video tribute was paid to Jerry honouring his immense contribution to golf tourism in Ireland.
The Irish Gala Golf Awards capped off the largest annual gathering for Irish golf tourism professionals. The two-day event at Mount Juliet Estate also included the IGTOA Business Networking Sessions and Golf Tourism Conference (October 2nd).
Among the participants were representatives from Fáilte Ireland, Tourism Ireland, Tourism Northern Ireland, accommodation providers, courses, tour operators, transportation companies, media outlets and merchandisers.
2022 Gala Irish Golf Awards Winners List:
- Links Golf Course of the Year : Narin & Portnoo Links
- Parkland Golf Course of the Year: The Royal Belfast Golf Club
- Boutique Golf Hotel of the Year: The Suites at Old Head Golf Links
- Large Golf Hotel of the Year: Ballygarry Estate Hotel & Spa
- Golf Resort of the Year: Rosapenna Hotel & Golf Resort
- Golf Manager of the Year: Jeff Fallon (Royal Dublin Golf Club)
- The Jerry Donworth Outstanding Contribution to Golf: Jerry Quinlan
Thanks to event sponsors; Mount Juliet Estate, Fáilte Ireland, Waterford Crystal, Tourism Ireland, Eno WINE, Hertz, Oscar Jacobson, Tourism Northern Ireland, and Match Play Media.
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