Hugh Foley on a dream fourball with Messi and why Portrush is Ireland’s #1

Ronan MacNamara

Hugh Foley (Image: Niall O'Shea)

Ronan MacNamara

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Hugh Foley has been there and played it. A decorated amateur and a serial winner of Irish Championships, the 25-year-old has been a permanent fixture on Irish golf teams and has played golf in virtually every continent on the globe.

The Clontarf native picks his dream four ball and where he would play it and why, before he gives his top-10 golf courses that he has played, but there is only one that stands out from the rest…

Dream Fourball: Lionel Messi, Tiger Woods, David Foley (late father).

“Lionel Messi, after the World Cup. Tiger and I’ll throw my dad in as well, that would be a dream four ball and we would play it in Augusta. I have heard of Pine Valley but Augusta has to be number one.

“Messi winning the World Cup was unbelievable and the final was like Argentina had to win it three times. You can relate football and other sports to golf and when Argentina were coasting at 2-0, I was thinking something was coming. It was like being 3UP in a match and the guy goes birdie, birdie, birdie.

“At that level of sport you are always tested in a final at least once. Then Mbappe gets the penalty and then that goal, it was the best final of any football match I’ve seen. There was no question to me before that Messi was the greatest footballer of all time.

“Messi and Maradona in the top-2 I wouldn’t have Ronaldo in the top two for me, everybody who has played for Real Madrid scores a bundle of goals, I rate Messi more for the assists and sheer entertainment and skill.”

Hugh’s top-10 golf courses

A lover of links golf, it’s no wonder the Royal Dublin golfer has won all four of his major titles on links courses as he picked up the AIG Irish Amateur Close (Rosapenna), the West of Ireland (Rosses Point), the North of Ireland (Portrush) and the South of Ireland (Lahinch) over the last three years.

“A dream trip for me would be playing links courses around Ireland.”

1. Royal Portrush – “It was number one before I won the North. I was driving up to the North thinking I was going to my favourite golf course and then going to Lahinch for the South so even if I don’t play well I’ll still enjoy it. At the time I wasn’t enjoying my golf but I knew I would enjoy Portrush.

“It’s always been number one for me, it has everything. Some of the holes look like they have been sitting in the dunes for a thousand years and then the scenery around the fourth and fifth. Every hole is a challenge but Lowry showed you can still score, it has everything. I wouldn’t say there is a perfect golf course but it’s almost a perfect golf course.”

2. Waterville: “The finishing stretch is my favourite in Ireland.”

3. Tralee Golf Links: “Some of the best holes in the country”

4. Rosapenna (Sandy Hills): “I love going up there for some links training.”

5. Lahinch: “A great golf course whatever the weather.”

6. Narin and Portnoo: “That’s amazing, the last few holes are spectacular

7. Valderrama: “I wouldn’t play it too many times because it is so tough! It just beats you up.”

8. Sotogrande: “It’s one of my favourites in Europe.”

9. Pebble Beach: “That was really nice, a treat.”

10. Erin Hills: “That was great, really nice to play a US Open course and it has some spectacular holes in it as well.”

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