The Irish Challenge will return to one of Ireland’s finest and oldest estates when the next generation of golfing stars visit Headfort Golf Club from July 27-30, 2023.
Headfort Golf Club successfully hosted the Irish Challenge in 2019 as Spaniard Emilio Cuartero Blanco secured his maiden victory in a play-off, and the European Challenge Tour has selected the magnificent parkland layout to host once again this year.
The Championship Course, designed by Ryder Cup hero Christy O’Connor Jr, takes full advantage of Ireland’s natural beauty and is renowned for its majestic native trees and natural undulations.
In memory of one of Irish golf’s most popular and sadly missed characters, the Christy O’Connor Jr Memorial Trophy was introduced in 2016, and will be awarded to the highest placed Irish player at the end of the week. This player will also receive an invitation to the 2024 Horizon Irish Open.
The visit to Headfort forms part of the Challenge Tour’s Road to Mallorca International Schedule, which comprises 29 tournaments in 18 countries across the world.
The top 20 players on the Road to Mallorca Rankings at the conclusion of the Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final at Club de Golf Alcanada, Mallorca, will earn DP World Tour playing privileges for the 2024 season. The last player from the island of Ireland to graduate from the Challenge Tour was Northern Irishman Tom McKibbin, who hails from the same golf club as Rory McIlroy, after finishing tenth on the 2022 Rankings.
Jamie Hodges, Head of Challenge Tour, said: “We are delighted to be taking the Irish Challenge back to Headfort Golf Club in July.
“The estate offers one of the finest parkland golfing experiences in Ireland and our members will relish the opportunity to compete on the Championship Course.
“We thoroughly enjoyed our first visit here in 2019 and we are looking forward to working with the team again to deliver a memorable event.
“We give special thanks to everyone at Headfort Golf Club for all their help and hospitality. Through our collective partnership and teamwork, our members will be treated to a first class tournament and an event that will be eagerly anticipated on the Challenge Tour schedule.”
Jacqueline McCormack, Chairperson of Headfort Golf Club, said: “On behalf of the club, I welcome the return of the Challenge Tour to our Championship Course in July.
“We are delighted to once again be given the opportunity to host a professional golf tournament of this level. The golfing fraternity in Ireland wait in anticipation to witness the upcoming golf stars from throughout Europe take on the magnificent challenge that the Championship Course poses.
“Headfort Golf Club is proud that the Challenge Tour is returning to Kells in County Meath and combined with our traditional hospitality look forward to meeting players and supporters on and off the course.”
Martin Donnelly, Product Sales & Distribution Manager of Fáilte Ireland, said: “Hosting the 2023 Irish Challenge is hugely important for Irish tourism because it gives us the opportunity to showcase our magnificent country and golf facilities to an international audience.
“Ireland is world-renowned for its high-quality golf product and the fact we welcome over 220,000 golf tourists each year is testament to this.
“Headfort Golf Club is one of the best parkland courses in Ireland and Fáilte Ireland are looking forward to working with this historic venue and the Challenge Tour to make this year’s Irish Challenge a superb event for everyone involved.”
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