Fota Island gearing up for Open Week in late July/early August

Mark McGowan

The 18th hole on Fota Island's Deerpark Course

Mark McGowan

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Three-time Irish Open host and Irish Golfer’s top-rated County Cork parkland course is inviting visitors to come and compete in their upcoming Open Week, held from Monday July 31 – Monday August 7.

Boasting the 18-hole Deerpark Championship Course and a 9-hole Academy Course, this is the only opportunity that non-members have to play competition rounds on the Christy O’Connor Jr. and Peter McEvoy designed Deerpark Course, with the rest of the club competitions reserved for members only.

Though early records suggest that golf was played on the island as early as 1886, the club wasn’t founded until 1993 and it first hosted the Irish Open in 2001 with Colin Montgomerie taking the first place honours. The tournament returned in 2002 where Soren Hansen emerged victorious, and again in 2014 where another Scandinavian in Mikko Illonen took the spoils.

Despite its relatively tender age, large, mature trees give the impression that its been around forever, and the wide fairways and relatively light and sparse bunkering make it an extremely enjoyable course to play, but there’s water aplenty to keep you on your toes, with lakes, streams and the Slatty Water estuary coming into play on fewer than 10 of the 18 holes on the Deerpark Course.

In addition to the golf courses, the resort boasts a 131-bedroom five-star hotel, complete with a first-class spa, and there are 130 lodges on the estate as well. There is also an adventure centre on the island – and it is actually an island, though the interconnecting bridge makes access seamless.

“This is the fifth year we’ve run an Open Week,” said Fota Island Director of Golf Kevin Morris, “and it’s always the same time of year. All barring the Thursday will be singles competitions, and these are the only Open Competitions we run each year.”

At a rate of €50 per person, the Open Week events offer significant value for visiting players, with standard green fees of €120 to be found in peak season, with Morris describing the events as a “substantial discount.”

The Academy Course, though not featuring in the Open Week events, is by no means a poor substitute for the Championship Course.

“We sometimes integrate the Academy Course with a nine on the Deerpark, because it’s the same standard, but we generally operate it as a 9-hole and only integrate when it’s exceptionally busy because we have an academy membership which includes the 9-hole course and it tends to be busy itself.

The Golf Academy is top of the range as well, featuring flight scope monitors in the driving range, a short game area with targets up to 100-yards away, an indoor putting green, and all the latest hi-tech laser tracking and video analysis equipment, and having been closed for some time, new Academy memberships are being accepted once again.

“The Golf Academy is fully covered by Trackman, including the outdoor tees,” Morris added, “and we haven’t taken on any new Academy members in a while but Academy membership is open at the moment.”

Bookings can be made via the Pro Shop on 021 488 3700, or via email and further information about the golf courses and resort can be found by clicking here.

The full schedule of Open Week events are as follows

Monday July 31st – Open singles
Tuesday 1st  – August Women’s open singles
Wednesday 2nd – August open singles
Thursday 3rd – August open 4-ball
Friday Saturday Sunday 4th 5th 6th – Junior & Intermediate Scratch Cup
Monday 7th – Open singles

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