The Irish Legends at Seapoint Golf Links this week was legen, wait for it… You get the rest. Dary!
Seapoint is firmly back on the map after rolling out the red carpet to welcome some of the legends of the European Tour.
The Louth links is well versed in hosting big tournaments with European Tour matchplay, Irish PGA events and an Irish Close Championship coming through the gates since opening in 1995.
Under the wide scale investment from Carr Golf, the company are eyeing up more big national amateur events and perhaps an Irish Open!
“We are on a journey here we want to see more events come to Seapoint, bigger events and we will be looking at all the opportunities over the next 5-10 years to bring major golfing events here,” said Alex Saul, Chief Revenue Officer of Carr Golf Group.
“They are all on the table, for good reason. The professional events are great, they bring interest and eyeballs to the golf course. Amateur golf is in our DNA with the Carr family so we would love to get top class amateur events here because it’s just our way.”
The Irish Open came to Drogheda in 2009 when Baltray saw Shane Lowry win as an amateur. One thing that hinders links courses from hosting Ireland’s national event is ease of access for fans, but Saul feels Drogheda and Seapoint tick all the boxes.
“It’s a great location, an hour from Dublin, 40 minutes from Dublin Airport, you’re on the major train line from Dublin to Belfast and Drogheda. You’re on the edge of Ireland’s fastest growing town so all the infrastructure is here. The region has already demonstrated by hosting the Irish Open before that it has a capacity to deliver on major events.”
The Irish Legends this week is the biggest championship to visit Seapoint in its relatively short history and the intention is to host it again next year and double the near 3000 fans that came through the gates each day.
“We’re delighted with how the week has gone. We bought Seapoint Golf Links a little over two years ago and we made a commitment at the time to invest money and polish up what was a rough diamond and put it back on the map.
“Our commitment to Seapoint Golf Links was based on what we thought we had here in terms of the golf course and clubhouse but also on the region. We felt very confident about Louth and about Drogheda as a golfing destination. Drogheda is unique in that it has three championship golf courses within 15 minutes of downtown, Laytown & Bettystown, Baltray and Seapoint.
“You have the Boyne River which is a world class salmon, and trout fishing location. The Battle of the Boyne, heritage sites, Newgrange is nearby, a beautiful coastline, Carlingford oysters etc. We think we can put all of that together and present Drogheda as a must visit and must play destination.
“Next year we feel there is an opportunity to go and double those figures. That is the intention, we have the right to bring it back here next year. The feedback and conversations I had with the authorities is that we would all like to see it back here.”
The hosting of the Irish Legends will not only bring eyes to the co-designed Des Smyth and Declan Brannigan links but all the gate receipts will be going to the Louth Meath Down Syndrome branch while also bringing tourism to the local area of Termonfeckin and Drogheda.
“Part of that strategy on top of the investment and raising standards was bringing an event here to relaunch and demonstrate to the world what Seapoint has to offer. The Legends made a lot of sense to us and was a starting point and we are delighted with the feedback from the players, caddies, officials just on how much they love the course and love being here, the welcome and warmness from the locality, we are thrilled with the week.
“I was chatting to Des Smyth and Declan Brannigan. Back in the 90s Seapoint hosted the Glen DImplex, Irish PGA, Irish Close and some serious championships and for whatever reason they fell off the radar so we are delighted that we have brought the event here. The course has stood up to it, Peter Baker has been clearly dialled in but to a man the professionals have fed back really positively about them off course and that’s what we are delighted with because we always saw that here. It was just a case of bringing in the agronomy, raising the size of the Greenkeeping staff and they have presented this as a top class championship links golf course.
“Down syndrome Ireland is very close to Des Smyth, he nominated this charity, my own uncle had Down syndrome and we are delighted to have been able to include them in this event.”
Seapoint, once a rough diamond, brightly shining again.