IF the Ryder Cup was played in Kerry, home to some of the best golf courses in the world, it would be an almost impossible task to choose one venue for the biennial battle between Europe and the US.
But Kerry Airport Ireland has come up with a possible solution to that imaginary dilemma by asking former professional golfer Graham Spring to combine 18 holes from around the county to create the perfect Kerry Ryder Cup course.
Just when Ryder Cup fever grips both sides of the Atlantic ahead of this year’s competition at Whistling Straits, Graham has compiled a collection of par fives, fours and threes worthy of Ryder Cup status.
Memorable holes in both the Killeen and Mahony’s Point in Killarney, Waterville, Tralee, Ballybunion, Dooks, Castlegregory and Dingle have all made the cut to feature in his perfect Ryder Cup course.
Chief Executive of Kerry Airport, John Mulhern, remarked: “Graham Spring knows the value of golf to the tourism industry in Kerry. He has drawn from his playing experience and his knowledge of the magnificent courses in the county to produce the perfect Wild Atlantic Kerry Ryder Cup course.”
Spring, now a director at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club, represented Ireland at amateur level, became the first Kerry man to compete in the British Open in 1998 and he is a member of the Club Managers’ Association of Europe.
“This was a difficult task because I had to put on my thinking cap and reflect on all the holes I’ve played down through the years and come up with my selection. There’s great credit due to Kerry Airport for coming up with this project and it offers them a great opportunity to publicise Kerry golf throughout their destinations,” he said.
The following are the 18 holes chosen by Graham Spring in February 2020, prior to the postponement of the Ryder Cup, due to the Covid-19 pandemic:
- Killeen Course, Killarney – 8th and 17th holes
- Mahony’s Point, Killarney – 18th hole
- Tralee Golf Club – 2nd, 3rd, 8th and 12th holes
- Waterville Golf Links – 2nd, 3rd, 14th, 17th and 18th holes
- Ceann Sibéal Dingle Links – 9th hole
- Castlegregory – 8th hole
- Dooks Golf Club – 5th hole
- Ballybunion Golf Club (Old Course) – 11th, 15th and 17th holes
Videos of each of the holes can be seen on the Kerry Airport Ireland social media platforms from this Saturday. The series was conceived, edited and produced by John Drummey and the drone footage was filmed by Domnick Walsh Photography with thanks to the cooperation of the management and staff at each of the golf courses.
“We are grateful to Graham Spring, the production team and the golf clubs who brought this project to life and we hope that it will attract more golfers to Kerry to play their virtual Ryder Cup while also experiencing all the hospitality that the Kingdom has to offer,” said John Mulhern.