Donegal celebrated the double as the stunning Rosapenna Hotel & Golf Resort won Resort of the Year and the revamped Narin & Portnoo was named Links Course of the Year as the Gala Irish Golf Awards returned after a hiatus two years.
he Irish golf tourism industry’s largest awards ceremony was presented by the Ireland Golf Tour Operator Association (IGTOA), who also celebrated their 25th anniversary at the Mount Juliet Estate.
Rosapenna, which is owned and operated by the Casey family, has added a third links course to its offering with the Tom Doak designed St Patrick’s Links which are receiving high numbers of visitors and rave reviews around the world.
Narin & Portnoo have also improved tremendously with Gil Hanse and design partner Jim Wagner completing a major link overhaul.
The honors didn’t stop there for the Ulster contingent, with Royal Belfast Golf Club winning Parkland Course of the Year for its magnificent Harry Colt design.
The Southwest also had a strong representation among the winners. The suites at Old Head Golf Links in Cork were voted Boutique Golf Hotel of the Year and Ballygarry Estate Hotel & Spa in County Kerry won Grand Golf Hotel of the Year.
Individual honors went to Jeff Fallon of the Royal Dublin Golf Club, who was named Golf Manager of the Year. The family of the late IGTOA member Jerry Quinlan, who founded and owned the Florida-based Celtic Golf Tour Operators, accepted the Jerry Donworth Award for Outstanding Contribution to Golf on his behalf.
The Irish Gala Golf Awards closed the largest annual gathering of Irish golf tourism professionals. The two-day event at Mount Juliet Estate also included the IGTOA Business Networking Sessions and Golf Tourism Conference.
Attendees included representatives from Fáilte Ireland, Tourism Ireland, Tourism Northern Ireland, accommodation providers, courses, tour operators, transport companies, media and merchandisers.