Saturday 22 October 2016

Dublin golf course tees off with latest sporting craze of 'poc fada golf'

31 July 2015; Ireland's largest golf complex, Deer Park Golf at Howth Castle, has opened the world's first
31 July 2015; Ireland's largest golf complex, Deer Park Golf at Howth Castle, has opened the world's first "Poc Fada Golf" course, ahead of the All-Ireland Poc Fada Final. Pictured launching this new game, combining hurling with golf, is Dublin GAA All-Star hurler and TV pundit Liam Rushe with a section of junior hurlers from Beann Eadair GAA. DeerPark Golf & FootGolf, Howth Castle, Dublin. Picture credit: Seb Daly / SPORTSFILE

Poc Fada Golf has been teed up as the next big craze to take over a north Dublin golf course.

Golfing rules apply, but with the use of a hurl and sliotar instead.

Each hole on the course has a par and competitors have to hit the sliotar into the hole in as few shots as possible in the new sport, which can be played at Deer Park Golf Club at Howth Castle.

"We converted an existing par three course on the estate by putting in larger holes on the greens. It's maintained to the same quality as our other golf courses, which is a high standard," said general manager, Anthony Brady.

"The sport is growing internationally as well as domestically. It is also our ambition to become the premier FootGolf course in Ireland and are committed to investing accordingly to make that happen," said Mr Brady.

The 40-year-old golfing complex already has a FootGolf course, a game which is rising in popularity nationwide.

Dublin hurling captain Liam Rushe was on hand to launch the first ever golf and hurling combination course ahead of today's All-Ireland Poc Fada Final.

"I played a few holes on it and it's not as easy as you might think," said Liam.

"The holes are big, but the sliotar definitely follows the contours of the green. There's a good bit of finesse involved and you can't just aim straight for the hole," he added.


The new course is at an experimental stage, having been the brainchild of Julian Galsford St Lawrence, whose family built Howth Castle, David Caulfield of Beann Eadair GAA, and former Dublin hurling manager Humphrey Kelleher.

Mr Kelleher, who managed the Dubs between 2003 and 2007, expects the game to be a big success.

"The concept links the two games of hurling and golf in a very new setting, overlooking Ireland's Eye," said Mr Kelleher.

"It's a fun game that incorporates a number of hurling skills, including striking from the hand, lifting and striking from the ground, and the art of sideline pucks."

The idea is to make it a family-friendly activity, said Mr Brady.

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