Ireland has produced some of the greatest champions in the game of golf, perhaps more than any other country per capita. While it is neighboring Scotland where the game was born, and where there are more golf courses per head of the population (the highest in the world, actually), not to mention a people who are incredibly passionate about the game, it is Ireland that comes out on top when it comes to champions.
Are the Irish just plain lucky?
Perhaps it has more to do with the fact that one of the oldest golf tournaments can be found in Ireland, meaning they have had more experience with competitive golf than any other. The Irish PGA Championship, an annual event, began in 1907 and has now crossed its 100th anniversary. Padraig Harrington has won it six times.
The Open Championship, in Britain is not exactly Irish. Then again, Great Britain is so close to Ireland that several Irish golfers have made notable showings in recent times. Padraig Harrington won it first in 2007 and repeated his feat the following year. He has also won the Irish Open, which is not as big, but still a competitive tournament.
Fellow Irishman Rory McIlroy won the Open in 2014 (and this lad, who climbed to the #1 ranking in the world) is all but 26 years of age. Less than a decade ago, he was only an amateur, but still raking in wins at the West of Ireland Championship in 2005 and 2006; the Irish Close Championship in 2005 and 2006; and the European Amateur Championship in 2006. Today, his wins include the PGA Championship in 2012 and 2014. He is the first European to win three Majors, and one of three (the other two are the legendary Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus) to do this by the age of 25.
There is of course the Ryder Cup, which has always been about the USA versus Europe. It was started in the 1920s, and until the late 1970s, it wasn’t Europe competing against the United States – it was Great Britain and Ireland, and they won 22 championships. There can be no doubt that the Irish were just as instrumental as the British in these victories, and they continue to do the same even today under the European flag.
The Irish play more professional golf than any other people
The European Tour is a major attraction for Irish golfers. Ireland has the advantage of having some of the most scenic courses in the world (they are in no way less challenging than their counterparts elsewhere), and so it is to these breathtaking, wondrous locales that the Tour returns year after year, making it easier for Irish golfers to participate. Let us not forget that some of them are located by the sea, and Irish professional golfers have had ample time to practice their links game and hone their skills in the face of rain and constant sea winds.
When you have games of golf to play, tournaments to win, the Irish believe in making their own luck through hard work, practice and a professional mindset – simply the desire to win against all odds. You can see this all with a custom golf tour to Ireland where you can tee off at some of the most famous and challenging courses in the world. Contact us. We know everything there is to know about every hole on every course in the Emerald Isle.