Ireland’s largest golf complex, Deer Park Golf at Howth Castle, is opening the world’s first ‘Poc Fada Golf’ course, ahead of tomorrow’s highly anticipated All-Ireland Poc Fada Final. This new game, combining hurling with golf, was launched today by Dublin GAA All-Star hurler and TV pundit, Liam Rushe.
Offering a unique golfing experience, the Poc Fada Golf concept was developed by Julian Gaisford-St Lawrence, whose family built Howth Castle, in consultation with David Caulfield of Beann Eadair GAA and Humphrey Kelleher, former Dublin hurling manager and Chairman of the National Poc Fada Committee. The rules are similar to golf – each hole carries a par and the aim is to hit a sliotar into the ‘larger’ holes in as few shots as possible.
“We in the GAA are delighted to endorse the imagination and initiative undertaken by the Gaisford-St Lawrence family in introducing Poc Fada Golf. The concept links the two ancient games of hurling and golf in a very new setting, overlooking Ireland’s Eye. 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. I have no doubt that this game will go from strength to strength” said Humphrey Kelleher.
Poc Fada was founded in 1960 in the Cooley Mountains, Co. Louth where it is still played. Famous for its breath-taking scenery, Deer Park Golf’s Poc Fada Golf course is the only comparable venue in Ireland with its spectacular views over Howth Head. The concept of the competition originates in the Irish legend of “Táin Bó Cuailgne” when Cúchulainn set out from his home to the King’s court at Emain Macha hitting his sliotar before him and running ahead to catch it.
Offering a new and fun experience, Poc Fada Golf promises a great day out and can be played by all ages. The new Poc Fada Golf course follows Deer Park Golf’s launch last year of its popular FootGolf course. Deer Park Golf hopes the course will attract new players to the complex and looks forward to welcoming hurling teams and enthusiasts from Dublin and elsewhere in the country to try their skill at this new and exciting sport.
After a hard day’s fun, players can relax and get something to eat at Deer Park’s Club House, with a delicious new menu created with Howth Castle’s on-site ‘The Kitchen in the Castle’ cookery school.
“We continue to offer one of the country’s best golf courses with spectacular views over Dublin Bay and are constantly looking to provide the very best golf as well as new and fun experiences. Alongside our golf courses, our new FootGolf course has been attracting a new audience and we believe our Poc Fada Golf course will do the same. We have had great feedback so far from FootGolfers and hope to continue this with hurlers, GAA enthusiasts, groups and families looking for a great day out.
The Dublin Minor Hurling Team played our FootGolf course with hurleys and sliotars in the Spring and we look forward to welcoming them back to a course that has been specially designed with players like them in mind” said Julian Gaisford-St Lawrence.
Located in North County Dublin, just 20 minutes from Dublin Airport and 10 minutes from Howth Dart station, the grounds of the historic Howth Castle features Ireland’s largest golf complex. Fred Hawtree designed 18 and 9 hole Golf Courses, 18 hole FootGolf, a Pitch & Putt course and now Poc Fada Golf, are open to visitors seven days a week all year round.
From €10 per person, special group rates available. Open seven days 8am to 8pm.
See www.deerparkgolf.ie / 01-8326039
Poc Fada Golf Rules
Poc Fada Golf is played by striking a sliotar with a hurley from the tee into a larger than normal hole on a green. The game is like golf; the player taking the fewest number of pucks is the winner. Scoring is as in golf; either Matchplay or Strokeplay is applied.
To tee off the sliotar must be lifted on the hurley and struck as a Free Puck, the sliotar having been placed behind the tee markers. Alternatively, if the players agree, the first puck may be taken from the hand but the sliotar must be struck behind the tee markers.
If the sliotar is on the fairway it must be marked as it lies with a marker or tee. The next puck may be taken from the hand or off the ground. If the puck is taken from the hand it must be struck behind the marker.
The player may elect to putt the sliotar with the hurley on the fairway but it must be putted when on the green.
In the event of any foul shot the puck must be retaken from the correct original spot and a one shot penalty incurred.
If a sliotar is hit into rough, the next puck must be lifted on the hurley and struck as a Free Puck. If the sliotar is unplayable, lost or ends up in water, a sliotar must be dropped on the fairway within a hurley length from the point of entry into the hazard. This incurs a one shot penalty and the next puck must be taken from the ground. Any ball that lands in a bunker must be played from where it lies.
However, this is a fun game friends who are playing together purely for enjoyment should feel free to vary them to suit their own abilities.