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Ireland and the Majors S


ix Major titles since 2007! It’s no coincidence. It’s a thing called destiny. For sure, they’re talented. You know them by their names.


Pádraig. Graeme. Rory. And Darren, or ‘Big D’ as fans and friends call him. Destiny called to them all and they answered with an array of shot-making, putting prowess and fortitude that made them a part of golfing folklore and enabled them to capture the greatest titles in golf.


Each of them learned their craft on courses spread around Ireland – on some of the finest seaside links to be found anywhere on earth, and on some challenging parkland layouts set amidst tree-lined layouts designed by old masters – which taught them the art of winning and showed them how to conquer the world.


These courses where champions were made are to be found North, South, East and West. And the beauty of it all? They’re open to everyone, with visiting green fees that won’t burn a hole in anyone’s pockets. It’s your chance to follow in the footsteps of Ireland’s Major champions. So it is that there is an open door policy at Stackstown Golf Club in the foothills of the Dublin mountains where Padraig Harrington discovered how to scramble and putt and win; at Royal Portrush, where Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke discovered the secret to punching an iron into the wind, and at Holywood Golf Club where a young Rory McIlroy’s effortless swing was manufactured.


But there’s more. The secret to the success of Irish golfers is to be found in the sheer quality of the courses that they’ve played in their formative amateur careers, courses that are among the very best to be found anywhere and which honed the shot-making abilities of Harrington, McDowell, McIlroy and Clarke.


Harrington learned his golf at Stackstown– and he has since helped to redesign the parkland course which has a wonderful vista looking out towards Dublin Bay – but his game was also honed on courses like Fota


Below: Padraig Harrington poses with the Players’ Player Award, the claret jug, the Wanamaker trophy and The European Tour Player of the Year award’. Below middle: Darren Clarke putts on the 18th green during the final round of The 140th Open Championship Below right: Rory McIlroy, center, is hugged by his father Gerry McIlroy, left, after sinking the last putt on the 18th hole to win the US Open golf tournament, June 2011


Rory McIlroy wins the US Open golf tournament, June 2011


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