Three-time major champion Padraig Harrington officially opened the Marlay Putting Green in Dublin last week, which aims to introduce a new generation of players to the game.
Located in Dublin’s Marlay Park, the 3,000 square metre putting course was designed by Harrington and funded by his charitable foundation, along with the assistance of a golf development grant from The R&A, and a grant from Golf Ireland, supported by Sport Ireland’s special projects scheme.
Harrington worked closely with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, which provided the site and will manage and operate the green, which features 18 holes. John Clarkin’s team at Turfgrass provided their expertise in construction and agronomy and worked alongside Atlantic Golf Construction in the build of the putting green.
Speaking at the official opening on April 21, Harrington said: “I am thrilled to announce the opening of the Marlay Putting Green. It has been amazing to see this project come to fruition, and I am so pleased the people of Dublin will be able experience golf in a fun and family focused setting.
“My aim for this project has always been to create an affordable and accessible facility which is designed for all ages and golf abilities at no cost. I’ve always wanted to give back to the community and find a way to introduce the game of golf to all generations.”
Harrington added: “I would like to extend a special thank you to the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and it’s Parks team, John Clarkin and his team at Turfgrass, Anthony Bennett and the team at Atlantic Golf Construction, as well as all the contractors and suppliers who have also offered their time and services for free or at preferential rates. I would also like to thank The R&A, as well as Golf Ireland and Sport Ireland, for their generous grants which have made this project possible, in addition to my sponsors, Wilson and Titleist for the supply of putters and golf balls.”
Councillor Mary Hanafin, Cathaoirleach at Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council said: “Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council is dedicated to maintaining and developing the very best in publicly accessible sports and leisure facilities to the citizens of the county and is very proud of this new partnership with Padraig Harrington, one of Ireland’s greatest sports stars. We look forward to welcoming all ages and abilities to the Marlay Putting Green.”
John Clarkin from Turfgrass commented: “We were delighted to offer our services and participate in this community-inspired project with Padraig, one that will hopefully encourage a new generation to get involved in and experience the fun side of golf. The putting green will be six times the size of an average green and incorporates various undulations which will provide some fun hole locations.”
Golf Ireland CEO Mark Kennelly, who was in Marlay Park for the official opening, said it is a great day for golf in Ireland while he looks forward to more opportunities like this to grow the game throughout the island.
“We are thrilled to support the Marlay Putting Green, it’s an extraordinary community-focused initiative,” said Kennelly. “This project perfectly embodies Golf Ireland’s vision of making golf accessible and enjoyable for all. We take pride in partnering with Padraig Harrington, a true representative of Irish golf, and contributing to the growth of this fantastic facility that will inspire future generations of golfers.”
The Marlay Putting Green opened its doors to the public on April 22. To protect the green during its initial stages, the number of rounds will be limited. And as ground conditions and grass growth improve, more rounds will be permitted.