European Challenge Tour players will be given a true Irish test when they tee it up at Concra Wood Golf Club for the Monaghan Irish Challenge, from October 4-7.
The fourth edition of the event heads to Castleblayney and Concra Wood Golf Club for the first time since it made its debut appearance on the Challenge Tour’s International Schedule in 2015.
The 7,258-yard course will test the players’ accuracy off the tee, especially in windy conditions, while bunkers and thick rough around the greens will mean danger if they miss the target.
Conor McKenna has been the Head Professional at Concra Wood since 2010 and knows how to tackle the County Monaghan course.
“My advice to the players playing Concra Wood for the first time is accuracy off the tee,” he said. “Club selection is vital as to leave yourself with a good approach, but most greens are gettable with the right shot, depending on the wind. However, miss the greens and you will be punished by heavy rough and the bunkers – there are 72 of them located on the course.
“Wind plays a big part and if we get some during the week it will certainly provide the players with another test, especially on the final three holes.”
Since the start of the year Concra Wood has created new facilities at the golf club, and has completed adaptations to the course. Many Irish golfers are known for their short game and the up-and-coming talent on Europe’s top developmental tour will need to have their wedges dialled in at the Monaghan Irish Challenge, according to McKenna.
“A new state of the art short game area has just been completed at the club,” he said. “This will allow the players to practice all the shots required, because if you miss any greens at Concra Wood the up and down attempts are tricky.
“We have renovated our bunkers leading up to the event and added a new water hazard on the 18th. All fairways have been treated and the greens have been manicured in preparation of the action.”
Having held three successive EuroPro Tour events from 2012, McKenna cannot wait until the Monaghan Irish Challenge gets under way at Concra Wood.
“I have been Head Professional at Concra Wood for eight years now and have successfully staged three EuroPro events in 2012, 2013 and 2014, but the Challenge Tour is a new level,” he said. “To have the best rising stars from Europe and house hold names, as well as many top Irish players coming to play our course is something I’m very proud of.
“I know the players will enjoy the test we will offer, as well as the beautiful views all around the course, plus the hospitality at the club is renowned. We hope all the players and officials enjoy the Concra Wood experience.”