Amateurs get professional with personal guides to golf courses

New Innovators: G Golf

Frank Gannon: “We’ve  had help from many of the Irish professional players including Rory McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Pádraig Harrington and Des Smyth”

Frank Gannon: “We’ve had help from many of the Irish professional players including Rory McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Pádraig Harrington and Des Smyth”

 

There’s nothing like having a personal guide to get the best out of a city or tourist attraction.

Now golf enthusiasts can get the same treatment in the experienced hands of brothers Mark and Frank Gannon through their new venture, G Golf Ireland.

G Golf holidays are based around well-known championship courses and hidden gems.

What makes them different is that a member of the G Golf team (all champion players in their own right) will accompany customers on every drive and putt of the way.

Frank Gannon has been providing this type of one-to-one service informally for more than a decade.

In January this year the brothers decided to put it on a formal footing as a stand-alone enterprise.

The other members of the team are Irish internationals Nigel Duke and Michael Coote.

Walk the courses

Ireland

“We walk the courses with our clients, act as their guide and help them enjoy their game to the maximum.

“We can manage any competition format they want, from standard singles strokes to Texas hold ’em golf, and we also design off-course activities to suit the group. Spouses and non-golfers are welcome and five-star accommodation and transport are included in the packages.”

The Gannon brothers are veterans of the Irish amateur golf circuit and have represented Ireland at more than 200 international events.

Mark Gannon was a Walker Cup selector from 2006-2009 and is also one of only two players (Rory McIlroy is the other) to have won the Irish boys, youths and men’s championship.

Frank Gannon was Leinster Veterans Champion in 2013 and also spent a year on the European seniors circuit.

Fantastic links

“They like to come and experience the courses – even in the wind and the rain – and to play in different places over a few days.

“We will happily accompany Irish golfing parties but we see this mainly as a service for overseas visitors.”

North America, the UK, Germany and the Nordic countries are the company’s main target markets, while Gannon says Asia, a growing market for golf, is also of interest.

Time, experience and “a six-figure sum” (on which Gannon, an ex-banker, declines to put an actual number) have been invested in getting G Golf this far.

“Our marketing strategy is split between online and traditional marketing and we are attending industry events, travelling directly to target markets and investing heavily in maintaining and developing relationships in elite golf circles,” Gannon says.

“We’ve also had help from many of the Irish professional players including Rory McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Pádraig Harrington and Des Smyth. ”

G Golf faces competition from established tour operators and from what Gannon describes as “some newer entrants leveraging technology for volume bookings”.

However, he is sanguine about the opposition.

“Our edge is a combination of a deluxe service, a champion concierge, great after-play hospitality and of course over 100 years of collective golf experience. Now that’s something money can’t buy,” Gannon says.

G Golf has received job creation funding and mentoring from the Fingal Local Enterprise Office which is running its Enterprise Week from October 5th to 9th. The event is designed to boost existing businesses and encourage start-ups.

The week will comprise workshops, networking opportunities and mentoring clinics.

A schedule can be viewed and bookings made at www.fingalenterpriseweek.ie.

OLIVE KEOGH

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