Dungannon Golf Club named “Best Golf Club” at the Northern Ireland Hospitality Awards
We were very proud to collect the award for “The Best Golf Club” at the awards ceremony on 23rd September 2019. We believe that we are a modern, progressive club with one of the best parkland courses in Northern Ireland.
When you first arrive at Dungannon Golf Club, the first person you might meet is Lorraine. She will give you a warm welcome and will probably be more interested in where you got your Diesel jeans rather than responding as other clubs do by telling you that jeans are prohibited. That’s the sort of club we are – friendly and modern.
A club for champions. The first Irish Close Amateur Champion, Thomas Dickson. The first girl to win the Ulster, Leinster and British Girls Championships, Carole Wallace. And of course Darren Clarke whose skills, honed at our Club, helped him win multiple championships before turning professional. It was the Club and its members who encouraged talented juniors to play in senior competitions and senior teams which helped in Darren’s success and three other juniors becoming successful golf professionals.
A club for all the family. Like the Dicksons, four generations, founder members, presidents, captains. Tom, who died a couple of months ago, was a member for over 90 years. A growing number of children attend our Junior Academy on Saturday mornings and we recently introduced “Family Golf” on Sunday afternoons to encourage all ages to enjoy themselves playing together.
A club for women. Our women are treated as equals and are fully involved in all aspects of the club. Right from the top. Lorraine is the President. Not the Lady President, she is The President. Our forward-thinking Council is the first in Northern Ireland to sign up to the R&A Women in Golf Charter and have committed to having 30% female representation on the Council – currently 23%. For the future of the game we feel it is vital that all golf clubs embrace equality. Most other clubs have ladies as Associate Members only, rather than Full Members. We believe that is not good enough.
Our lack of stuffiness applies to the course as well. Ignoring the dated rules and conventions of nearly all golf clubs, dreamed up by middle-aged gentlemen in plus fours, our dress code is for today’s golfers. Right for millennials and the future. So women can wear sleeveless or collarless tops and men their favourite jeans!
Darren Clarke updated the design of our course in 2000. It is the best in Mid Ulster, renowned for its great condition and greens which are the same pace as Royal Portrush. Whilst offering a challenge to the scratch golfer, our course is also enjoyed by all standards of player including beginners. During the summer we added forward tees to make holes more manageable and more enjoyable for our younger beginners. We want our juniors to have fun playing golf!
Our Restaurant has won multiple awards, including NI Food Awards Restaurant of the Year Award in 2016. Numerous golfing societies enjoy their visits so much that they return year after year. Our Facebook pages, with over 3000 followers 8000 Likes, are the most successful of any golf club in Northern Ireland and our advertisements have helped build our uptake of “Get Into Golf” programmes.
Our reason for being is to benefit the local community. With the help of many volunteers we keep costs down so that membership prices are affordable (significantly less than neighbouring clubs’) and the golf course kept in great condition. For those that want to pay and play our daily fees are a modest £25/£30. Recent independent benchmarking against our peers showed that we were outstanding in our cost control. As a result we have maximised local participation in golf – so that more and more people can experience the physical and mental health benefits of golf. As a Club we aim to help those in our community who are less fortunate. In the past month we have raised over £6000 for local charities: Moy Riding for the Disabled Association, Inspire Wellbeing and the Reach Food Bank Dungannon.
All of this flows from the ethos of the club that was approved unanimously in 2017:
The Club has been formed, by its long and proud history, and is defined by its unrelenting commitment to core principles of excellence, equity, equality, diversity, integrity, honesty, respect and fair treatment of all in a friendly and hospitable environment free from bullying, harassment, intimidation and unsocial behaviour of any kind. The Club is a non-profit making body.