Annual PGA Pro Am

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Pre COVID and prior to hosting the NI Open , Cairndhu played host to a 2 day Pro Am in August each year. The Pro Am was an established PGA ranking competition and was one of few 2 day events on the circuit, attracting the top Irish PGA Professionals.

Teams of 3 amateurs are paired up with a PGA Professional, with the best 2 stableford points scores counting at each hole. The event was often held on a Friday and Saturday, and there was often evening entertainment on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights as well as a prizegiving. The skills clinic taken by a PGA Professional on the Thursday night was always well attended.

The last PGA Pro-Am's results hosted in 2019 can be found in the link here

1976 saw the club’s first tentative steps into the world of the Pro Am. This first Pro Am, however, was to be the catalyst for the biggest event in the club’s history in 1981. The three-day Pro Am in 1981 drew a field from all over the world including Major champions Nick Price and Ian Woosnam, and European Tour winners Roger Davis, Mark McNulty, Simon Owen, John O’Leary, Des Smyth and Christy O’Connor (Jnr). In recent years European Tour winner Damien McGrane and 1995 Ryder Cup hero Phillip Walton have made appearances.

2023 will see the return of a Pro-Am, as Cairndhu will host the NI Open Pro-Am on 18th June, as part of the NI Swing Event hosted by Modest Golf, that will include the NI Masters at Clandeboye, on 14th - 16th June and the NI Open at Galgorm Castle. The total swing purse for over the 3 venues will be £165,000 and be ranked as an Official DP World & LPGA Tour Qualifier.

Previous Winners

Year Winner Score
2020 - 2023 2020 - Not Played due COVID  // 2021 - 23 NI Open and ISPS HANDA World Invitational Qualifier  
2019 Colm Moriarty 134 (-6)
2018 Michael McGeady 137 (-3)
2017 Michael McGeady 135 (-5)
2016 Damien McGrane 129 (-11)
2015 Simon Thornton 135 (-5)
2014 Damian Mooney 132 (-8)
2013 Damian Mooney 137 (-3)
2012 Barrie Trainor 130 (-10)
2011 Philip Walton, Cian McNamara & Damian Mooney 136 (-4)
2010 Marcus Twitchett 137 (-3)
2009 Damian Mooney 140 (E)
2008 David Orr 134 (-6)
2007 Conor Mallon & Seamus Clinton 142 (+2)
2006 Conor Mallon 138 (-2)
2005 John Dignam & Barry Hamill 142 (+2)
2004 Damian Mooney 132 (-8)
2003 Phillip Walton 131 (-9)
2002 Wayne O'Callaghan & Paul Gray 136 (-4)
2001 Neil Manchip 134 (-6)
Pre 2001 results not shown    
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The 1981 Cairndhu Pro Am

The three-day Pro Am in 1981 drew a field from all over the world. The entry list to the right shows players ranging from Ireland, England, South Africa, Australia, Wales, New Zealand, and Zimbabwe.

The headline players were Major champions Nick Price and Ian Woosnam, and European Tour winners Roger Davis, Mark McNulty, Simon Owen, John O’Leary, Des Smyth, Christy O’Connor (Jnr) and David Feherty.

The three-day professional event was won by Peter Townsend (Portmarnock) who held off the world class field.

About the 1981 winner
Peter Townsend was widely regarded as one of the finest amateurs Great Britain and Ireland has ever produced. He won two British Boys Championships, one British Youths and one English Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship as well as being selected for the Walker Cup side in 1965. After turning professional, he went on to win three European Tour titles and in 1969 became one of the rare breed of golfers to represent Great Britain and Ireland in both the Walker and Ryder Cups. Peter became a club professional after leaving The European Tour and went on to be elected PGA Captain in 1994. Currently, he divides time between the European Seniors Tour and working as a consultant for European Tour Design.

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Northern Ireland Open at Cairndhu 2021 - 2023

In June 2021 Cairndhu was privileged to be chosen to host the Northern Ireland Open presented by Modest! Golf, an event which was part of the Clutch Tour schedule. The event was played over 36 holes. Kinsale’s Walker Cup star John Murphy won on his professional debut with a score of 135 (-5), to deny local favourite Dermot McElroy in second. England’s Thalia Martin claimed the women’s title. "The NI Open was a great opportunity to kickstart my pro career and get me ready for what was to come,” said John Murphy, who went on to compete at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on the PGA Tour and on the DP World Tour. “The NI Open was run incredibly well and the initiative to offer tour starts [into the ISPS HANDA World Invitational] is amazing". Murphy joined a host of illustrious former champions such as New Zealand’s Ryan Fox (2016) and other DP World Tour winners like Scotland’s Calum Hill (2018) and Sweden’s Joakim Lagergren (2014). For over a decade the NI Open was part of the European Challenge Tour where it set all attendance records for any event on the international schedule.

The NI Open returned to Cairndhu in 2022. An exciting new format was played over three venues - the first round took place at Cairndhu, Castlerock hosted day two before a two round cut took place and qualifiers competed at Galgorm Castle for the third and final round. Amateurs and celebrities competed alongside male and female professionals in an event similar in format to the successful Alfred Dunhill Links Championship played annually on the DP World Tour.

In 2023 a change in format led to the NI Open Pro Am event being held at Cairndhu in June 2023. This was part of the Clutch Tour "NI Swing" which also included the NI Masters at Clandeboye and the NI Open at Galgorm Castle. The total swing purse over the 3 venues was £165,000 it was ranked as an Official DP World & LPGA Tour Qualifier for the golfers participating.