The Championship Pavilion overlooking the 18th Hole at Mout Juliet Estate
The atmosphere is electric at Mount Juliet as the last of the preparations of the Horizon Irish Open take centre stage. It’s the final groom of the Estate before the golfing gods descend upon Kilkenny. With the purse of €3,000,000 to play for, 156 world class golfers will make up the playing field.
Mount Juliet General Manager Mark Dunne and his entire team have certainly pulled out all the stops this year. We caught up with them this week to see what lessons they learnt from last year’s Open, when they had just over a month to prepare. This year’s tournament is looking very different with lots of treats in store for spectators and golfers on the 500 acre Estate.
Mark Dunne & Siobhan Donohoe celebrating on the 18th Hole, at the end of the 2021's Tournament
When people ask Mark Dunne what it will be like this year, his response is simple: “It will just be so much fun;" he said. "Last year we were test event number seven for reopening the country and we were very conscious of that. Everything we had in our plans to make it a spectacular event had to be taken away, yet it was hugely successful. From a test event perspective, it was well received, and it was nice to be part of returning to sport.”
“Last year we did it in six weeks, from start to finish. Even though the atmosphere here this year is different, we all feel a lot happier with the work all completed, this time last year was a lot more frantic!”
“This year it's not the case, from Wednesday, right through to Sunday it’s going to be so really good. It’s not the same tournament at all, everything has changed. You’ll see it from arrival at the welcome tent to all the way through, everything is different, because we have had more time.”
The Mount Juliet and European Tour team are bringing the party back to golf with a week of entertainment for the whole family. At the end of play for the Pro-Am on Wednesday, the ever popular Toploader will take to the stage to entertain the crowd, no doubt we will be Dancing in the Moonlight too!
Limerick band Hermitage Green will kick off the weekend with a performance on Saturday July 2. Taking to the main stage on Sunday July 3 is 17-year-old Cork singer‘Allie Sherlock. Both acts will take to the stage as soon as the final putt drops each evening.
Siobhan O’Sullivan, Director of Sales & Marketing
With 5,000 spectators a day permitted last year, and no hospitality allowed, what will this year’s Mount Juliet Estate look like with up to 18,000 visitors every day and what is on offer for them.
“The village is at least a third bigger in size this year, the festival atmosphere will be amazing, and we can celebrate more," said Siobhan O’Sullivan, Director of Sales & Marketing on the Estate. There will be free park and ride from Stoneyford and Thomastown and paid shuttle buses to and from Kilkenny."
“Wednesday is always a good day for the family and not just for golfers, because there are some celebrities around. The whole tournament will be a lot more relaxed with more food areas in various locations around the Estate. In the Festival Village, there are the festival beer tents and pop ups from Taste Kilkenny and Golf Ireland, with various interaction tents.”
Siobhan Donohoe & Siobhan O'Sullivan at The Manor House, 2021 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open
Throughout the week we will have an afternoon tea option at the Manor House, please book this in advance to avoid disappointment. There will also be a Nespresso and Piaff Champagne tent at the Manor House, if you want to pop down for some bubbles.”
“We’ll also have Sky Sports TV back and this year NBC Golf is joining us too, so the eyes of the world will be on us. It’s putting us back on the map for being one of the top Parkland courses in the world.”
2021's Winner Lucas Herbert with Director of Golf Matt Sandercock
“It will be a couple of years before we have the Open in the South East again, so it would be nice to have Seamus Power from the South East win at Mount Juliet. However, Lucas Herbert is coming back to retain his title - so watch this space!”
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