Classic links course Arklow Golf Club is to stage the Irish Club Professional Tournament for the next three years in conjunction with charitable partner, The Down Syndrome Centre.
The two-day event will take place on June 4-5 and will feature a 100-strong field with a pro-am on Tuesday June 3 involving 40 teams of four.
Michael McCumiskey, secretary of the PGA in Ireland, said: “This is an exciting event, Arklow has a vibrant and enthusiastic membership and we are looking forward to working with them this year and beyond.”
Arklow has hosted a number of tournaments in recent times including the PGA Southern Championship in the early noughties where Leslie Walker claimed the title in 2001, Brendan McGovern in 2002 and 2004 and John Murray in 2003.
The club was formed in 1927 and has evolved with the aid of inputs from Eddie Hackett and in recent times Eddie Connaughton, its challening par 69 playing off 6074 yards.
Peter Gaw, the driving force behind the Down Syndrome Centre, added: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the charity to be involved with and we look forward to working with the PGA and PGA Professionals around the country on this tournament.
“It is a very exciting time for The Down Syndrome Centre as we hope to open our doors in early April, creating a family focused service of help, support and advice for the child and family throughout their lifetime.”
The current Irish Club Pros champion is Foyle Golf Centre’s Brian McElhinney, who carded rounds of 68 and 72 to beat Royal Dublin’s Patrick Devine by a shot at Dundalk GC.
Arklow captain Darren Ryan (pictured above wtih Peter Gaw, left, Michael McCumiskey second right, and club president, Chris Davitt right) added: “We are delighted to welcome the PGA back to Arklow. The members at the club have great memories of hosting the PGA Southern Championship and I know they will get behind this tournament.
“The charitable link also provides Arklow with a fantastic opportunity to play a part in supporting the efforts of Peter and the team at Down Syndrome Centre.”
The Down Syndrome Centre is focussed on ensuring that children with Down Syndrome in Ireland are given all the chances possible to reach their full potential.
The charity is on the cusp of opening a centre that will house essential therapies, an extensive resource centre, a Mum & Tots class called SKIP which is based on occupational therapy, as well as continuing to provide seminars and workshops.