Independent Media Centre Ireland

Golf... it spoils more than a good walk!

category national | consumer issues | feature author Thursday May 25, 2006 16:39author by Frances Nunan - Athy Residents Againt Waste

An investigation into how the premiere golfing competition, the Ryder Cup, is coming to Ireland

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The Ryder Cup is an occasion of horror to those who regard golf as a way of spoiling a good walk, or merely, an excuse to wear Rupert the Bear trousers in public. However, this major sporting event is coming to Ireland this September. There has been virtually no background investigation into the preparations. Until now...

In all, the Ryder Cup 2006 at the K Club is a sickening display of wealth, arrogance, and greed. It’s one of disregard and disdain for the Irish people, local community, and taxpayers. Mark Twain was right when he said golf spoiled a good walk, but he neglected to mention that it could be a great excuse for increasing the value of private property for a few at the public expense of the many.

The premiere golfing competition, between American and European golfers, will be held at the exclusive K Club. The Ryder Cup website tells us "Ireland’s magnificent K Club is delighted to take its place amongst the venues on this prestigious list (of places that have hosted the competition)". Given the increase in value of the K Club’s property that can be expected as a result of the publicity and the investment in infrastructure close by, I’d say they’re ecstatic.

The K Club is a privately owned complex of 550 acres (President: Michael J Smurfit, mega wealthy businessman and Ireland’s resident honorary consul to Monaco), in County Kildare. Consisting of an upmarket 5-star hotel, health spa, fishing, riding, 2 golf courses, and other leisure facilities for the wealthy and privileged, it’s also a location for exclusive private residencies owned by the great and good, safely ensconced as a gated community.

Aspects surrounding a seemingly innocuous golfing competition raise grave concern

Firstly, the location has triggered a major investment in local infrastructure. Anyone used to driving the dismal approach roads in the vicinity of the K Club must have thought that public representatives have finally woken up to the needs to the local community. Far from it. The spending of public money on a major road-building programme in the area is driven by the requirements for the event at the prestigious, elitist estate. Improving the infrastructure for an even that that lasts a few days results in what economists call externalities - an increase in value for K Club properties, and increased flow of customers, and hence more profit.

We need those roads built quick for those important Irish, Japanese, European, and American capitalist bosses and politicians (George Bush Senior and Bill Clinton, who himself was once thought to own a property on the grounds, are rumoured to be attending) as they ride their limos down to the K Club. And, sure, it keeps Polish road workers busy around the clock, busting a gut to finish on time. But, let’s be clear, the people of Kildare are not foremost in the minds of the decision-makers and project managers.

Secondly, the golf itself will be closed to viewing by the general public and other gawkers. Tickets are already changing hands for thousands of euros, dollars, and pounds on eBay (see picture). Tales of local families renting out their homes to news organisations and to golf fans for €35,000 a week have hype a sick cash-nexus surrounding the event. The ordinary Irish Sunday golfer and family are therefore unlikely to be able to afford to attend.

Instead it's high prices for the regular punters, while the elite, the wanna-bes, the lumps, frumps, and grumps of post-ceasefire, Celtic Tiger, Riverdance, hot tub-owning Ireland rush to spend their SSIAs cash and exercise more stock options to pay for a chance to rub shoulders with the rich and famous.

Not that all pay according to their means. It’s an occasion for corporate freebies for rich businessmen, celebrities and politicians, lavish sponsorship ligs (sponsors include O2, AIB, Philips, Ballygowan, Chase, et cetera), and a sense of luxurious exclusivity will be guaranteed by private security, secret service men possibly, and a large Gardai presence. Sunday Independent, Hello! And VIP magazine hospitality tent photos all round, but we’re unlikely to see Father Peter McVerry featuring in them. And forget any thought of a Croke Park residents-style agreement of free tickets for locals. If access to your own home is disrupted for the week, then just be glad that Michael Smurfit and buddies at the K Club are putting Ireland on show for the rest of the world (and for better coverage of K Club properties than they’d get in the Property Supplement of the Irish Times too).

Next, this April, Fianna Fail Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, Noel Dempsey T.D., decreed that the competition would not be one of the designated "Free-to-Air" transmissions. “In considering the proposal to designate the Ryder Cup it was clear to the Government that it met some of the criteria but not all” he said. Instead, it's pay per view for Sky Sports subscribers (prop. M Murdoch).

Undoubtedly, some laud any decision that eliminates a major cringe factor in Jimmy McGee or Bill O’Herlihy about mangling yet another set of foreign names on RTE. However, golf is a popular participatory sport in this country (more golf courses per capita than anywhere else). The Minister for Sport and Eurovision John Donoghue says that "we have invested more than €250 million in golf alone to help establish Ireland as one of the world’s most popular golfing destinations" (source: So taxpaying punters will pay for the privilege of watching the event they've facilitated and paid for (€16 million of Irish taxpayers money in promotion costs alone, according to TD Jimmy Denighan).

Finally, the Ryder Cup 2006 merchandising is truly sickening, but by, the look of it, extremely lucrative. Feeling underdressed? Then pay €85 for your Ralph Lauren Polo shirt with "Ryder Cup 1927-2006 at the K Club” logo in Brown Thomas in Grafton Street (see picture). Match it with a similarly styled baseball cap for €35. "The K Club, and other The K Club logos and product and service names are trademarks of The K Club" we’re told on the K Club website, so Mick and lads are not left out of the proceeds. Other goodies are available about Ireland (as soon as you arrive at Dublin airport, see picture) and of course from the K Club website itself (a must have Ryder Cup holdall is a snip at €120).

In all, the Ryder Cup 2006 at the K Club is a sickening display of wealth, arrogance, and greed. It’s one of disregard and disdain for the Irish people, local community, and taxpayers. Mark Twain was right when he said golf spoiled a good walk, but what he forgot, was that it could be a great excuse for increasing the value of private property for a few at the public expense of the many.

What's transpiring at the K Club is a Krying Shame at best, and Kapitalist Kontempt at worst. Well done to RTE and the rest of the mainstream media for not being able to get their heads out of the sand in the bunker again and taking their eye off the birdie again.

Have that unncessary Kidney taken out now - tickets must be had
Have that unncessary Kidney taken out now - tickets must be had

Just the thing for the Goys to wear to the next fight at Anabels, too
Just the thing for the Goys to wear to the next fight at Anabels, too

Comments (58 of 58)

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author by Not a golferpublication date Thu May 25, 2006 14:47author address author phone

This has got to be one of the best written pieces that I have seen on indymedia in awhile.

The display of wealth will be truly sickening. Anyway I have heard that a number of other exclusive golf clubs around the country are renting out their on-site property of houses and apartments for up to 10,000 euros for the week and this will include obviously tickets and being helicoptered to and from the event each day.

It will be a good week for the government to release any controversial reports that it has to because the media will be full of the Ryder Cup. I reckon it will be so full of it that if the govt resigned en-mass that week, they would never notice it. Doh! They will be all down at the K-Club anyhow. Well at least most of FF, PDs and FG.

I am sure we will see plenty of private and executive jets landing at Dublin airport too. I guess it will be a plane spotters week.

author by Swainepublication date Thu May 25, 2006 18:50author address author phone

This report is the biggest heap of bigotted shite that I have ever read in my entire life.For some loser to start bitching about the largest sporting event ever to be held in this country is typical of the clueless shite and drivel that is often spouted on this site.
I bet you any money the author has never played golf in his fucking life but is coming on here knocking it.If it was a soccer world cup he would probably find that o.k. ?
Golf is no longer an elitist sport and has not been for quite a while.As for ordinary people not been able to watch it.Wrong again.There was a draw made for most of the tickets last September.All you had to do was put your name forward and you had a great chance of getting them.I know a good few people who do have them and no, they won't be arriving by helicopter or limo.
As for the taxpayer paying for it?Where the fuck did you get that from?This event is worth millions and millions to the local and national economy.And it doesn't all go to big business either.Go around Kildare and see how many people are giving out about it being staged there.No One!!The whole country will benefit from it.Guest houses,cafes,golf courses(most of which in Ireland are non profit making by the way),
petrol stations-you name it they all benefit.
Charities recieve millions out of the Ryder cup each time it its played(both local and international).The players play for free.
As for MrSmurfit making money out of it.He actually has to pay all the costs associated with it(Millions).Of course this will be made back in time but he will be long dead before that happens.
As for the clothing prices so fucking what.I didn,t see anyone forcing you to buy it did I?If you can find a better way to spend 85 quid fair fucks to you.1 night out perhaps.How much is a soccer or a gaelic or a rugby jersey?How much is a crappy band T shirt at a gig?
Go and do me a favor and check out your facts before putting so much effort into writing an article that is factually bullshit.While your at it why don't you give golf a try before you knock it.Try deerpark in Howth-12 euro for 18 holes.Not bad for 4 hours entertainment.See how long 12 bucks lasts you in Grogans when your in on Friday whingeing about something else.

author by JBpublication date Thu May 25, 2006 19:06author address author phone

I think golf courses are a waste of good space. Why not use that space for something more useful, turn most of the golf courses into aerodromes and subsidise general aviation.

author by Grumppublication date Thu May 25, 2006 19:27author address author phone

What a bitter, jealous piece of writing. Not a salient point in the whole thing, just a long list of bitching and babbling.

Long after the Ryder Cup has gone, those roads will still be there for the local community to use. Who cares what the motivation was for building them, everyone gets to use them. The "Polish workers", as you presumptuously refer to them, building the roads are all getting paid good cash to do it

As for the sickening displays of wealth of some of the attendees, what the hell has that got to do with the golf tournament! There'll be plenty of ordinary people going to it. The only reason tickets are changing hands for such high prices at the moment is because greedy bastards are trying to cash in, as with all high-demand events. The face value of the tickets, as set by the organisers, was pretty reasonable. I doubt it was JP McManus or Michael Smurfit selling that ticket on eBay!!

I don't even understand the point about the polo shirts. So don't buy them, if you think they are so expensive. Where is the political point there?

The fact is, the tournament is good for the country, end of story. I don't see what could possibly be untoward about the whole thing. The government's €16m investment is a bargain, when you consider the amount that will be spent in hotels, B&Bs, restaurants, cafes, souveneir shops, golf clubs etc... all employing local people.

Some people just need a reason to bitch and moan, I guess. Get a life, Frances

author by therantpublication date Thu May 25, 2006 20:58author address author phone

the article does'nt have a counter argument apart form the commments. Maybe the people who have a problem with the article should post a retaliatory article and state their case.

My only position could be that I don't like money spent on sports that are' nt played by the majority of the population. What i mean is dispropotionate fund based on how lucrative the sport is.

author by Shop Stewardpublication date Thu May 25, 2006 21:51author address author phone


You have hit he nail bang on the head. I (and I suspect many, many more) have been wondering why such an article hasn't appeared up until now. Couldn't be the meeja salivating for freebies, could it?? Fair dues to you for penning a superb piece rather than waiting in vain for somebody else to do it.

author by Elainepublication date Thu May 25, 2006 23:14author address author phone

if you get caught, you will never wield a Mashie Niblick again, never mind a Wood!

Serious Penalty
Serious Penalty

author by Dave - Nonepublication date Thu May 25, 2006 23:26author address author phone

That piece reeks of begrudgery and probably a serious case of middle class guilt. Yes wealthy people play golf but so do a lot of other people (and is being wealthy a reason in itself to dislike people?).

However as another poster mentioned before me, the roads will still be there after the Ryder cup is gone and locals no doubt will appreciate them. If thousands of wealthy people come to Kildare my guess is they are going to spend a lot of money, true a lot of this will go to the owners of the K Club and their cronies, but surely some of the money will also get spent in the locality. I've no proof but my guess is that the locals aren't complaining.


author by not a golfer eitherpublication date Fri May 26, 2006 16:25author address author phone

i cannot believe this crap can be published on the site as a "background investigation" into the Ryder Cup. what the f**k is going on? is there any editorial control??? it's nothing more than a rant with any number of unfounded claims and statements of "fact". like other responders, i agree, i don't play golf either but it doesn't mean the Ryder Cup is some sort of sinister G8 summit gathering of rich people ignoring the wishes of the masses. Therant says "counter arguments" which "state your case" should be published - why?? the original story claims to be an investigation, not an argument and it's published as a news story, not somebody's opinion. . and it's so bad i'm embarassed to be an Indymedia reader.

author by John Jefferies - Free the Old Head of Kinsalepublication date Fri May 26, 2006 16:46author address author phone (086) 3004573

The elitism of the K Club is nothing new to the people who have for many years fought a campaign to have public access restored at the Old Head of Kinsale where an exclusive, multi-millionaires' golf links was opened in 1997. The Old Head of Kinsale is a historic and breathtakingly beautiful headland in West Cork. Part of it is a bird sanctuary. It has a hallowed place in Ireland's history from ancient times.

For hundreds, probably thousands of years people enjoyed the Old Head of Kinsale as a place to walk but a company called Ashbourne Holdings, headed up by the millionaire O'Connor brothers from Kerry (via USA) bought the Old Head and built their golf links for the filthy rich there. Barbed wire, razor wire, CCTV cameras and intimidating security guards are in place to keep ordinary people out.

The Free the Old Head of Kinsale campaign fights to restore the right we've always had, to walk unhindered on the Old Head of Kinsale. Every year the campaign holds "People's Picnics" at the gates of the Old Head and large crowds of campaigners have got past the gate-keepers on numerous occasions to picnic on the headland itself.

Our campaign goes on and the first People's Picnic of 2006 was held on May 14th with about 50 people present. Many tourists expressed disgust that they couldn't see the Old Head of Kinsale even though tourist brochures they got in Cork and Kinsale tourist offices advertised the place as being a place of scenic beauty worth taking a detour to see. One Dutch couple we met had cycled the 27 miles from Cork city to see the Old Head only to find the gates barred.

The next People's Picnic is coming up soon. The campaign will advertise the date locally and on Indymedia nearer the time so keep an eye out.

author by therantpublication date Fri May 26, 2006 22:05author address author phone


Any investigation is subjectively defined by the person writing it. For instance i know for a fact than my opinions on certain matters will have a leftist perspective regardless of how i present them. I guess the skill is in presenting the "story", "investigation" or "argument" in a particular way that pursues the issue and tries not to be too politically correct.

I read Indymedia all the time and i just wonder why the majority of opinions are so distinctively left-wing.

Anyway back on topic thinking about the wealth/golf situation I don't care how rich people waste their money but what i do care about is how much wealth is acquired with help by the state. I would prefer these people spend their money doing their thing without any help from the state. I can never understand the hypocrisy of non-interventionist government policies and the funding or "preferred" sports usually as a vote earner or "to help the local economy" which is probably doing shit because of previously blunders in government policy. The cycle of stupidity.

Anyway my second comment post i hope it's not too all over the place.

author by Allyatespublication date Sat May 27, 2006 17:31author address author phone

Lets face it, the Ryder Cup is a weekend get away for our betters. They have so much on their plate, breaking laws, torture, bringing back NAZI style I.D cards.
When you have wiped a few hundred thousand Iraqis off the face of the earth you need time away from all that monet making. A couple of days with your whore and golf away from the 'liberal media' is just the ticket.

And Yes the people of Straffan are not happy with whats been going on in their town, just pick up a Liffey Champion.
And no they will not be renting out their gaff's for thousands. The taxman has way of finding out things like that.

Golf is shite, its full of arseholes just standing around yapping about grass, its like watching snails. Those wannabes who play it at lower levels of society will never get it, YOU ARE NOT WEALTHY AND BUSH WILL NEVER BE YOUR FRIEND.

Will Straffan benefit from the Ryder Cup? Of course not. Will Ireland? Who can say.

But lets not pretend, its is eliteist, its not in any way egalitarian, soccer is for the slobs, rugby for the snobs and golf for the rich. Personally I have better things to do with my time than suck Clintons golf club, he has planty of Irish who will do that for him. Who needs Monica?

author by Liam Donohoe - nonepublication date Sun May 28, 2006 15:38author address author phone

This has to be possibly one of the worst most pointless, articles I have ever read in any publication.

A badly-written, jealous pile of horse-manure, one can readily tell it originated from the county most commonly associated with the Sport of Kings.

Hopefully Messrs. Smurfit and co will come out and dig up the roads after the Ryder Cup is over.

author by Spinning Quicklypublication date Sun May 28, 2006 21:19author address author phone

Why are there complaints about golf, but not soccer stars who get paid obscene amounts of money for kicking a ball around a pitch? Let's face it - the soccer industry wastes huge amounts of money for someone whose main talent is kicking a ball.

Not to mention the appalling treatment of women by some of the teams.

Oh, wait, it's because soccer's popular...

author by Ruairipublication date Mon May 29, 2006 14:34author address author phone

I'm extremely disappointed with the standard of this debate. Firstly, the contribution that staging the Ryder Cup toward the irish economy cannot be ignored despite government expenditure involved in staging the event. Secondly, any famous sporting event generally tends to attract higher society and with that restricted access to the lower class so lets not just look at the Ryder Cup here. I personally know many people who have entered the darw for tickets and will attend the event just like George Bush, etc, etc so lets not be blind!

To all of you who have correctly attempted to counter act this article (and rightly so because its an extremely narrow minded piece of writing), please do not sway towards the tactics of the original author and slate soccer stars etc.

author by ISTPQpublication date Mon May 29, 2006 15:10author address author phone

as a former worker in the K Club, i have to say, working for the bourgoise can prove profitable when they get jarred enough. Tips ahoy.

author by Tpublication date Mon May 29, 2006 15:37author address author phone

Surprisingly this has been quite a decisive issue, but I think what is underlying a lot of this is the meaning of the hosting of the Ryder Cup to Ireland.

As I would see it, the Ryder Cup is presented as a success for Ireland and vindication of our new found status as amongst the membership of the top group of the richest nations. The corporate media certainly being part of the capitalist establishment, seem to portray this. It is also presented as being beneficial to Ireland and indeed in one sense it maybe in terms of extra business for many hotels, restaurants, car-hire and other types of firms. The stories circulating of huge rents being offered for the usage of private houses for that week are possibly puffed up and used as a means to make the ordinary punter think that they could possibly benefit if they choose to do so and therefore it would be a case of sour grapes to say otherwise.

Golf of course is quite a popular sport in Ireland, given that there are more golf courses than kids playgrounds in Ireland. The large middle class in Ireland seem relatively content with things as they are and want more of it. And so have more or less bought into the capitalist model and the celebration of personal achievement and gain and private wealth. While golf itself is obviously enjoyable to those who play it because they actually like it, there is a widespread belief which I would partially subscribe to that it is generally fairly elitist and is the game to play if you want to be part of the upwardly mobile set. For managers and CEOs it is a place to network and for the rising rich it is a place to be seen, whether it is by virtue of your membership, those who you have played golf with -i.e. bank manager or CEO of some well known firm or whatever. It is also yet another arena in our society where the cult of celebrity plays out. Indeed the cult of celebrity tends to be divided broadly by social class, where the celebs in each of soccer, rugby and golf clearly appeal to different segments or classes but probably with a fair amount of overlap. That in itself could be the basis of another article.

Thus in the present political climate in Ireland, where property prices continue to rise thereby reassuring many a self-aspiring capitalist who has bought a second home recently that they really are shrewd and this is the way to go. At the same time, the media reports there are no major dark clouds on the horizon and at most if anything happens there will be a soft landing. The Ryder Cup fits into this psychic and reassures the prevailing optimistic mood amongst these people and the immediate layer below who look up to and maybe even envy them. Because when you take the number of people doing relatively well -i.e. second home for example and their friends and relatives who say: I see John is doing well and driving a 05 Jeep, this quantity of people adds up to an awful lot of people. This is the body of society that is soldily behind the present course of society.

Therefore the critique of the Ryder Cup here, is seen as been written in very bad taste, especially after what all these good capitalists and entrepreneurs had done for the country and dragged it out of the bad days of 18% unemployment. Its a case of give these people (golfers and supporters) a break.

The Leftists are the other hand see the Ryder Cup for what it is which is a nauseating display of Wealth, but a good point has been raised as to what about over paid football players and indeed that's true. On the face of it there are many events that are a sickening display of arrogance and wealth, so one might ask why is the Ryder Cup singled out? Well probably because of the very fact that golf is widely seen as elitist even if there are many who play it who are not. It is true though that this criticism of the Ryder Cup is too narrow and it might not be a bad thing to extend this right across the board and make it more comprehensive.

author by tiger woodiepublication date Mon May 29, 2006 17:37author address author phone

It seems there are 2 sides to the debate. However, did anyone seriously expect the KCLUB to paint a large Black Shamrock on the 18th green for the event?

That said, it will be the closest thing to a G8/Bush visit this year, so if there are no protests, then a chance for publicity of REAL issues is missed. How many of the people flying in will come through Shannon I wonder?

author by mepublication date Tue May 30, 2006 13:09author address author phone

your comment on the t-shirts and anabels was in really poor taste. Think of Brian Murphy's family.

Are you suggestigng that only D4 rugby types get into drunken brawls? Take a look around O'Connell St. and you'll see plenty,; fatal fights in D4 make the news as they are the exception rather than the rule (That and because of whingers lik e you )

author by Someonepublication date Tue May 30, 2006 23:13author address author phone

I'll think of the family all right - I'll be happy to remind them their son started the fight, unprovoked, that killed him. I have less than no sympathy for the guy.
As for the evils of the Ryder cup and the elitist nature of the sport, clearly the writer of this piece has only ever seen daddy golfing. Golfing is an expensive sport to play, but the fact of the matter is people from all walks of life in this country play golf, and are avid golf fans regardless of what a spoiled d4 brat thinks.

author by Golf Ballpublication date Wed May 31, 2006 00:56author address author phone

Indymedia gets funnier by the day!

author by MMpublication date Wed May 31, 2006 00:57author address author phone

The Ryder Cup is evil because they are building roads and you have to pay in, you heard it here first.

What a prime example of the type of nonsensical, retarded rubbish which drives people away from political radicalism in Ireland. This article is an embarrassment, spouted by some pathetic middle class self-loathing TCD head who needs to get a fucking job and a fucking life. Loser.

author by with JBpublication date Wed May 31, 2006 01:07author address author phone

Just wanted to say I am 100% with J B re this plan

"Come fly with me
by JB Thu May 25, 2006 18:06
I think golf courses are a waste of good space. Why not use that space for something more useful, turn most of the golf courses into aerodromes and subsidise general aviation."

author by Badmanpublication date Wed May 31, 2006 01:20author address author phone

Just general foaming at the mouth "how dare you -stream of insults-" responses.

They don't like their circuses being criticised. Reality might intrude!

author by .publication date Wed May 31, 2006 02:11author address author phone

geting all upset

has anybody ever driven the roads down there? and thought how easy a lockdown would be?

yes to immigrants no to foreign games

author by mad mike - no fucking organisationpublication date Wed May 31, 2006 12:23author address author phone

Click the link for the reaction of the rest of us!

Related Link:
author by bump itpublication date Wed May 31, 2006 13:23author address author phone

There'll be way too much security down there for anything..

author by sevvy speaks from spain - golden circlepublication date Wed May 31, 2006 15:31author address author phone

the article is NOT about golf. it´s about the Kclub and the relationship to a moneyspinning venture for the wealthy.

Green fees at the Kclub are now 700 Euroes PER PERSON PER DAY. So a day of golf tere for a group of everyday Irish golfers might cost 2800 Euro. Many people enjoy golf, sure, but not at the KCLUB. There are 2 inaccuracies in the original article 1 Smurfit OWNS the KClub as a result of a reverse buyout, and 2 R Murdoch, not M Murdoch is involved with Sky Sports.

As badman sez, there seems to be a lot of posters who can´focus on the facts.

author by omg poshies - Castle Rock Collegepublication date Wed May 31, 2006 16:08author address author phone

Seriously, what point is being made here?

Rich people play golf! Shocker!

Public finances used in a quasi-private manner! Shazam

This is the kind of lame 'reportage' that further adds to the generally held notion that indymedia is a haven for self-loathing dubes wearing kids, anarchists who cannot get out of the eighties and fools who cannot see the bigger picture.

The Brian Murphy post says it all. Would said poster make the same point if some hippie had been clubbed to death in the May Day riots? I think not.

author by Badmanpublication date Wed May 31, 2006 16:53author address author phone

Make a semi-intelligent criticism or go off and rant somewhere else. The attempts to use this article to somehow characterise indymedia as _enter ignorant stereotype here_ is particularly silly. It expresses the author's opinion, nothing else.

author by andrewpublication date Thu Jun 01, 2006 04:33author address author phone

Oh good god!I consider mywelf a pretty open minded, even left leaning person but this is nothing more than a second rate whinging diatribe. 'Truly sickeneing'. Come on. Lifes too short to be truly sickened all the time. Sure theres always gonna be elements of elitism in any sport, but golf is more popular and accessable to many these days. And nobodys forcing anyone to buy buy a 35euro k club hat.. in fact, I would severely take the piss out of anyone that did.

However as one Mark Corrigan from the excellent Channel 4 comedy Peep Show deftly illustrates: 'Its only the miracle of consumer capitalism that means your not lying in your own shit dying at 43 with rotten teeth'. Now that would be truly sickening.

Yours, Sickened...

author by sevvy sez from spain - From the Bunkerpublication date Thu Jun 01, 2006 13:43author address author phone

The article is not about golf in its own right. it sez a lot about the political consciousness of the objecters that they can´t see that. Yes, sport in general must be looked at and Indymedia are to be congratulated by making a start in connecting what´s going on the KCLUB, organized sport, and and the bigger picture of power relations and distribution of wealth in this country.

As for the picture of the polo shirts, all i can say is that if a "hippie" wearing dock martens and a donkey jacket adorned with the K CLub logo was killed at the RTS demo, and the clothes were being sold for 85 euroes a piece, then they should be included too. it´s called context.
As it stands it´s a neat swipe at the Toss OCaroll Kelly brigade who are now rushing to defend Smurfit et al.

author by sevvy sez from spain - From the Roughpublication date Thu Jun 01, 2006 17:12author address author phone

The K CLub increased their green frees by more than 100% in the last few months, to over €700...

The irish tourism chief reported in the Sunday Business Post last year that-

"The chairman of Tourism Ireland has warned golf clubs against focusing on short-term gain by increasing green fees during next year's Ryder Cup at the K Club."

"Andrew Coppel said he was aware of clubs that were planning to charge between €250 and €350 for a round of golf during next year's competition."

"“Short-term gain motivated by greed during the Ryder Cup will impact negatively on the entire industry, and no one will profit from it in the long term,” he said."

Still not convinced of the private greed factor yet, lads?

Related Link:
author by ah jaysus!publication date Fri Jun 02, 2006 12:37author address author phone

It's called market dynamics. It isn't a characteristic peculiar to golf. All businesses will charge a premium when demand way outstrips supply. That's no greed - it's business. And by the way, it costs nowhere near €700 for a round at the K Club.... You sound more like a whingeing consumer than someone making a political point....

author by therantpublication date Fri Jun 02, 2006 16:30author address author phone

About the Footballers getting paid so much money...

At least the sport is'nt prohibitively expensive to "play" at professional level. Still actions may be taken to limit the wages of the players at the level but the real culprit is the leagues themselves selling their games to the highest bidder therefore allowing the clubs to spend stupid amounts of money on 2 players instead of investing more in local talent. I can't see a way back for football, both on the continent and in England, because it's just to lucrative a sport considering it's penetration levels and popularity.

Aside form the article i've never understood why golf is so expensive at this higher level. Apart form the good courses and buying of clubs why is it so expensive? I mean is it expensive so as to ease the fears of those who play at these clubs that they're seperated from the lower golf players or something?

And don't some golf courses have rules against women playing or has that since been dropped?

Well not to cloud the issue i am genuinely puzzled as to how the sport took off here considering the high cost of joinging a club and whether ort not they join for the sport itself or the status it provides?

author by big driver - residents against ryderismpublication date Sat Jun 03, 2006 11:23author address author phone

I see Ian O'Donnell in yesterday's "Irish" Independent has had a go at Indymedia for publishing this article - I notice that he and his fellow hacks are not willing to deal with the substantive issues of the article. Afraid their freebies will dry up no doubt.

>> Golfers? Capitalist lackeys more like
Feeling rather cheesed off at being stuck in an office while the sun baked the streets outside, yesterday afternoon seemed as good a time as any to go online and look for a laugh.

And it DOES cost over 700 for green fees. Call them up and ask.

Related Link:
author by News Watcherpublication date Sun Jun 04, 2006 19:58author address author phone

Ireland’s Department of Agitation and Propaganda, otherwise known as the website, has delivered its verdict on the Ryder Cup circus that will pitch its tent at Michael Smurfit’s K Club in September.

In what is described as an “investigation” into the preparations for the clash between Europe and America’s golfing elite, an Indymedia contributor has found that roads to the venue are being upgraded, spectators will have to pay to enter, corporate sponsors have been lined up, the competition will be broadcast on Sky Sports and Ryder Cup merchandise is quite expensive. Sue has to agree, its pretty sensational stuff.

Drunk on his investigative prowess, the Indyscribably bitter writer concludes that it all adds up to “a sickening display of wealth, arrogance and greed. It’s one of disdain for the Irish people, local community and taxpayers.”

Even Indymedia diehards couldn’t stomach this. “This has to be one of the worst, most pointless articles I have ever read,” replied one. “A badly written, jealous pile of horse manure . . . Hopefully Messrs Smurfit and co will dig up the roads when it’s over.”

Related Link:,,2765-2209947,00.html
author by News Watcherpublication date Sun Jun 04, 2006 20:15author address author phone

Sue Denham is a made up name used to group together various sneers by staff writers of the Sunday Times.

In December 2003, Richard Oakley, who had been monitoring the Irish Anarchism email list, mistakenly sent the following email to the list, rather than to its intended recipient, John Burns

From: "Oakley, Richard" <>
Subject: RE: [irishanarchism] "TheModerator"comingsoon!

John - this might make a Sue - the anarchists are having row about rules for their website - its total anarchy

After this embarrassing error, richard proceeded to try to bluster his way out of it. (group membership required)

Indymedia has recently been visited by a Sunday Times journalist, who attacked the Wheelock family's claims to have been assaulted by the guards. See comments on

Could there be more than one cowardly Murdoch hack monitoring indymedia and Irish anarchists on the internet, or is it Richard's one man show?

author by Richard Oakley - The Sunday Timespublication date Tue Jun 06, 2006 13:42author address author phone

Sorry to disappoint, but I wasn't behind the Sue Denham on the Ryder Cup. And had nothing to do with the Wheelock article mentioned here as well. Another staffer viewed the site, found the piece hilarious and wrote the Sue about the Ryder Cup. The Sue piece was fair game given Indymedia is always bleating on about inaccuracies and falling standards in mainstream media, but fails at times to recognise the significant failings of its own content when it comes to the same things. Recently an article was published on this website about an alleged mistreatment of foreign cleaners in a housing estate development. I called the writer and researched the story. As it turned out there was a misunderstanding and a row between two people that had nothing to do with what the story claimed. The developer was able to show me pay receipts and put me in touch with staff who were receiving good wages. The author of the piece updated his original article saying the issue had been resolved but failed to state that he might have exaggerated the whole foreign workers being mistreated thing. When I called him and pointed this out to him, he thought he had still done a fine job because such mistreatment could be happening elsewhere. His piece was then followed up by loads of comments on how developers are chancers and how it is terrible that foreign workers are mistreated. As I said, maybe Indymedia might want to look into what passes as "content" and "investigations"
Meanwhile, I do find it funny that contributors are continuing to think it hilarious and embarassing that I mistakenly outed Sue Denham as a fictional charcter whose column is written by Sunday Times staff. Did the name not do it for you?
For those who want to know about where Sue Denham comes from, there is now an entry on wikipedia that explains the whole pseudonym thing.
From the "cowardly" journalist in the evil empire.

author by Jimmy Jonespublication date Tue Jun 06, 2006 16:42author address author phone

Typcial of such raging right wing slaves of Murdoch like Richard Oakley to continue to say 'How right we are' and 'how stupid you loony lefties are'/////

Oakley claims to have no disagreement with the shoddy treatment of foreign workers in Ireland, but who will have sympathy for him and his co-horts when News Int cuts back even further and he loses his job.. Or does Oakley have delusions of grandure that he is above such threats...

author by Irishman in St. Petersburgpublication date Tue Jun 06, 2006 16:51author address author phone

When economic crisis returns to Ireland - as it surely will, sooner or later - you can bet that the Irish ruling class will use every means at their disposal to make sure that most or all of the costs will be borne by ordinary people (anyone remember 'Health Cuts Hurt the Sick, the Old and the Handicapped'?).

So there's nothing with remind ourselves that our self-styled neo-gentry are not, in fact, some superior class of human beings, no matter what the forelock-tuggers may say.

And there are, alas, too many forelock-tuggers in Ireland and not enough begrudgers.

author by - The Sunday Timespublication date Tue Jun 06, 2006 17:07author address author phone

I made no comment on the issue of the shoddy treatment of foreign workers. I just pointed out that an article claiming to have found an example of such activity in Ireland, posted on Indymedia - actually did not have any evidence of it when I researched the story.
I would, like most other people, want all workers to be treated fairly and according to Irish law.

author by Farmer Palmerpublication date Wed Jun 07, 2006 13:12author address author phone

... you know you're really on the right track when the Independent and the Sunday Times BOTH have a go at you. What a lazy piece of journalism - copying tracts of information from the website. Wow, I wish I was paid to do such a job. Well done to Indymedia for getting this story out. Let's see more on "Sport" - it certainly has attracted a lot of attention.

AND No coincidence that the hacks are rushing to pour scorn on Indymedia and distance themselves from the article - just in case no freebies come their way from the Ryder Cup organisers. Typical. Your tickets should be safe Mr Sunday Times.

If the Sunday Times was any use they'd investigate what's going on in Straffan and the KCLUB over this event. Smurfit already owns the post office, the church and several shops in the village, and now we hear there's going to be an 8 KILOMETER security cordon around the event, that even locals will have to show ID to pass through.

I'm surprised at Ian O'Donnell with this lazy journalism given he also writes in Village Magazine. Maybe he thinks he's being funny the same way Brendan Benny Hill O'Connor thinks he's being funny...

author by DennisLpublication date Wed Jun 07, 2006 15:48author address author phone


How dare people make money....jeepers!

How dare an exclusive golf club market itself!

How dare a private club act in its own interests!

You wany as well go on to rant about ads on the telly are really about selling products and not about providing education.
I feel sorry for you. And yeah I do dare to be that patronising.

author by Gerrypublication date Wed Jun 07, 2006 16:24author address author phone

Looks like you could do with some education yourself.

author by therantpublication date Wed Jun 07, 2006 21:40author address author phone

Is the expense justified?

What is the main reason for such expense to play a round of golf?

Apart from the upkeep of the course i find it hard to see how courses are prohibitively expensive if they want people to use them??

author by Farmer Palmerpublication date Fri Jun 09, 2006 12:27author address author phone

Well, I would have thought that obvious: a) maximise profits, and b) keep undesirables like lower income, asylum seekers, students, refugees, travellers, and the unemployed out....

Pure Greed for the Media-Industrial-Military-Gardai complex again.

author by therantpublication date Fri Jun 09, 2006 16:37author address author phone

yeah i asked a golfer in work today why it was expensive and without hesitation he commented on the fact that the prices were high so as to keep the club as elite as possible.

It is a "club" though and they are entitled to do what they want. But he said that fingal county council golf courses are really good value and a great day out and i would'nt disagree.

My main problem with any staging of any major tournament is the complete lack of focus on the sport and americanisation of tournaments in general. Sure the USA 94 world cup was notorious for it's ridiculous over indugence as far as sponsorship and product tie-ins were concerned.

At the end of the day though it's joe soap who buys the tickets and watches the games and the rates charged for many sports are unjustified considering the money thats involved these days.

On one final note i would just like to repeat the point that the problem with golf is that fact that it's prohibitively expensive and such a sport should not be granted any funding or aid as they seem to be pretty fine by themselves so maybe the funding and attention should be redirected towards atheletics and other more underfunded, but not as popular, pursuits.

author by caravaggiopublication date Wed Jun 14, 2006 14:28author address author phone

This is the weakest entry I've ever read on this website. There is absolutley no story here. I tried hard to find the pint of the piece but went away empty handed. Also the Anabels comment is about as narrow minded a piece of nonsense i've read in a while. Would the author dare level such discriminatory generalisations at any other group; travellers, muslims, the unemployed? Just because someone enjoys golf doesn't make them (or indeed anyone with wealth) a murderer. Also the piece is by no means an investigation - more a tired moan written to gain the appproval of like-minded simpletons. Really lame.

author by Golf War IIpublication date Sat Jun 24, 2006 23:25author address author phone

Well done Indymedia. Looks like the MSM is catching up at last!

See comments of respected sports writer.

Sports Illustrated reporter (and renowned investigative journalist) Bruce Selcraig has been having a right go at the politicking behind Ireland's Ryder Cup bid – and by right go, we mean right on, Brucey! Writing for The Irish Times, Selcraig shows The K Club posse no mercy whatsoever, dubbing the course ‘A relatively flat, featureless walk’ while slagging off the Dark Lord himself, Mike Smurfit (there’s now a contract out on his head) and getting all Eddie Hobbs on the green fees! Bruce then delivers the death-blow…

Trust me - there are 14,000 golf courses in America, and 1,000 of them look like the K Club but cost 300 less to play.

The story can be listed to on RTE at:

Related Link:
author by Tpublication date Thu Aug 17, 2006 18:37author address author phone

In one of the Sunday papers last week it was stated that the Ryder Cup has received a subsidy of up to 14m euros from the government but despite that RTE are not allowed to show it on TV for free. Instead if you want to watch it, you will have to pay up and see it on Sky Sports.

author by pat cpublication date Thu Aug 17, 2006 18:42author address author phone

Will it go ahead? The greenkeepers might be on strike. Between that and no taxis it will at least be inconvenienced.

author by Free the Old Head of Kinsalepublication date Thu Aug 17, 2006 18:53author address author phone

The next People's Picnic at the Old Head of Kinsale will be held on Sunday, 3rd September 2006 from 2-4pm.

In 1997 an ultra-exclusive Golf Links was built on the Old Head of Kinsale in Co. Cork and the public, who enjoyed the scenic location for generations as a great place to walk, climb nature-watch, whale watch or chill out, have been barred from entering. A long-running campaign to restore public access to the Old Head of Kinsale has organised many People's Picnics there.

Go to the Events page here for more details

Related Link:
author by Ikepublication date Wed Sep 20, 2006 20:59author address author phone

Hey everybody,

As an employee of golfcourse operations, yes im the guy who cuts the grass down there among the rich and famous .
The ryder cup and all major sporting events have been turned into a a massive cog in the capitalist wheel.
The world cup is so fucking stupid and i used to be a avid soccer fan but i woke up to the stupid hype and money making ways .
All the major events in the world is about economy and what the country who wins it or hosts it will get out of it ,also of course is a good way to subdue our minds about whats reeally going on in the world class war , the enviroment being destroyed and of course over 10 billion animals being slaughterd for fat irish and global meatheads to eat them .
The k club from my 4 years working for them and this is mosdef my final year working there is the most evil and exploitive employees i have ever worked for Like all employers of course in this capitalist system .
Im a resident of Straffan and have lived here all my life, and the two men who own the k club, smurfit and a builder called gannon, want to own the whole village and make profit for themselves.
A lot of k clubs business is corporate sponsored and they do get a hell of a lot of money so you're average Irish golfer would have to save up a long time to play a round of golf at the k club.
The greenkeepers have been fighting to get a raise while the ceo of the kclub was planning to build an extra 95 rooms on to the hotel and it took them 6 years to get a proper wage instead of an agricultural wage.

author by Ian O'Doherty is a Tosser - Independunce Newspaperspublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 15:29author address author phone

The silence of the media on this staged cute whore-ism is astounding. Not a single word of criticism bar at article in the current Village Magazine about the K Klub/Boys Klub and it's cronies.

There's going to be a US ex-president attending, and no-one has even mentioned the word "PROTEST"? Give me a break. Are are all lefties really down there playing golf?

author by I h8 smurfitpublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 17:11author address author phone

I'm a Straffan resident, I've only lived there a short while but it's long enough to know a few things about the K club and Straffan village.

Firstly, in terms of the ryder cup generating revenue for local businesses I'd like to point out that smurfit owns the local businesses, he owns the one shop, the one petrol station and as far as I know, the one pub (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong - I'm sure someone will).

I am also a previous employee of the K club, so I know how they exploit in order to gain profit.
Firstly, the workers are exploited, the greenkeepers had been trying for so long to be put on decent wages, let me remind y'all that the k club is generating millions in profit so can easily spare an extra few bucks an hour to give these poor fellas a raise. And that's only the permanent workers, the K club also employs a lot of seasonal workers who do not have the rights that the small amount of permanent staff do and are exploited even more with low wages and casualised hours. And there is no union for the casual staff meaning that people generally do not know their rights (particularly foreign workers such as myself).

The K club also exploits the environment. The kinds of chemicals it takes to maintain a golf course is always going to be destructive to the surrounding environment, including rivers (namely the Liffey) and especially the high volumes that it takes to maintain two large courses.

Also, I personally think the K club is a prime example of the kind or heirarcy most left leaning people despise. Every employee has to address Smurfit as Dr. Smurfit and are basically made to bend over backwards for any wealthy golfer. I was serving refreshments to the golfers months before the ryder cup build up and the way that they treat you (not always, but generally) is very derogitory. Some of the golfers would make very sexist remarks and then throw a €5 tip my way and expect that to make it ok.

But the main point that I would like to make is that, as with any large corporation, maximum profit is the primary goal and that is reached by any means necessary, no matter how exploitative. The K club is a highly profitable corporation with a large amount of public and private funding that could be spent on other things that people in the community need. There are people living in poverty all over Ireland and there is a lot of money being put in to large events like this so that a few wealthy shareholders can become even more wealthy.

It's not about golf, it's not about Straffan, it's about capitalism.

People before profit!!

author by Gerripublication date Thu Sep 21, 2006 17:22author address author phone

Well I know nothing about golf except it appears to be the sport of wan*ers. Saw them all in their self congratulatory mode on last nights nine o clock news and this strengthened the above belief. Its a waste of land anyway!

The wind blew the bejajsus out of them all...may it continue!

author by D'otherpublication date Sun Sep 24, 2006 21:43author address author phone

Interesting report on about a subsidiary of Edinburgh Wool Mill which provides clothes for the cup going on strike on the day it started.

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