Dubliner Peter Early saw off the challenge of 23 other golfers from across Europe to emerge victorious in Clubs to Hire’s Race to Quinta do Lago.

The competition – in association with Quinta do Lago, Irish Golfer magazine and retailer American Golf – was open to all golfers who held an official and regulated golfing union (or similar) handicap. And Early, a member at Royal Dublin GC, was one of more than 110 golfers to reduce their handicap by the desired 10 per cent before the end of September.

Those names were entered into a draw to determine the 24 grand finalists – from five different countries – who enjoyed a complimentary stay at the prestigious Portuguese resort.

The 53-year-old, who works for Aer Lingus, said: “This event was an inspiration for me to try to reduce my handicap. I started the year at 4.0 and managed to get my handicap down to 2.6. Even on days where I was not playing well and heading for a point one back, the thought of a trip to Quinta do Lago was very appealing and kept me focused. I look forward to competing again in 2019.”

As a reward for his endeavours, Early returned to Dublin the proud owner of a new TaylorMade M4 driver, while the prize for all 24 finalists included 18 holes on the Laranjal  course at Quinta do Lago, a night’s accommodation at the four-star Magnolia Golf & Wellness Hotel, complimentary club hire courtesy of Clubs to Hire, a gala dinner and prizegiving at the renowned Bovino restaurant, use of the practice range and complimentary buggies.

Clubs to Hire co-founder, Tony Judge, said: “The event was a great success and we were able to witness some very good golf. It was heartening to hear the really positive comments from the finalists who clearly really enjoyed the experience – and the opportunity to play on a world-renowned golf course.”

“We had more than over 3,000 entries of which 110 hit their target. The event is very much aimed at golfers who are keen to reduce their handicap and improve their overall game. We and our partners look forward to making the 2019 version bigger and better.”

Clubs to Hire handles more than 300,000 annual visits to its website and more than 80,000 bookings for rental clubs at 28 locations worldwide, including popular golfing regions in the USA, Thailand, Australia, South Africa and five countries across the Mediterranean, offering the latest clubs on the market, from leading brands such as TaylorMade, Callaway and Mizuno – for men and women, left- or right-handed – from just €35 per week, a potential saving of up to €125, with none of the hassle.