The big hitters were out in force at the launch of the inaugural Kings Cup, a golf competition in honour of the ‘King of Golf’ himself, the legendary Arnold Palmer and between the golfing nations of the United States and Ireland. 
A golf competition that received the ringing endorsement of winning Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley, six times major winner Nick Faldo, three times major win Padraig Harrington and Irish golfing legend Des Smyth. 
This quartet along with friends of Arnold Palmer sent messages of support by video for the Kings Cup which were played at its official launch at Lough Erne Resort.
Played over three days like the Ryder Cup with fourballs on the opening two days and then singles on the final day, the Kings Cup is really about giving the everyday golfer the experience of international team competition, the pressure of those must-make putts and incorporating the positive social aspects that go with the game of golf. 
Indeed, the beauty of this international duel between these countries steeped in major winners and golfing excellence is that it is open to amateurs of all ability and handicap range. 
The gala launch on Tuesday night at the Lough Erne Resort hosted by Adrian Logan aptly set the tone for a tournament that has the potential to grow and grow in the years to come. 
Team Ireland enjoyed a healthy sprinkling of Lough Erne Resort members as well as golfers from Dublin, Warrenpoint and Antrim following the qualifiers at Lough Erne and Hilton Head. 
The American team came through a number of regional qualifiers in their home country to make the team under the guidance of Larry Lunsford who teamed up with Lough Erne’s director of golf and head professional, Lynn McCool to deliver this inaugural competition. 
Lynn McCool explained: “I think Mr Palmer would be so proud that this international King’s Cup is being played in his honour, I think it is an absolutely tremendous event. 
“Larry (Lunsford) is the man to thank for taking the King’s Cup to Lough Erne and we are just] taking it to an international level which is fantastic.” 
She added: “It is an event that recognises not just the low handicap golfer, the beautiful thing about the King’s Cup is that it caters for every level of golfer and that is how golf should be celebrated, that is why we have handicaps. 
“The King’s Cup is a great celebration of golf because on the teams we have very low handicappers, mid handicappers, the high handicappers but it does not matter because this week they are playing matchplay and representing their country.”
See next week’s paper for results and reaction to the inaugural King’s Cup.