Rice wins in Fota Island, Munster PGA Winter Series

Munster PGA Fota Island Tim Rice Nov 2017_2Tim Rice won the opening event of the Munster PGA winter series with a fine three under par 69 in Fota Island today.  The Limerick man took the honours with a two shot win over the field.  Playing on the Deerpark course in Fota, Rice went out in level par, although he birdied the fifth he gave the shot back on the next hole.  He birdied the 10th and then finished strongly with birdies on the 17th and 18th.  Although there was fine weather and only a light breeze, the course put up a tough test with only three golfers breaking par.  David Ryan and John Sugrue shared second place, both finished on a one under par 71.  Munster PGA Captain Cian McNamara was 4th after a level par 70 while Ger Broderick won the over 45 prize.  Shane Irwin won the Assistants prize and the team prize went to Padraig McGrath, Mark Beckett, Stephen Hayes and Davey Barry.

Almost 30 Munster Pro’s turned out for the first event of the season, which was sponsored by Ray Walsh and Acushnet.  Munster Captain Cian McNamara thanked everyone for supporting the event and Ray Walsh for his sponsorship.  He also thanked Kevin Morris from Fota Island and complimented the staff on the quality of the course.  The greens were in great condition as usual and the tightly cut fairways demanded precision.  The second event of the series takes place on Castlemartyr next week and another large attendance is expected.  The series has reverted to a pro-only format with prizes available in three categories in addition to a team prize.

Gallery: Munster PGA Winter Series, Fota Island

Fota Island Prize Winners – sponsored by Titleist Footjoy

(1)    Tim Rice  68
(2)    David Ryan / John Sugrue 70.
(4)    Cian McNamara  71
(5)    Steve Hayes, Donal McSweeney, Billy O’Boyle, Padraig McGrath  72

Over 45’s:   Ger Broderick   74
Assistants:  Shane Irwin     75
Team Prize: Padraig McGrath, Stephen Hayes, Mark Beckett, Davey Barry

Munster PGA, Fota Island Resort, 13th Nov 2017

 

Cups & Shields set for Changes

Munster Golf Annual Delegates MeetingIn a bold move the GUI have just published a wave of proposals that could see major changes to the Cups and Shields.  The final decision on the proposals will also go back to club via the Provincial delegate meetings which take place next month.  Clubs are now being asked to discuss proposed changes to Junior Cup, the Jimmy Bruen and Purcell Purcell competitions in the biggest shake up in three decades.  With over 40,000 golfers taking part in the national competitions each year, the proposals represent the outputs of a survey involving 4,000 golfers.  The survey highlighted the significant need for reform, and a full review took place over the past six months to build a comprehensive set of proposals which give clubs the opportunity to amend the main inter-club handicap competitions.  While various club motions through the years have been defeated, there is a feeling now that a number of key central proposals will have a great chance of being passed.  The first proposal is to reduce the handicap limit for the Junior Cup from 5 to 4, and this is being proposed by three Continue reading

New Member Applications open in Douglas

Douglas Golf ClubDouglas Golf Club have just opened applications for membership in 2018.  The southside club operated a similar process last year and the all of the available places were fully subscribed.  It’s an exciting time for Douglas.  After extensive research and planning the club has just commenced and ambitious programme that will see a major expansion to their practice facilities, and also a brand new five hole short game area.  The facility upgrade will be followed by a major upgrade to the clubhouse and proshop.  That is currently at design stage and is scheduled for completion in early 2019.

Douglas reduced the joining fee a few years ago, and introduced a new membership programme which saw the club open for applications at this time of year.  The club remains popular with Cork golfers and has seen membership numbers climb back to peak levels over the past four years.  Anyone interested in joining the club should contact Conor O’Brien, Manager, Douglas Golf Club.  The final date for completed applications is 15th November.

Busy Autumn at Fota Island Academy

Fota Island Academy_Ronan Collins_3 (002)For many people, Autumn marks the end of the golf season, but that’s not the case for teaching professional Ronan Collins.  Ronan is based in the Academy at Fota Island and he’s looking forward to a busy off-season as many golfers will continue to work on their games over the winter months.  Collins joined the team in Fota earlier this year and has had a great first season at the Academy.  “I have loved my first summer in Fota Island, the warmth and support that I received from staff and members at the club has been fantastic” said Ronan on his first few months.  “I’m looking forward to a busy winter season ahead with group lessons planned as well as new product releases It is always an exciting time of the year.”  Having qualified in Monkstown under Batt Murphy, Collins is now a seasoned teaching pro, and having spent time in teaching, retail and custom fitting roles, he’s now delighted with his move to Fota.  “I find my job very fulfilling; I get to spend my day in top class facilities helping golfers improve their games in many ways” said Collins from his base at the Academy.  “With some I see improvements through lessons and others I see improvements Continue reading

Lee Valley Capture National Pennant

Lee Valley Minor Cup Team2There was delight in Belfast and Cork yesterday as Lee Valley Ladies won another All-Ireland title.  The Cork club captured the AIG Minor Cup in Belfast, their first time winning at Minor level.  After several close calls this year, the final ended up being a clean sweep for Lee Valley as they beat Mountbellew.  Rosemary Driscoll won the first point for Lee Valley on the 17th green when she won 2&1, while Deirdre Lee saw her match go to sudden death before she won and added a second point for Lee Valley.  The winning point was secured by Breda O’Callaghan, she had a 2&1 win on the 17th to win the third match and secured another national pennant for Lee Valley.  Both Jane O’Neill and Helen Gough were called in, their matches were considered as halves meaning the final score was 4-1 to Lee Valley.  On Thursday, Helen Gough was the hero for Lee Valley, securing the winning point in the final match on the final green.  Jane O’Neill and Breda O’Callaghan had secured the earlier points and their way to the final in a tough match against Donaghadee.  Lee Valley Team Captain Angela Corcoran summed up the feelings of the Lee Valley members: “We’re absolutely thrilled, it could have gone either way right up until the end, it was an amazing contest,” said Angela. “This is our third All-Ireland, we have won two Intermediate Cups and now a Minor Cup in the last 5 years, it’s a huge honour for our 25-year-old club!”  The Cork club last won a national title in 2015 when they won the AIG Intermediate Cup in Knightsbrook.  The team along with a large number of members and supporters made the long trip from Belfast last night.  And the winners were treated to a great reception back in Lee Valley when they arrived home to Ovens.

 

Super Q School Start for McNamara

Cian McNamara_1

Cian McNamara (Monkstown GC)

Cian McNamara got his Q School adventure off to a great start today with a three under par 68 to finish inside the top twenty.  It was a very impressive round that saw the Monkstown based pro hole seven birdie putts.  McNamara was one of the last to play today in Golf d’HArdelot in France, and starting from the 10th he birdied his first and second hole.  A bogey followed on the 12th but two more birdies on 15 and 16 saw him move to -3.  McNamara was level for his final ten holes, but he did slot another three birdies on his way to signing for a 68.  The Limerick is tied for 12th place in a large group.

It’s McNamara’s first time back a Q School in three years and he’s been in good form coming up to the event.  He was part of the winning Ireland team at the recent TGI Cup in Lough Erne and he finished in second place in the Connemara Pro-Am last weekend (and won the team competition).  Now as head pro in Monkstown, Cian has entered a new phase and his former full-time playing schedule has been curtailed.  That said he was very both confident and comfortable when looking forward to his trip to France.  “My reasons for entering Q School are actually very simple. I still think I can play” explained McNamara, a former elite amateur and South of Ireland winner.  “I’ve understood as the years have gone on that time is moving quickly and I’ve responsibilities that I need to attain too but it is just something in the back of my head that keeps me awake a little longer a night.  I’m so grateful for the opportunity at Monkstown GC and can categorically say I’m really enjoying my role but when somebody has always wanted to achieve something and doesn’t quite get there I think we are all the same in saying “it bugs you”.  My fiancé Siobhàn basically convinced me and I’m delighted she has done that.   This may or may not happen this year but at least I’ve put myself forward and now it is just simply up to me.”

 

He has an earlier start tomorrow, he’s out Continue reading

Oktober Treat at Fota Island

Fota Island_1_2017Autumn is here and so too Golfest as Fota Island gets into the Oktoberfest spirit.  Now in it’s second year, Golfest will be run on more than a dozen separate dates in October.  For €59 golfers can enter the Oktoberfest competition and also avail a special meal after their round.  Embracing the tradition of Oktoberfest the menu features chicken schnitzel, bratwurst with a sourdough baguette or venison hotpot. Dinner is served with a pint of Chieftain IPA, finishing off the Oktoberfest experience for golfers.  All competitions will be held on the Deerpark course which successfully hosted the Irish Open in 2014.  The best score registered at the end of the month will win the top prize of a custom fit set of Callaway Apex Irons.  Dates and times are available throughout October and bookings can be made online or by contacting the Pro Shop in Fota Island.  The competition starts next week with times available on Thursday and Friday.  Last year the resort ran a similar event, with a top prize of a trip to Munich for the overall winner.  Despite a huge number of entries and stiff competition, the top prize went to Billy O’Donovan from Dunmore Golf Continue reading

Q School Date for McNamara

Cian McNamara_Monkstown Golf Club_Sept 2017Monkstown Head Professional Cian McNamara has an exciting event next week, he’s heading to France for stage one of the European Tour Qualifying School.  McNamara has spent well over three years in Monkstown and the Limerick native was appointed as Head Professional two years ago.  Prior that he was effectively a full-time player on the Irish PGA circuit.  After a year in Monkstown an opportunity arose to become head pro, and in the past two years Cian has grown into the prestigious position.  It was a big change for Cian but one that has worked out.  “Things have changed dramatically for me over the two years.  I have far more responsibility now than I ever had in my life but I feel I am growing into the position and hope that members of the golf club feel that I am improving in the role more as time is going on” said Cian on Continue reading