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

Positive Year for Blarney

Blarney Spt 2017 Presidents Prize

Paul O’Neill presenting his President’s Prize to Anne O’Driscoll at Blarney Golf Club

Blarney President Paul O’Neill held President’s Prize dinner last week and it marked the latest major event in a busy year for Blarney.  The resort hosted the Munster Boys Under 16 and the Boys Interpro’s in a busy season that included several other local events.  The Interpro’s were the big-ticket event, putting the resort on the map nationally and President Paul was delighted with the outcome.  “We hosted very many classics and societies in the past however the Muster Boys proved to us that we had the capability to host a major event, and the Boys Interprovincials is one of the GUI flagship events.”  Hosting a major event is a big undertaking.  As well as taking over the course for up to a week, the GUI also depend on a substantial amount of support from local volunteers.  Blarney members were not found wanting as Paul explained.  “We sent up a flare for our members to act as stewards, fore caddies and helpers, and to be fair we were amazed at the response.  We easily covered each area that may have caused concern for young golfers who were not overly familiar with the course.  But, these are among the best in the country so our main task became ball spotting and according to the team’s managements and players we did an exceptional job.  That point has been reinforced by the GUI representatives.  This is a young club (just 11 years in existence) and to successfully pull Continue reading

Skibbereen win Munster Mixed Foursomes

Skibbereen Munster Mixed Fours 2017

Skibbereen’s Rhona O’Donoghue and John McNamara receiving the Munster Mixed Foursomes Cup from Jim Hornibrook, Captain Muskerry Golf Club.

Skibbeen’s John McNamara and Rhona O’Donoghue won the Munster Mixed Foursomes at Muskerry recently.  The pair carded a winning score of 71 on the testing course to win by a shot.  This was the 80th staging of the event and there was a large entry from clubs all over Munster.  Michael and Brid Halloran took second place on 72.5 and East Cork took third place one shot further back.  As well as the cup, the winners were also presented with commemorative prizes.  The cup was first presented in in 1937 and counts Jimmy Bruen as one of the many well know winners through the years.  Claire Coughlan Ryan and Oonagh Barry win the Australian Spoons at Co. Longford Golf Club last week.  Despite wet and heavy conditions the Cork pairing of Claire Coughlan Ryan and Oonagh Barry were a model of consistency with 19 points on both the front and extremely tricky back nine at Co. Longford Golf Club in a round that had birdies at the par 3 8th and par 4 15th.  Last years winners Helen Jones and Vivienne Houston (Royal Portrush) won the best gross.  Presented to the ILGU in 1967 by the Australian Ladies Golf Union to support players representing Ireland at International Competitions, the Australian Spoons is contended for by clubs across Ireland.  Clubs hold an 18 hole stableford greensomes qualifier, in which their nett and gross winners progress to the District Finals.

Bornemann enjoys Irish Debut

Sean O'Leary Karl Bornemann

Irish Seniors Captain Sean O’Leary pictured with Karl Bornemann after Ireland won the European Senior Team Championship 

Douglas’ Karl Bornemann celebrated his Ireland selection by being part of the winning team at the European Senior Team Championships.  Karl was one of two new caps selected by Irish Captain Sean O’Leary, and both justified their selection winning matches at crucial points.  Bornemann had a great start to the competition in the strokeplay rounds.  On the opening day he shot a two under par 70, helped by an eagle on the par four 5th.  He calmly holed an uphill wedge from 100 yards to give himself a boost in his first round in an Irish shirt.  Karl was heading for an under par finish on day two also, but a bogey on the last meant that he signed for a level par 72, and he finished in a tie for 6th place after 36 holes.

Ireland finished in the joint top position on the team rankings alongside Scotland, and qualified for the top flight matchplay phase.  The format for matchlplay stage was one foursomes match and four singles.  In the quarter final they faced hosts Sweden and came away with a 3-2 win.  Ireland faced England in the semi final and they had a surprisingly easy win, taking three matches very early to secure the win.  Karl had the luxury of being called in on Saturday, but in Sunday’s final he led the charge.  Ireland were up against outsiders Denmark, they had a surprise win over Scotland in the semi-final.  Bornemann was first to finish in the final as he recorded a 5&4 win to Continue reading

Matt at Home in Cork

Matt SandsAlthough he’s a Dub, Matt Sands could nearly be considered a Corkman given that he’s spent the best part of 30 years here.  Matt is General Manager in Cork Golf Club and moved from Dublin in 1988 to take up the job.  Matt isn’t the only person with long service in Cork, in fact it seems to be a feature with course superintendent Anthony Gillis having worked in Cork for over 50 years.  Gerry Kenneally who runs the impressive restaurant has been attached to the Little Island club for 28 years while club professional Peter Hickey has been based in Cork for 22 years.  Matt has seen plenty happen in that time.  From major competitions like the Irish Close and the home internatioals, to the Pro Am and Munster Strokeplay which are annual showpiece events, Cork is generally a busy spot.  Apart from the major competitions, there have been a few major projects that Matt has been involved with in the last three decades and he lists the clubhouse redevelopment (2002) and the course upgrade (2011-2012) as the biggest.  “I came in during Centenary Year in 1998” said Matt, “and I Continue reading

Healy finishes 10th at Irish Students

Mark Healy Kinsale

Kinsale’s Mark Healy pictured in 2015

Mark Healy finished in the top ten in Bray thanks to a great recovery that featured five birdies.  The Kinsale man had a poor start with a bogey on the opening hole and another on the second hole.  He steadied after that and pulled a shot back at the seventh.  He had birdies the 10th and 11th to get back into the red and two more birdies followed on the 15th and at the final hole.  Healy’s 67’s matched the best score of the day, winner Stefan Greenberg along with second placed Ronan Mullarney and third placed Jack McDonnell also went around the course in Bray on -3.

James Sugrue had a disappointing final round that saw him drop from third place to 12th.  He signed for a four over par 74 which featured only a single bogey.  Sean Desmond had a 72 to finish just inside the top 30 while Cathal Butler and Darren Hourihan ahd 77’s to finish in the middle of the pack, while Aoife Ni Thuama finished in 8th place in the Continue reading

National win for Barry & Coughlan, ILGU Australian Spoons

Australian Spoons at Co Longfort Golf Club

Winners of the 2017 Australian Spoons Claire Coughlan Ryan and Oonagh Barry (Cork) after the 2017 Australian Spoons All-Ireland Final at Longford Golf Club. Pic: Jenny Matthews (www.cashmanphotography.ie)

Claire Coughlan Ryan and Oonagh Barry win the Australian Spoons at Co. Longford Golf Club earlier this week.  Despite wet and heavy conditions the Cork pairing of Claire Coughlan Ryan and Oonagh Barry were a model of consistency with 19 points on both the front and extremely tricky back nine at Co. Longford Golf Club in a round that had birdies at the par 3 8th and par 4 15th.  Last years winners Helen Jones and Vivienne Houston (Royal Portrush) won the best gross.  Presented to the ILGU in 1967 by the Australian Ladies Golf Union to support players representing Ireland at International Competitions, the Australian Spoons is contended for by clubs across Ireland.  Clubs hold an 18 hole stableford greensomes qualifier, in which their nett and gross winners progress to the District Finals.
Results:
​​1st  38 pts  Claire Coughlan Ryan (1) & Oonagh Barry (14) – Cork

Gross  30 pts Helen Jones (3) & Vivienne Houston (5) – Royal Portrush
2nd 36 pts Christina Rush (19) & Hannah Grant (20) – Claremorris
3rd  35 pts  Caroline Delaney (21) and Mary Dolan (30) – Mountbellew
4th  35 pts  Carmel Mullan (33) and Maura Ryan (25) – Elm Park

Sugrue 3rd heading into final round at Irish Students

Sugrue5James Sugrue shot the low round of the day today in Bray, as he jumped up to 3rd place in the Irish Students Championship
The Mallow man had a back nine – included four birdies that saw him sign for a three under par round our 67. Sugrue is just three shots of the lead which is held by Alan Fahy from Maynooth.
Five other Cork golfers made the cut for tomorrow’s final round. Mark Healy is tied for 21st position on +3 while fellow Kinsale member Cathal Butler is two back just outside the top 30, Butler is also second in the team event. UCC duo Darren Hourihan and Sean Desmond also made the cut while Adam McSweeeny was one shot outside the cut mark.
Aoife Ni Thuama (UCC) also made the cut, the Douglas golfer is in Continue reading

Fernhill course set to close

fernhillTomorrow will be the last day to play Fernhill golf course, as the course is set to close for the last time on 31st August.  Owner Michael Bowes has confirmed his intention to close the course at the end of the month, citing an ongoing trading loss as the reason.  This follows the winding down of the golf club in Fernhill in 2016.  The owner did not offer members the option to renew their membership after December 2018 and since then the course operated under a pay and play basis over the past eight months.

Fernhill is the latest casualty in the industry.  Ringenane, Blarney, and Harbour Point all closed over through the past decade.  Many golfers questioned Fernhill’s ability to reverse trading losses with the loss of the club revenues.  Last year in an email to members the ower cited extensive losses in the off peak season and intimated that these were unsustainable in the long term.

A few months ago Bowes put the hotel in Fernhill up for sale with a guide price of €4.5m.  The golf course and clubhouse was not included at that time.  The entire property which covers approximately 80 acres was designated as a Strategic Land Reserve in the recent draft Local Area Plan, indicating potential for housing development in the future.

Fernhill Closing tweet1

Top Ten for Davey in Derry

Golf_Davey Barry_2 2016

 Davey Barry

Davey Barry was in the top ten at the 36 hole Waled City of Derry pro-am over the weekend.  Davey shot a two under par 69 to finish on three under in a tie for 7th place.It’s Davey’s first top ten since May although the busy Douglas professional has been playing on a reduced schedule.  Davey has been a busy man this year, he completed his PGA studies earlier this year and he’s been busy coaching and teaching in Douglas over the past three months.  He’s made the cut in all 14 events that he has play in, and has earned prize money in nine events.

It has been a quiet year for Cork golfers, Michael Collins and Wayne O’Callaghan cut back their schedule in 2016 and this year both Cian McNamara and David Ryan have also reduced their number of events.  Davey will be back in action next week in the St Margaret’s and then it’s on to Rosslare where he’ll defend the title he won last year.  After that the PGA season will start to wind down, the last pro-ams on the schedule are Lutrellstown, Tulfarris and Galway Bay with the season closing with the €20,000 Connemara pro-am in late September.

Damien McGrane continues to lead the PGA Irish Region Order of Merit, the Wexford based professional has a sizeable lead over David Higgins and looks likely to win the Order of Merit at this stage.  Simon Thornton is in third place and David Ryan is the best placed Cork golfer in 15th place.