Christy’s Legacy in Lee Valley

AIG Pierce Purcell Shield, Lee Valley Golf Club, Wednesday 7th June 2017For most golfers in Cork, Jerry Keohane is the driving force behind Lee Valley.  But Jerry says he owes a lot to the original course designer.  “There was one man who inspired me to and I learned a huge amount from him in two and a half years.  He was the most amazing man I ever met, Christy O’Connor Jnr.”  In a time before google maps or 3D modelling, Christy was a traditionalist, walking the land to judge the layout as Jerry explained: “He just had a simple drawing, a layout of the course and nothing else.  He walked each fairway when he came down every week, sometimes twice a week.  I’d be watching him and you’d ask yourself what’s he’s doing.  He had some paint and he’d go around and mark out the greens and the bunkers and I was amazed by the man.  He had no drawings or detailed plans, his Continue reading

Lee Valley 25th Anniversary Launch

Lee Valley Golf Club 25th Anniversary Book Launch, Saturday 13th Jan 2018

Jim Long, Chairman Munster Golf pictured with Lord Mayor Tony Fitzgerald and Lee Valley Captain Brian O’Donovan. Picture: Niall O’Shea

Lee Valley commenced their 25th anniversary celebrations last weekend when the 2018 Officers drove in to mark the start of the new golfing year.  A special celebration also took place to launch a new book detailing the Lee Valley story which has been evolving over the past quarter of a century.  Lee Valley Captain led the festivities and he was delighted to detail what Lee Valley meant to him.  The Skibbereen native, who won an All Ireland Club title with O’Donovan Rossa the same year that the couse opened, has been a proud member in Lee Valley for over 15 years.  “What a tremendous golf course we have here.  Back in 1993 you could stand on the balcony and see as far down as the 14th fairway” said the Captain.  “Today you won’t see past the first fairway with the trees and how it has developed and matured.  It’s a hidden jewel and we’re delighted to have it.  It doesn’t just happen and it doesn’t come naturally, the work that has been done by Jerry, James Mulcahy and Continue reading

Cork Golf Centre goes from strength to strength

Cork Golf Centre

Cork Golf Centre

Although it’s only open since April last year, Cork Golf Centre has quickly become a firm favourite for golfers on the western side of the city and beyond.  With a reduction in the number of public range facilities, Cork Golf Centre was ideally positioned to fill a gap in the market for both casual and serious golfers.  Located just beyond the regional park in Ballincollig, there’s a very large catchment area including several clubs.  “The centre has had a very busy first year and it continues to grow” explained resident PGA Professional Wayne Continue reading

Capto Putting comes to Cork

Wayne O'Callaghan Cork Golf Centre Jan 2018_03It may be an old saying but it still holds true – drive for show, putt for dough and Wayne O’Callaghan  is hoping to build on that with a brand new putting analysis system.  Wayne, who is based at the Cork Golf Centre in Ballincollig, is one of only two PGA Professionals in Ireland to use the Capto Putting Technology system.  Using a small sensor on the shaft of your putter, the system can instantly capture twenty key parameters of the putting stroke.  Wayne along with Killarney based David Keating travelled to Spain in December to pick up their new systems, which offer a whole new level of detail when it comes to analysing putting.  While there are several options for measuring the swing of irons and drivers, and there are several putting systems that capture the reaction of the ball once it’s hit, this is one of the first systems to focus on the swing and the actions of the golfer.  The system operates by putting a small 3D sensor onto the shaft of the putter and using a computer or phone Continue reading

Douglas academy to open in 2018

CGN_Douglas GC_29th Dec 2017_05

Progress is being made on the new five hole academy in Douglas, while work has also started on the redesign of the two practice greens in the distance.  Picture: Niall O’Shea

2018 promises to be a milestone year for Douglas, the southside club will open a brand new five hole short game facility and work should also conclude on a new practice facility and range.  The five hole short game area is currently under construction, all of the earthmoving and shaping has been completed and the greens and tee boxes have been laid out.  The team from DAR Construction have finished the first and second stages of work, a substantial amount of ground works took place in stage one including the installation of services, and after that several tonnes of sand were laid on the new greens and approaches to provide top quality playing conditions.  The seeding Continue reading

Sara set for another super year

Sara Byrne GB&I 2017Sara Byrne might only be 16, but in the past two years she blazed a trail on the golf courses of Cork and further afield.  The Douglas member has represented Munster, Ireland and GB&I in 2017, and more importantly she has seen her golf game improve on several levels.  While Sara has been used to winning, and she has ben part of the IGU coaching programmes for a few years, 2017 was a breakthrough year and she’s planning to build on that through the winter and into next season.  “I have some great memories this year including winning the Munster girls championship, getting my first cap for Ireland, becoming an honorary member of Douglas Golf Club and shooting the course record of five under 67 in Douglas” said Sara.  “But my best memory was seeing the Irish tricolour being raised and the Irish anthem being played when I was playing for Great Britain and Ireland at the Vagliano Trophy in Italy.”  Those experiences and performances didn’t happen by accident, they were a result of a very strong work ethic and a focus on constant improvement.  And the young Douglas golfer saw the results on the course.  “I think my ball striking this year has Continue reading

Super 2017 for Mairead Martin

2017 Irish Girls Close Championship at Mallow Golf ClubKanturk’s Mairead Martin has been hitting the headlines for two years on the golf course, and she’ll be one to watch in 2018 as she play’s what’s likely to be her final full season in Ireland for a few years.  The Leaving Cert student is hoping to take up a US college scholarship next year and will be working hard to make another impression.  She spent most of the season playing off +1 and had a number of wins and great team performances for club and country.  Just six years after first playing golf, Mairead is in the top echelons of the sport.    Now the season has ended, Mairead can look back on another successful season.  The big win of the year came in Mallow when Mairead claimed a national title.  The Irish Girls close was a huge win, especially when it was played Mallow.  There was no let up as Mairead went on to win again Continue reading

New Teaching Facilities in Cobh, David O’Sullivan PGA Professional

David O'Sullivan Dec 2017_1Cobh’s PGA Professional David O’Sullivan has recently upgraded his teaching facilities and the investment is another boost for Cobh members.  A new swing room, coupled with Trackman technology and analysis has placed O’Sullivan in the premier league when it comes to teaching.

“The swingroom at the practice ground contains Trackman, a golf radar system with slow motion cameras to assist with detailed golf lessons.  Trackman can also Continue reading

Lee Valley set to celebrate in 2018

EMC Lee Valley Senior Scratch Cup 2016Lee Valley is planning for a bumper 2018 as the friendly club on the western edge of the city celebrates 25 years of golf.  Built in the 90’s the early phase of the first boom for golf, the course quickly developed a name as a championship level venue, known for it’s superior greens and friendly welcome.  The Christy O’Connor designed course was started in 1990, and over the next three years the 150 acres of fields and woodlands were transformed into a championship golf course.  O’Connor was a regular feature during the build phase, and instead of relying on maps and drawings he mainly worked from sight and the plan that he kept in his head.  O’Connor died earlier this year, but Lee Valley remains a legacy to the Christy Jnr brand.

Jerry Keohane has been around for most of that journey, having been an investor in the original development.  After the course opened in 1993, Jerry Keohane had sold of his share of the business, but in 1999 Jerry bought the course after it went on the market, and Lee Valley quickly became a family business with Peg, Paul and David all playing an active role in the business over the past two decades.  Like all courses, it was by no means a finished product and Jerry started on a development that’s lasted the best part of 20 years.  Over 18,000 trees were planted, vast areas Continue reading