Super Sara is Irish Champ

Sara Byrne IRish Close Course Shot June 2018

Sara Byrne (Douglas) during the Irish Women’s Open Stroke Play Championship, Enniscrone Golf Club, Picture: Golffile  Fran Caffrey

Teenager Sara Byrne is the new Irish Women’s Close Champion.  The Douglas golfer beat all before her in Enniscrone over the past three days to claim the prestigious national title.  A 2&1 win over Louise Coffey this afternoon meant that another national title is headed back to Douglas Golf Club.

“This is just amazing, I knew I could do it” said a delighted Byrne.  “When Louise won the 3rd I knew that it was better to be up at the end of the match than at the start, I knew that a one hole difference was nothing so I stayed patient.  This is definitely my number one achievement to date, on the final few holes I got a bit nervous but I told myself that I had worked too hard to give this one away.  This brings my golf career up a step and any event now I play in I can tell myself that I can win because I am Irish Champion!”

The Irish and GB&I capped golfer now joins an elite group, Continue reading

Gillis says Goodbye to Cork after 54 Years

Anthony Gillis Cork Golf Club Jun 2018After 54 years, Anthony Gillis is finally handing over the keys at Cork Golf Club.  The Head Greenkeeper is retiring this month after a lifetime on the famous Alister MacKenzie course in Little Island.  After starting in a temporary role in 1965, Gillis became a full time green keeper soon after and in 1968 he became assistant greenkeeper. That started the labour of love for the Little Island native who lives no more than 300 yards from the Club.  Having grown up on the other side of Island, not far from the eastern side of the course, he has memories of coming in over the quarry and chipping and playing “four-quarters” on the sixth green.  Working under Francis Devane, Anthony quickly learned his trade and he went on to take over the head greenkeeper in the early 1970’s.  After working with famous agronomist James Arthur in the 1970’s, Gillis went on to study in Bingley, Elmwood College and the National Botanic Gardens, giving him a formal background in greenkeeping which complimented his own passion and knowledge for the job.  A lot has changed in six decades and Anthony doesn’t miss the hard physical work that was involved back in his early days.  “The work isn’t as hard Continue reading

Long Read: Liam Burns Celebrates 25 years in Youghal

Liam BurnsLiam Burns is a West Cork man by birth, but after 25 years in Youghal, he surely qualifies as an East Cork man.  Liam is celebrating 25 years as the Club Professional at Youghal Golf Club and after taking up the game in his mid teens, he turned it into a career.  It’s surprising to hear that Liam was a later comer to golf, but once he started he was bitten by the bug.  “I only started playing golf at age 16 with my good friend school teacher Paddy Kehoe” explained the Bandon native.  “Paddy thought me in Hamilton High School in Bandon and his son Mark was single handicap player at the time.  They encouraged me to play golf as my parents didn’t play.  Starting out I would play 36 holes a day sometimes.  Whenever I got a chance I was on the golf Continue reading

Cope Classic Set for Monkstown

DK23052018 CopeFoundation 0011 (002)

Pictured at the launch of the annual Cope Foundation Golf Classic, sponsored by O’Flynn Exhams Solicitors, at Monkstown Golf Club are Micheal O’Mullain, Partner at O’Flynn Exhams Solicitors, Sean Abbott, Chief Executive at Cope Foundation and Stephen Archer, Munster Rugby prop.
Pic Darragh Kane

Cope Foundation recently launched their annual Golf Classic, which returns to Monkstown Golf Club later this year.  After spending almost two decades in Rathsallagh, the classic returned to Cork in 2015 when Monkstown hosted the first event when it came back to Cork.  After successful events in Douglas and Cork, the popular classic now returns to Monkstown for the 2018 staging.  The event is in its 22nd year, and it raises much needed funds for people with intellectual disabilities and/or autism and their families.  Last year’s Golf Classic raised over €40,000, bringing the total funds raised to date to over €1.6 million.  This year’s tournament, which will feature 60 teams, will take place at Monkstown Golf Club on the 28th and 29th of June. To register for the event, visit Money raised from the annual event has made a significant contribution towards the essential services Cope Foundation provides to people with intellectual disabilities and/or autism across Cork city and county.  Last year golfers were treated to a great day out in Cork Golf Club.  Fine weather added to the event and there were full time sheets for each of the three scrambles.  The perpetual trophy, given to the leading team from all Continue reading

Murphy wins St Andrew’s Links Trophy

John Murphy Links Trophy 2018John Murphy gave himself an early birthday present today when he won the St Andrew’s Links Trophy, and there was a little bit of a surprise too as he drained a 25 foot putt on first play-off hole to claim his first major title outside of Ireland.  Murphy shot 66 on the Old Course yesterday to hold the 36 hole lead.  A 71 this morning had him tied for the lead with one more round on the Old Course to come.  John started well, birdies on the 3rd and 4th saw him jump into a two shot lead.   He held that lead at the turn but when he dropped a shot on the 13th there was a three way tie for the lead.  East of Ireland winner Christo Lamprecht was leading but a  on the road hole took him out of contention.  Germany’s Jannik de Bruyn shot a 68 to finish on -9.  Murphy parred 14 to 17 and he Continue reading

Strong Cork Challenge in Baltray

Lee Valley Senior Scratch Cup 2018, Lee Valley Golf Club.  Second Round, Saturday 21st April 2018

John Hickey

There was a strong Cork presence in Baltray over the weekend as the course hosted the East of Ireland Championship.  Favourable scoring conditions led to some very impressive scoring with several 66’s recorded on the first day.  Cork’s John Hickey was one of those to finish the opening round on 66, he was five under after his opening six holes.  Two more birdies along with a bogey followed on his way to the -6 round which saw him tie the lead.  Hickey added rounds of 72, 73 and 71 to finished in 13th place.  Gary O’Flaherty was one behind Hickey on the opening day after a 67.  He added a 74 on Sunday but two rounds of 69 on Monday saw him jump into the top ten and finish in 7th place. Continue reading

Nine Hole Membership at Fota Island

Golf_Fota Island Golf Academy

The driving range at the Fota Island Academy

Things rarely stay still in Fota Island and 2018 has brought about another positive move for the resort.  Fota are now offering a new category of membership that gives golfers access to the tour level academy and playing access to the nine holes surrounding the academy.  Often known as the new nine – although the holes are there for well over a decade – the layout wraps around the academy range and practice greens.  While Academy members had the option to play the nine holes last year, the new development give them much wider access as well as the crucially important option to hold an official GUI or ILGU handicap.  Fota Island Marketing Director Seamus Leahy explained that the 2018 development is part of an ongoing programme to bring the benefits of membership to a wider audience.  “Effectively there is now a 9 hole CSS and we’ve seen significant interest in the membership.  We see this as a five-year project to help grow and development new members – especially the time poor golfer” explained Leahy.  “The higher quality product is more readily available, and the opportunity to bring the lessons learnt to a course environment is a big advantage.  The existing academy members are Continue reading

Major win for Long in Douglas

Douglas SSC 2018_2Eoghan Long claimed his first scratch cup win on Sunday when he won the 36 hole Douglas Senior Scratch Cup.  The Monkstown man posted the best score of the afternoon when he signed for a two under par 70.  Added to his level par 72 from the morning, his total of 142 for the 36 holes was enough to win the title by one shot.  Long had two challengers, both Peter O’Keeffe and Eric Rumley had shot 70’s in the first round, but they both finished with 73’s in the afternoon.

Play in Douglas was delayed on Sunday morning due to heavy rain.  Although the overnight downpour had stopped the course staff needed some time to clear some standing water.  Although the threat of rain was never too far away the course dried out and some good golf was on display.  O’Keeffe and Rumley were the only golfers to break par.  Long along with Stephen O’Neill and Darren Continue reading