Charleville’s Jamie O’Sullivan is on the move

Golf_Jamie O'Sullivan_Dec 2015PGA Professional Jamie O’Sullivan got an early Christmas present when he won the race to become the new head professional at Rosslare Golf Club.  The former Cork Golf Club player is currently director of Golf in Charleville, having spent the past eight years in the 27 hole North Cork club.  O’Sullivan, son of European Seniors Tour star Denis, qualified as a PGA professional in 2002 and has spent over a decade progressing his career at several top courses.  Jamie qualified in Portmarnock and after that spent two years in Ballybunion.  He followed that with a three years in Fota Island and was there for the launch of the Fota Island Academy in 2006.  Following that he moved to Charleville to fill the position vacated by David Keating.  Charleville became the new home for the Glanmire native and he’s on the move again, this time to the famous Wexford links course.  “Rosslare is a fantastic opportunity for me and a natural progression to the next step in my career” said O’Sullivan who’s heading into his second stint as a head professional, “It is a beautiful traditional links resort with lots of local and seasonal members.  It’s a wonderful seaside area and is very busy during the summer months with foreign visitors and annual holiday makers who have holiday homes locally.  It’s one of Ireland’s oldest clubs and steeped in history with a long line of members who have interprovincial and international caps. It has many All Ireland and Leinster pennants at underage and senior level.”

O’Sullivan has some fond memories of his time in North Cork at the busy course: “My eight years in Charleville has been fantastic and the members and staff there have been amazing to work with.  They always supported me and I will be sad to leave so many friends behind.  I have learned so much at Charleville and know this will stand to me for the rest of my career.  For the past two years I have been Director of Golf here and it opened my eyes as to how the inner workings of a club and how difficult it can be.  It has shown me that it is definitely a team effort to run a successful club.  I owe Charleville a great debt of gratitude for believing in me and allowing me the honour of being their Professional.”

Golf_Munster PGA_MOD Trophy_Jamie O'Sullivan_Apr2015Now in his thirties, Jamie was one of a generation of top golfers that were members of Cork Golf club in the early and mid 1990’s and he credits the club and the members for his love of the game.   “I was a junior member of Cork Golf Club and I was blessed to grow up in a club which had fantastic players at junior and senior level” said O’Sullivan, “I was a fairly good young junior and used regularly win the weekly junior competitions, until the like of the Dooley brothers [Padraig & John] and Claire Coughlan arrived, there was then vicious competition and that was great for my game.  We were all good friends and looked up to some of the older lads at the time the likes of Mark Forde and Gary O’ Flaherty.  All of the above were not only very friendly and helpful but all had and currently have great success in the game.  We used live in the Island and practice from dawn to dusk so at an early age it was all I wanted to do, the competition was fierce but friendly.  We had a great junior team and we were beaten finalists in the All-Ireland’s in Galway.  I had some fantastic coaches down through the years such as Brendan McDaid, Howard Bennett, Morgan O’ Donovan, Brian Higgins and Peter Hickey.”

O’Sullivan learned from the leading amateurs including his father Denis who was once of Ireland’s leading amateur players, Jamie explained: “Golf was always a big part of my life as I used to spend every minute playing or caddying for my father.  Nearly every weekend we would load into the car with Peter Cowley, Tommy Cleary, Pat Lyons and head off to different scratch cups or club matches around Munster.  They were fantastic days and I got to watch some of Ireland’s greatest ever amateurs.  People such as Eddie power, Niall Goulding, the list is endless.  The only issue was trying to fit the scratch cup into the already full car as one of the four generally won it!  From an early age I was aware that my father was a good golfer but its only when we used take an hour to walk a hundred yards around the city with him stopping to talk to everyone that I realised he was known for it. I suppose I took for granted how good he was but he did work very hard at his game and enjoyed every minute.  He was always very supportive of me and we actually turned professional on the same year!  The only difference was that I was 19 and he was 50.”

While every young elite golfer will have notions of turning professional and spending some time on tour, Jamie served his time training to qualify through the PGA and now spends much of his time teaching.  “I do love to compete on the Irish circuit but haven’t played that much over the past few years due to a heavy work load.  And if I don’t prepare properly it’s only a waste of time.  I love to practice and play and have had some minor successes in my pro career but my passion is teaching.  I dreamed as kid of playing on the world stage and if I knew now what I thought I knew then, I would have had a better chance.  From an early age I watched all the Faldo tapes lying around at home and became very interested in the golf swing, this had its own detrimental effect on my swing as I spent years focusing on how to swing rather than how to score.  This in turn made me very interested in the mental side of golf and in more recent years I realised how important the strength and conditioning is for aspiring golfers.  I have also embraced custom fitting and understand the importance of it for each and every golfer and I have a flightscope launch monitor.  Golf is ever changing and has evolved so much over the years and that’s what makes it exciting for me, I couldn’t do anything else it’s not only my job but my passion, and I knew this from an early age.  I have been fortunate in my career to date to have worked with some fantastic people, to play golf with great golfers and to have worked in some of Ireland’s leading clubs.”

With his role in Rosslare starting at the end of January, Jamie has a few weeks to look forward to the new challenge: “I’m really looking forward to the next chapter in Rosslare, a beautiful traditional links with talented golfers and plenty of visitors.  On the course they have 30 holes of golf, 18 original holes and a newer 12 holes deigned by Christy O’ Connor.  There is a driving range, chipping green and two putting greens located close to the club house.  The facilities are fantastic and I’m really looking forward to working with the teams and individual members at the club.  It has a lovely spacious pro-shop just by the first tee and the clubhouse is very modern and comfortable.  All the members I have met have been very welcoming and I’m looking forward to getting started.  There is a fantastic array of talented golfers at the club and I hope to get stuck in straight away and hopefully help to win more pennants.”