Cobh’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 be used outdoors but the swing room provides shelter and allows me to offer uninterrupted weather proof golf tuition.” Trackman is the industry leader with a large number of tour golfers packing their own units when travelling to tournaments. Trackman isn’t cheap so it’s a big decision when come to chosing your equipment. “I had a long hard look at options out there and felt that the Trackman route was the best route to go down” explained David. “We have made a lot of significant progress here at Cobh Golf Club and I am delighted to be able to play my part in the club’s development. I offer all levels of game improvement from juniors, ladies, Gents beginners to the elite advanced player, a big part of what we are trying to achieve is creating a better practice ethos at the club which can only help future growth of the game here.” There was more good news earlier this month when Cobh were allocated a grant from the sports capital programme. “Recently we obtained a significant sports capital grant of €56,500 which is earmarked for enhancing our club practice facilities and it will be happening at a very important stage of our progress. Plans are currently being drawn up to advance the project commencing in the new year” said O’Sullivan. While investments are still happening at a slower pace than previously, most clubs are prioritising their practice facilities as a way of adding value for their members. While casual golfers can pay green fees, only members have ongoing access to the practice ranges and greens.
David has been based in Cobh since September 2010 so he’s seen how the membership has grown and developed over seven very tough years for golf. Having endured a tough start at Marino Point, the club has weathered that time well and now has close to 700 members. From a small base of a few hundred members, Cobh now boasts a large membership across the various categories. Golfers are now coming from all directions as he explained: “There’s a wide range of member here, from the local Cobh area and wider catchment area including Little Island, Midleton, Glanmire and also Carrigaline, Rochestown and Douglas. The proximity to the motorway and the city means it’s very accessible. The great thing about Marino Point in the location. When you look out from the course, you can actually see how big the catchment area is.” From early 2009 when the course was growing in, Cobh members rolled up their sleeves and got to work on their new course. Much of the work off the course was carried out by members and that idea of involvement is still a key part of the club according to David: “There is a great sense of club here without wanting to sound too clichéd. There’s a great sense of everyone helping out as the golf club develops. Everyone is very hands on and, that’s very noticeable. A huge amount of the work is carried out by club members and there’s a great sense of volunteering. That’s what gives it the sense of being a real members club.” While the overall fall off in membership numbers seems to have stopped, very few clubs can claim large increases in their numbers. That said, the industry and the people have worked hard to reinvent the offering from club and the benefits of club membership. It’s something that David has been part of in Cobh and the recent investment in the practice and tuition facilities demonstrate that. “I have noticed how golf membership has changed over the last number of years and members are playing more regularly” said David. “Golfers are competing more which leads to golfers spending more time on game improvement and with over 20 years of coaching experience I am gearing up for a productive 2018.”