Muskerry’s Fred Twomey celebrated another milestone on Saturday night, when the club marked the official opening of his new Pro Shop and Academy. Fred was appointed as Club Professional in Muskerry earlier this year and the PGA Professional set about adding the final touches to the new academy and revamping the shop to mark his new role in the club. The night coincided with John O’Riordan’s President’s Prize so there was a large crowd in attendance. Fred had his good friend John Moloughney in Muskerry for the opening, John is the President of the GUI and would have been involved in many Munster teams with Fred over the past 15 years. Fred started work on the academy last year, which consists of a covered bay and open range. The three bay indoor academy features all of the latest training and teaching aids including Trackman for the best in shot analysis. As the work on the academy was nearing completion, Fred started to make changes to the layout of the shop, he’s made space for a swing bay that can incorporate Trackman, this means that members and customers can try clubs and get a lesson right in the shop.
A new range of club clothing was also another welcome addition for members and visitors. Fred is no stranger to Muskerry, he’s been a member of the club since he was a junior and while the Twomey family have a long association with Muskerry, Fred’s appointment marks another family member taking a senior role within the club. Fred’s Dad Fred Snr was Club Captain in Muskerry in 2005. In addition to being a member of the club while an amateur, Fred also completed his PGA training in Muskerry under Martin Lehane in 1990 and he qualified as a PGA Professional in 1995. Since then much of Fred’s time has been spent on teaching and coaching. Twomey is acknowledged as one of the best teaching professionals in the country, working with beginners, high handicappers and elite amateurs he’s seen it all.
His role with Munster and Ireland has seen him work with the best amateurs in Ireland but it’s his work with the Muskerry teams that has helped the club to secure ten provincial pennants and four national titles. He has also worked closely with Gary Hurley, the West Waterford golfer who turned pro in 2016 worked with Fred through his amateur career that included a win at the Walker Cup and making the cut at the 2014 Irish Open in Fota Island. In his role as the GUI Provincial Coach, Fred currently works with the GUI National Coach Neil Manchip along with the local GUI coaches Michael Collins, Ian Stafford and Paul Kiely. From his new academy and practice area in Muskerry, Fred can continue to offer individuals and teams the very best in terms of coaching and teaching. Fred was also the Muskerry coach when the club won the unique Bruen and Junior Cup double at Munster and National level in 2007. It was a great result which added to the club’s centenary celebrations.
Muskerry Captain Maurice Leahy was delighted with Fred’s appointment earlier this year, and Saturday he joined Fred for the official opening. “As Captain of Muskerry, but also on a personal level, I am delighted that Fred has taken over as Club Professional in my year of office” said the Captain. “Fred is first and foremost a Muskerry man to his fingertips, having been a member since boyhood. He is a gifted teacher, and imparts his pearls of wisdom simply and clearly, with plenty of good humour to boot. He has designed his Academy to accommodate a warm up/ gym area, fully computerised Teaching Bay, Trackman and Video analysis and a separate bay so the pupil can practice after the lesson. It has long been a dream of his, as Munster Coach, to be able to bring panels to his own club and now he can.” The Captain followed to highlight the importance of the Pro Shop for members and the club in general. “The pro shop has undergone a dramatic transformation, with huge input and support from our Board of Management, chaired by Eugene Hall. Fred will also have the Trackman in the shop to help members pick the right clubs for their abilities. It’s also lovely to have a new range of clothing, with new Muskerry branding and top quality labels.” The Captain was also generous in his description of Twomey’s impact on the club’s teams over the past 20 years. “Fred has been an incredible coach to all teams down through the years, with All Ireland successes with Muskerry and Interpro’s with Munster. He gives unstintingly of his time, is generous to a fault and his appointment is an acknowledgement of his contribution to Muskerry Golf Club. I know he will bring his usual level of enthusiasm and professionalism to the role and on behalf of the Club, wish him every success long into the future.”
While Saturday was an important day for Fred and the club, Fred and the rest of the club will be hoping to add to their haul of pennants. Muskerry’s Fred Daly Trophy team are through to the Munster semi-finals where they will hope to retain the Munster title they won last year in Fermoy. Muskerry had a good run in the qualifiers, beating Bandon, Bantry Bay and Kinsale. They followed that with a good win over Douglas in the area final. They now face Limerick in the Munster semi-final on Monday.
Fred fills Martins Shoes
Muskerry Professionals are built to last, Martin Lehane who retired in April was almost 40 years in the job. Earlier this year the club recently marked the retirement of long time club Professional Martin Lehane. There was standing room only in the clubhouse as close to 500 members and friends turned up for a function to celebrate Martin’s long association with the Cloghroe club. Martin’s link with the club didn’t just start 38 years ago when he became the club professional. Muskerry member and golf historian Tim O’Brien traced Martin’s link to the club back further to when he was a youth. “Martin caddied at Muskerry in his youth and was the caddy in 1963 when Fr Jack Murphy, a curate from Turners Cross won Ned Jennings president’s prize” explained Tim O’Brien. “Three years later in 1966 the then Muskerry professional Tim McElligott appointed Martin as an assistant, and over the next decade he gained extra professional experience in Ennis, Shannon, Tralee, Glengarriff and France. Martin was an active member of the Irish P.G.A. and played in numerous pro-ams with a fair degree of success.” Tim McElligott retired from Muskerry in 1979 after 32 years as club pro. Martin was appointed as head professional for the proud Cork club and he would go on to hold that position for 38 years. Fred Twomey started as an assistant in Muskerry in 1992 and trained under Martin, and he holds his mentor in high esteem. “I’ve met Butch Harmon, Peter Cowan and Howard Bennett, Martin knows more about than anyone I’ve ever met. He knew Christy O’Connor Snr, Jimmy Bruen and Harry Bradshaw. He was loved by all Muskerry members and he’s genuinely missed.” As one of the original “four Cork clubs”, the position of Professional in Muskerry was a valued role.
While the job may have evolved over the past 100 years, the role of a club pro went through a major transformation in the past 15 years. When it come to club professionals, you can count the number of Muskerry professionals on one hand. Tenure is a recurring factor in Muskerry when it came to a club professional, prior to McElligott, the position was held by Jack Higgins, and when returned to Cork GC after 15 years in Muskerry, the role was taken over by his brother David. Between the two brothers, they held the role for over 30 years. From the Higgins brothers, to McElligott to Lehane, it seems that Muskerry Pro’s are built to last. On Monday 2nd April, Martin handed over the keys of the pro shop to Fred Twomey who succeeded him as Muskerry Head Professional. And there’s every chance that Twomey will hold court in Muskerry for many years to come.