ILGU Launch Level Par

The CGI and ILGU have launched an innovative campaign to drive girls and ladies participation in all aspects of golf in Ireland.  Level Par was launched last week and the programme is a culmination of work carried out by the R&A, Sport Ireland and the governing bodies for amateur golf in Ireland.  Anne McCormack heads the programme on behalf of The Confederation of Golf in Ireland (CGI), and with the support of Chief Executives of the GUI and ILGU Pat Finn and Sinead Heraty, Level Par was established in mid-2019 after reviewing the available research.  “Level Par is a four pillar programme for golf, inspired Continue reading

ILGU Reward Ada O’Sullivan

Ada O'Sullivan

Ada O’Sullivan

The AGM of the ILGU took place last weekend and it was a special occasion for Monkstown’s Ada O’Sullivan as she was awarded Honorary Life Membership by the national governing body.  Ada has one of the most comprehensive records of any female golfer in Ireland.  She represented Munster, as a member of the girls’ team in 1980 & 1981 and the Women’s Team from 1982 -1997, fifteen years.  She was the first ever winner of the Girlie Hegarty Trophy in 1994.  As a player she represented Ireland at the Girls’ Home Internationals in 1980 & 1981.

She then played on the Women’s Home International Team seven times between 1982 & 1997 and at the Women’s European Team Championships in 1993, 1994 and 1995.  She was the winner of the Sherry Cup in 1994 (European Masters 72 hole stroke play).  Following her playing career, Ada represented Ireland as Captain of the Girls’ Home International Team in 1999 & 2000 and the Under 21 Team at the European Championship in 2000.  She would go on to become the first High Performance Director on the ILGU Board in 2010.

Her first experience of Captaining a GB&I Team was at The Espirito Santo Trophy in Malaysia in 2002.  This preceded GB&I Captaincy in 2003 & 2005 when her Team brought home the Vagliano Trophy playing at Co. Louth.  In 2004 and 2006 Ada was invited to be Captain of the GB&I Curtis Cup Teams.  ILGU President Brigid McCaw was delighted to present Ada with the award on Saturday.  “Ada is a very capable, strong, fun loving person who – when asked to take on a responsible task – takes it on with great enthusiasm and leaves no stone unturned to make it a success”  said McCaw upon presenting her with Life Honorary Membership.  “We are very proud of all our Honorary Life Members and Past Presidents.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for being, as it were, “on call” and for their willingness to sharing their experiences and sound knowledge.”  Life Membership was also Continue reading

North Cork’s Golfing History

Mitchelstown Golf Club with the scenic Galtee Mountains in the backround.
Picture: Niall O’Shea

Golf in North Cork can be traced back to 1892, and almost 130 years later it’s still thriving.  While the rise of the sport exploded in the early part of the 19th century, it’s popularity remained strong right up to today.  It’s a testament to the North Cork clubs that they have withstood several challenges and remain popular destinations for both members and guests.  Fermoy holds the honour of hosting the earliest recorded golf match in 1892 when the locally based British army officers took on the neighbouring garrison in Lismore.  Fermoy Golf Clubs traces it’s history back to 1893, and like many other clubs they had several homes including the racecourse, the Aerodrome, and Continue reading

West Cork’s Golfing History

Bandon’s 7th green with Castle Bernard in the background.
Picture: Niall O’Shea

West Cork is famed for it’s sporting traditions, and golf forms a big part of that with the sport going back to the 1880’s.  That means that golf pre-dates many other organised sports, although in the early years the sport was dominated by army officers and based bear garrisons, barracks and camps.  From rough and ready makeshift courses that rarely lasted longer than a short lease, the courses that survived have developed into a number of nine and eighteen hole gems.  Bandon and Kinsale are both in West Cork, but their proximity to the city allow for a large travelling membership from the city and surburbs.  Bandon is now over 110 years old, and has been based in the Castlebernard for all of that time.  It has the distinction of being the first West Cork Club to extend to 18 holes back in 1978.  One of the largest and most successful clubs Continue reading

The Year that was 2019

James Sugrue pictured with Irish Mens Captain John Carroll

2019 was a stellar year for Cork golfers.  With seven Corkmen winning international caps, there were plenty of great performances among several notable individual wins.  Just three years ago there wasn’t a single Cork golfer on the national mens squad, this year there were three golfers to reach that standard in what must be regarded as a great run for Cork golf.  With three seniors, one boys and three mens representatives, it was an impressive number of caps.  Top of the list of course was James Sugrue, the Amateur Champion.  The Mallow man won the Castletroy Scratch Cup in May, but less than a month later his world would change with the win of a lifetime in Portmarnock.  An Amateur Championship win seemed unlikely at a few stages during that week in Dublin.  After just five holes on the first day of qualifying Sugrue branded the course as “insanely long”, and he found himself three down deep into the back nine in the second round of matchplay.  In what was a marathon rather than a sprint, Sugrue played himself into form, thanks in equal parts to a new Titleist driver, solid advice from Neil Manchip and a hot putter.  On that Saturday morning playing in the Amateur Championship final, few would have thought it was his seventh round of the week.  He sprinted into a five up lead against Scotland’s Ewan Walker.  Despite the impressive start, the final would prove to be another marathon lasting the full 36 holes.  The Mallow man, watched by a record crowd of over 3,000 claimed the win on the final green, becoming the second Cork golfer after Jimmy Bruen to win the Amateur Championship.  That win saw Sugrue’s schedule change, with an unplanned visit to Portrush for the Open championship taking priority in his calendar.  James was very unlucky to miss the cut, a lost ball on the 14th on Friday cost him a place at the weekend when Shane Lowry created his own bit of history.  Although injury hampered Sugrue towards the end of the season he had the honour of raising the Irish flag at the Walker Cup in Royal Liverpool in September.

Peter O’Keeffe

Peter O’Keeffe started the year off with a win, he came out on top in Muskerry in April winning their senior scratch cup.  A five under par 66 gave O’Keeffe a good start and he was under par again in the second round to win the competition by two strokes.  It was the second time that O’Keeffe won in Muskerry, his first coming 13 years ago in 2006.  O’Keeffe was fifth in the East of Ireland and topped that by reaching the final of the North in July.  Prior to the North he spent the week in Lahinch caddying for Robin Dawson in the Open.  Peter finished second in the North of Ireland, which this year moved to Portstewart and Castlerock due Portrush staging the Open Championship.  He lost out to Englishman Aaron Edwards Hill after a final that went to the 17th hole.  The Douglas man was back in Lahinch later on in July, this time as a player in the South of Ireland.  He started well, finishing in the top ten after the Strokeplay qualifier.  He then Continue reading

Masters Date for Sugrue

James Sugrue pictured at home in Mallow with his invitation to the 2020 Masters Tournament.

James Sugrue is heading stateside in April, his Augusta dreams came a step closer this week when he received his official invitation to the 2020 Masters Tournament.  The Mallow man had been scheduled to receive an invitation to the famous tournament after winning the Amateur Championship last June, and the official invitation finally arrived this week.  “It was unreal to finally get it” said Sugrue.  “I thought it was coming in the last week of December so I’ve been waiting for a while!”  Although the invite was never in doubt, it was an exciting wait for the Sugrue family to finally get confirmation of James’ place in the field.  An invitation to the Masters Tournament is traditionally given to the winner of the four major amateur competitions, (US, British, Asia-Pac, Latin America) provided they remain amateur.  The amateur status means that Sugrue is not eligible for any of the prize money on offer, but a good performance in April will give his status a huge boost as he considers moving to the paid Continue reading

Murphy set for new season

South of Ireland 2019

John Murphy, left, enjoying himself with Shane O’Connell and Cathal Butler at the South of Ireland in July.

Kinsale’s John Murphy was back Cork for a few weeks in December, and the Kentucky based golfer took a well deserved break after a busy few months on the course.  After 30 plus tournaments in 2019 John took advantage of the winter break to recharge with family and friends in Kinsale.  Having used the 2018 Christmas break to practice in Australia, John took a different angle this year with an extended break at home.

“The last few weeks were very different to my normal schedule,” said Murphy.  “Apart from having to study for my finals a lot, I had a lot of time to spend with friends and family which I don’t normally get to do, so I really enjoyed it.  I took a couple weeks away from golf just to recharge.  “Towards the Continue reading