Mahon Golf Club have recently installed a new Trackman Studio which will be a huge boost for their members. The new development comes after a few years of planning from the city club. Given that the course has no means for expansion, a range or outdoor practice wasn’t an option, so the club instead looked at the option of building an indoor simulator. 2021 Club Captain Denis Kavanagh was one of the people behind the initiative and he explained how the exciting development came about.
“The Club Committee formed a sub-committee in 2020 to look into options available to develop some alternative to a practice range, that would provide members and juveniles alike with facilities to develop their game” said Kavanagh. “After researching what options were available by contacting other clubs, and speaking with Golf Simulator suppliers both in the UK and Denmark, a preferred solution was agreed. The sub-committee then met with Cork City Council for assistance and direction as to what options were available to the Club. City Council worked closely with the Club from that point and facilitated us in every way they could. The simulator selected came from Denmark and is the most up to date version in Ireland. The structure containing the Unit was manufactured in Galway. The Studio was completed in late October and will be fully operational for members early in the new year once testing & training have been completed.”
It’s an exciting development for the club, who celebrated their 40th anniversary this year. Back in the early 80’s it was the very first public golf course in Ireland. Starting with just 9 holes, the Blackrock site now boasts an 18 hole championship course but it is effectively land locked which has prevented the development of any new practice facilities as Denis explained. “Due to lack of space the course does not have and never will have a practice range, for golfers to develop their game through practice or tuition. A range is also vital for Juveniles wanting to take up the game, where they can receive structured golf lessons. It was as a result of this restriction and the determination of the Clubs Committee to provide an alternative, that the idea of a golf simulator came about. The overall investment in the Golf Studio was over €60,000. The impact of the financial outlay was offset by a substantial grant from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport & Media and a smaller grant from Cork City Council.”
Over the past five years golf clubs in Cork have been successful in applying for grants through national and local schemes. Many clubs have received funding for equipment upgrades or course improvements though the Sports Capital Programme and more recently many clubs sought funding under the Covid 19 resilience programmes.
Mahon Mens Captain Ray Leahy was delighted with the opening of the new facility; “I’m delighted to be captain on the 40th year of this fantastic club, we now have delivered a state of the art equipped Trackman golf studio which will be highly beneficial to all existing members and people looking to get into golf for years to come. Special thanks go to our dedicated committee members Denis Kavanagh and Hugh Foley who put countless hours in during the lockdowns and then been supported by the 2021 & 2022 committees to deliver this asset for our Club.” Lady Captain Mary O’Callaghan was also very happy to open the new studio; “Having This Facility available all year round, irrespective of the weather can benefit lady members with golf lessons to improve their golf game.” The club had a great year in 2022, in addition to celebrating their 40th anniversary they also won their first Munster regional Club Pennant and reached the Golf Ireland All Ireland finals. Although the mens section is currently full, membership is open for juveniles, juniors (under 25) and ladies.
Mahon’s junior golfers are set to benefit from the new studio, PGA Professionals Stephen Hayes and Alan Gleeson have been selected by the club to teach in the new studio and the club is in the process of finalising a number of juvenile programmes as Denis Kavanagh explained. “We are currently putting a full coaching programme in place with a PGA Golf Professional in order to provide the very best coaching for our juveniles in the studio. We plan to run an eight week course for the Juveniles starting in January which will in turn run into additional coaching programmes throughout the year. We have great plans for our Juveniles over the next few years thanks in no small way to the addition of our Trackman Golf Studio, and the availability of a PGA Golf Professional on site.”