Barrett’s the new man in Muskerry

Pat Barrett, General Manager of Muskerry Golf Club.

While last year brought many challenges for golf, it gave Pat Barrett an opportunity.  Pat took up the role of General Manager in Muskerry Golf Club last year and despite the interruptions from the lockdowns the Limerick man has been busy settling into his new role.  Having previously worked at other courses, Barrett was delighted to get the opportunity in Muskerry.  “Being from South Limerick I grew up playing Golf in Charleville North Cork so I was well aware of Muskerry being one of the established Cork clubs” explained Pat.

“I had played the course a few times Continue reading

Byrne settling into life in Miami

University of Miami’s Sara Byrne

While there’s still no golf action in Cork, Sara Byrne was in action in Orlando last week.  The Douglas golfer is in her first year at University of Miami, and despite being in Florida since August, this was her first event for the Hurricanes.  It was an impressive debut for the 18 year old, she finished in the top twenty and helped Miami to third place in the team competition.

Having spent the past 6 years on the Irish scene and working with the ILGU high performance squads, moving to Miami in August was a big change.  Covid meant the cancellation of the Fall series of tournaments so it was a quiet for the 2018 Irish Close winner.  “When I arrived in August it certainly was very different to what I had Continue reading

Sugrue drives into professional ranks

James Sugrue picking up his new Hyundai Tuscon from Finbarr Noonan, Kearys Hyundai Mallow.

James Sugrue finally left the amateur golf ranks last week, and first out of the block to support him were Kearys of Mallow who provided the golfer with a new Hyundai Tucson.  His appointment as brand ambassador for the local business was his first commercial deal, and hopefully many more will follow as the 24 year old sets out to earn a living in the world of tour golf.  Sugrue confirmed that he had signed with Swedish management firm Sportyard, and while his first appearance on tour is a few weeks away, he was delighted to get on board with Kearys.  “I am delighted to become Brand Ambassador for Kearys Hyundai Mallow and very much look forward to driving the all-new Hyundai Tucson.  As well as its exceptional design, there’s plenty of room for the clubs in the boot!” said an excited Sugrue.  As an amateur Sugrue was prevented from any sponsorship or endorsement deals, but once he made the Continue reading

Busy 2021 for Murphy

John Murphy was back in college golf action last week for the first time in ten months, but the Kinsale golfer has kept himself busy.  After working hard in Cork for the summer he travelled back to America last August, and he was determined to make to most of his extension as a student in University Louisville.  Murphy was a Senior last year but the cancellation of the second half of the season gave him another opportunity to compete in the 2021 NCAA college golf schedule.  It was a big decision to return in August, when many European based golfers chose to stay at home, but it paid off for Murphy, providing him with the weather and the facilities to improve his game.  “I felt as though the semester was really productive.  As always, I am just trying to learn and grow as much as possible as a player, and being in this environment certainly allowed me to do that.  I was able to compete with the world’s best Continue reading

Inter-Club Handicaps Announced

Entries are now open for the 2021 Inter-Club competitions.  Entry details for the national competitions were sent to golf clubs last week, with Golf Ireland also confirming the key handicapping information that will apply this year.  2021 will bring a few changes, with the old name of the GUI and ILGU Cups and Shields replaced with the new name of Inter-Club competitions becoming the central club events for Golf Ireland.  In January the new single governing body for amateur golf in Ireland officially took over from the Irish Ladies Golf Union and the Golfing Union of Ireland which had been responsible for the sport for over 100 years.  2021 promises Continue reading

Buckley wins Emirates Amateur Open

Cork’s Paul Buckley became golf’s first winner of 2021, he won the Omega Emirates Amateur Open last week.  The Kanturk native held his nerve during the closing stages of the elite amateur event to become the second Irishman to win the title.  “I’m absolutely delighted with the win and totally taken aback with all the attention, it must be lack of Cork sport at the moment” said Paul after arriving back in Cork on Sunday.

Paul along with Karl Bornemann travelled out to Dubai two weeks ago to take in two tournaments.  Buckley who spent over a decade in Australia prior to 2019 had played in a few Australian events in early 2020 but the Covid restrictions meant he had to look in a different direction for competitive golf this year.  “We had Continue reading

Sugrue No 1 in Europe

James Sugrue

James Sugrue starts 2021 on top of the European amateur rankings, the Mallow man was confirmed as the leading amateur on the European Golf Association rankings.  In addition to the EGA ranking, Sugrue also reached a high point of 5th on the World Amateur Golf Rankings last week.  While it’s unclear if Sugrue will tee it up in any further amateur competitions, his standing as an elite amateur is something to remember as he turns towards a career as a tour professional.

Having made the decision to compete on the professional circuit in 2021, Sugrue will have lots to look back on in his amateur career.  He was a solid performer in team golf, representing Mallow, Munster and Ireland from 2012 when Continue reading

Irwin qualifies as PGA Professional

Monkstown Pro Shop’s Shane Irwin who recently received graduated as a PGA Professional.
Picture: Niall O’Shea

Monkstown based Shane Irwin recently completed his PGA training and the Limerick native is now a qualified PGA Professional.  After three years of training, Shane passed his final exams to receive his degree level qualification from the University of Birmingham.  Shane joins a number of recently qualified golf professionals in Cork, including Alan Gleeson, Davey Barry and Ciaran McKenna.

Prior to working in Monkstown Shane had worked in the industry in South Africa and the US, and that experience gave him the confidence to know that a career in the industry was the way to go.  In 2017 he moved to Cork to take up a role in Monkstown Golf Club.  After spending a few months working in the pro-shop, .n September 2017 he started his PGA training.  Having worked in the US and South Africa prior to that.  It was the next step in a plan for Shane.  Traditionally the PGA apprenticeship was based around learning on the job, but now the degree level course has a Continue reading

Major Upgrade for Cork Golf Centre

A new LED lighting system has brought a huge improvement to Cork Golf Centre.
Picture: Niall O’Shea

Cork Golf Centre has seen a major upgrade in 2020 with golfers now benefitting from better lighting and a longer hitting area.  The centre just outside Ballincollig used the two lockdowns to implement some planned improvements, and it’s been a busy place since the recent reopening.  When the centre opened in May 2017 it was a much needed addition to the western side of the city.  It was within easy reach of a large number of golfers stretching from the city to Macroom.  David Keating was behind the development and his vision was to provide golfers of all levels with a Continue reading

Stafford Skills Up

Ian Stafford who has been busy planning the 2018 staging of the Pro Shop Challenge at Kinsale Golf Club.
Picture: Niall O’Shea

2020 was a different year for everyone in golf, from course owners to golfers to professionals.  With forced closures for over three months of the year, golf professionals were effectively shut down during the closures.  While there were challenges, there were also opportunities and Kinsale based PGA Professional Ian Stafford definitely took advantage of the opportunities.  As well as getting to spend more time with his family, Ian has continued his own habit of furthering his professional qualifications.  Having started his PGA training in 2000, Stafford didn’t stop with his PGA qualification.

In 2016 he achieved Continue reading