Rice wins in Fota Island, Munster PGA Winter Series

Munster PGA Fota Island Tim Rice Nov 2017_2Tim Rice won the opening event of the Munster PGA winter series with a fine three under par 69 in Fota Island today.  The Limerick man took the honours with a two shot win over the field.  Playing on the Deerpark course in Fota, Rice went out in level par, although he birdied the fifth he gave the shot back on the next hole.  He birdied the 10th and then finished strongly with birdies on the 17th and 18th.  Although there was fine weather and only a light breeze, the course put up a tough test with only three golfers breaking par.  David Ryan and John Sugrue shared second place, both finished on a one under par 71.  Munster PGA Captain Cian McNamara was 4th after a level par 70 while Ger Broderick won the over 45 prize.  Shane Irwin won the Assistants prize and the team prize went to Padraig McGrath, Mark Beckett, Stephen Hayes and Davey Barry.

Almost 30 Munster Pro’s turned out for the first event of the season, which was sponsored by Ray Walsh and Acushnet.  Munster Captain Cian McNamara thanked everyone for supporting the event and Ray Walsh for his sponsorship.  He also thanked Kevin Morris from Fota Island and complimented the staff on the quality of the course.  The greens were in great condition as usual and the tightly cut fairways demanded precision.  The second event of the series takes place on Castlemartyr next week and another large attendance is expected.  The series has reverted to a pro-only format with prizes available in three categories in addition to a team prize.

Gallery: Munster PGA Winter Series, Fota Island

Fota Island Prize Winners – sponsored by Titleist Footjoy

(1)    Tim Rice  68
(2)    David Ryan / John Sugrue 70.
(4)    Cian McNamara  71
(5)    Steve Hayes, Donal McSweeney, Billy O’Boyle, Padraig McGrath  72

Over 45’s:   Ger Broderick   74
Assistants:  Shane Irwin     75
Team Prize: Padraig McGrath, Stephen Hayes, Mark Beckett, Davey Barry

Munster PGA, Fota Island Resort, 13th Nov 2017

 

New Member Applications open in Douglas

Douglas Golf ClubDouglas Golf Club have just opened applications for membership in 2018.  The southside club operated a similar process last year and the all of the available places were fully subscribed.  It’s an exciting time for Douglas.  After extensive research and planning the club has just commenced and ambitious programme that will see a major expansion to their practice facilities, and also a brand new five hole short game area.  The facility upgrade will be followed by a major upgrade to the clubhouse and proshop.  That is currently at design stage and is scheduled for completion in early 2019.

Douglas reduced the joining fee a few years ago, and introduced a new membership programme which saw the club open for applications at this time of year.  The club remains popular with Cork golfers and has seen membership numbers climb back to peak levels over the past four years.  Anyone interested in joining the club should contact Conor O’Brien, Manager, Douglas Golf Club.  The final date for completed applications is 15th November.

Busy Autumn at Fota Island Academy

Fota Island Academy_Ronan Collins_3 (002)For many people, Autumn marks the end of the golf season, but that’s not the case for teaching professional Ronan Collins.  Ronan is based in the Academy at Fota Island and he’s looking forward to a busy off-season as many golfers will continue to work on their games over the winter months.  Collins joined the team in Fota earlier this year and has had a great first season at the Academy.  “I have loved my first summer in Fota Island, the warmth and support that I received from staff and members at the club has been fantastic” said Ronan on his first few months.  “I’m looking forward to a busy winter season ahead with group lessons planned as well as new product releases It is always an exciting time of the year.”  Having qualified in Monkstown under Batt Murphy, Collins is now a seasoned teaching pro, and having spent time in teaching, retail and custom fitting roles, he’s now delighted with his move to Fota.  “I find my job very fulfilling; I get to spend my day in top class facilities helping golfers improve their games in many ways” said Collins from his base at the Academy.  “With some I see improvements through lessons and others I see improvements Continue reading

Lee Valley Capture National Pennant

Lee Valley Minor Cup Team2There was delight in Belfast and Cork yesterday as Lee Valley Ladies won another All-Ireland title.  The Cork club captured the AIG Minor Cup in Belfast, their first time winning at Minor level.  After several close calls this year, the final ended up being a clean sweep for Lee Valley as they beat Mountbellew.  Rosemary Driscoll won the first point for Lee Valley on the 17th green when she won 2&1, while Deirdre Lee saw her match go to sudden death before she won and added a second point for Lee Valley.  The winning point was secured by Breda O’Callaghan, she had a 2&1 win on the 17th to win the third match and secured another national pennant for Lee Valley.  Both Jane O’Neill and Helen Gough were called in, their matches were considered as halves meaning the final score was 4-1 to Lee Valley.  On Thursday, Helen Gough was the hero for Lee Valley, securing the winning point in the final match on the final green.  Jane O’Neill and Breda O’Callaghan had secured the earlier points and their way to the final in a tough match against Donaghadee.  Lee Valley Team Captain Angela Corcoran summed up the feelings of the Lee Valley members: “We’re absolutely thrilled, it could have gone either way right up until the end, it was an amazing contest,” said Angela. “This is our third All-Ireland, we have won two Intermediate Cups and now a Minor Cup in the last 5 years, it’s a huge honour for our 25-year-old club!”  The Cork club last won a national title in 2015 when they won the AIG Intermediate Cup in Knightsbrook.  The team along with a large number of members and supporters made the long trip from Belfast last night.  And the winners were treated to a great reception back in Lee Valley when they arrived home to Ovens.

 

Super Q School Start for McNamara

Cian McNamara_1

Cian McNamara (Monkstown GC)

Cian McNamara got his Q School adventure off to a great start today with a three under par 68 to finish inside the top twenty.  It was a very impressive round that saw the Monkstown based pro hole seven birdie putts.  McNamara was one of the last to play today in Golf d’HArdelot in France, and starting from the 10th he birdied his first and second hole.  A bogey followed on the 12th but two more birdies on 15 and 16 saw him move to -3.  McNamara was level for his final ten holes, but he did slot another three birdies on his way to signing for a 68.  The Limerick is tied for 12th place in a large group.

It’s McNamara’s first time back a Q School in three years and he’s been in good form coming up to the event.  He was part of the winning Ireland team at the recent TGI Cup in Lough Erne and he finished in second place in the Connemara Pro-Am last weekend (and won the team competition).  Now as head pro in Monkstown, Cian has entered a new phase and his former full-time playing schedule has been curtailed.  That said he was very both confident and comfortable when looking forward to his trip to France.  “My reasons for entering Q School are actually very simple. I still think I can play” explained McNamara, a former elite amateur and South of Ireland winner.  “I’ve understood as the years have gone on that time is moving quickly and I’ve responsibilities that I need to attain too but it is just something in the back of my head that keeps me awake a little longer a night.  I’m so grateful for the opportunity at Monkstown GC and can categorically say I’m really enjoying my role but when somebody has always wanted to achieve something and doesn’t quite get there I think we are all the same in saying “it bugs you”.  My fiancé Siobhàn basically convinced me and I’m delighted she has done that.   This may or may not happen this year but at least I’ve put myself forward and now it is just simply up to me.”

 

He has an earlier start tomorrow, he’s out Continue reading

Oktober Treat at Fota Island

Fota Island_1_2017Autumn is here and so too Golfest as Fota Island gets into the Oktoberfest spirit.  Now in it’s second year, Golfest will be run on more than a dozen separate dates in October.  For €59 golfers can enter the Oktoberfest competition and also avail a special meal after their round.  Embracing the tradition of Oktoberfest the menu features chicken schnitzel, bratwurst with a sourdough baguette or venison hotpot. Dinner is served with a pint of Chieftain IPA, finishing off the Oktoberfest experience for golfers.  All competitions will be held on the Deerpark course which successfully hosted the Irish Open in 2014.  The best score registered at the end of the month will win the top prize of a custom fit set of Callaway Apex Irons.  Dates and times are available throughout October and bookings can be made online or by contacting the Pro Shop in Fota Island.  The competition starts next week with times available on Thursday and Friday.  Last year the resort ran a similar event, with a top prize of a trip to Munich for the overall winner.  Despite a huge number of entries and stiff competition, the top prize went to Billy O’Donovan from Dunmore Golf Continue reading

Q School Date for McNamara

Cian McNamara_Monkstown Golf Club_Sept 2017Monkstown Head Professional Cian McNamara has an exciting event next week, he’s heading to France for stage one of the European Tour Qualifying School.  McNamara has spent well over three years in Monkstown and the Limerick native was appointed as Head Professional two years ago.  Prior that he was effectively a full-time player on the Irish PGA circuit.  After a year in Monkstown an opportunity arose to become head pro, and in the past two years Cian has grown into the prestigious position.  It was a big change for Cian but one that has worked out.  “Things have changed dramatically for me over the two years.  I have far more responsibility now than I ever had in my life but I feel I am growing into the position and hope that members of the golf club feel that I am improving in the role more as time is going on” said Cian on Continue reading

Positive Year for Blarney

Blarney Spt 2017 Presidents Prize

Paul O’Neill presenting his President’s Prize to Anne O’Driscoll at Blarney Golf Club

Blarney President Paul O’Neill held President’s Prize dinner last week and it marked the latest major event in a busy year for Blarney.  The resort hosted the Munster Boys Under 16 and the Boys Interpro’s in a busy season that included several other local events.  The Interpro’s were the big-ticket event, putting the resort on the map nationally and President Paul was delighted with the outcome.  “We hosted very many classics and societies in the past however the Muster Boys proved to us that we had the capability to host a major event, and the Boys Interprovincials is one of the GUI flagship events.”  Hosting a major event is a big undertaking.  As well as taking over the course for up to a week, the GUI also depend on a substantial amount of support from local volunteers.  Blarney members were not found wanting as Paul explained.  “We sent up a flare for our members to act as stewards, fore caddies and helpers, and to be fair we were amazed at the response.  We easily covered each area that may have caused concern for young golfers who were not overly familiar with the course.  But, these are among the best in the country so our main task became ball spotting and according to the team’s managements and players we did an exceptional job.  That point has been reinforced by the GUI representatives.  This is a young club (just 11 years in existence) and to successfully pull Continue reading

Skibbereen win Munster Mixed Foursomes

Skibbereen Munster Mixed Fours 2017

Skibbereen’s Rhona O’Donoghue and John McNamara receiving the Munster Mixed Foursomes Cup from Jim Hornibrook, Captain Muskerry Golf Club.

Skibbeen’s John McNamara and Rhona O’Donoghue won the Munster Mixed Foursomes at Muskerry recently.  The pair carded a winning score of 71 on the testing course to win by a shot.  This was the 80th staging of the event and there was a large entry from clubs all over Munster.  Michael and Brid Halloran took second place on 72.5 and East Cork took third place one shot further back.  As well as the cup, the winners were also presented with commemorative prizes.  The cup was first presented in in 1937 and counts Jimmy Bruen as one of the many well know winners through the years.  Claire Coughlan Ryan and Oonagh Barry win the Australian Spoons at Co. Longford Golf Club last week.  Despite wet and heavy conditions the Cork pairing of Claire Coughlan Ryan and Oonagh Barry were a model of consistency with 19 points on both the front and extremely tricky back nine at Co. Longford Golf Club in a round that had birdies at the par 3 8th and par 4 15th.  Last years winners Helen Jones and Vivienne Houston (Royal Portrush) won the best gross.  Presented to the ILGU in 1967 by the Australian Ladies Golf Union to support players representing Ireland at International Competitions, the Australian Spoons is contended for by clubs across Ireland.  Clubs hold an 18 hole stableford greensomes qualifier, in which their nett and gross winners progress to the District Finals.