Popular golf teaching Professional Ian Stafford was recently awarded the Fellow designation by the PGA. The Innishannon and Kinsale based pro has continued to invest in his continuing professional development and now becomes only the second PGA professional in Munster to hold the fellow status. Ian’s latest qualification was approved by the APAL process (Accreditation of Professional Achievement and Learning). Each application is considered by the APAL Council which consists of longstanding PGA Members, representatives of the R&A, the golf industry, an advisor from the university sector and two PGA Senior Staff members. On the island of Ireland there are currently over 500 PGA Professionals only 12 of which currently have Fellow status, with Stafford being the youngest to reach Fellow level at 36. This follows on Ian’s qualification as a Level 3 Advanced Coach which he achieved in 2016, and his motivation stems from one of the cornerstones of his teaching. “As a coach I’m Continue reading
Stephen Hayes has just opened a new performance centre in Douglas Golf Club, the Club Professional in Douglas has invested in a brand new facility for members and clients to learn and hone their golfing skills. Previously Stephen had worked from a teaching bay in the driving range, but that bay was a victim of the storm in October so an alternative was Continue reading
Cobh Golf Club is looking forward to a busy 2018. Last year the club completed works on their new clubhouse and the completion of the club house and carpark marked the end of the beginning in some respects. Having moved to their new Championship course in Marino Point in 2009, the club committees and its large membership set about building a lasting legacy for the club and the local area. While the Hawtree designed course needed very little, the club invested time, energy and money in the surrounding facilities and now have the complete package. The clubhouse, Pro Shop and practice area compliment the signature course which looks out over Cork Harbour. The club is still open for new members and joiner can benefit from a special offer of €650 for the remainder of the year, while existing members of Cobh can benefit from the €80 per month direct debit option that makes the sub payment easier. Cobh celebrated their drive in earlier this month, President Teresa Delius, Captain Pat Feen, Lady Captain Maria Hughes and Junior Captain Peter Dennis all took part to mark the ceremonial start to the new year, and while conditions for golf mightn’t be great just yet, the lower harbour club will have a busy year ahead.
PGA Professional has been the club pro Continue reading
Despite the cold weather, the Munster PGA got the second half of their winter series off to a great start on Monday in Cork Golf Club. Twenty Pro’s braved the cold winds but the course in Cork was in great condition, and benefitted from the recent week of dry weather. Munster PGA Captain Cian McNamara was the winner on the day, the Monkstown Professional shot a one under par 71 to record his second win of the winter series. He turned on two under par thanks to birdies on the second, third and eighth, and he dropped a shot on the index one fourth hole. A bogey also followed on the 10th but he parred the remaining eight holes to remain in the red and sign for a one under par 71. After a break of a few months, David Higgins made his seasonal debut. The Waterville man had a beak towards the end of 2017 and was in Barbados for a pro-am in January. Although he carded an impressive 72 for second place, the form was mixed. He had an uncharacteristic six bogies but that was countered with four birdies and an eagle. David was joined on his team by brother Brian and dad Liam. They returned an impressive Continue reading
China based golfer Brian O’Donovan made a huge breakthrough yesterday when he won a tour card for the PGA China Tour. Brian was competing in the second qualifying tournament in the PGA backed China tour at the Mission Hills Haikou course. The former Bandon amateur opened on Friday with a 68 for a share of third place, and a solid second round saw him remain in the top five. However a one over par 73 on Saturday saw him drop to 16th, one place outside the qualifying places. After a shaky start on Sunday morning, he steadied and was one over par for his front nine. After hovering around the qualifying mark he birdied the final hole to move to two under par overall and safely inside the top 15. Now armed with a full tour card, Brian will qualify for the series of fourteen events, all based in China with the top five on the tour qualifying for the Web.com tour. There’s a run of six events starting in May with the second half kinking off in late August after a six-week break. The Bandon native was a member of the very successful team from Bandon Golf Club who won the Irish Senior Cup national title in 2010. It was a family affair for the O’Donovan’s, Brian’s Dad Donal was also on that team in Castlebar when they won the most prized team competition in Ireland.
After winning the top team event, Brian decided to pursue a full time career in golf, and enrolled in the PGA programme. Two years of study followed and Brian was based in Douglas Golf Club under Stephen Hayes while studying for his PGA qualification. Brian moved to China soon after qualifying as a PGA Professional in late 2013. While he hoped to remain competitive on the local professional tours, a knees problem ruled him out of competitive action for the best part of a year. He returned to competitive action via the qualifiers for the PGA China Tour events, while also continuing work develop as a teacher in the Mission Hills Golf Academy.
Although it’s only open since April last year, Cork Golf Centre has quickly become a firm favourite for golfers on the western side of the city and beyond. With a reduction in the number of public range facilities, Cork Golf Centre was ideally positioned to fill a gap in the market for both casual and serious golfers. Located just beyond the regional park in Ballincollig, there’s a very large catchment area including several clubs. “The centre has had a very busy first year and it continues to grow” explained resident PGA Professional Wayne Continue reading
It may be an old saying but it still holds true – drive for show, putt for dough and Wayne O’Callaghan is hoping to build on that with a brand new putting analysis system. Wayne, who is based at the Cork Golf Centre in Ballincollig, is one of only two PGA Professionals in Ireland to use the Capto Putting Technology system. Using a small sensor on the shaft of your putter, the system can instantly capture twenty key parameters of the putting stroke. Wayne along with Killarney based David Keating travelled to Spain in December to pick up their new systems, which offer a whole new level of detail when it comes to analysing putting. While there are several options for measuring the swing of irons and drivers, and there are several putting systems that capture the reaction of the ball once it’s hit, this is one of the first systems to focus on the swing and the actions of the golfer. The system operates by putting a small 3D sensor onto the shaft of the putter and using a computer or phone Continue reading
Cobh’s PGA Professional David O’Sullivan has recently upgraded his teaching facilities and the investment is another boost for Cobh members. A new swing room, coupled with Trackman technology and analysis has placed O’Sullivan in the premier league when it comes to teaching.
“The swingroom at the practice ground contains Trackman, a golf radar system with slow motion cameras to assist with detailed golf lessons. Trackman can also Continue reading
Tim Rice won his second Munster PGA event of the season when he shot a five under par 67 in Killarney today. Rice knocked in six birdies in an impressive round on Mahonys Point. Close to 30 PGA Professionals played in the event, which was sponsored by John Caulfield from TaylorMade. The scoring was very impressive with 11 golfers shooting par or better. Cian McNamara took second place with and Fota Island’s Jack Howard picked up his first prize as a pro, he shot a 69 to finish tied for 3rd place. Lahinch’s Donal McSweeney was fifth with a two under par 70. The over 45 prize went to David Whyte while the team prize was won by Tin Rice, Alan O’Meara, Jamie O’Sullivan and David Whyte.
Mahony’s Point was in great condition and Munster PGA Captain Cian McNamara thanked Cormac Flannery and David Keating for their help with another great outing. Killeen is currently undergoing some work as a new green is being constructed on the iconic first hole. The new green brings the water into play for the second shot and a large proportion of the work has been completed with an opening due for early next year. The Captain also passed on his best wishes Danny Sugrue, the Dooks professional underwent major surgery last week for an ongoing condition and everyone was delighted to hear that he’s making a good recovery.
The last event of 2017 will take place next Monday in Castletroy and another good turn-out is expected. After that a further four events are planned for early 2018, and the series is scheduled to conclude with a pro-am in Monkstown where the Morgan O’Donovan Perpetual Trophy will be played for. The Munster PGA winter series is sponsored by Premium Golf Brands.
Munster PGA Winter Series #3
Killarney (Mahony’s Point)
Sponsored by TaylorMade Golf (John Caulfield)
1: Tim Rice, Limerick (67)
2: Cian McNamara, Monkstown (68)
T3: Jack Howard, Fota Island (69)
T3: David Ryan, Cahir Park (69)
5: Donal McSweeney, Lahinch (70)
Over 45: David Whyte
Team: Tim Rice, Alan O’Meara, Jamie O’Sullivan, David Whyte.
Castlemartyr played host to the second Munster PGA event on Monday and the winner was Cian McNamara. The Monkstown man is also the Munster PGA Captain and he went around the par 72 course in 67 strokes. Three birdies in the first four holes set the pace for McNamara and he also birdied the 9th to turn on -4. He added a fifth birdie on the index one 10th hole, and despite a scare on the last he kept bogies off the card which was enough to win by one. Paddy Sheehy (Lahinch) was also on fire on the greens, recording a total of eight birdies. Unfortunately for Sheehy his round also included four bogies, that meant he signed for a 68 taking second place. Third place went to David Ryan who was also under par with a 71. Darragh Morrissey took the Assistants prize while Liam Burns won the Over 45 prize. The event was sponsored by Paul McCabe & Gerry Green from Pro Quip.
Not surprisingly the team prize went to Paddy Sheehy’s team. He was joined by Diarmuid Fraser, Darragh Morrissey and Robert Kelly as the combined for an impressive better-ball score of 60. Aside from having a solid game overall, the greens suited McNamara as his round included eight one putts. He now leapfrogs Tim Rice on top of the Premium Golf Brands order of merit. The new format of individual, team and category prizes again resulted in a large turnout, with several apologies from those unable to play.
Castlemartyr was in great shape for the event, firm fairways and fast greens were the order of the day for the 30 PGA Professionals as the took on the Ron Kirby designed inland links. The course in Castlemartyr celebrated 10 years this summer and as usual much of the scoring happened on the front nine with several golfers turning in red numbers. The back nine in Castlemartyr is often considered to be a stiffer test and based on the cards it played at least two shots more difficult. Castlemartyr’s PGA Professional Alan Gleeson welcomed the Munster PGA to the resort with a complimentary breakfast which was very much appreciated, especially by the golfers who travelled from Clare, Limerick, Kerry and Tipperary. The next event on the winter series schedule takes place in Killarney in two weeks time and in a small change to the schedule, Castletroy will host the final event before Christmas. Another three or four singles events will be planned for January and February, and a season ending pro-am is planned for Monkstown to coincide with the Morgan O’Donovan Perpetual Trophy.