Irwin looking forward to 2022

Monkstown PGA Professional Shane Irwin.
Picture: Niall O’Shea

For the first time since qualifying as a PGA Professional, Monkstown’s Shane Irwin is looking forward to a normal season.  The Limerick native traded in his hurley for a golf clubs a few years back and started his PGA training.  Irwin completed his PGA studies in 2020 but the past two years were interrupted with several lockdowns.  Like plenty of others in golf, he thinks 2022 will be a bumper year for the sport and he has already seen a big increase in the numbers out golfing.

PGA Professional Shane Irwin pictured at the Trackman fitting studio at Monkstown Golf Club.
Picture: Niall O’Shea

“The winter was much busier than previous years due to not having any sort of lockdowns compared to previous years” explained Irwin.  “In the first few months we had fantastic weather which got a lot of golfers out onto the course.  It really was our first proper winter using the Trackman studio with lessons and custom fitting.  The main areas I think golfers are working on this for this part of the year in particularis the short game and putting.  Indoor facilities like this, especially in the cold winter months,  gives a  golfer important putting and swing analysis along with video technology.  After each lesson we can also send a video summary to each golfers which includes some drills to work on.”

Irwin has been based in Monkstown for just over five years.  In that time he has completed his PGA studies, qualifying in 2020.  Monkstown is now home to three PGA Professionals with Cian McNamara leading the team.  While Cian and Shane are from Limerick, there was a Corkman added to the team recently.  Shane Livesey joined from Douglas last month, and just last week he completed his PGA studies to become a fully qualified PGA Professional.  With three teaching pro’s, access to facilities is key and Irwin is delighted with facilities available to members and guests.

PGA Professional Shane Irwin practicing his putting at the Trackman fitting studio at Monkstown Golf Club. Pic: Niall O’Shea

“We’re looking forward to the club opening the new short game facility.  It will be a great addition to the already fantastic work been done by the club and it will benefit the club teams, Juniors and Members short games massively.  Once the short game area opens in May we will be providing a service with short game demo days featuring the leading brands to test and compare wedges and putters for players.”

While Shane is part of the pro shop team, he’s delighted to be part of the wider team that Continue reading

Putting for Dough at Cork Golf Centre

PGA Advanced Professional Wayne O’Callaghan who is based at Cork Golf Centre.
Picture: Niall O’Shea

If you ask golfers how many putts they take in a round they’ll probably have a rough idea of the number.  But if you asked them for the percentage very few would think it’s over 40% of the shots in an average round.  Wayne O’Callaghan has been building a reputation as a leading putting coach, and his new performance studio in Cork Golf Centre is designed to provide golfers with cutting edge technology to improve their putting.

Wayne, a PGA Advanced Professional recently invested in the latest putting analysis technology, the Sam Puttstudio.  Wayne has used the Science & Motion puttlab for a number of years, and he recently upgraded to the studio version which provides ball tracking and video projection.  Golfers and the instructor can now see the putt line thanks to the Continue reading

Ryan wins PGA Southern Championship

Monkstown Captain Donal Delaney presenting the PGA Southern Championship trophy to David Ryan (East Cork GC) after his win last week.

David Ryan picked up the first bit of silverware in the PGA season last week.  The East Cork Club Pro won the Irish PGA Southern Championship in Monkstown, beating an impressive field.  Ryan went around in 66 strokes and took the title by a single stroke.  “It was great to win last week said David, “it just goes to show there’s life in the old dog yet and it was nice to have East Cork GC after the name up in lights.”  Ryan is well used to winning on the Irish PGA circuit and he has racked up a number of wins in Monkstown, as well as previously winning the Southern Championship.

“I won the same event in Powerscourt in 2012 shooting the same score.  As for Monkstown golf club I love playing up there always have. It’s the type of course that suits my game.  It’s not the longest but you have to think your away around.  I’ve had a bit of success in Monkstown.  I’ve won the pro-am and also the Morgan O’Donovan event which was a nice one to win as Morgan was one Continue reading

Early start to the season for Cork golfers

Fota Island’s John Doyle receiving the Munster U14 Order of Merit medal from Jim Long, also included is John’s Dad Barry.

It might still be the off-season for golf in Ireland but there are a few Cork golfers have already started their 2022 campaigns.  John Murphy competed in his fourth tournament of the new season in South Africa last week.  Murphy has had a busy start to the year, after a few weeks of preseason work in Spain he travelled to California for the AT&T ProAm in Pebble Beach.  Unfortunately for John he missed the cut but it was a big learning experience for him as he teed it up alongside the stars of the PGA Tour.  From there it was a sprint across the Atlantic to South Africa for the start of the Challenge Tour.  He finished just inside the top fifty in his opening event three weeks ago, and after missing the cut in the second event he went on to secure a top twenty finish in Durban last week.  Murphy has picked up close to €5,000 in prize money this season and he’ll be hoping for another good finish this week.

Murphy clocked up over €120,000 in his thirteen tour events last year after turning professional in June.  It was a sprint for the Kinsale man over the course of five months.  He played in nine different countries on three separate tours, but most importantly he finished inside the top 70 and Continue reading

Fitting the Key to Better Golf

PGA Professional Padraig Dooley.
Picture: Niall O’Shea

It’s that time of year, the manufacturers have released their new golf clubs and the dazzling marketing claims and new terminology are tempting golfers to change.  Speed optimised, jailbreak speed frame, carbonwood, rebound frame and zero CG are some of the buzzwords doing the rounds this year as the manufacturers do their best to convince golfers to upgrade.  While the technology continues to improve, the price also increases with new drivers now averaging over €500 in the premium space and iron sets even more expensive.  For many club golfers a new set of clubs might cost more than their annual subscription.  While many golfers will buy off the shelf, an increasing number are choosing custom fitting.

Padraig Dooley is a PGA professional and for well over a decade he has been building up a large base of customers who Continue reading

PGA Tour Debut for John Murphy

John Murphy.  Picture: Niall O’Shea

It’s a big week for Kinsale’s John Murphy as he makes his debut on the PGA Tour at Pebble Beach.  It’s an exciting start to Murphy’s 2022 schedule, and it came thanks to a chance meeting when he was practicing in Florida in December.  He was advised to contact the AT&T Tournament Director with a letter of request and Murphy was delighted to hear back from Steve John.  “Thankfully the Tournament Director was generous enough to accept the request, he sent me a text shortly after to confirm I was i.  It’s very exciting, especially as it’s something I didn’t really expect.  It’s a great opportunity to have and I’m looking forward to trying to make the most of it.”

Murphy along with caddy Shane O’Connell travelled to California last week and the pair settled into their tournament routine.  “Since we’ve got here the prep has been very good, the weather has been great” said Shane.  Continue reading

Busy time for Fred in Muskerry

Fred Twomey with a welcoming smile at the Pro Shop in Muskerry Golf Club.

It was far from a quiet start to the day in Muskerry on Monday.  Even though it was a bank holiday the car park was busy and the timesheet was full.    The outdoor dining area was ready to reopen and in the pro shop Fred Twomey was busy running the show from behind the counter.  From filling out cards, to booking in golfers and lessons it’s all in a days work for the popular PGA Club Professional.  After the lockdown closure that lasted over five months, Fred is busy, but he’s delighted to be back in the thick of it in a very busy club.

“We’ve been up the walls, and it’s a great problem to have” explained Continue reading

McNamara set for new season in Monkstown

Cian McNamara, Monkstown’s Club Professional.
Picture: Niall O’Shea

Like most club professionals, Cian McNamara was busy last week getting ready for the reopening of golf.  It’s eight years since Cian landed in Monkstown, and the Limerick native has made Cork and Monkstown his home.  Like everyone interested in the sport, Cian was counting down to the reopening of golf.  He is expecting a busy restart to golf, and he’s expecting a busy summer.  “I certainly believe with the long lay-off from golf, golf tuition will be busy over the summer months” said McNamara.  “With Golf Ireland determined to play championships and inter-club events it will also add to the golf tuition demand which will be great.  Custom fitting is certainly a big area that has emerged over the last few years.  With PGA Club Professionals providing the opportunity to compare different models while using various launch monitors it gives the customer the assurance that the purchase they make is certainly suited to their technique.”

McNamara has helped drive several changes in Monkstown and one of the most exciting developments was the opening of a new Trackman studio last year.  The studio has the latest technology including an indoor driving bay and a putting area, and this gives members a real advantage when it comes to analysis and custom fitting.  “The reac Continue reading

Job Opportunity: Douglas Golf Club Pro-Shop

Stephen Hayes has an opening for a full-time staff member, working in the Douglas Golf Club Pro-Shop.  The role is a great opportunity for someone looking to work in the trade, and Douglas is one of the busiest clubs in Cork.  The club is nearing the end of a major transformation programme, and the new pro-shop is due to be completed this year.  Full details on the job are listed below:

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