Cork Golf Centre continues to grow

Cork Golf Centre June 2018It’s well over a year since Cork Golf Centre opened and it that time it’s become a favourite destination for golfers.  While it boasts one of Cork’s largest ranges, there’s much more on offer than just the 20 driving bays.  High quality driving mats, ample space and top quality Srixon balls make for a good experience for anyone just practicing, and there are plenty of distance targets including a set of goal posts.  The goal posts were the brainchild of Cork hurling fan David Keating.  Dave is the Head Professional in Killarney but he was also the man behind the reopening of the facility in Ballincollig.  When it opened in May 2017, Keating had a vision of creating a one stop shop, something more than just a basic range were you could hit balls.  In addition to being able to buy a bucket of balls, there are PGA’s professionals available for lessons, a golf specific fitness gym and a private room for performance coaching.  Resident coaches Wayne O’Callaghan and Liam Burns are hand to provide lessons, Francis Courtney provides a TPI based golf fitness programme from his dedicated onsite gym while Continue reading

Pro Shop Challenge returns to Kinsale

Kinsale Pro Shop Challenge, Saturday 22nd July 2017The Pro Shop Challenge returns to Kinsale Golf Club this month, this will be the third staging of the very popular charity fundraising event.  The brainchild of Ian Stafford and Cathal Butler, the challenge started in 2016 with Ian and Cathal partnering with Ger Broderick and John Murphy respectively.  The amateurs took the win that year, the young guns took an early lead and never looked back as the the confidence of youth helped them to wrap up a win.  Most importantly the event raised over €3,000 for Special Olympics.  Delighted with their efforts in 2016, Butler and Murphy spearheaded the second staging of the event last year.  This time however their wings were clipped.  Broderick and Stafford used all of their experience and knowledge to take down the cocky amateurs, beating them by a clear margin in the end.  Both professionals, who were involved first hand in the coaching and development of Butler and Murphy, were delighted to beat the amateurs in front of a huge crowd in Kinsale.  Yet again the main winner was the charity partner.  Marymount Hospice was the selected beneficiary and over €3,000 was handed over after the event.  With the series score at 1-1, interest is building in this years competition.  The event was first proposed by Ian Stafford who quickly enlisted a core team to turn the idea into an event.  Keeping the event going is now the priority for Ian.  “With the third edition this year, the fact that the pro’s managed to win last year has given the event this year a heightened sense of interest” said Ian Stafford.  “The event needs to stay competitive to be a success.  Having said that both Ger and I have thoroughly enjoyed our year as Champions Continue reading

McNamara through to DDF Irish Open

 

Cian McNamara_Monkstown Golf Club_Sept 2017

Monkstown’s Cian McNamara pictured at his custom fitting bay at the range in Monkstown Golf Club. Picture: Niall O’Shea

Cian McNamara booked his place in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open this week with a dramatic playoff win this evening in Rosapenna.  The Monkstown professional was tied for fourth place after the opening round, and at the end of 36 holes he was tied with tour professional Kevin Phelan for the fourth and final qualifying place.  It was the Limerick native who won through in the play-off.  After halving the first playoff hole, Phelan’s approach to the second found the rough and two putts meant that he carded a five.  McNamara was on in two with around 30 feet for birdie.  He rolled his birdie putt up to less than two feet and tapped in the par to win the final place.  He now faces a tough decision on whether to travel to St Anne’s Old Links on Tuesday for final qualifying for the Open Championship in what’s sure to be a busy week.

Simon Thornton won the event and claimed the top prize of €6,000 a well as a Continue reading

More to do for Cork crew in Rosapenna

Cian McNamara_1Cian McNamara and James Sugrue have a solid chance of making the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open after the opening round of the Rosapenna qualifier. McNamara shot a three under par round of 69 to lie in 4th place at the halfway stage.  After a bogey on the 5th he came back in four under par, with a final birdie on the 17th to get himself back into contention.  James Sugrue is two shots back on -1, and currently in 10th place.  Sugrue had an interesting round, made up of seven birdies and six bodies.  irrespective of what happens tomorrow both golfers will travel to the UK from Donegal to take part in final qualifying for the British Open.

Jack Howard is tied for 15th on +1, Davey Barry and Padraig Dooley are both tied for 25th place after rounds of 75 (+3).  Given that the best scores today were -5 it’s unlikely that Continue reading

Davey on track in Douglas

Davey Barry pictured on the range at Douglas Golf Club. Picture: Niall O'SheaWhile there are thousands of Cork people who have just completed exams, it was a different time for Davey Barry as he got word that he had passed his final PGA exams, meaning he has now a qualified teaching professional.  The Douglas based Pro had been working hard for the past three years, combining work in the pro shop with his studies, but Davey is delighted that he now joins the PGA as a full member.  “It’s fantastic to have finished the course. It’s a lot of work and long hours but it’s a great feeling to have gotten here” said Davey.  “It was a long journey for me, I had to do some extra exams before I started the course, it was well worth it though.  This is something that I’ve always wanted to do since I was young, and it’s a career that can Continue reading

Long Read: Liam Burns Celebrates 25 years in Youghal

Liam BurnsLiam Burns is a West Cork man by birth, but after 25 years in Youghal, he surely qualifies as an East Cork man.  Liam is celebrating 25 years as the Club Professional at Youghal Golf Club and after taking up the game in his mid teens, he turned it into a career.  It’s surprising to hear that Liam was a later comer to golf, but once he started he was bitten by the bug.  “I only started playing golf at age 16 with my good friend school teacher Paddy Kehoe” explained the Bandon native.  “Paddy thought me in Hamilton High School in Bandon and his son Mark was single handicap player at the time.  They encouraged me to play golf as my parents didn’t play.  Starting out I would play 36 holes a day sometimes.  Whenever I got a chance I was on the golf Continue reading

Irwin wins in Monkstown

Shane Irwin April 2018Monkstown’s Shane Irwin captured his first professional win on Monday when he won the Morgan O’Donovan Perpetual Trophy at his home course.  The Limerick native shot a 65 to claim the final event in Munster PGA winter series.  Irwin had a great start, he had a birdie on the second, and the had four in a row from the fourth to the seventh.  Two more birdies followed on the back nine but he also had two bogies.  Holding the lead from the back nine was crucial as he had one shot to spare over the holder David Higgins.  Cian McNamara was third a further shot back.  It was a double win for Irwin, he partnered Monkstown President Ada O’Sullivan won the pro-am competition.  The pair scored 47 points to finish three points ahead of the field.  Needles to say, Shane was delighted with his win.  “It’s always nice to win, especially against such good players that were playing today’s event” said the Monkstown assistant.  “To win is always great no matter what your playing.  I didn’t except to have any great intentions as myself and Cian had so many things on our mind regarding the event.  I must say that today’s event was a great success for everyone the club, and it was a great day to remember Morgan O Donovan and what I’ve been told a humble and great man he was not only in Monkstown but everywhere he worked and played.”  The Monkstown pro-am marked the start of a busy summer season for PGA Professionals and Shane is looking forward to the season.  “I’ll be Continue reading

JP McManus ProAm 2020

Paul McGinley, Rory McIlroy, JP McManus, Padraig Harrington and Shane Lowry after the round of golf 20/4/2018The golf course at Adare Manor officially reopened last week, marking the final stage in the redevelopment of the Adare Manor estate after it was purchased by the McManus family.  The course closed in late 2015, and soon after world renowned designer Tom Fazio was commissioned to oversee the redevelopment of the course.  Over two years later the property has been transformed, and has been christened “parkland perfection” by one tour professional.  In typical McManus fashion, he staged an exhibition match to officially launch the course and the 2020 Pro Am.  And even more typical the match was comprised of golfers who have won seven majors, three Continue reading

Adare now a very special course

Rory McIlroy pictured playing onto the green 20/4/2018Many Cork people will be familiar with Adare.  A large proportion of Cork golfers will have played the course, and many more will have visited when it hosted the Irish Open or the JP McManus ProAm.  On the redesigned course, every tee box and green remain are effectively the same place.  While the order of the holes and general layout remains the same, everything else has been transformed.  Each green and tee has been rebuilt and redesigned from scratch, with significant underground installations for drainage, new irrigation and watery delivery systems. Every bunker has been replaced with the latest capillary concrete liner drainage technology.  All of the fairways have been sand-capped for the driest playing conditions.  All of the numbers in Adare are astounding.  Over 180,000 tonnes of sand were brought in to improve playability and redefine the course.  On top of that 77 new tee boxes were constructed stretching the course from 5,120 metres on the red tees, to a massive 7,509 metres off the Gold championship tees.  While there are four measured course lengths on the card, greenkeepers have plenty of choices in setting up the course for any Continue reading

Ian Stafford Awarded Fellow Status by PGA

Ian Stafford_April 2018_1Popular 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