After over a decade in the America, Aaron O’Callaghan Made another big career over the summer, taking up the position of Associate Head Coach at Wake Forest. After four years with the Cardinals at University of Louisville, the Douglas native headed for North Carolina to coach with Wake Forest. The Deacons are ranked as a top 25 college in the NCAA Division One golf rankings, playing in the top level of college golf. Head Coach Jerry Hass, brother of tour star Jay Haas, has led the Deacons golf programme for over two decades. He joined Wake Forest 20 years ago and rebuilt the golf programme, winning 15 conference titles and 15 individual wins over that period. The ranking and legacy of success at Wake Forest makes O’Callaghan’s move a great career choice, and with a strong player roster hopes are high that Aaron can add to the results that have repositioned Wake Forest. “Dan Walters [Associate Coach in Wake Forest] had a business opportunity that was going to take them out of college coaching” explained O’Callaghan, who initially qualified as a PGA Professional after college. “As a result both he and Head Coach Jerry Haas reached out to me to see if I was interested in the position. I have had a relationship with Coach Haas over the last four years since I’ve been in college golf. I have always respected and admired him.” Haas is a former tour pro, and brother of Jay Haas. Ireland’s Paul Mc Bride recently graduated from Wake Forest and soon after turned pro, he’ll be one of several Irish golfers to tee it up at the European Tour Qualifying School later this month. Alex Fitzpatrick, brother of tour star Matt Fitzpatrick is currently in his second year with the Deacons.
Aaron hit the ground running when he joined Wake Forest a few week ago, with several scouting trips in addition to several other pre-season duties. “Yes, I have been very busy since I started on July 1st. I have been to Baltusrol, Valhalla, and Pebble Beach for recruiting, just to name a few. At Wake Forest we are recruiting the very best junior players in the world. My role will include structuring practice, scheduling, operations of the program, playing with and instructing the team, recruiting, and connecting with donors.” Last week the Deacons played in their first event of the season in Louisville, starting brightly with a record setting opening team score of 268, certainly a Continue reading
Muskerry’s Fred Twomey celebrated another milestone on Saturday night, when the club marked the official opening of his new Pro Shop and Academy. Fred was appointed as Club Professional in Muskerry earlier this year and the PGA Professional set about adding the final touches to the new academy and revamping the shop to mark his new role in the club. The night coincided with John O’Riordan’s President’s Prize so there was a large crowd in attendance. Fred had his good friend John Moloughney in Muskerry for the opening, John is the President of the GUI and would have been involved in many Munster teams with Fred over the past 15 years. Fred started work on the academy last year, which consists of a covered bay and open range. The three bay indoor academy features all of the latest training and teaching aids including Trackman for the best in shot analysis. As the work on the academy was Continue reading
Pictures courtesy of Brian Lougheed:
By any measure, Roy Clarke has had an interesting few years working in golf. Working for Trackman, the leading shot analysis system is a pretty cool job but it’s not even the most interesting job he’s had. Roy spent several years caddying on the LPGA tour, helping some of the biggest stars in the top ladies tour in the world. He’s now working with Trackman, the leading analysis tool used by professionals worldwide. Working off-course in the golf industry is limited to a small number of people and Roy covers all of Ireland and northern England in his current role. Like many golfers, it all started for Roy when he was young and he got his first taste for the game. “I started playing at 12, the folks bought me a full set of clubs from lifestyle sports worth €100 and a membership to Mahon Golf Club as a surprise one Christmas” said Roy. I couldn’t just look at them so I begged my mother to bring me down after the dinner. I was the only one out on the course. I’m sure it was closed, it was lashing, and I didn’t even know the rules. I played 36 holes a day once the summer hit, and I was golfing at a very good level by 18, playing off scratch.” It was clear that he was almost obsessive about the sport. A summer trip to the US would lead to the first stage of his golfing career. “I just had a love affair with golf and always knew it would be the industry I would work in” he continued. “The jigs and the reels would lead me to Bighorn Golf Club, Palm Springs for a Continue reading
The Amateurs reclaimed the bragging rights in the Pro Shop Challenge last week, as Cathal Butler and John Murphy beat Ger Broderick and Ian Stafford in Kinsale. It was the third staging of the unique event and while the amateurs won on the course the real winner was the charity partners. Over €4,000 was raised for Marymount and the RNLI. Organiser Ian Stafford was delighted with the results of their fundraising event. “We’re absolutely delighted with the amount of money that we have raised to date which is in the region of €4,500” said Stafford. “To surpass our target of €3,600 by nearly €1,000 is phenomenal and much of this is down to the hard work of our captain Brian Doran who has been a huge help in securing sponsorship to the event. This year we had local businesses sponsoring each hole as well of a number of sponsored challenges throughout the round. To think when we first discussed this event three years ago that we would have raised nearly €11,000 from the first 3 events is hard to believe and we are absolutely delighted with the support we have got.”
Kinsale Pro Shop Challenge Gallery :: Aidan Stafford Photography
Cathal Butler was delighted to win back the title they lost last year, although they may have had some assistance from Continue reading
Cian McNamara is just two shots off the lead in the PGA Professional Championship at Little Aston. The Monkstown man produced rounds of 67 and 69 to reach the halfway stage on -8 and tied for 4th place. McNamara is on a run of good form and had 13 birdies over the two rounds to put himself in a position to claim the £10,000 top prize. McNamara has finished in the top ten last year and will be hoping for another decent payday this year. David Higgins is just outside the top ten on -6 and Headforts Joe Dillon is just one off the lead on -9.
The original field of over 120 golfers has now been reduced to 50 (top 40 plus ties) for the final two rounds. The third round plash is currently underway and with a majority of the golfers on the course under par it should be an interesting moving day.
It’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
The 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
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
Cian 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