Major Upgrade for Cork Golf Centre

A new LED lighting system has brought a huge improvement to Cork Golf Centre.
Picture: Niall O’Shea

Cork Golf Centre has seen a major upgrade in 2020 with golfers now benefitting from better lighting and a longer hitting area.  The centre just outside Ballincollig used the two lockdowns to implement some planned improvements, and it’s been a busy place since the recent reopening.  When the centre opened in May 2017 it was a much needed addition to the western side of the city.  It was within easy reach of a large number of golfers stretching from the city to Macroom.  David Keating was behind the development and his vision was to provide golfers of all levels with a Continue reading

Stafford Skills Up

Ian Stafford who has been busy planning the 2018 staging of the Pro Shop Challenge at Kinsale Golf Club.
Picture: Niall O’Shea

2020 was a different year for everyone in golf, from course owners to golfers to professionals.  With forced closures for over three months of the year, golf professionals were effectively shut down during the closures.  While there were challenges, there were also opportunities and Kinsale based PGA Professional Ian Stafford definitely took advantage of the opportunities.  As well as getting to spend more time with his family, Ian has continued his own habit of furthering his professional qualifications.  Having started his PGA training in 2000, Stafford didn’t stop with his PGA qualification.

In 2016 he achieved Continue reading

O’Sullivan Celebrates 10 Years in Cobh

Cobh’s Club Professional David O’Sullivan PGA.

This summer marked an important anniversary for PGA Professional David O’Sullivan, he celebrated 10 years as the Club Professional in Cobh Golf Club.  The Ballincollig native has been in the PGA ranks for over 20 years and has made Cobh his home since 2010.  While golf itself has gone through a strange decade, and especially a strange 2020, David was delighted to celebrate a decade at the Marino Point club.  “Ten years on and the old saying is true, time flies when you’re having fun.  From my early days, it was very clear that the members were welcoming and proud of their golf club and that is still very much the vibe at Marino Point.  Cobh Golf Club is on a journey of progression and since I started in 2010 this has been our shared journey.  It became ‘home’ and a decade on, I still very much feel that sense of belonging.”

Although you mightn’t think it, David is now in his third decade as a golf pro.  He trained in Bandon under Paddy O’Boyle and Continue reading

Michael Collins Augusta Preview

Michael Collins pictured at his base in Mallow Golf Range in Copstown.
Picture: Niall O’Shea

It’s a long way from Mallow to Augusta, but that’s the trip that James Sugrue and his coach Michael Collins had to undertake last week on the way to the Masters Tournament.  Travel restrictions meant that Collins was the only person to head off with Sugrue, and the PGA teaching professional was delighted to be alongside his pupil on the journey to golf’s most famous setting.

“Even though I was really looking forward to getting to Augusta, Covid-19 meant that it was hard to relax knowing that we had to negotiate three airports, two flights and 12 hours in the air” explained Collins.  However after arriving on Friday both Collins and Sugrue got the all clear from their Covid-19 tests and they could head for the course with the important trip down Magnolia Lane.

“It was pretty cool driving down Magnolia Lane on Saturday morning, something that I will never forget, or get tired of” said Collins.  “James has a local caddy for the week so we met Jack and played the front nine on Saturday and the back nine on Sunday morning.  As everybody has told me before we came over, you don’t realise how undulating it is until you see it.  The hill on the 10th could nearly be a ski slope.  They have told us that it will play a bit differently to April as they have had to overseed to get it playable in November.”  The weather is making a difference too as Michael continued, “It is playing pretty soft, meaning a lot of long approach shots into slopey, fast greens.  You will have to be very good tee to green this week to be in contention.  The greens take a lot of reading as the grain isn’t obvious but definitely has an influence.  We also have the added element of some weather heading through here due to the tropical storm coming up from Florida.  There is the possibility of weather delays which adds yet another element to the November Masters.”

PGA Professional Michael Collins who has also made the trip to Augusta forthe 2020 Masters Tournament.
Picture Niall O’Shea

Despite the changes in plans and schedules since March, Sugrue has kept his focus on the golf as his coach added: “To say his year has been disrupted is a gross understatement, but he has shown a great attitude and continued to work away, through all the uncertainty around competitions, lockdowns etc., and kept a positive mentality which can’t have been easy.  He has kept working hard at home since the Irish Open and has arrived here in good shape.  Ultimately, he is playing nicely, he has a great temperament and attitude and has a spring in his step after the Cork hurling and especially the footballers results over the weekend.”  The plan is to enjoy the challenge and play well.

Masters Date for Sugrue

James Sugrue pictured at home in Mallow with his invitation to the 2020 Masters Tournament.

James Sugrue is heading stateside in April, his Augusta dreams came a step closer this week when he received his official invitation to the 2020 Masters Tournament.  The Mallow man had been scheduled to receive an invitation to the famous tournament after winning the Amateur Championship last June, and the official invitation finally arrived this week.  “It was unreal to finally get it” said Sugrue.  “I thought it was coming in the last week of December so I’ve been waiting for a while!”  Although the invite was never in doubt, it was an exciting wait for the Sugrue family to finally get confirmation of James’ place in the field.  An invitation to the Masters Tournament is traditionally given to the winner of the four major amateur competitions, (US, British, Asia-Pac, Latin America) provided they remain amateur.  The amateur status means that Sugrue is not eligible for any of the prize money on offer, but a good performance in April will give his status a huge boost as he considers moving to the paid Continue reading

McSweeney wins Morgan O’Donovan Trophy

Donal McSweeney_Morgan O'Donovan Trophy 2019It may have taken three attempts but the 2019 staging of the Morgan O’Donovan Perpetual Trophy was completed on Monday, with Lahinch’s Donal McSweeney winning.  Two earlier attempts to hold the event in Monkstown were rained off, and rather than cancel this year’s event the Munster PGA committee decided to hold the event in Castletroy which was part of the autumn run of winter series events.  The Lahinch Head Professional had three birdies in his opening four holes in Castletroy giving him an excellent start.  Two bogies on the 9th and 10th pegged him back but the Charleville native finished well to post a winning score of 54 stokes for his 14 holes.  It was a north Cork 1-2 as Mark Collins from Charleville came in on one under thanks to four birdies and three pars.  Ballyneety’s Walter Doyle was third on 56 (L) while there were six golfers tied on +1.  Donal McSweeeny is the latest winner of the prestigious trophy, joining Damien McGrane, David Higgins and David Ryan who are among the previous winners.  Morgan O’Donovan was a very popular PGA Professional who passed away in 2012.  The event has been held since 2013 and is usually hosted by Monkstown Golf Club where Morgan was Club Professional.

Castletroy Munster PGA 2019McSweeney also won the team event, partnering with Walter Doyle, Jack Howard and Cian McNamara they carded ten birdies.  Tim Rice, Eanna Jones, Padraig Dooley and Kevin McGrath were second with nine birdies.  The event was kindly sponsored by Gary O’Flaherty from Cobra/Puma Golf.

Morgan O’Donovan Perpetual Trophy
1st Donal McSweeney – Lahinch  GC 54 (-2)
2nd Mark Collins – Charleville GC 55
3rd Walter Doyle – Ballyneety GC 56
4th Mark Beckett – The Golf Course at Adare Manor 57
4th Tim Rice – Limerick GC 57
4th Cian McNamara – Monkstown GC 57
4th Jack Ryan – Castletroy GC 57
4th Gary Howie – Castletroy GC 57
4th Kevin McGrath – Kevin McGrath Golf 57

Team Prize
1st Donal McSweeney, Walter Doyle, Jack Howard, Cian McNamara
2nd Tim Rice, Eanna Jones, Padraig Dooley, Kevin McGrath

Howard wins in Thurles, Munster PGA

Munster PGA Thurles Nov 2019

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Jack Howard chalked up another PGA win on Monday, finishing joint first at the Munster PGA Winter Series event in Thurles.  It was a first trip to the mid Tipperary course with host Raymond Ryan ensuring there was a warm reception for all the players.  Howard led the way in the 14 hole competition, the Fota Island assistant had birdies on the 2nd and 3rd but dropped a shot on the 11th.  He recovered with birdies on the 15th and the 18th to claim a share of the lead.  Paul O’Neill from Shannon also had four birdies and a bogey to tie the lead while Limerick’s Tim Rice birdied the final four holes to recover from being one over with four to play.  Jack Ryan, the new assistant in Castletroy was fourth with a two under return whole Ronan Collins, Raymond Ryan and Mark Collins all finished on one under.  It was a double success for Jack Howard and Paul O’Neill, they partnered with Ronan Collins for a winning 54 points in the team event.  Second place went to Mark Collins, Jack Ryan and Shane Irwin.

Munster PGA Winter Series, Thurles Golf Club, sponsored by Callaway Golf.

14 Holes, 4th November

Singles
-3 Jack Howard (Fota Island)
-3 Paul O’Neill (Shannon)
-3 Tim Rice (Limerick) 53
-2 Jack Ryan (Castletroy)
-1 Gary Howie (Castletroy)
-1 Ted Higgins (Caddymasters)
-1 Ronan Collins (Fota Island)
-1 Raymond Ryan (Thurles)
-1 Mark Collins (Charleville)

Team Event
1st Jack Howard, Paul O’Neill, Ronan Collins 54 points
2nd Mark Collins, Jack Ryan, Shane Irwin 49 points
2nd Ted Higgins, Tim Rice, Padraig Dooley 49 points

JP McManus Pro-Am Announces Details of Ticket Tender, final 100 tickets available

Paul McGinley, Rory McIlroy, JP McManus, Padraig Harrington and Shane Lowry after the round of golf 20/4/2018

Pictured at the JP McManus Pro-Am Launch in Adare Manor last year were Paul McGinley, Rory McIlroy, JP McManus, Padraig Harrington and Shane Lowry. Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

An additional 100 tickets will be tendered this month for the sold-out JP McManus Pro-Am, taking place at Adare Manor on the 6th & 7th July 2020. The tournament reached capacity on August 1st this year; however, due to unprecedented demand, The European Tour have released some additional tickets for public tender ahead of the sixth staging of the charity event.

Anybody wishing to submit a bid for a ticket cap, or number of ticket caps, is asked to now email tickets@jpmcmanusproam.com with their offer, full name and phone number. The highest bids will each receive the opportunity to purchase the cap or caps at the offer price they submitted.  The news comes as the no.10 ranked golfer in the world, Xander Schauffele, Ryder Cup stars Tommy Fleetwood, Tony Finau, Matthew Fitzpatrick & Tyrrell Hatton and former world boxing heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko join the field today.  Indeed, Fleetwood and Finau went head to head in Continue reading

Top Ten finish for Davey Barry at Irish PGA Championship

Davey BarryDavey Barry continued his solid run of form with a top ten finish at the Irish PGA Championship in Bunclody.  After a very impressive 68 yesterday, the Douglas Pro finished with a one over par 73, which saw him claim 7th place.  It’s his fourth top ten of the season after positive results in Dromoland, Malahide and of course his win in the Conor O’Dwyer Pro-Am in Kilkea Castle.  There were two birdies on Davey’s card today, bringing his total for the week to 10.  At the start of the season he committed to give €10 to charity for every birdie he had in competition.  He already has close to 40 birdies in the bag for the season and with a few more events left on the calendar.  He’s headed for Derry this evening for the City of Derry Pro Am which Continue reading