Mairead Martin recently enjoyed a few weeks at home after an exciting few months in the US on a golf scholarship in Kentucky. The Kanturk golfer who completed her leaving cert in June and in August she moved to start with their acclaimed womens golf programme. It was a great first semester, Mairead finished the second highest ranked golfer on the roster claiming two top ten finishes on her first five tournaments. It was a busy few months for the teenager as she settled into her new home for the next few years. “The first couple of weeks were tough and quite intense it took a while for me to get used to how busy each day was between school, practice and workouts” explained Mairead. “I struggled to find time to even think about home or even be homesick. When I arrived in Louisville the team and coaches couldn’t have been Continue reading
This year could be summarised as a game of two halves for John Murphy. The Kinsale golfer spent the first half of the year playing well but struggling to get results, but the second half saw him hit some key milestones. These included an international win, an Irish cap and get finish to the season back in college in the US. While 2018 may have been his best year, Murphy didn’t feel like that at the beginning of the year a he explained. “The college semester was difficult for me” recalled Murphy. “I didn’t feel like I was competing as I had in the past. I wasn’t producing results that were reflecting how I was playing. In all honesty, I was worried, I was shooting some poor scores and I was getting very frustrated with myself. It was tough. I remember having a call with my parents at regionals where I just shot 7 over par. I told them I was playing well but I just couldn’t score, and then we all realized that I had been saying that all semester, and maybe I was being delusional. The week I got back Continue reading
It’s been a busy off season for Peter O’Keeffe, while many golfers have put the sticks away until January, O’Keeffe is still working hard. The Doulas elite amateur was in Spain last week, and he finished sixth in a Gecko Tour event. The Gecko Tour is a mini-tour based in Spain, generally featuring emerging professional golfers. O’Keeffe shot a final round 67 to jump up the leaderboard and finish on -4 for his 54 holes. It was a good finish for Peter, he was +3 halfway though his second round so his strong finish was a real positive. Peter has had another good year at the top level. In March he retained his Kerry Scratch Cup title, and while he didn’t repeat his 2017 feat of winning a national championship, he was competitive in almost every event. He reached the quarter final of the Irish Close and finished in the top eight on the Bridgestone Order of Merit. He retained his place on the Irish team for the Home Internationals, a team that narrowly lost out to England. O’Keeffe has risen up the international rankings also, he started the year at 752 on WAGR, but he Continue reading
2018 was a breakthrough year for Sara Byrne, and that was recognised last week when she won the Irish Golf Writers Womens Amateur of the Year award. The award was a reflection on the results Sara achieved during the year as well representing Ireland at two international competitions. It was a busy year for Sara, although she committed to playing in fewer events this year, the competitions she did select were higher in profile and the quality of the field was generally stronger. In terms of other awards, Byrne topped the Girls Order of Merit by a clear margin, and she also finished third on the women’s order of merit. Sara’s season started in March when she finished third in the Munster Womens Championship in Killarney. Rounds of 74, 75 and 78 saw her claim a podium finish although she did miss out on retaining her Munster Girls title by one shot. Despite playing well, she couldn’t manage to claim the top spot until she got to Enniscrone in June for the Irish Womens Close. She came through two rounds of Strokeplay and five rounds of matchplay golf to win the national title. Aside from the mental battle of matchplay, she also had to contend with extreme weather as wind and Continue reading
Dan Sugrue made it three from three in Castlemartyr on Monday when he won the third Munster PGA outing of the 2018 Winter Series. In fact it was a double for Sugrue as he teamed up with his brother John and Tim Rice to claim the team prize. Sugrue had a flawless front nine of 32 with birdies on 4,6,8 and 9. He had a further birdie 2 on 12 followed by his only drop shot on 13 – his first in 49 holes of competitive golf. His final birdie came on 15 for an inward 35.
David Barry started with 3 birdies in the first four, he bogeyed 7 and 11 but birdied 17. Tim Rice birdie 3,7 and 8 to turn in 33, he had a lone bogey on 10 and finished with 8 pars. Cormac Flannery birdied the first, bogeyed 3, he doubled the 5th which included a 2 stroke penalty for playing from the wrong tee but he finished the front nine strongly by eagling the 8th and birdieing 9. He birdied 12 and 13 with his lone bogey on the back nine coming on the 16th. Dan Sugrue, John Sugrue and Tim Rice had thirteen birdies between them to win the team event by three points. The event was hosted by Castlemartyr’s PGA Professional Alan Gleeson.
Munster PGA Winter Series, Castlemartyr Links
1st – Dan Sugrue – Dooks GC 67
T2nd – David Barry – Douglas GC 70
T2nd – Tim Continue reading
It’s just a year since greenkeeper Paudie O’Sullivan was appointed as Head Superintendent at Castlemartyr. Now in his third decade as a greenkeeper, the Little Island man has had a busy year at the prestigious East Cork golf resort. “It has been a whirlwind twelve months, to get the Head Superintendent job at Castlemartyr was a fantastic step in my career” added Paudie. “Everyday is a learning day in Castlemartyr as you never know what each day will bring. In the twelve months since being given the Head Superintendent position, we have been through storm Ophelia in October, from November to February we had over 500mm of rainfall, and in March we were covered in snow and closed for 12 consecutive days. Any then this summer we went through the driest summer I have incurred.” That dry spell in July was O’Sullivan’s biggest task in a challenging year. Weeks went by without any meaningful rain, which isn’t ideal when your trying to maintain over 100 acres of cultivated grass. “Looking back now on the summer, Castlemartyr has come out quite well” explained the man in charge. “One or two areas needed overseeding due to Continue reading
Pictures from the prize-giving in Lahinch: Continue reading
A large number of PGA Professionals in Cork have embarked on an ambitions fundraising drive to help Tramore native Ian St John as he battles to recover from a devastating illness. Led by Cian McNamara, eight Cork based professionals have committed to raising €4,000 as part of a €40,000 nationwide fundraising campaign. The project is aiming to collect €20 each from golfers, pro’s and supporters with the aim of collecting €4,000 in each of the ten selected regions. The funds are being raised to purchase a piece of specialised equipment to help Ian’s recovery.
While all Munster PGA’s are involed in the campaign, the eight Cork Pro’s designated are Liam Burns, Peter Hickey, Ger Broderick, Paddy O’Boyle, Stephen Hayes, Alan Gleeson, David O’Sullivan, and Cian McNamara. Each of the eight have sponsorship cards, and all Cork (and Munster) based PGA professionals have more details on the campaign. The campaign will run for another three weeks.
More details on the fundraising campaign are included Continue reading
Sean Reddy is one of Cork’s emerging young golfers who continues to work on his game and improve, and the 2018 season was an important one for the 11 year golf nut. Having started playing golf many years ago, Sean joined Douglas Golf Club at the start of the season and quickly became a regular on the course. The young golfer rounded off his season when he got his hands on some important silverware last month, he won the Minor Matchplay Cup in Douglas in September. Any the way he won was pretty impressive. Playing in a matchplay competition, he won the 18th with a birdie to force the match onto the 19th hole. And on the testing par four he won the match with a par. Sean was a busy boy all Summer, playing competitions and practicing. Like most young golfers, the summer holidays meant more time on the course and he put himself to good use picking up the club almost every day. “All summer I played most days in Douglas and then other days I practiced in the Academy in Fota Island” said Sean, “I was usually playing or practicing everyday. I got to play Hollywood in Belfast, Rory Milroy’s home course, it was incredible to play there. My favourite also was the K Club, last time I was there on a Sunday was to watch Rory win the Irish Open in 2016.” Unlike many other golfers of his age, Sean doesn’t just practice for fun, he does it to improve. And he spent the summer working on a few important areas. I worked on my swing path and alignment mostly, trying to keep my swing consistent on every shot” explained Reddy, “I know my swing speed and distance will come as I get older, I am not 12 until next year and I want my swing to be perfect now so when I am older it hopefully will be always be consistent as I swing faster. I worked on many speed and strength drills with Peter for most of the summer.” Now playing off an official GUI handicap, Sean has seen this tumble as he played in Douglas over the Summer. He dropped ten shots and he’s now playing off 14 – a very impressive mark for an eleven year old. “In February had a handicap of 24” explained Sean, “I am now down to 14 since Continue reading
Pictures from the third round in Lee Valley: Continue reading