Although it’s normally busy spot, Castlemartyr will be fully booked this weekend for their annual scratch cup weekend. With over 300 golfers already booked in for the three days, this weekend promises to be as busy as the previous August Bank Holidays for Castlemartyr. At a time when members competitions might be quieter, Castlemartyr started their scratch cup weekend eight years ago and it has gone on to become a central part of the calendar for many golfers. There are three competitions in all, Junior (4-11), Intermediate (12-18) and Minor (19+) and all run over the three days. The event is again sponsored by McCarthy Insurance Group and the entry fee is €35 per person. It has been a busy year for the golf side of Castlemartyr. Membership has again grown and they now have over 400 golfers in the three categories of membership. The mens club saw a big increase at the start of 2017 and they have Continue reading
Castlemartyr Golf club jump started the new year, by adding over 150 new members before 2017 started. The new members consist of both ladies, and gents and this puts the resort in a very strong position as the annual battle to attract and retain members heats up. The large intake of members in the mens club resulted from a members invite special offer and this was fully subscribed. Having gained their ILGU affiliation in 2016 the number of lady members has grown steadily over the past 12 months and already 25 ladies have signed up to the special 2017 offer that sees ladies join for a special introductory rate of €599 for their first year with no joining fee. While membership for the Men’s club is currently closed, the Ladies club is open for membership with the special introductory offer available until the end of this month. The innovative scheme where existing members could nominate new members was spear headed by Castlemartyr’s Head PGA Professional Brady Sherwood and the Continue reading
After a poor start, 2016 seemed to behave itself, so it’s fair to say that everyone is hoping for more of the same in 2017. Last year will be year that is remembered as the year when membership and revenues stabilised. While that was positive for clubs, it was also very positive for courses. After six years of falling membership it was a relief for the industry and the recovery has started.
On course, 2016 had a very slow start with record rain-fall levels meaning that there was no play until late February. After that though the season got underway pretty quickly, and the mild weather in the past three months has allowed clubs to catch up on the slow start.
The signs from clubs and courses are that they have moved from neutral to positive, with almost everyone driving on with their development plans. Fota Island Academy have launched a new membership scheme which transforms the previous model, Lee Valley invested heavily in machinery and course inputs, as did many other clubs. Cobh led the way with nine hole open competitions and Skibbereen offered an innovative pay and pay membership option. Castlemartyr face into the new year after adding over 100 new Continue reading
The Munster PGA got together for their final winter series event before Christmas and limerick man Tim Rice took the spoils with a five under par 67. Despite playing a relatively short course, the unusually quick and smooth greens caught a fair few golfers on the front nine and the result was that only two golfers managed to break the par of 72. Tim Rice made his return to the local scene after missing the Killarney event as he reached the second stage of European Tour Q School. Now back on Irish soil, the PGA Assistant from Limerick was the only golfer to stay on track for the full round at Castlemartyr. He birdied each of the par five’s on the front nine before recording an eagle at the ninth hole. That meant that the Limerick man turned on -4, and unlike many of the other pro’s who turned with a good score, Rice held on to it. A bogey on the 10th was balanced with a birdie on the 12th. He added a birdie on the 17th in the middle of a run of five pars to secure the lead and take his first win of the current winter series. Tralee’s John Sugrue was the only other golfer to break par, he finished with a 71 to take second place. Killarney winner Davey Barry was also in the hunt today until he dropped a few shots on the way home. He finished off with a level par to take third place and did his PGB Order of Merit hopes no real harm. There was a three way tie for fourth place with Cian McNamara, David Ryan and Padraig Dooley all signing for 74’s. The event was kindly sponsored by John Caulfield from TaylorMade Golf.
The course in Castlemartyr came in for great praise and resident PGA Professional Brady Sherwood was happy with the feedback: “I was delighted have my fellow Munster PGA professionals playing our course today. The weather held out and its always nice to get very positive feedback in relation to the course set up and the playing conditions. Our greens staff do an amazing job, the dry winter weather assisting in getting our fescue rough harvested ready for next season. It’s great to have our trademark greens running a cracking 10 on the stimp.”
David Ryan maintains his place at the top of the Premium Golf Brands Order of Merit with Cian McNamara close by in second place. Dave Foley, Tim Rice and Davey Barry take up the next places with half of the schedule completed. Details of the January and February will be announced shortly.
Mallow’s Ciaran McKenna made a very promising start to his PGA career when he finished tied for second place in the prestigious PGA Assistants Championship. He put together two solid rounds of 74 & 73 on the final day to jump up the leaderboard. This time last year McKenna was in Barton Shield action for Mallow, and a year on he proved he was a match for the country’s best trainees and Continue reading
Kinsale booked their place in the Fred Daly Trophy area-final on Saturday last with a comprehensive win over Blarney. Kinsale have been fancied from the start of the competition, although they were close to being knocked out by Douglas in the last round. The semi-final was played in Castlemartyr and Kinsale set to the task quickly with some great golf from John Murphy, Mark Healy and Cathal Butler. Continue reading
Cork & Douglas set for Fred Daly Final
By Niall O’Shea
Douglas and Cork both came through their Fred Daly semi-final matches to book their places in the area final which take place next week. Cork were in action in Castlemartyr on Tuesday and they faced Monkstown. Rory Dineen and Leon Foley featured on the Cork Junior Cup team last week and both won their matches this week. Continue reading
Castlemartyr Fringe Festival of Golf
By Niall O’Shea
You can expect golf to be the main topic of conversation next week as the Irish Open takes place in Cork. And while Fota plays host to over 150 of Europe’s top golfers, several other courses are getting in on the action. Cobh and Monkstown are two of the clubs with events planned around the Irish Open and Castlemartyr has created their very own fringe festival around the main event. Continue reading
Busy Year for Castlemartyr
By Niall O’Shea
Castlemartyr golf course didn’t take long to register itself as one of the most popular courses for green fees and societies and the past few years has seen the club also go from strength to strength. The club and course are now open almost seven years and the club has seen a large increase in membership over the past two years. A large number of members attended the recent AGM where John Paul Twomey was elected Captain. The Kerryman who hails from Duagh in the north of the county has been a popular and hardworking member of the club and takes over the reins from 2013 Captain Gary Quail. Speaking after the AGM, Twomey is looking forward to the golfing season; “I am looking forward to a busy and exiting year ahead representing the club in 2014. We have been very active in securing new sponsors and we have a number of key open competitions planned. We have two Open weekends this year on the May Bank Holiday weekend sponsored by Mahers Golf from 2nd – 4th. The L’Oreal Open weekend is on the 27th June to the 29th. Our Junior, Inter and Minor Scratch Cups sponsored by McCarthy Insurance Group are taking place on the August Bank Holiday Weekend. The Oakley Senior Scratch Cup is scheduled for the 21st September.”
Like most progressive clubs, Castlemartyr has a keen focus on junior golf and this was one of the key areas covered by the Captain at the AGM, “We now have over 30 junior members and we passed a motion at the AGM which will allow junior golfer with a handicap of 16 or lower to compete in men’s competitions. Our Director of Golf Brady Sherwood and his assistant Alan Gleeson have plans in place for coaching of juveniles for 2014. We also have a team in the Fred Daly for the first time along with team competing in the Purcell, Bruen, Junior Cup, Senior Cup and Barton Shield.”
The course too is sure to be a busy place and Director of Golf Brady Sherwood celebrated his own heritage by holding an Australian Day open competition on Sunday. While the weather on Sunday was far from the regular Australian elements, a large number of teams took part. The winners were Ger Donnelly, Pat Crotty, Brian Murphy and Like Swayne. They finished with 104 points, six shots clear of second place. The runners up spot went to Con Murphy, Joey O’Brien, Bill Summers and Shane O’Dwyer. The weekly open competitions continue to take place with the Tuesday Blues and Wednesday Whites proving popular every week. Details and timesheets are available from the club.