Gillis says Goodbye to Cork after 54 Years

Anthony Gillis Cork Golf Club Jun 2018After 54 years, Anthony Gillis is finally handing over the keys at Cork Golf Club.  The Head Greenkeeper is retiring this month after a lifetime on the famous Alister MacKenzie course in Little Island.  After starting in a temporary role in 1965, Gillis became a full time green keeper soon after and in 1968 he became assistant greenkeeper. That started the labour of love for the Little Island native who lives no more than 300 yards from the Club.  Having grown up on the other side of Island, not far from the eastern side of the course, he has memories of coming in over the quarry and chipping and playing “four-quarters” on the sixth green.  Working under Francis Devane, Anthony quickly learned his trade and he went on to take over the head greenkeeper in the early 1970’s.  After working with famous agronomist James Arthur in the 1970’s, Gillis went on to study in Bingley, Elmwood College and the National Botanic Gardens, giving him a formal background in greenkeeping which complimented his own passion and knowledge for the job.  A lot has changed in six decades and Anthony doesn’t miss the hard physical work that was involved back in his early days.  “The work isn’t as hard Continue reading

Fahy wins Munster Strokeplay

Munster Strokeplay ChampionshipCork Golf Club Sunday 6th May 2018

Dun Laoghaire’s Alan Fahy who won the Munster Strokeplay Championship at Cork Golf Club. Picture: Niall O’Shea

Leinster’s dominance of the Munster Strokeplay continued yesterday when Dun Laoghaire‘s Alan Fahy became the fifth winner from the province in seven years.  Claiming his first senior championship win, he had a very impressive second day in Cork, he was eight under for his final 36 holes.  That helped him overturn a four shot deficit, and that was enough to hive him a two stroke win.  Fahy shot an excellent 66 on Sunday morning to tie for the lead with halfway leader Robbie Cannon, and he was still level with the Balbriggan man after the final front nine.  Although Fahy birdied the 16th, he felt he need more and was disappointed when a good putt on the 17th shaved the hole.  With one chance remaining, the 20 year old Maynooth University student drilled his tee shot on the 18th, and he followed that with a superb 8 iron from 140 yards which finished five feet from the hole.  A firm uphill putt hit the centre of the hole and he carded Continue reading

The Famous Cork Scratch Cup

Munster Strokeplay Championship, Munster Golf, Cork Golf Club, Sunday 30th April 2017

2017 winner Barry Anderson with the Cork Scratch Cup

Many people will know that this weekend’s competition is called the Munster Strokeplay, but not everyone will know that when the event was given Championship status it had the additional designation of “incorporating the Cork Scratch Cup”.  The Cork Scratch Cup is one of the oldest trophies in Irish golf and according to Cork’s GM Matt Sands, it the original cup that was awarded over 90 years ago.  The cup dates from 1923 and it holds the names of the all of the winners.

The trophy was presented by William Dwyer, a man and a family that are synonymous with Cork Golf Club, and the same person who started the inter-society competition which still runs today.  Dwyer presented the trophy in 1923 and won it in himself in 1924.  The trophy bears the names of the great Cork Golf Club stalwarts, Crosbie, Simcox, Bruen and Higgins are all represented, with Jimmy Bruen claiming four consecutive titles from 1938-1941.  There was a gap of four years during the war and Redmond Simcox won his fourth title in 1947 when the competition resumed.  Simcox was one of three golfers Continue reading

McNamara claims second win in Cork, Munster PGA Winter Series

Cian McNamara Munster PGA Feb 2018

Cork’s Peter Hickey congratulating Cian McNamara on his win the Munster PGA Winter Series event in Cork Golf Club Picture: Niall O’Shea

Despite the cold weather, the Munster PGA got the second half of their winter series off to a great start on Monday in Cork Golf Club.  Twenty Pro’s braved the cold winds but the course in Cork was in great condition, and benefitted from the recent week of dry weather.  Munster PGA Captain Cian McNamara was the winner on the day, the Monkstown Professional shot a one under par 71 to record his second win of the winter series.  He turned on two under par thanks to birdies on the second, third and eighth, and he dropped a shot on the index one fourth hole.  A bogey also followed on the 10th but he parred the remaining eight holes to remain in the red and sign for a one under par 71.  After a break of a few months, David Higgins made his seasonal debut.  The Waterville man had a beak towards the end of 2017 and was in Barbados for a pro-am in January.  Although he carded an impressive 72 for second place, the form was mixed.  He had an uncharacteristic six bogies but that was countered with four birdies and an eagle.  David was joined on his team by brother Brian and dad Liam.  They returned an impressive Continue reading

Golfers Guide Awards for Madden and Cork

Hilary Madden Golfers Guide Award 2018

Paddy McCarthy, Golfers Guide to Ireland and Hillary Madden, Monkstown Golf Club who won Best Golf Manager Munster.
Pic Orla Murray/ SON

The annual Golfers Guide awards were held last week and there were two winners from Cork.  Monkstown’s Hillary Madden won the Manager of the Year for Munster while Cork Golf Club won the award for best parkland course.  It’s cork’s fourth time to win the award in the past seven years.  The annual awards took place at Portmarnock Golf Links Hotel and formed part of the launch of the Golfers Guide to Ireland 2018.

The full colour guide is now in it’s 27th year and will be available free of charge in all GUI affiliated clubs.  The guide is a comprehensive listing of Ireland’s leading links and parkland courses and also provides details of specialist golf accommodation.

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Cork GC Golfers Guide Award 2018

Pictured at the launch of the Golfers Guide to Ireland 2018 was Paddy McCarthy, Golfers Guide to Ireland and Matt Sands from Cork Golf Club which won Best Parkland Munster.
Pic Orla Murray/ SON Photo

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Matt at Home in Cork

Matt SandsAlthough he’s a Dub, Matt Sands could nearly be considered a Corkman given that he’s spent the best part of 30 years here.  Matt is General Manager in Cork Golf Club and moved from Dublin in 1988 to take up the job.  Matt isn’t the only person with long service in Cork, in fact it seems to be a feature with course superintendent Anthony Gillis having worked in Cork for over 50 years.  Gerry Kenneally who runs the impressive restaurant has been attached to the Little Island club for 28 years while club professional Peter Hickey has been based in Cork for 22 years.  Matt has seen plenty happen in that time.  From major competitions like the Irish Close and the home internatioals, to the Pro Am and Munster Strokeplay which are annual showpiece events, Cork is generally a busy spot.  Apart from the major competitions, there have been a few major projects that Matt has been involved with in the last three decades and he lists the clubhouse redevelopment (2002) and the course upgrade (2011-2012) as the biggest.  “I came in during Centenary Year in 1998” said Matt, “and I Continue reading

National win for Barry & Coughlan, ILGU Australian Spoons

Australian Spoons at Co Longfort Golf Club

Winners of the 2017 Australian Spoons Claire Coughlan Ryan and Oonagh Barry (Cork) after the 2017 Australian Spoons All-Ireland Final at Longford Golf Club. Pic: Jenny Matthews (www.cashmanphotography.ie)

Claire Coughlan Ryan and Oonagh Barry win the Australian Spoons at Co. Longford Golf Club earlier this week.  Despite wet and heavy conditions the Cork pairing of Claire Coughlan Ryan and Oonagh Barry were a model of consistency with 19 points on both the front and extremely tricky back nine at Co. Longford Golf Club in a round that had birdies at the par 3 8th and par 4 15th.  Last years winners Helen Jones and Vivienne Houston (Royal Portrush) won the best gross.  Presented to the ILGU in 1967 by the Australian Ladies Golf Union to support players representing Ireland at International Competitions, the Australian Spoons is contended for by clubs across Ireland.  Clubs hold an 18 hole stableford greensomes qualifier, in which their nett and gross winners progress to the District Finals.
Results:
​​1st  38 pts  Claire Coughlan Ryan (1) & Oonagh Barry (14) – Cork

Gross  30 pts Helen Jones (3) & Vivienne Houston (5) – Royal Portrush
2nd 36 pts Christina Rush (19) & Hannah Grant (20) – Claremorris
3rd  35 pts  Caroline Delaney (21) and Mary Dolan (30) – Mountbellew
4th  35 pts  Carmel Mullan (33) and Maura Ryan (25) – Elm Park

No Joy for Mallow or Cork in Tralee, AIG Cups & Shields Munster Finals

AIG Senior Cup Munster Finals 2017, Saturday 12th August 2017There was no joy for Cork clubs in Tralee on Saturday as both Cork and Mallow exited at the semi-final stage of the Munster finals.  Mallow were in action in the AIG Senior Cup and for a while it looked like they would beat Limerick in their semi-final.  Paul McCarthy and James Sugrue led from the front and both recorded impressive wins, McCarthy won 3&2 while Sugrue won on the 14th.  Conor Dowling lost match, as did Brian Attridge meaning the result would be decided by Adam Boland’s match with Limerick’s Justin Kehoe.  They were all square on the 15th but Kehoe won the 16th to go one up.  Boland made a huge six foot putt on the 17th to avoid losing and a great birdie on the 18th meant that the match went on to the 19th.  Both players found the fairway on the additional hole and the advantage swung Continue reading