Alex Newenham from Douglas has landed one of the biggest “busman’s holidays” in golf, as he has been selected to work as part of the course team for The Players Championship at Sawgrass in Florida next week. While many golfers would love the chance to attend a tour event, Alex will get an inside the ropes experience at the event that’s known as the fifth major. John Deere, the machinery providers in Sawgrass have worked with the greenkeeping bodies in England and Ireland (GCSAI) to give seven greenkeepers an opportunity to work at the showpiece tour event. Alex, who has worked in Douglas Golf Club for the past 14 years, was selected following an application and interview process completed late last year. His reward is a 13 day trip to Florida, taking in eight days at the Players. “This is the sixth year of this partnership and is open to all members of the GCSAI to apply” explained Alex. “I applied last October and was fortunate enough to be shortlisted along with three others for interview in November. I was so delighted later on that day to receive word that I had in fact been chosen to represent the GCSAI this year in Sawgrass.” Alex is one Continue reading
There’s quite a bit going on in Douglas Golf Club at the moment, from new members to course developments, and changes to personnel it’s a busy place. The Pro Shop run by club professional Stephen Hayes is also a busy spot with a new member of staff and a new teaching facility now up and running. Stephen, who has been the Club Professional in Douglas since 2010 had a fitting bay at the range for several years until the extreme weather got the better of it. “Unfortunately the old bay got blown down in Storm Ophelia in late 2017” explained Stephen. “I had built this teaching bay with my brother in law and Dad when I was Club Professional in Kilkea Castle in 2009. We had it loaded onto lorry in 2010 and transported to Douglas when I took up position so it’s fair to say it served me well for nine years. The new teaching/fitting bay is addition to the indoor bay. The new bay has Continue reading
Sara Byrne was back in the news last week when she won yet another award. The Douglas teenager won the Cork City and County Youth Sports Award last week at a reception in the Metropole Hotel. It was a great award to win, beating the 11 other monthly award winners to scoop the title. This is the second award for Byrne, who was named the Irish Golf Writers Womens Amateur Golfer of the Year Award in December. For Sara and her family it was a change to reflect on the successes of the year, although Sara was a bit more clinical in her review of the year when she accepted the award. “2018 was a bit of a rollercoaster year” said the Douglas and Ireland golfer, “there were plenty of ups and downs and feeling frustrated at times, but the adrenaline rush is unreal when you succeed. Last year gave me some really hard knocks but some magical moments also. I’ve advanced my goals hugely, Irish Ladies Champion. Irish Girls Order of Merit winner, getting to +1 handicap and getting to into the top 100 in the WAGR rankings”.
There was more than that for the talented teenager. She represented Ireland at 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
Douglas Golf Club is now open for applications for a new General Manager, as Conor O’Brien will retire from the post in the coming months. Founded in 1909, and now boasting a large membership, the club is in the middle of an ambitious development plan which includes enhanced practice facilities, a new six hole short game course, and eventually the redevelopment of the famous clubhouse. Further details are available below.
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
There was cause for celebration in Tipperary on Sunday as Cork clubs came away with four of the six pennants on offer. Macroom and Monkstown both had two teams in action but each club came away with one win. Macroom losing the Junior Foursomes and Monkstown losing the Junior Cup to East Cork. The four Cork sides won all of the singles events, and now look forward to the All Ireland finals in Knightsbrook at the end of this month.
Zak Collins and Eoghan Cassidy have been named on the Irish squads to play in the Reid Trophy (Under 14 English Championship) in Reading next week. Collins from Douglas and Cassidy from Kinsale have been playing well all season and both golfers featured on the successful Munster team who won the Under 14 interprovincial championship last week. The event is a great opportunity for the cork duo, it attracts a top quality field of English and international players whose playing handicap is 7.4 or better. The 54-hole stroke play championship is played over three days. The full field plays 18 holes on each of the first two days with the leading 70 competitors going on to play the final 18 holes on the third day. The Cork pair will be joined by two Limerick golfers, Ballyneety’s Morgan O’Sullivan and Iestyn Winn in a strong Munster line-up. Faithlegg’s Alex King Continue reading
While there are thousands of Cork people who have just completed exams, it was a different time for Davey Barry as he got word that he had passed his final PGA exams, meaning he has now a qualified teaching professional. The Douglas based Pro had been working hard for the past three years, combining work in the pro shop with his studies, but Davey is delighted that he now joins the PGA as a full member. “It’s fantastic to have finished the course. It’s a lot of work and long hours but it’s a great feeling to have gotten here” said Davey. “It was a long journey for me, I had to do some extra exams before I started the course, it was well worth it though. This is something that I’ve always wanted to do since I was young, and it’s a career that can Continue reading