Walsh & Hegarty win Munster Womens Championhsips, No joy for Cork in Co Sligo

Paula Walsh, Doneraile who won the Munster Women’s Senior Championship. Pic: Golffile, Golf Ireland

Doneraile’s Paula Walsh claimed her second Munster Women’s Senior Amateur Open Championship after a thrilling playoff win in Monkstown.  Walsh shot a 69 in the 18 hole event to hold off the challenge of Lisa Cullen, Aideen Walsh and Lauren Kelly who all finished just one stroke behind.

The Corkonian, who also won this title in 2017, was level par for her front nine and despite birding the 11th she dropped back to level again before the crucial birdie on the last.  This victory is also a huge early season boost for Walsh’s claims in the Bridgestone Order of Merit.  After securing the silverware in Monkstown, Walsh is excited about what lies ahead for the rest of 2023.  “I’m delighted to win. It’s a great win and my second time winning the Munster Championship,” said Walsh.  “It’s good to get off started in the

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Jim Long elected Golf Ireland President

Jim Long pictured with Monkstown members after he was elected President of Golf Ireland

Monkstown’s Jim Long was last weekend appointed the new Golf Ireland President at the 2023 AGM.  Long has served in many different roles in golf’s administration, and his succession as President follows two decades of work at local and national level.  Jim served as Honorary Secretary for the Munster Branch until he moved to the position of Chairman in 2017 where he served for three years.  With the incorporation of Golf Ireland, Jim served as the Chairman of the Munster Regional Executive before being elected as Golf Ireland President Elect in 2022.

As well as his involvement as an Continue reading

2022 Inter-Club Plans

Inter-Club events are again set to be a key centre-point of the Golf Ireland calendar and a recently issued guidance document spells out some of the key features of the 2023 events.  One change in Munster will see the split of home and away matches be removed and instead one team will have the home advantage for all matches.  In 2020 a home and away arrangement was put in place, this was brought about due to the shortened season due to covid, and the need to move away from the traditional weekend events due to course availability.  This was continued last year with all matches including the area finals being split on a home and away basis.  Club surveys carried out last November saw almost two thirds of respondents in Munster favouring all matches being played at one venue.  Munster was the Continue reading

Golf for Everyone, Golf Ireland’s new strategic plan

Just a year after golf’s new governing body came into being, Golf Ireland this week launched an ambitious five-year plan to build on the success of the sport over the past two years.

Golf was one of a number of sports to see a big increase in participation during the pandemic.  Although courses were closed at three different stages through 2020 and 2021, the sport added over 20,000 registered players.  That increase reversed a decade of dropping numbers and there are over 200,000 Golf Ireland members with golf making as the fourth highest sport in terms of participation in Ireland.  Overall it’s thought that there are over 500,000 people who play golf once a year, and the governing body will be hoping Continue reading

Full Schedule for Golf Ireland

Munster Stroke Play winner Peter O’Keeffe receiving the Cork Scratch Cup from Margaret Keane, Lady President Cork Golf Club. Also included are Vincent Twohig President and Bob Savage Captain Cork Golf Club.
Picture: Niall O’Shea

For the first time in three years, the championship golf season is back to normal.  Restrictions in 2020 and 2021 meant that Golf Ireland, and previously the ILGU and GUI ran a reduced calendar with championships not starting until the second half of the year.  Thankfully the possibility of closing courses over the early months of the year is very unlikely, allowing clubs and the national governing body to plan for a full season.  This has given the new governing body their first opportunity to plan for a complete season and the 2020 schedule will see increased opportunities for men, women, boys and girls to compete together in National Championships.  Ireland’s best Senior golfers will converge on Thurles GC in May to play in the Irish Senior Men’s & Women’s Amateur Close Championships.  The event will see Karl Bornemann from Douglas defend his title in the mens event.  For the first time ever, the best boys and girls Continue reading

Tour Life for Sugrue

James Sugrue 

Mallow golfer James Sugrue had few days at home earlier this week.  The tour pro returned from Sweden on Sunday after competing in his first two Challenge Tour events.  Sugrue made the cut in last week’s event and bagged €1,800 in prize money.  There was more good news this week when he was given €17,500 in Sport Ireland funding to assist with his first year on tour.  Speaking from home after three weeks on the road, James was happy with his two tour starts.  “I played nicely, there were plenty of birdies but there were a few mistakes and course management errors, probably from the lack of playing as opposed to anything else.  I feel I’m swinging it well and putting nicely so hopefully there’s a low week coming soon.”

After a few days of walking the dogs and having a “proper dinner”, Sugrue is looking forward Continue reading

Cork Golfers selected for Golf Ireland Regional Panels

Barry O’Connell (Douglas)who was selected on the Boys Under 14 Area Development Panel.
Picture: Niall O’Shea

While courses are still closed, the planning for 2021 continues in Golf Ireland.  Last week the new governing body announced the area pathway panels with 30 Cork golfers selected for the development programmes.  Douglas and Bandon topped the pile, Douglas saw seven of their young golfers selected between the three boys groups and the two girl groups, while Bandon had seven girls selected for the programme.

Douglas youngster Justin Dennehy was selected for the U12 programme, Barry O’Connell made the U14 panel while Shane Collins is on the U16 panel.  In the girls panels Hailery Martinez and Julie Kingston are on the U14 panel, and Rhea Itty and Aoife Keating made the U17 panel.  Bandon’s Alannah McCarthy, Ellen O’Mullane made the Girls U14 panel while Katie Hannon, Rachel Gaffney, Muireann Continue reading

Funding Boost for Cork Clubs

Fermoy Golf Cub

Cork Golf clubs got a big boost over the weekend when Golf Ireland announced the recipients of a new grant scheme.  Sixteen clubs received almost €300,000 in funding from Sport Ireland.  The Club Resilience fund aims to provide short term financial help to golf clubs to support business resilience and sustainability after Covid 19.  Fermoy were one of the clubs to be successful in this round of funding and Manager Denis Twomey was delighted with the news.  “This resilience grant will help greatly towards a few key projects and the club is very grateful for the assistance.  We are planning to develop our terrace area to cover the full length of the clubhouse overlooking the first tees.  This will give Continue reading

Inter-Club Handicaps Announced

Entries are now open for the 2021 Inter-Club competitions.  Entry details for the national competitions were sent to golf clubs last week, with Golf Ireland also confirming the key handicapping information that will apply this year.  2021 will bring a few changes, with the old name of the GUI and ILGU Cups and Shields replaced with the new name of Inter-Club competitions becoming the central club events for Golf Ireland.  In January the new single governing body for amateur golf in Ireland officially took over from the Irish Ladies Golf Union and the Golfing Union of Ireland which had been responsible for the sport for over 100 years.  2021 promises Continue reading

Golfers return to the fairways

Golfers returned to the fairways on Tuesday for the first time in five weeks, and for those hardy souls who put up with the cold and damp of winter it was a welcome return.  While many golfers put away the clubs, the hardy winter golfers will have been looking forward to the re-opening of courses.

There was widescale disappointment in late October as courses were closed as part of the level five measures.  Pleas that golf, as a naturally socially distanced sport could continue went unheard.  Although golf like some other sports was deemed low risk, it seemed that the ban on non-essential travel took priority.  Although disappointed, most golfers looked forward to a Continue reading