Ian Stafford who has been busy planning the 2018 staging of the Pro Shop Challenge at Kinsale Golf Club.
Picture: Niall O’Shea
2020 was a different year for everyone in golf, from course owners to golfers to professionals. With forced closures for over three months of the year, golf professionals were effectively shut down during the closures. While there were challenges, there were also opportunities and Kinsale based PGA Professional Ian Stafford definitely took advantage of the opportunities. As well as getting to spend more time with his family, Ian has continued his own habit of furthering his professional qualifications. Having started his PGA training in 2000, Stafford didn’t stop with his PGA qualification.
In 2016 he achieved Continue reading
There was great excitement in Kinsale on Thursday for the fourth staging of the annual Pro Shop Challenge. This year’s charity match was titled the “Internationals v Professionals, as Kinsale’s two Irish Internationals John Murphy and Eoghan Cassidy took on Kinsale’s PGA Professionals Ger Broderick and Ian Stafford. Murphy has been a senior international for two years while Cassidy picked up his first international cap at under 14 level this year. There was a special guest there on the day, the Mullingar scratch cup was in the pro shop, that was thanks to John Murphy’s win a week before in the famous Leinster tournament. As play got underway it was the Professionals who took the lead, thanks to a birdie from Stafford on the first. Cassidy levelled the match on the 5th with a tap in birdie after a perfect approach shot.
John Murphy was impressed with his new partner, it was the first time they played together in a competition. “Eoghan was so impressive, he drove the ball like a professional” said the college Senior. “He’s a class act and has huge things in store for him. I really enjoyed watching him learn and gain experience in front of a large crowd, it was an opportunity I could only have dreamed of when I was his age.” There was a hint of green keepers revenge on the course for the event, tight fairways and lightning fast greens challenged all four golfers as they put on a show for the large gallery. The course in Farrangalway was in excellent condition, the new changes to the 9th, 17th and 18th have bedded in and there was scarcely a blade of grass out of place on the championship course. The birdies were a little bit scarcer than usual, but the banter between the players entertained everyone, with referee Gerry Waldron keeping Continue reading
Pictures from Kinsale: Continue reading
There’s less than a week to go to Kinsale’s Pro Shop Challenge is back, the fourth staging of the annual charity fundraiser. And there’s a change this year with Kinsale’s two amateur internationals taking on the Pro’s. The Kinsale Pro team remains the same, Ger Broderick and Ian Stafford are currently in training in the hope of winning back the title they lost last year. The line up on the other side has changed though, the amateurs are now restyled as the “internationals” with 14 year old Eoghan Cassidy teaming up with senior Irish international John Murphy. Murphy is currently on the senior Irish team while Cassidy is on both the Irish Under 14 and Under 16 squads. The event takes place next Thursday, and there should be a great afternoon of golf and fun. “The event itself is a fourball betterball match between Ger and myself and John Eoghan” explained Continue reading
Cathal Butler and John Murphy (centre) pictured with Ian Stafford and Ger Broderick at the Pro Shop Challenge at Kinsale last week. Picture: Aidan Stafford
Kinsale’s Pro Shop Challenge is back, and the fourth staging of the charity fundraiser is set for a change with the pro’s taking on the internationals in August. The Kinsale Pro team remains the same, Ger Broderick and Ian Stafford are currently in training in the hope of winning back the title they lost last year. The line up on the other side has changed though, the amateurs are now restyled as the “internationals” and it also features a change in the line up. 14 year old Eoghan Cassidy will line up with John Murphy. Murphy is currently on the senior Irish team while Cassidy is on the Irish Under 14 and Under 16 squads. The event takes place on Thursday 15th August, and there should be a great afternoon of golf and fun. Ian Stafford has been the driving force behind the event, from a small start in 2016, the event has raised well over €11,000 for the charity partners. Keen to keep the event moving, Ian proposed a change to the format this year. “This year we are celebrating the fact that Kinsale Golf Club has had 2 International Golfers in the past twelve Continue reading
It’s almost twelve months on from where it all kicked off. The St Andrew’s Links Trophy 2018 was when John Murphy had his first major win, and the Kinsale man has kicked on with a great season with University of Louisville in NCAA Division One college. Today he kicks on with his first appearance at the Brabazon Trophy, the English Strokeplay championship. From there it’s onto St Andrew’s to defend his Links trophy, and from there it will be a mixture of Irish, English and European events as the seasons builds towards August. Murphy has the added benefit of being named in the extended Walker Cup panel, and although he missed out on a few early season events in England, he’s now on the right side of the Atlantic for the selectors to see what he can do. Twelve months ago it’s was a sudden death play-off that decided the winner of the St Andrews Links. Given Murphy’s experience in matchplay situations going back to when he was under 15 it was no Continue reading
The Amateurs reclaimed the bragging rights in the Pro Shop Challenge last week, as Cathal Butler and John Murphy beat Ger Broderick and Ian Stafford in Kinsale. It was the third staging of the unique event and while the amateurs won on the course the real winner was the charity partners. Over €4,000 was raised for Marymount and the RNLI. Organiser Ian Stafford was delighted with the results of their fundraising event. “We’re absolutely delighted with the amount of money that we have raised to date which is in the region of €4,500” said Stafford. “To surpass our target of €3,600 by nearly €1,000 is phenomenal and much of this is down to the hard work of our captain Brian Doran who has been a huge help in securing sponsorship to the event. This year we had local businesses sponsoring each hole as well of a number of sponsored challenges throughout the round. To think when we first discussed this event three years ago that we would have raised nearly €11,000 from the first 3 events is hard to believe and we are absolutely delighted with the support we have got.”
Kinsale Pro Shop Challenge Gallery :: Aidan Stafford Photography
Cathal Butler was delighted to win back the title they lost last year, although they may have had some assistance from Continue reading
The Pro Shop Challenge returns to Kinsale Golf Club this month, this will be the third staging of the very popular charity fundraising event. The brainchild of Ian Stafford and Cathal Butler, the challenge started in 2016 with Ian and Cathal partnering with Ger Broderick and John Murphy respectively. The amateurs took the win that year, the young guns took an early lead and never looked back as the the confidence of youth helped them to wrap up a win. Most importantly the event raised over €3,000 for Special Olympics. Delighted with their efforts in 2016, Butler and Murphy spearheaded the second staging of the event last year. This time however their wings were clipped. Broderick and Stafford used all of their experience and knowledge to take down the cocky amateurs, beating them by a clear margin in the end. Both professionals, who were involved first hand in the coaching and development of Butler and Murphy, were delighted to beat the amateurs in front of a huge crowd in Kinsale. Yet again the main winner was the charity partner. Marymount Hospice was the selected beneficiary and over €3,000 was handed over after the event. With the series score at 1-1, interest is building in this years competition. The event was first proposed by Ian Stafford who quickly enlisted a core team to turn the idea into an event. Keeping the event going is now the priority for Ian. “With the third edition this year, the fact that the pro’s managed to win last year has given the event this year a heightened sense of interest” said Ian Stafford. “The event needs to stay competitive to be a success. Having said that both Ger and I have thoroughly enjoyed our year as Champions Continue reading
Popular golf teaching Professional Ian Stafford was recently awarded the Fellow designation by the PGA. The Innishannon and Kinsale based pro has continued to invest in his continuing professional development and now becomes only the second PGA professional in Munster to hold the fellow status. Ian’s latest qualification was approved by the APAL process (Accreditation of Professional Achievement and Learning). Each application is considered by the APAL Council which consists of longstanding PGA Members, representatives of the R&A, the golf industry, an advisor from the university sector and two PGA Senior Staff members. On the island of Ireland there are currently over 500 PGA Professionals only 12 of which currently have Fellow status, with Stafford being the youngest to reach Fellow level at 36. This follows on Ian’s qualification as a Level 3 Advanced Coach which he achieved in 2016, and his motivation stems from one of the cornerstones of his teaching. “As a coach I’m Continue reading
Pictures from Kinsale: Continue reading