The AGM of the ILGU took place last weekend and it was a special occasion for Monkstown’s Ada O’Sullivan as she was awarded Honorary Life Membership by the national governing body. Ada has one of the most comprehensive records of any female golfer in Ireland. She represented Munster, as a member of the girls’ team in 1980 & 1981 and the Women’s Team from 1982 -1997, fifteen years. She was the first ever winner of the Girlie Hegarty Trophy in 1994. As a player she represented Ireland at the Girls’ Home Internationals in 1980 & 1981.
She then played on the Women’s Home International Team seven times between 1982 & 1997 and at the Women’s European Team Championships in 1993, 1994 and 1995. She was the winner of the Sherry Cup in 1994 (European Masters 72 hole stroke play). Following her playing career, Ada represented Ireland as Captain of the Girls’ Home International Team in 1999 & 2000 and the Under 21 Team at the European Championship in 2000. She would go on to become the first High Performance Director on the ILGU Board in 2010.
Her first experience of Captaining a GB&I Team was at The Espirito Santo Trophy in Malaysia in 2002. This preceded GB&I Captaincy in 2003 & 2005 when her Team brought home the Vagliano Trophy playing at Co. Louth. In 2004 and 2006 Ada was invited to be Captain of the GB&I Curtis Cup Teams. ILGU President Brigid McCaw was delighted to present Ada with the award on Saturday. “Ada is a very capable, strong, fun loving person who – when asked to take on a responsible task – takes it on with great enthusiasm and leaves no stone unturned to make it a success” said McCaw upon presenting her with Life Honorary Membership. “We are very proud of all our Honorary Life Members and Past Presidents. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for being, as it were, “on call” and for their willingness to sharing their experiences and sound knowledge.” Life Membership was also Continue reading
Mairead Martin recently enjoyed a few weeks at home after an exciting few months in the US on a golf scholarship in Kentucky. The Kanturk golfer who completed her leaving cert in June and in August she moved to start with their acclaimed womens golf programme. It was a great first semester, Mairead finished the second highest ranked golfer on the roster claiming two top ten finishes on her first five tournaments. It was a busy few months for the teenager as she settled into her new home for the next few years. “The first couple of weeks were tough and quite intense it took a while for me to get used to how busy each day was between school, practice and workouts” explained Mairead. “I struggled to find time to even think about home or even be homesick. When I arrived in Louisville the team and coaches couldn’t have been Continue reading
Sara Byrne (Douglas) during the Irish Women’s Open Stroke Play Championship, Enniscrone Golf Club, Picture: Golffile Fran Caffrey
Teenager Sara Byrne is the new Irish Women’s Close Champion. The Douglas golfer beat all before her in Enniscrone over the past three days to claim the prestigious national title. A 2&1 win over Louise Coffey this afternoon meant that another national title is headed back to Douglas Golf Club.
“This is just amazing, I knew I could do it” said a delighted Byrne. “When Louise won the 3rd I knew that it was better to be up at the end of the match than at the start, I knew that a one hole difference was nothing so I stayed patient. This is definitely my number one achievement to date, on the final few holes I got a bit nervous but I told myself that I had worked too hard to give this one away. This brings my golf career up a step and any event now I play in I can tell myself that I can win because I am Irish Champion!”
The Irish and GB&I capped golfer now joins an elite group, Continue reading
Sara Byrne might only be 16, but in the past two years she blazed a trail on the golf courses of Cork and further afield. The Douglas member has represented Munster, Ireland and GB&I in 2017, and more importantly she has seen her golf game improve on several levels. While Sara has been used to winning, and she has ben part of the IGU coaching programmes for a few years, 2017 was a breakthrough year and she’s planning to build on that through the winter and into next season. “I have some great memories this year including winning the Munster girls championship, getting my first cap for Ireland, becoming an honorary member of Douglas Golf Club and shooting the course record of five under 67 in Douglas” said Sara. “But my best memory was seeing the Irish tricolour being raised and the Irish anthem being played when I was playing for Great Britain and Ireland at the Vagliano Trophy in Italy.” Those experiences and performances didn’t happen by accident, they were a result of a very strong work ethic and a focus on constant improvement. And the young Douglas golfer saw the results on the course. “I think my ball striking this year has Continue reading
Kanturk’s Mairead Martin has been hitting the headlines for two years on the golf course, and she’ll be one to watch in 2018 as she play’s what’s likely to be her final full season in Ireland for a few years. The Leaving Cert student is hoping to take up a US college scholarship next year and will be working hard to make another impression. She spent most of the season playing off +1 and had a number of wins and great team performances for club and country. Just six years after first playing golf, Mairead is in the top echelons of the sport. Now the season has ended, Mairead can look back on another successful season. The big win of the year came in Mallow when Mairead claimed a national title. The Irish Girls close was a huge win, especially when it was played Mallow. There was no let up as Mairead went on to win again Continue reading
There was delight in Belfast and Cork yesterday as Lee Valley Ladies won another All-Ireland title. The Cork club captured the AIG Minor Cup in Belfast, their first time winning at Minor level. After several close calls this year, the final ended up being a clean sweep for Lee Valley as they beat Mountbellew. Rosemary Driscoll won the first point for Lee Valley on the 17th green when she won 2&1, while Deirdre Lee saw her match go to sudden death before she won and added a second point for Lee Valley. The winning point was secured by Breda O’Callaghan, she had a 2&1 win on the 17th to win the third match and secured another national pennant for Lee Valley. Both Jane O’Neill and Helen Gough were called in, their matches were considered as halves meaning the final score was 4-1 to Lee Valley. On Thursday, Helen Gough was the hero for Lee Valley, securing the winning point in the final match on the final green. Jane O’Neill and Breda O’Callaghan had secured the earlier points and their way to the final in a tough match against Donaghadee. Lee Valley Team Captain Angela Corcoran summed up the feelings of the Lee Valley members: “We’re absolutely thrilled, it could have gone either way right up until the end, it was an amazing contest,” said Angela. “This is our third All-Ireland, we have won two Intermediate Cups and now a Minor Cup in the last 5 years, it’s a huge honour for our 25-year-old club!” The Cork club last won a national title in 2015 when they won the AIG Intermediate Cup in Knightsbrook. The team along with a large number of members and supporters made the long trip from Belfast last night. And the winners were treated to a great reception back in Lee Valley when they arrived home to Ovens.
Mairead Martin (Kanturk) with the Girls Close Championship (Blake Cup) trophy after her victory at the 2017 Irish Girls Close Championship at Mallow Golf Club today. Picture by Pat Cashman
Kanturk’s Mairead Martin claimed her first national title today, and did so in front of a huge crowd of supporters in Mallow Golf Club. Martin claimed the Irish Girls Close title after five days of golf in Mallow, and did so in style – never going beyond the 15th hole in the five matchplay rounds. After confidently striking her first tee shot down their middle of the fairway, Mairead went 1 up through1 and didn’t ease up from there. Four up at the turn, birdies at the 10th and 11th saw Martin go 6 up with 7 holes to play. The match was finished in style with an eagle from Mairead at the 444-yard par 5 12th to close out the game 7&6.
“I’m delighted to win, my short game was on form this week, I pitched in for eagle on the 12th this afternoon to win the match which was a good way to finish”” said a happy Mairead. “I was at home in my own bed all week too which was also nice and to have so much support from the club was class! I had my sister on the bag too this week which was entertaining! She doesn’t play much golf but I hope she might Continue reading
Sixteen-year-old Sara Byrne is set to represent Ireland again later this month. The Douglas golfer has been selected to represent Ireland at the European Young Masters later this month. Oslo Golf Club in Norway will host the event over three days and Byrne along with Annabel Wilson were selected as Ireland’s two representatives by the ILGU. Byrne has enjoyed a great season so far, and representing GB&I and Ireland in addition to several impressive individual performances. On the representative front, Byrne was in Italy last week as the GB&I side took on Europe in the Junior Vagliano Trophy. She also represented Ireland in the annual matches against Wales. A large number of notable individual performances has seen her handicap drop from four to one over the first half of the season. She hit the 1 mark in April while playing in the Munster Senior Open in Cork Golf Club. That was an impressive result considering that the Douglas member opened with a disappointing 80. She followed that with rounds of 75 and 73 to take second place overall. She also captured the Munster Girls trophy as the best under eighteen golfer in the field.
In May she travelled to the Fairhaven Trophy in Lancashire where she finished in third place in the girls competition against an impressive international field. She also recorded top three placings in the Lahinch and Carlow scratch cups in the early part of the season. Most recently she had a top ten finish in the Irish Women’s Close. Last week Sara represented Continue reading
Four Cork golfers were selected on the Irish Girls team today, they’ll be heading off to Finland next month to take place in the European Team Championships. Sara Byrne (Douglas) will be making her debut at this level while Valerie Clancy (Killarney/Mitchelstown), Mairead Martin (Kanturk) and Rachel Thompson (Cork) were all selected on the team for the second time.
It’s a great achievement and a rare case where four of the six team members are from one county. They will be joined by French U18 Champion Annabel Wilson (Lurgan) and Lauren Walsh (Castlewarden), who holed the winning putt at the Girls’ Home International matches on her Irish debut in last year. Byrne was also selected for an Under 16 girls team and has posted some very positive results thus far in 2017, most impressively a 3rd place finish at the prestigious Fairhaven Trophy earlier this month. The Team Captain Gemma Butler said “the girls have had some fantastic results so far this year and having won the second flight at the 2016 European Championships, we are excited to build on that result this time around.”
Irish Girls’ European Team
St. Laurence, Finland (July 11 – 15)
Sara Byrne (Douglas)
Valerie Clancy (Killarney)
Mairead Martin (Kanturk)
Rachel Thompson (Cork)
Lauren Walsh (Castlewarden)
Annabel Wilson (Lurgan)
After the official launch of the ladies club in Castlemartyr earlier this year, the five star resort has launched a very attractive membership offer for the year ahead. The normal membership fee has been slashed to just €599 as the new club makes a play to attract ladies to the club. Castlemartyrs’ PGA Professional Brady Sherwood has worked hard for the past two years to build and develop the ladies side of their membership packages. “There has always been a demand for a ladies club in Castlemartyr Golf Club.” Said Sherwood. “Due to our golf course originally being so busy with green fee players in the opening years, there was never really a clear focus on the ladies membership until now. This inland Links style golf course is easy to walk and not too long or over challenging. It’s also a resort style set up, so it’s always prepared and set up beautifully for enjoyable golf. The feedback we get from lady golfers is extremely positive and they love the fact being sand based you can twelve months of the year in great condition, the majority of the new lady members that have joined Castlemartyr for the simple fact of accessing the seven-day full membership Continue reading