Stafford Skills Up

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

West Cork’s Golfing History

Bandon’s 7th green with Castle Bernard in the background.
Picture: Niall O’Shea

West Cork is famed for it’s sporting traditions, and golf forms a big part of that with the sport going back to the 1880’s.  That means that golf pre-dates many other organised sports, although in the early years the sport was dominated by army officers and based bear garrisons, barracks and camps.  From rough and ready makeshift courses that rarely lasted longer than a short lease, the courses that survived have developed into a number of nine and eighteen hole gems.  Bandon and Kinsale are both in West Cork, but their proximity to the city allow for a large travelling membership from the city and surburbs.  Bandon is now over 110 years old, and has been based in the Castlebernard for all of that time.  It has the distinction of being the first West Cork Club to extend to 18 holes back in 1978.  One of the largest and most successful clubs Continue reading

Murphy set for new season

South of Ireland 2019

John Murphy, left, enjoying himself with Shane O’Connell and Cathal Butler at the South of Ireland in July.

Kinsale’s John Murphy was back Cork for a few weeks in December, and the Kentucky based golfer took a well deserved break after a busy few months on the course.  After 30 plus tournaments in 2019 John took advantage of the winter break to recharge with family and friends in Kinsale.  Having used the 2018 Christmas break to practice in Australia, John took a different angle this year with an extended break at home.

“The last few weeks were very different to my normal schedule,” said Murphy.  “Apart from having to study for my finals a lot, I had a lot of time to spend with friends and family which I don’t normally get to do, so I really enjoyed it.  I took a couple weeks away from golf just to recharge.  “Towards the Continue reading

Kinsale, Bandon & East Cork all chasing Munster Pennants

AIG Barton Shield 2019South Munster

Kinsale’s Gary Ward

Three Cork clubs will be chasing glory this weekend in Tramore as the last of the AIG Cups and Shields finals are down for decision.  Barton Shield holders Kinsale put on a strong performance at home in the qualifiers to come through the tough South Munster section.  Although they’re without John Murphy this weekend, Kinsale have a strong panel and with the experience of last year and the guidance of Ger Cullinane, they’ll be ready to take on Limerick.  Cathal Butler and Gary Ward have been playing well recently, both golfers were central to the win in Thurles last year and they will certainly be hoping a repeat of that performance.

East Cork have had a dramatic journey through to the Junior Cup Munster semi-final.  Their 19th hole win in Muskerry over Bandon showed Continue reading

Internationals win Pro Shop Challenge IV

Kinsale Pro Shop Challenge 2019There 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.

Kinsale Pro Shop Challenge 2019

Eoghan Cassidy

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

Less than a week to go to Kinsale Pro Shop Challenge

Kinsale Pro Shop Challenge 3_July 2018_2 (002)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