Paddy McCarthy, Golfers Guide to Ireland and Hillary Madden, Monkstown Golf Club who won Best Golf Manager Munster.
Pic Orla Murray/ SON
The annual Golfers Guide awards were held last week and there were two winners from Cork. Monkstown’s Hillary Madden won the Manager of the Year for Munster while Cork Golf Club won the award for best parkland course. It’s cork’s fourth time to win the award in the past seven years. The annual awards took place at Portmarnock Golf Links Hotel and formed part of the launch of the Golfers Guide to Ireland 2018.
The full colour guide is now in it’s 27th year and will be available free of charge in all GUI affiliated clubs. The guide is a comprehensive listing of Ireland’s leading links and parkland courses and also provides details of specialist golf accommodation.
Pictured at the launch of the Golfers Guide to Ireland 2018 was Paddy McCarthy, Golfers Guide to Ireland and Matt Sands from Cork Golf Club which won Best Parkland Munster.
Pic Orla Murray/ SON Photo
Although he’s a Dub, Matt Sands could nearly be considered a Corkman given that he’s spent the best part of 30 years here. Matt is General Manager in Cork Golf Club and moved from Dublin in 1988 to take up the job. Matt isn’t the only person with long service in Cork, in fact it seems to be a feature with course superintendent Anthony Gillis having worked in Cork for over 50 years. Gerry Kenneally who runs the impressive restaurant has been attached to the Little Island club for 28 years while club professional Peter Hickey has been based in Cork for 22 years. Matt has seen plenty happen in that time. From major competitions like the Irish Close and the home internatioals, to the Pro Am and Munster Strokeplay which are annual showpiece events, Cork is generally a busy spot. Apart from the major competitions, there have been a few major projects that Matt has been involved with in the last three decades and he lists the clubhouse redevelopment (2002) and the course upgrade (2011-2012) as the biggest. “I came in during Centenary Year in 1998” said Matt, “and I Continue reading
Anthony Gillis receiving a presentation after 50 years service at Cork Golf Club
One of the keys behind the success of Cork Golf Club has been the staff. Cork has had a tradition of being a great place to work with many staff members holding long service at the Little Island club. General Manager Matt Sands came from Dublin close to 30 years ago to take up the role in Cork. Matt isn’t the only employee with long service. Anthony Gillis has worked in Cork for the past 52 years, moving through various roles to become the Course Superintendent, Matt himself has been in Cork for 28 years while Gerry Kenneally has run the restaurant and kitchen for 27 years. PGA Professional Peter Hickey has also worked in the famous course for over 20 years.
“I enjoy my role as General Manager in Cork Golf Club” said Matt. “I have worked here for nearly 29 years and can honestly say I have enjoyed every minute of my time here. The esteem in which the club is held is evident when you travel away and also when you hear comments from the many guests who visit the club. The course has had major renovations carried out over the last number of years, it is always presented in good condition and very enjoyable to play. It is often called a hidden gem and having been designed by Alister MacKenzie the layout deserves the many accolades it receives.” According to Matt, the award capped off a great year for Cork that also saw them claim a coveted Munster Pennant. “Being named Club of the Year for 2016 at the recent meeting of Munster Golf has given everyone in the club a great boost. We have a team of 20 employed in the club, many with long service. 2017 will again see us hosting the Munster Stroke Play Championship, Our Pro Am and will also welcome many local, overseas visitors and Corporate events.”