Monkstown’s 180 hole Challenge

Cian McNamara Jul 2019Monkstown Golf Club are hosting a unique challenge on Saturday, two golfers will try and complete 180 holes in one day. Monkstown’s Club Professional Cian McNamara and General Manager Brian Hurley have set themselves the challenge to play ten rounds of golf in one day. Playing under the rules of golf, and counting both scores, the pair will be walking the course adding to the difficulty of the task. Starting at 4.30am on Saturday morning (28 minutes before dawn!), the challenge is expected to last well into the evening, and with no guarantee of success the two PGA Professionals will have a long day ahead of them on Saturday. The only other similar feat in Cork was completed by Lee Valley’s Denis O’Brien who completed seven rounds at the Clashnure course in Ovens well over a decade ago.

While other similar challenges have been completed in the US, the ten round target is a unique event in Ireland. The event is a fundraiser for the Monkstown Cups and Shields teams, and give that the Club Pro and the GM are doing all of the hard work, it’s not surprising that many of the club members have jumped in to sponsor the holes. All 180 holes in the challenge are now sponsored and with Ronan Murphy’s Smarttech 24/7 joining in as the main sponsor for the event, the club is well on the way to achieving the €10,000 target they set for themselves.

The event has become a real talking point in Monkstown, with many golfers question the reality (and sanity) of trying to complete the 180 hole challenge. That said there’s a great atmosphere around the fundraiser and a large number of members and supporters are expected to come out to cheer on the two golfers on Saturday. While there won’t be too many out for the 4.30am start, it is expected that the crowds will build, especially on Saturday evening.

Busy times for Monkstown’s Shane Irwin

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Shane Irwin

Monkstown’s Shane Irwin will have a busy few months ahead, as he closes off his second year of training as a PGA Professional.  The Limerick native has spent two years in Cork, working with Cian McNamara in the Monkstown ProShop.  In September 2017 he started his PGA training, having worked in the US and South Africa prior to that.  It was the next step in a plan for Shane.  “First year was very interesting for me as I went straight to the states to work in the golf industry after my leaving cert, so it was all a new experience for me” explained Irwin.  “Going to the states was in itself a learning, the way the American golf industry works and the contacts and friends I have made benefited me greatly to bring all that knowledge back home to Ireland.  The plan was always do America and play in South Africa and come back to do my PGA studies.”  Traditionally the PGA apprenticeship was Continue reading

Super Q School Start for McNamara

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Cian McNamara (Monkstown GC)

Cian McNamara got his Q School adventure off to a great start today with a three under par 68 to finish inside the top twenty.  It was a very impressive round that saw the Monkstown based pro hole seven birdie putts.  McNamara was one of the last to play today in Golf d’HArdelot in France, and starting from the 10th he birdied his first and second hole.  A bogey followed on the 12th but two more birdies on 15 and 16 saw him move to -3.  McNamara was level for his final ten holes, but he did slot another three birdies on his way to signing for a 68.  The Limerick is tied for 12th place in a large group.

It’s McNamara’s first time back a Q School in three years and he’s been in good form coming up to the event.  He was part of the winning Ireland team at the recent TGI Cup in Lough Erne and he finished in second place in the Connemara Pro-Am last weekend (and won the team competition).  Now as head pro in Monkstown, Cian has entered a new phase and his former full-time playing schedule has been curtailed.  That said he was very both confident and comfortable when looking forward to his trip to France.  “My reasons for entering Q School are actually very simple. I still think I can play” explained McNamara, a former elite amateur and South of Ireland winner.  “I’ve understood as the years have gone on that time is moving quickly and I’ve responsibilities that I need to attain too but it is just something in the back of my head that keeps me awake a little longer a night.  I’m so grateful for the opportunity at Monkstown GC and can categorically say I’m really enjoying my role but when somebody has always wanted to achieve something and doesn’t quite get there I think we are all the same in saying “it bugs you”.  My fiancé Siobhàn basically convinced me and I’m delighted she has done that.   This may or may not happen this year but at least I’ve put myself forward and now it is just simply up to me.”


He has an earlier start tomorrow, he’s out Continue reading

McNamara wins in Delgany, PGA Irish Region


Monkstown’s Cian McNamara was back in the winners circle yesterday after shooting a five under par 64 at the Delgany Pro-Am.  McNamara has been playing a reduced schedule this year, playing in three or four events each month.  Although not playing as much as some fellow professionals he racked up quite a few top five and top ten finishes this year and proving the Limerick native is still a threat on the Irish region circuit.  On Wednesday he teamed up with his assistant Shane Irwin and both qualified for the PGA Fourball Championship in Headfort, finishing in second place.

McNamara had a good start, he turned on -3 thanks to an eagle on the third and a birdie on the ninth.  Another birdie followed on the 10th but he handed back a shot with a bogey on the 12th.  McNamara had a strong finish with birdies on the 16th and 18th to sign for a five under par 64.  That was more than enough for the win, McNamara was two ahead of second placed Damien McGrane and Daniel Beattie.  It’s a busy week for Cian, he is back in action today at the Beaverstown Pro Am in Donabate.

Seamus Power visits Monkstown


Seamus Power pictured with Monkstown President Colm Ó Riain, Club Professional Cian McNamara and Monkstown Captain Martin Walsh. Picture: Niall O’Shea

PGA Tour golfer Seamus Power took some time out of his break back in Ireland when he spent a few hours in Monkstown Golf Club on Saturday for a special golf clinic for members.  Power was in Monkstown following an invite from his college team-mate Cian McNamara.  The pair spent a four years in East Tennessee University, both were on the college’s golf roster following impressive junior golf performances in Ireland.  McNamara returned to Ireland, studied for his PGA qualifications and two years ago he landed the job in Monkstown.  Power stayed in the US and spent a few years developing his game on the mini-tours.  The mini-tours in the US are a tough learning ground but Power served his time and moved up the hierarchy step by step until he reached the secondary US tour, the tour.  Following a great year on the tour last year, Power secured his card on the main PGA Tour, and followed that with four successive cuts in his four most recent tournaments.  Power has earned close to $100k so far from the four events and is currently inside the top 100 in the FedEx Cup points list.  The good start to the season means that Seamus Continue reading

O’Flaherty looking forward to Interpro Challenge

Munster Strokeplay Championship 2016

Gary O’Flaherty pictured during the Munster Strokeplay at Cork Golf Club in May. Picture: Niall O’Shea

It’s been 20 years since Gary O’Flaherty made his debut on the Munster Inter-provincial team and the Cork Golf Club member is really looking forward to the 2016 event in Fota Island next week.  O’Flaherty won on that original outing in Mount Juliet and has been on five winning teams.  In that time the Munster and Irish golfer has won numerous individual and team titles but he is still very fond of the interpro’s and has some great memories.  “There are so many good ones” said O’Flaherty. “being 4 down after 9 holes in foursomes against Rory McIlroy & Johnny Caldwell in Ballyliffin in 2006 is probably the best.  Myself and Pat Murray managed to reel off five birdies to go one up, only to be pegged back on 16 where McIlroy holed from 40ft for an eagle.  We halved the match in the end.”  Golf has moved on a lot, even in the ten years since Ballyliffin, and many top amateurs are now effectively full time with easy access to all the Irish and International championships.  The senior interpro’s remain an important part of the Irish golfing calendar and Gary still sees the competition as one of the most important in the year: “I believe it’s very important.  It gives guys a goal at the start of the season.  Not everyone can make Irish teams and compete in championships every week, so it’s great to be able to compete against the best for a few days.  It also gives selectors a chance to see how guys are in a team environment, as well as playing foursomes together.”  Gary is also a big fan of Munster Captain Phil Cooney who has helped deliver two titles for Munster in the past four years.  He’s also a fan of the team spirit that Phil promotes: “I think so, it’s very important to have a good team atmosphere. Any year we have Continue reading

Monkstown Junior Easter Camp

Monkstown Golf Club Junior Easter CampMonkstown has been a busy place this week, in addition to the usual weekly competitions, over 50 young golfers have been taking part in a three day Easter Camp.  Following the success of a junior camp last October, Monkstown Club Pro Cian McNamara had planned to run another camp over Christmas.  Wet weather put a stop to that but McNamara along with Monkstown’s assistant Pro Graeme Dunlea have had a very busy week.  They have been running three sessions daily to cater for kids taking part in their Easter Camp.  “We have a group of 51 kids involved in camp” Cian explained, “with juniors ranging from 6 years of age to 13.  The majority of juniors are not members.  The main reason for this is that we have coaching provided weekly for juniors that are members alongside with events scheduled so members are more than catered for during holiday period.”

>>>Gallery: Monkstown Junior Easter Camp<<<

Graeme Dunlea

Monkstown’s Graeme Dunlea

Graeme Dunlea joined Monkstown from Adare Golf Club in late 2015 and his addition to the Monkstown team has allowed himself and Cian to develop a strong junior golf programme.  Both were introduced to the game at a young age and Cian explained their objectives for the camps: “The primary goal from the camp is to introduce Juniors at the youngest possible age to the game of golf in the most friendly environment possible.  Both Graeme and I have firm beliefs in how juniors should be nurtured during their introduction to the game.  The club are very supportive with our coaching plan and we plan to hold camps during all holiday periods.”  In addition to the three day camps, Monkstown have an ongoing programme to encourage new juniors to take up the game as Cian explained: “We also have three weekly junior time slots that non-members can attend, so if anybody was interested they could just contact the pro shop and ask for either Graeme or myself and we will give information about are on-going junior golf program.  Our highest priority is growing the enjoyment of the game.  We are very happy with our progression and continue to improve our coaching plan.  Once we can keep juniors having fun we can implement different coaching principles over time.