Mahon Launch new Trackman Studio

Mahon juniors pictured with PGA Professional Stephen Hayes in the new Trackman Studio.

Mahon Golf Club have recently installed a new Trackman Studio which will be a huge boost for their members.  The new development comes after a few years of planning from the city club.  Given that the course has no means for expansion, a range or outdoor practice wasn’t an option, so the club instead looked at the option of building an indoor simulator.  2021 Club Captain Denis Kavanagh was one of the people behind the initiative and he explained how the exciting development came about.

“The Club Committee formed a sub-committee in 2020 to look into options available to develop some alternative to a practice range, that would provide members and juveniles alike with facilities to develop their game” said Kavanagh.  “After researching what options were available by contacting other clubs, and speaking with Golf Simulator suppliers both in the UK and Denmark, a preferred solution was agreed.  The sub-committee then met Continue reading

Stephen Hayes keeping golfers winter ready

Stephen Hyes has launched his winter coaching programmes at Cork Golf Centre.
Picture: Niall O’Shea

PGA Professional Stephen Hayes is planning for a busy off-season, he’s developed a new golf coaching plan that should allow golfers to improve over the winter months.  After a busy summer, Hayes has switched up the coaching options, focusing on a structured approach that takes in four sessions over the course of a number of weeks.  “I came up with the Long Game Winter Assessment as a way of structuring a lesson and practice plan for my students over the winter” explained Stephen.  “The first step is carrying out a 90 minute assessment with the students which includes a TPI movement screening, Trackman video and data analysis and a Trackman combine test.  The second step is then sitting down with the student to go through the findings and agree on a plan going forward over the winter. The student can then choose option of five lessons, they can also choose the length of each coaching lesson; 30, 45 or 60 minutes.”

The TPI screening, developed and pioneered by the Titleist Performance Institute has become the industry Continue reading

Job Opportunity: Douglas Golf Club Pro-Shop

Stephen Hayes has an opening for a full-time staff member, working in the Douglas Golf Club Pro-Shop.  The role is a great opportunity for someone looking to work in the trade, and Douglas is one of the busiest clubs in Cork.  The club is nearing the end of a major transformation programme, and the new pro-shop is due to be completed this year.  Full details on the job are listed below:

Stephen Celebrates 10 years in Douglas

Douglas Professional Stephen Hayes who recently celebrated 10 years in Douglas Golf Club. Picture: Niall O’Shea

Stephen Hayes celebrated ten years in Douglas Golf Club earlier this month, and it was a very happy milestone for the PGA Professional.  Having played his junior golf with Lee Valley, Hayes trained under Bandon’s Paddy O’Boyle and then worked with Brendan McDaid in Rathsallagh.  10 years ago he made the move to Douglas after the retirement of Gary Nicholson, and it’s been an exciting decade.  “The time is after flying by with many things both personal and business wise filled into that time” said Hayes. It’s great to have trained two PGA Professionals in that time period and Shane currently doing his training with us. I also got married, had two kids and bought a house!”  Hayes was a big hit with the members from the start, fitting in nicely into the busy club environment.

Stephen Hayes demonstrates the SAM Puttlab technology in his performance studio in Douglas Golf Club.  Pic: Niall O’Shea

“The members gave us a great welcome right from the start and they have been very loyal and supportive over the past 10 years.  The biggest change has been the number of new members that have come into the club over the past five years.  The club is full of activity and there is a real buzz around the club with people using the clubhouse, course and practice facilities.”  Being a club professional generally means that you’re also training the next generation, and Hayes has fulfilled that after successfully training Brian O’Donovan and Davey Barry. Brian is currently teaching at the Mission Hills golf resort in China while Davey Barry recently made the move to Ballyneety Golf Centre in Limerick.

As well as managing the shop, Stephen also employs staff to cover 100 hour per week rota.  “Staffing is very important” said Stephen.  “I have been very lucky to have had great assistant PGA Professionals working with us.  Both Brian and Davey have both moved on over that time and are doing well for themselves in their roles as teaching Professionals.  It was great to see Shane win assistant of the year for Year One recently.  Shane works very hard and has been a great addition to the team over the past year and half. It’s also great to have Clodagh Coughlan working with us. Clodagh used come up to our Juvenile girls coaching when I started in Douglas first. It has been great to see her develop her golf game in that time and represent Ireland this year in the South American Golf Championship in January and also becoming the Juvenile Girls officer in Douglas Golf Club.”  While the pro shop is often the centre of the off course activities, Stephen says Douglas is also benefitting from the substantial investment in their new practice facilities.  “The retail side of the business is the centre of the business but we are lucky to have great practice facilities in the club so teaching is important part the business.  We run a Winter training program for our Juvenile Members over the winter months and also through the summer months.  It’s important that members get the opportunity to learn the basic fundamentals from early stage along with their Fundamental Movement Skills.  As Juvenile members progress more specialist areas are included in their programs including golf fitness. Irish International Peter O’Keeffe carries out training programs for our Juveniles and is a great role model for our Junior Golfers.”  Working with club members and teams is a big part of the job for Stephen and in the past ten years he’s been involved with several successful teams that have brought back pennants to the club.

Douglas Club Pro Stephen Hayes pictured in the  Performance Centre in Douglas Golf Club.
Picture: Niall O’Shea

“We also work with our teams in the run up to our inter-club competitions.  This is always very enjoyable and there is always a great buzz around the teams during this time.  We have been very lucky to be involved in some successful team over our ten years   In 2011 our Ladies Senior Cup team won the All-Ireland in Malone Golf Club.  In 2015 our Fred Daly team won Munster Pennant and the following year our Junior Cup team won the Munster pennant.  In 2018 our Ladies team won the All Ireland final in Knightsbrook. Along with the team competitions it also great to see individual success.  Whether that’s a player winning a weekly singles, monthly medal, captains prize or golfer of the year.  One of the highlights individually over that time was seeing Sara Byrne win the Irish Ladies Close Championship in 2018.”  Earlier this year Stephen and a few Cork professionals attended the PGA show in Florida.  While the trip was a bit of a busman’s holiday, it did give them opportunity so see some top coaches in action, and get a first look at the new technology and developments that will shape the game over the next 12 months.  It was also a learning event for Stephen as he took in the latest changes.

“It was great to get to the PGA Show in Orlando in January. There is always a great buzz at this event and it is a great opportunity to see the latest golf products, teaching aids and technology on offer.  The biggest take out for me from the show was the use of technology in teaching but more importantly in our members golf experience.  With the weather so poor over winter months it is great to have a facility where members can practice indoors in Trackman studio where they can just play golf with their friends in a nice warm dry environment, check their distances or simply test themselves with the Trackman combine test.”

Busy Times at Douglas Pro Shop

Douglas Pro Shop Feb 2019_2

Stephen Hayes and Shane Livesey

There’s quite a bit going on in Douglas Golf Club at the moment, from new members to course developments, and changes to personnel it’s a busy place.  The Pro Shop run by club professional Stephen Hayes is also a busy spot with a new member of staff and a new teaching facility now up and running.  Stephen, who has been the Club Professional in Douglas since 2010 had a fitting bay at the range for several years until the extreme weather got the better of it.  “Unfortunately the old bay got blown down in Storm Ophelia in late 2017” explained Stephen.  “I had built this teaching bay with my brother in law and Dad when I was Club Professional in Kilkea Castle in 2009.  We had it loaded onto lorry in 2010 and transported to Douglas when I took up position so it’s fair to say it served me well for nine years.  The new teaching/fitting bay is addition to the indoor bay.  The new bay has Continue reading

Davey on track in Douglas

Davey Barry pictured on the range at Douglas Golf Club. Picture: Niall O'SheaWhile there are thousands of Cork people who have just completed exams, it was a different time for Davey Barry as he got word that he had passed his final PGA exams, meaning he has now a qualified teaching professional.  The Douglas based Pro had been working hard for the past three years, combining work in the pro shop with his studies, but Davey is delighted that he now joins the PGA as a full member.  “It’s fantastic to have finished the course. It’s a lot of work and long hours but it’s a great feeling to have gotten here” said Davey.  “It was a long journey for me, I had to do some extra exams before I started the course, it was well worth it though.  This is something that I’ve always wanted to do since I was young, and it’s a career that can Continue reading

Sara leads the way in Douglas

Munster Senior Championship_Sara Byrne

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

Dooks Launch for Munster PGA Winter Series

DooksThe Munster PGA Winter Series gets underway this week with a visit for the first time to Dooks.  The Glenbeigh course will hold the first event of the calendar on Monday next which is a pro-am.  The event is sponsored by Ping and a large number of entrants is expected.  Dooks’ resident professional Danny Sugrue will be hoping to take advantage of his extensive local knowledge, but Liam Higgins could also make that claim so it should be a very competitive event.  It’s been a busy few weeks for the Munster PGA committee and Captain Stephen Hayes.  They have been planning an extended series of eight events which will take place from October to March.  As well as prizes form each competition, golfers will also be competing for the PGB Order of Merit.

The playing schedule reflects the lack of nationals events and a time of year where most Pro’s will have the opportunity to get out and play.   “The Munster PGA is for any PGA Professionals working in or from the Munster Area.” explained Hayes.  “It’s an opportunity for Golf Professionals to meet during the quiet months.  It is very competitive and you need to shoot Continue reading

Long Read: Hayes at Home in Douglas


Stephen Hayes pictured in action in Douglas Golf Club.Picture: Niall O'Shea

Stephen Hayes pictured in action in Douglas Golf Club. Picture: Niall O’Shea

It’s six years since Stephen Hayes took the reins at Douglas Pro Shop, taking on the challenge of working in one of the oldest clubs in Cork.  The past six years haven’t been great for the golf industry but in that time the PGA Professional developed a large following.  Working from one of the busiest courses in the county, Hayes has built a strong business in what was a tough time for everyone involved in the business.  Being a club pro can be a demanding job, the shop must be open 364 days a year, and for up to 12 hours a day during the summer months.  Add to that the fact that you need to find cover for the shop if coaching or playing, or even taking a day off, and you’ll soon realise that a pro-shop can be a demanding business for a PGA Professional.  Over the past two years the retail landscape has changed, the internet has become a real alternative to the high street or on-course shop.  The high street Continue reading