In these socially challenging times, arranging golf outings can be a very traumatic experience for some, as witnessed earlier last week in Clifden, Co Galway. However, thanks to our partners at Golf Genius, much of the hassle surrounding cards, results and signing same was taken away as we used their highly efficient digital platform to run our President’s Prize at Castle Golf Club. Overall, it all worked out well, although there were one or two minor hiccups on our side, which were very rapidly solved by Jon Sirius from Golf Genius. Castle GC, as befits one of the best managers in the country, was totally Covid19 compliant. Loads of signage, direction arrows, sanitizers, staff with masks and loads of room to sit, without being too close to anybody. 25 managers plus 5 guests turned up and were treated to a course in fine condition and a day that was perfect for good golf. Unfortunately, only a few availed of that opportunity.
Paddy Dean made it down from Malone, Matt Sands & Hugo Gallagher came up from Cork, both on the cusp of retirement! Matt brought with him Robin Turnbull from his club, a long-standing friend and colleague of his.
Pic.1 Matt Sands & Robin Turnbull, Cork G.C.
Kyle Cannon came up from Lahinch, Tom Whelan from Waterford and Padraig Flattery from Galway. All combined to make it a very representative sample of club managers. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions in Kildare, we lost Gay Nolan, Niall Carroll and Niall Moloney, while Craig Higgs and Jon Sirius from Golf Genius were unable to come in from the UK. Dave Kelly, Sean Finnegan & Gavin Hunt were late cry offs.
Pic 2. Bernard Gibbons, Alan Gibbons, James Murphy and Alan Dunning
When all the scores were in, the winners circle mostly came from one group. Alan Dunning playing off 6 was first with 39 points while Bernard Gibbons finished just behind him on 37 points. Bernard’s son Alan, playing off 11 out of Woodbrook was the best visitor beating Michael O’Keefe, Vice-Captain at the Grange G.C. and a guest of Tom Whelan’s, on the back nine. James Murphy’s birdies unfortunately flew the nest on him!
At the tail end of the field there emerged an interesting match in which the Golden Oldies (Walsh & McInerney) took on the Young Hot Shots (Smyth & Burns) in what turned to be a riveting match. The Oldies took the front nine handily enough, with guile, experience and good dovetailing and were only stopped on the 18th from a complete clean sweep, by a magnificent 20ft putt for par by the Younger Burns. Still the bragging rights were priceless.
Pic 3. Colin McInerney, James Burns, Michael Walsh & Ronan Smyth
In line with current protocols, there were no speeches, no presentation of prizes, no sit down dinner, just a nice day out with fellow managers, who all enjoyed the lovely food and service in Castle, as they came in. The full list of winners is below. One must also comment on the changed new man that is Paul Wisnieski. To say he is half the man he once was is not being unkind but the admiration of the way in which he transformed himself during the lockdown. Suffice it to say he now needs a new wardrobe. Well done Paul. All the result of cycling up to 250 kilometers a week.
President John McCormack’s Prize.
1st Alan Dunning (6) 39pts
2nd Bernard Gibbons (14) 37pts
3rd Michael McCormack (8) 36pts
4th Paddy Dean (5) 34pts
5th Hugo Gallagher (18) 34pts
Nearest the Pin on the 13th Hugo Gallagher 2.5ft.
Some Pics from the Day
Pic 4. Jim Quinn, Niall Keyes, Mark Lynch & Jeff Fallon Pic 5. Matt Sands & John McCormack
Pic 6. Two Presidents -John McCormack IGCMA & James Burns CMAE
Pic 7. Hugo Gallagher, Kyle Cannon, Gerry Coleman & Pat Bradshaw