This last week Members playing at San Roque were on the New Course as the Old Course was closed for heavy maintenance.
Sixteen of us were away in Ireland where we enjoyed excellent weather playing a succession of fine courses. We were joined by Michael Keane and Brendan Siefried at Druid’s Glen to make us up to 18. David Lally played for Woodenbridge on the Wednesday and Patrick O’Sullivan turned out for Portmarnock the following day. It was interesting that a John Quigley was also playing for Portmarnock. Was it on this morning that we saw a delivery van bearing the logo ‘Quigley Meats’? The finale was at Hermitage where Frank Murray, the President, and Jim Flynn always look after us very well. More details later in the Newsletter…
First: Timothy Vincent (38 points)
Second: Russ Williams (38 points, on handicap)
Third: Paul Charles (37 points)
Fourth: Keith Harmer (37 points, on handicap)
Nearest the Pin: Andrew Macauley
Best Gross: Thomas Ybarra Gallagher (+8)
Thank you to Gary Ward for deputising whilst I was away in Ireland.
Thank you to Linda for her help with this. I understand that the weather was not brilliant, but there was still a field of 26 players.
First: Russ Williams (36 points)
Second: Debbie Richards (35 points)
Third: Helen Tallentire (35 points, on handicap)
Fourth: Nicky Triay (34 points)
Fifth: Bill Fletcher (33 points, on handicap)
Nearest the Pin: Jan Sallnas
Twos: Andrew Rogers
Best Gross: Bill Fletcher (+13)
Cloudy skies and the threat of some heavy thunderstorms materialized mid-morning.
This meant that only 8 guys, including a guest of Francis Payne, completed the 18 holes.
Well done on sticking it out in difficult conditions as by lunchtime much better weather had arrived. The Captain is not happy because the thunder and lightning woke him up!
First: Francis Payne (35 points)
Second: Mike Cowburn (33 points)
Third: Joachim Friedl (28 points, on handicap)
Only Andrew Rogers entered the twos…., he was less successful than Thursday.
Best Gross: Mike Cowburn (+13)
We had a great trip with excellent camaraderie and some good golf on some of the best courses in Ireland. The Fines Committee comprised of Noel Smith (Chairman), Vice and Andy Stanford who did a great job as ‘whip meister’. We raised 80 euros through fines for the Gibraltar Special Olympics Team bringing the total raised to date to 2,445 euros.
Other fines, supervised by the Smithy dictatorship, went into the whip and discussions in the bar reviewing the day’s events were kept to sensible proportions with everyone in bed by 1.30am on most days.
For the closely contested individual competition during the week we had a League Table to monitor performances. In this, 3 points were allocated for a win, 1 point for a halved match and -1 for a loss. Going into the final day, several of us were on -4 (including the Captain), but everyone managed to play well on at least 2 or 3 days, despite some tired legs towards the end of the trip.
Congratulations to the individual champion: Sean McDonough.
Runner-up: Paul Holliday
This is a most beautiful golf course, the ‘Augusta of Ireland’, and the team under Peter McEvoy, Jeff Lynch and John Clarkin have done a superb job with the renovation. The tweaks to Holes 4, 9, 11, 17 and 18 have really enhanced the course and brought it back to the pinnacle of Irish Golf. We were privileged to be the first overseas visitors and a big thank you to Marcus Doyle (Director of Golf), Vincent Lynch and Barry Fogarty (Captain) for all their help organising the match during such a busy week for them.
Hole 8 at Druid’s Glen is one of my favourite par 3s in the world. We had a tough left pin to deal with and there were some very good efforts from Peter Nolan and others.
Nearest the Pin: Nick O’Loughlin (Druid’s Glen). Andy and I were pleased to get a halve in 3 and bounce across the suspension bridge on Hole 9 still 2up. We turned 2 ahead, but this lead evaporated on the back nine. Peter Nolan holed an outrageous 30-footer from the back of the green on Hole 18 for a 5 (net 4), after being in the water, to snatch a 1up win, what a putt Peter!!!! There were some very close matches during this fixture, particularly the first and the last. In the final group, players from each side holed 8-foot putts to force a halve. Well played both teams!!!!
Hole 12: This par 3 is just as good as the previous one, with water involved again. Having made a 2 or 3 here, or perhaps a bogey or worse, just round the corner, in front of the hotel, are the tees for Hole 13, Stroke Index 1, the toughest par 4 on the course.
Nearest the Pin on Hole 12: David MacGregor.
David MacGregor and Jon Barber went on to record a
very good 4 & 2 win.
Hole 2: the first par 3, playing 167 yards from the Green Tees. There was a very special moment on Hole 2 at Druid’s Glen on Monday! It was the first Hole in One since the renovation: congratulations to Phil Fisher on this hole in one! Thank you to Vincent Lynch who will be sending Phil a commemorative certificate. Phil and Roger Griffiths went on to achieve a 1up victory.
Druid’s Glen 5 San Roque 4 This meant I had to present the Trophy to Barry Fogarty,
Captain of Druid’s Glen.
Thank you to Ciaran as well for his help liaising with Marcus Doyle who, as Monty says, is the ‘best Director of Golf’ in Ireland. Can I please add that Ciaran is the best and most helpful local organiser in Wicklow County. Paul and I went to the official opening of the refurbished Druid’s Glen on the Friday morning. Colin Montgomerie and Peter McEvoy were the guests of honour.
There was a double shot gun (morning and afternoon) charity day which went off extremely
well. Photographs (on the right) of the Ceremonial re-opening.
Left: Nick O’Loughlin picking up his prize for a great shot on Hole 8.
Right: The green on Hole 13 with water waiting.
We had a brilliant day here again, despite the coach turning up half an hour late in the morning, taking a wrong turning immediately on leaving the hotel, and a long delay due to an accident at the Red Cow Interchange on the M50. This disrupted the starting order for both Teams a little bit, but we enjoyed great weather on another magnificent golf course. The Irish Open is here soon so the rough was already brutal. Safe to say that my partner for the day, Jezza, explored the property to its fullest extent. It’s a good job we had a buggy to cover the 12.5 miles required!! And plenty of golf balls for Jeremy. He did play a blinder on the tough par 4 ninth hole, making a 4 (net 3). This
gave us some hope in this match, but this quickly disappeared when we lost 4 holes in a row at the start of the back nine. David Adamson was very steady making two birdies in the first three holes followed by a continual stream of pars, ably supported by Declan Daly who played very well on the last 12 holes. Other pairings were rather more successful with Ciaran and Noel securing a very good half against Gerry Byrne (Course Superintendent) and Miceál Sammon (last year’s Captain); Jim Jenet and Andy Stanford romped to a 6 & 4 win; Holty and Paul Holliday came in with a solid 3 & 2 victory.
Nearest the Pin on Hole 17: Gerry Byrne Longest Drive on Hole 14: Miceál Sammon Overall Result: The K Club 5 San Roque 3. We look forward to seeing some of the Irish Open on TV when it is hosted by The K Club in early September. Gerry reckons the winning score will be -16, but the severe rough will demand precision from the likes of McIlroy, Lowry and Hatton. We are already in practice to get the trophy back in the return match here at San Roque in November.
This course definitely lived up to its reputation of being a ‘hidden gem’. Their team was bolstered by Barry Davis (Blainroe Professional), David Lally and one or two other late substitutions. We all enjoyed the day immensely. A great call to play this wonderful track! Holty and Roger recorded an impressive 6 & 4 win and Tony played the last 6 on his own.
Nearest the Pin on Hole 7: Sean Leonard (2 inches)
Longest Drive on Hole 18: David Lally
Overall Result: Woodenbridge 4.5 San Roque 3.5
Some great ball striking by Duncan Quigley at Woodenbridge. He should have been rewarded with an eagle on Hole 15, but missed the short putt. His drive on Hole 18 was a monster, but was 2 inches off the fairway. We had a great match with Michael Murray and John Murray. With a slight advantage at the turn, and with Captain and Vice playing well, we should have brought this one home. That we went down 2 & 1 was largely due to John’s superb short game. Before a serious illness with lung cancer he was as low as 6 handicap. He currently has a playing handicap of 21 and it was very difficult to give him 12 shots. It’s great that he is able to play again and play so well! He was well supported by Michael and they edged the match because they ham and egged it slightly better than us. A great game in an excellent spirit; what Golf Tours are all about. Thank you to Michael for so kindly putting a 200 euro voucher behind the bar at McSorleys in Dublin on Friday night. I hope Patrick O’Sullivan, Frank Monks and other friends managed to make a big dent in it. Talking about getting in and out of places, the Vice found himself in a tight squeeze getting to the clubhouse at Woodenbridge…
This is a very testing links and it was helpful to have the opportunity of playing it in rather more benign conditions. The Captain tried to play a few links style pitch and runs.
This was not entirely successful and I still managed to visit 14 pot bunkers, including three on the same hole, the par 5 16th! And on the 4th hole, I hit a 6 iron between David MacGregor’s legs ; in future, can Past Captains please not stand 120 yards in front of me directly in line with the flag, even if they are looking for their ball! My golf is definitely not good enough at the moment! Apologies from me for not striking the shot properly. It should have sailed way over David’s head.
Paul Holliday said this was his favourite course of the week. It was certainly a challenge and the rough was brutal. Home advantage was a big factor here. DMAc and I were given a lesson in links golf by Brian Keogh, an 82 year old retired surgeon (kidney specialist).
Brian has been playing Portmarnock for 48 years; one of his friends admitted to being a member for 51 years! They know the greens rather well and their short game is deadly.
Brian would often have a long second shot into the green. He’d hit a 5 iron or something like that and I was thinking that’s only going to get half way there. Next minute, what do you know, his ball has run up onto the green just 12 feet from the flag. What an exhibition of links golf!! DMac was giving him 20 shots. Brian had a 4 (net 2) on the Stroke Index 1; I believe we lost that hole. We went down 3 & 2 and it was only that close because of some great shots and solid putting by David. Talking in the bar afterwards we noted that Brian had played three days in a row and was drinking a diet coke whilst we tucked into another Guinness or two.
Overall Result: Portmarnock 4.5 San Roque 3.5. This went to the last putt on the final green in the last group. A valiant effort by Holty, but unfortunately his 12 footer to tie everything at 4 – 4 missed. Thank you to John Keane and Patrick O’Sullivan for their help with this fixture. At 50 euros per person it’s an amazing opportunity to play one of the best links courses in the world. I agree with Paul Holliday about that. It means that I am looking forward to September even more. Let’s hope we get just as considerate weather!
Result: 4 – 4. Trophy retained by San Roque. A great effort by the team; well done to everybody, especially Ciaran Lally and Andy Stanford who were dormy 5 down and came back to secure a crucial half point.
Nearest the Pin on Hole 4: David MacGregor
Nearest the Pin on Hole 10: Paul Holliday
Longest Drive on Hole 8: Tony Holt (Frank Murray hit a very good one here too.)
On the admin front, a big thank you to Ciaran Lally for his assistance organizing key aspects of this Tour. Sean McDonough was also instrumental in helping to get the Woodenbridge fixture; Patrick O’Sullivan lobbied various Past Captains at Portmarnock and helped get the Home Side’s team together. Thanks guys! Here is the finalised Ireland Tour League Table for the individual trophy as well as last week’s birthday boy in action at Chakra; also Paul and I savouring the wine at this excellent Michelin star Indian restaurant in Greystones:
To be updated next week. Ben and the Team are still very busy with maintenance work on the Old Course.
Tuesday 23 May: Midweek Competition – Stableford
Thursday 25 May: Midweek Competition – Stableford
Saturday 27 May: Members Scramble (Mixed) Captains Pick Teams; NO EXCEPTIONS
Saturday 28 May: Monthly Medal (63 Tees)
Tuesday 30 May: Midweek Competition – Stableford
Thursday 1 June: Midweek Competition – Stableford
Saturday 3 June: Yellowball Competition (not federated)
Tuesday 6 June: Midweek Competition – Stableford
Thursday 8 June: Midweek Competition – Stableford WORLD SERIES
Saturday 10 June: Yellowball Competition (not federated)
Sunday 11 June: Extra Federated Competition
Tuesday 13 June: Midweek Competition – Stableford
Thursday 15 June: Midweek Competition – Stableford
Saturday 17 June: Monthly Medal (63 Tees)
With the Ireland Tour already well and truly covered we probably have a polite sufficiency of anecdotes for one week!
We raised another 80 euros from fines in Ireland. This now brings us up to an impressive 2,445 euros to help them in Germany in June. Thank you to everyone who has contributed! Last chance this week for any final donations to this excellent cause. The final total will be given to the Team in a special presentation on the afternoon of Saturday 27 May ahead of the Texas Scramble results.
Happy Golfing and Swing it well; I hope we are all lucky with the weather this week!!