Quigley & McGuinness on top in Scotch Foursomes

The winter handicap proved decisive in determining the result of Sunday’s 14 Hole Scotch Foursomes competition which saw a field of 54 pairings play in cold and windy but dry conditions.

Sean Quigley (18) and Noel McGuinness (20) took first prize with an excellent score of 49.2 but they benefited from the 0.5 deduction imposed on Brian Crombie (22) & John McGeady (24) for previous successes over the winter season.

Crombie & McGeady finished on 49.6 with the experienced Seamus Bailey (11) partnering juvenile Lee Egan (28) to third place on a score of 49.8.

Next Sunday’s competition is a 14 Hole Four Man Rumble Men’s sponsored by Tiernan’s Centra Blackrock and there are still slots available on the timesheet which can be booked via the BRS System.

Sunday, February 27 – 14 Hole Scotch Foursomes – 1st: Sean Quigley (18) & Noel McGuinness (20) 49.2, 2nd: Brian Crombie (22) & John McGeady (24) 49.6*, 3rd: Lee Egan (28) & Seamus Bailey (11) 49.8. *Deduction from previous wins (0.5).

Close finish to Four Man Scramble

Sunday’s competition was a Four Man Scramble with 24 teams taking part following a shotgun start.

A good balance of handicaps proved to be crucial for the winners as low men Colin Roche (5) and Eddie Rogers (3) linked up with Brendan Cleary (24) and Sean Gallagher (21) to take first prize with a final nett score of 42.7 after shooting a gross score of seven under par. This included a 0.3 deduction for a previous Winter success by one of their team.

The strong Northerly wind that swept the course made for a challenging contest but scores were good and the runners-up finished 0.2 of a shot behind the winners with Michael Coburn (9), Bill McCarthy (29), Jimmy O’Connor (19) and Gerry Campbell (24) finishing with 42.9.

That allowed them to edge out the team of Aaron Grant,   Aaron Waite, Conor Murphy and Ciaran Johnston who went through the 14 holes in an amazing 10 under par gross.

Sunday, January 20 – Four Man 14 Hole Scramble – 1st: Colin Roche (5), Edward Rogers (3), Brendan Cleary (24), Sean Gallagher (21), (Team Handicap: 6.6) Nett Score: 42.7*. 2nd: Michael Coburn (9), Bill McCarthy (29), Jimmy O Connor (19), Gerry Campbell (24), (Team Handicap: 10.1) Nett Score: 42.9/25.5. *Deduction from previous wins (-0.3).

Walker wins in Portmarnock

Leslie Walker

Club professional Leslie Walker carded a level par 71 to win the gross prize in the first TaylorMade Winter Series outing of 2019 at Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links.

He defied the northerly breeze as he recovered from early bogeys at the first and fourth with birdies the 10th and 14th to edge out Lucan’s Mick Downes and Newlands’ Cameron Raymond.


Experience the key in Sunday Rumble

Experience proved to be the key for the winners of Sunday’s Four Man Rumble which was played over 14 holes.

George Rogers (19), Sean Ward (19), Ollie English (13) and Christy Ward (6) mastered the blustery conditions and returned a score of 72pts which included a deduction of one point for previous successes over the winter period.

That was one point better than the foursome of Stephen Haughey (13), John McEneaney (25), Alan Uzell (16) and Michael Byrne (20) who had a gross score of 72pts but also lost one for previous successes.

The Timesheet is now live on the BRS for the Nine Hole Scotch Mixed Foursomes next Sunday, January 20 which will have a Shotgun Start at 1.30pm. There will be dinner afterwards at 4.30pm which will provided by D’Lish Catering. Members should contact the Bar to book tables as booking is essential. This will be followed by presentation of prizes and the Christmas Draw.

Sunday, January 13 – Four Man 14 Hole Rumble – 1st: George Rogers (19), Sean Ward (19), Ollie English (13), Christy Ward (6) 72pts*. 2nd: Stephen Haughey (13), John McEneaney (25), Alan Uzell (16), Michael Byrne (20) 71pts*. *Deduction from previous wins (-1).

Burlingham and Beirne blend to start 2019 with a win

The first competition of 2019 attracted a full timesheet with 50 pairings taking part in a Scotch Foursomes competition and there was less than one shot between the top three at the end.

The relentless drizzle certainly didn’t hamper Jim Burlingham (28) and Pat Beirne (23) who blended perfectly to win with a nett score of 47.2.

That was half-a-shot better than the excellent 47.7 returned by 12 handicappers Pat Donaghy and Mark Browne while Conor McCaughey (6) and John McGeady (24) returned a score of 48.3 to finish third.

The competition was the first played under the new rules of golf and members are reminded that they can find out more information about the changes on the club website www.dundalkgolfclub.ie.

Sunday, January 6 – Scotch Foursomes– 1st: Jim Burlingham (28) & Pat Beirne (23) 47.2. 2nd: Pat Donaghy (12) & Mark Browne (12) 47.7. 3rd: Connor McCaughey (6) & John McGeady (24) 48.3.


New Rules come into force on January 1

The new Rules of Golf come into force on January 1, 2019, and all golfers are asked to ensure that they are familiar with the many changes that are being introduced.

The 20 more important rule changes are as follows:

  1. Drop from knee height (NOT shoulder height)
  2. Measure the area to drop in with the longest club in your bag (except a putter)
  3. Drop in and play from the relief area
  4. When dropping back-on-the-line, your ball cannot be played from nearer the hole than your chosen reference point
  5. Time to search – 3 minutes (NOT 5 minutes)
  6. If you accidentally move your ball when searching for it, replace it without penalty
  7. No penalty for a double hit – it only counts as one stroke
  8. No penalty if your ball hits you or your equipment accidentally after a stroke
  9. No penalty if your ball strikes the flagstick when you have chosen to leave it in the hole
  10. Spike mark and other shoe damage on the putting green can be repaired
  11. Ball accidentally moved on putting green – no penalty and replace
  12. Ball marked, lifted and replaced on putting green is moved by wind to another position –replace ball on the original spot
  13. Penalty areas replace water hazards, and you can move loose impediments, ground your club and take practice swings in penalty areas without penalty, just as you can on the fairway or in the rough
  14. You can’t take relief from a penalty area unless you are at least 95% certain your ball is in the penalty area
  15. In bunkers you can move loose impediments
  16. In bunkers you cannot touch the sand with your club in the area right in front of or right behind your ball, during your backswing or in taking practice swings
  17. Free relief is allowed if your ball is embedded on the fairway or in the rough (but “embedded” means that part of your ball is below the level of the ground)
  18. Unplayable ball in bunker – extra option to drop outside the bunker for 2 penalty strokes
  19. You cannot have your caddie or your partner standing behind you once you begin taking your stance
  20. Pace of Play – it is recommended that you take no longer than 40 seconds to make a stroke (and usually you should be able to play more quickly than that) and Ready Golf in stroke play is encouraged

You can watch an explanatory video on the rule changes by clicking here.

Further information is available from the R&A website which can be accessed by clicking here.


Tight finish to final event of 2018

THE last competition of 2018 was a Champagne Team of Four event played over 14 holes on Sunday and it produced a tight finish.

The team of Martin Cairns (17), Mark Cairns(15), Adrian Kenny (19) and Gerry Murray (10) shot 70pts to win the event by one point from Ray Pepper (19), Andrew MacKell (28), Stephen Haughey (13) and Ciaran McAteer (20). The second place team also recorded a score of 70pts but under Turkey competition rules had a point deducted because Ray Pepper had been among the prizes in a similar competition on December 9.

The first winner of the Nine Hole Repeater Competition is Michael Noone (16). He edged out Cathal Grennan on countback after both returned scores of 17pts.

The competition continues until January 5 and the €3 entry fee must be paid prior to the round in the Pro Shop with members able to enter as often as they like. Three prizes will be awarded will be awarded after every 25 entries anmd there are separate competitions for Men, Ladies and Juveniles

Sunday, December 30 – Champagne Team of Four – 1st: Martin Cairns (17), Mark Cairns(15), Adrian Kenny (19) and Gerry Murray (10), 70pts. 2nd: Ray Pepper (19), Andrew MacKell (28), Stephen Haughey (13), Ciaran McAteer (20) 69pts (70pts-1).

Nine Hole Repeater – 1st: Michael Noone (16) 17pts/13, 2nd: Cathal Grennan(8) 17, 3rd: Pat Davis (16)16pts/11.


Rafferty looking forward to 2019 after memorable year

IT’s a sign of how far Caolan Rafferty has come over the past three years that he is now the highest ranked Irishman on the World Amateur Golf rankings having broken into the top 50 for the first time in recent weeks.

As 2018 draws to a close Rafferty, who turned 26 on December 22, sits at No.49 on the WAG rankings and is looking forward to 2019 knowing it could be even better than the previous 12 months.

This time last year, the Dundalk Golf Club player set himself three objectives. They were to win one of Ireland’s six major amateur golf championships, win a senior club pennant with Dundalk, and make the Irish team for the Eisenhower Trophy.

He achieved two out of the three as he beat Rowan Lester in the South of Ireland final at Lahinch in July and led Dundalk to victory over Enniscorthy in the Leinster final of the Barton Shield in June. He agrees it was a good year.

“Two out of three wasn’t bad and even the Eisenhower was close in that I was probably the fourth man of a three man team.

“I think at one stage I had five, maybe six trophies, in the house, all at the one time. It was a really good spell from say September of 2017 to now. I couldn’t really complain. I won in Colombia in September 2017 and that was my first big win. That boosted my confidence. Getting the South took a weight off my shoulders and hopefully I can add to it now because that’s the next objective.”

His other major objectives for 2019 are to make the Britain and Ireland Walker Cup team in September and also secure a place at the US Amateur Championship which takes place in August in Pinehurst.

If he stays in the Top 50 then he will automatically earn a place at Pinehurst and he agrees that it is a sign of how far he has come over the past three years that he is now realistically contemplating being part of these iconic events.

“All these things are starting to come around which I never really thought of before. When I got to my first semi-final at the North in 2015 the last thing I was thinking about was where am I on the WAG. To get into the top 50 in the world is a nice achievement in itself, and there’s not too many from Ireland, never mind the smallest county in the country, have done it.”

He spent several days in the run-up to Christmas on Merseyside after being one of ten potential Walker Cup players invited to attend an informal practice session at Royal Liverpool Golf Club by Britain and Ireland captain Craig Watson and selectors Nigel Edwards and Andy Ingram. The Hoylake venue will host the bi-annual event in September and Rafferty enjoyed the experience.

“It was an interesting two days. I never played Hoylake so it was my first time there. Obviously this time of the year wouldn’t do it any justice, the weather was poor and you could see that the course was bit tired at the end of the season but the layout is fantastic. The clubhouse, everything about it, is amazing. To be part of a Walker Cup team there would be special and would be something that I would really enjoy.”

He admits he really got a taste of what it could be like in September as they were given a tour of the team room, asked to do media interviews and given an opportunity to see the massive trophy up close. He says playing in the Walker Cup has been a long-term objective over the past few years but he is not going to let it become a millstone around his neck.

“The last thing I am going to be worrying about is trying to make the team. If I play good golf that will all sort itself out.”

He believes that his poor showings in the St Andrews Trophy and the British Amateur during the summer probably cost him his place on the Eisenhower Team so he is determined to improve his consistency across the season in 2019 and believes he now mentally stronger than ever.

“I think I did show last year that I have a bit more character to me now and that I can dig deep and really push whereas a couple of years ago I probably didn’t have it in me.”

Since 2017, Rafferty has been on a Harrington Golf Scholarship at Maynooth University where he is studying for a degree in business and he admits he is now beginning to see the benefits of being a college golfer.

“The University this year was a big thing and there was plenty of golf there. Extra golf, but it added to the season. The scheduling got busier but it was a case that you were playing in big events, playing new people and seeing new courses. Last year I didn’t really grasp what college golf was about but this year I saw the value of it and how a few of those titles would be nice under my belt.

“The College golf is definitely helping. I wouldn’t be a great practiser, I’d rather play holes, but this year I got myself into a bit of a routine and I went down two or three nights a week even though keeping on top of assignments is tricky. I am balancing it better. I have a schedule to my week now. Before I went to college I was going through the motions. I felt like I had to go down and practice but now you want to go and practice. I have a better outlook and better discipline.”

Another major event for Rafferty in 2019 will be the R&A’s Amateur Championship which is being held in Portmarnock and The Island in June and he revealed that it was a big topic of conversation in Hoylake.

“They were all asking about Portmarnock and wanting to know what it is like. I think it is going to be one of the toughest courses the Amateur has ever been played on. The best of the best are going to be there so making the cut will be my first goal.”

The inter-club scene provided happiness and heartbreak during 2018 as he was part of the first ever Dundalk team to win a senior pennant but then saw their dreams of a national pennant dashed by Athenry in the final of the Barton Shield in Thurles.

“To get over the line this year and give that little bit of thrill to everybody in Dundalk by winning the Leinster pennant was nice. Because it is such an individual game to do stuff as a team is so nice.

“To be pipped in the final of the All-Ireland was heartbreaking. It is amazing how close you get. It was a rough one to take. As I said to the lads, I have had plenty of heartbreak in individual golf, in championships. To learn to lose before you win is the way I have always had it. You don’t win first time out, you have to take your defeats, know what it is to have a setback and then go again. I think next year will show a good bit of character from us to try and do it again. Athenry only won it on their third attempt so we’ll take a lot from knowing that.”

After celebrating his 26th birthday and Christmas at home in Dundalk, Rafferty flew out to America on St Stephen’s Day with Maynooth University team-mate Ronan Mullarney to take part in the 2018 Patriot All-America Invitational in Arizona and is looking forward to the year ahead.

“I am looking forward to the season in general. After Arizona, I come back and I have exams then we go for a training week to Portugal and then hopefully I will make the panel going to South Africa. It is just flying after that and it will be Christmas before I know it. It will be all go.”

One question Raffetty gets asked a lot concerns his future plans and whether or not he intends to turn professional. He admits it is something he is thinking about but not a question that he is ready yet to answer.

“I am going to do College and see what happens after that. I am still 50-50 on it and it is something I will need to have a real good think about because it is costly. I will sit down after college and I will weigh up my options. I won’t make a rash decision, I know that much.”

Reidy wins Sunday’s Singles competition

Eighty-five players took part in a Singles Stableford competition on Sunday with the course again in superb condition despite the heavy overnight rain.

Kieran Reidy was the overall winner with the 15 handicapper returning a score of 34pts which included the deduction of one point for previously winning a turkey in one of the earlier festive competitions.

He defeated newly installed President Dessie Ward (12) who returned a great score of 33pts but will rue a missed three foot putt on the 12th after a brilliant downhill chip from the back of the green.

Peter Rogers (2) returned the best gross score of the day, 31pts, and also won the Category 1 prize while Alan Cole (13) took Category 2 and John Farrell (21) claimed Category 3.

Sunday, December 23 – 14 Hole Singles Stableford – Overall: Kieran Reidy (15) 34 pts*, Dessie Ward (13) 33/22pts. Category 1 (0-12): Peter Rogers (2) 33/21pts. Category 2 (13-17): Alan Cole (13) 32/21pts. Category 3 (18+): John Farrell (21) 29*pts. Best Gross: Peter Rogers 31pts. *includes deduction of 1 pt for previously winning a ‘turkey’



Council members come out tops in Sunday Scramble

Four members of Council came together on Sunday to win the Four Man 14 Hole Scramble with Vice Captain Pat Davis teaming up with Dessie Ward, Trevor Giff and Gerry McDermott for a bogey free round that included eight birdies.

Twenty teams teed it up for the shotgun start at 9am on a course that was in superb condition despite the torrential rain that had fallen the previous day.

Starting off the first, Dessie Ward’s booming drive set the tone for the winners as Davis sank a 10ft putt for birdie after a great approach shot by Giff, who then produced all the key shots as they birdied the fourth hole, their second.

A tap in birdie followed at the sixth after Giff had found the green in two and they had shaved the hole for eagle before they saw birdie putts at seven, eight and nine lip out. That left them three under gross for the first seven holes and they then produced a great birdie on 10 after being forced to play their second shot from deep in the trees on the left of the fairway.

A superb approach from 160 yards on 11 by McDermott saw Giff roll in a birdie putt from 20ft and Ward then got up and down from 95 yards for a birdie on the 12th. They missed a great birdie chance on the 14th from 10ft but managed to finish their round birdie birdie.

At the par three 17th Davis stitched his tee shot to six feet and McDermott rolled in the birdie putt while on 18 another booming drive from Ward left them 112 yards from pin and McDermott left them 12ft from the pin with his approach. After watching his three colleagues shave the hole with their birdie putts, the excellent Giff stepped up and rolled the ball in for the eighth birdie of a flawless round.

It proved to be the winning putt as they edged out Mickey Coburn, Richie Barry, Dermot McKenna and Seamus Caplis by half-a-shot once the team handicaps were applied.

The Scramble was followed by a Mixed Scotch Foursomes in the afternoon with Pat and Eva Beirne taking the front nine competition while Paul O’Callaghan and Elaine Ward were best over the back nine.

Sunday, December 16 – Four Man 14 Hole Scramble – 1st: Pat Davis (17), Dessie Ward (13), Gerard McDermott (16), Trevor Giff (10) (5.6) 42.4. 2nd: Michael Coburn (9), Richard Barry (10), Dermot McKenna (16), Seamus Caplis (26) (6.1) 42.9. 3rd: Frank Byrne (8), Patsy Cole (18), Paul Lynch (18), Eamon McEneaney (15) (5.9) 43.1. 4th: Teddy Rogers (3), Kevin Barry (10), Benny O’Shaughnessy (19), Michael Gill (8) (4) 44.0.

Sunday, December 16 – Mixed Scotch Foursomes – Front Nine: Pat Beirne & Eva Beirne (13.75) 31.75; Michael Coburn & Mags Coburn (6.75) 33.25/21.5. Back Nine: Paul O’Callaghan & Elaine Ward (5.25) 32.75; Peter Rogers & Geraldine Rogers (7.75) 35.25/20.8.