Team of captains almost steals the day at Drive-In

The current captain and three former captains almost took the spoils in Sunday’s 14 Hole Champagne Team of Four competition which was held in conjunction with the annual Captain’s Drive-In ceremony.

The 2020 Captain Trevor Giff (9) partnered with Michael Coburn (10), Dessie Ward (13) and Pat Davis (16) to shoot 70pts in the sunshine over the 14 holes but they were well-beaten into second place by Adrian Kenny (16), Martin Cairns (16), Michael Brown (20) and Gregory McCaughey (6) who shot an excellent score of 74pts to take first prize.

Captain Trevor and Lady Captain Pauline Campbell then took centre-stage at 1pm when they followed a piper to the first tee for the traditional ceremonial drive-in watched by a large crowd of family, friends and members.

Once their tee-shots were dispatched, the second competition of the day, a Nine Hole Scotch Mixed Foursomes with a shotgun start was held and this time it was turn of Vice-Captains Eoin Doohan and Alison Quigley, playing alongside the two Captains, to grab the headlines.

After a double-bogey at the first, and playing off a combined nett handicap of 8.5, they shot a gross score of 36 over the front nine which included birdies at the par four third, the par five sixth and the par three ninth. That gave them a nett score of 27.5 and victory by a wide margin from Liam and Teresa O’Mahony (12.7) who shot 32.25 nett.

On the Back Nine victory went to Ciaran and Caroline Dunne who shot 32.5 nett to just pip Dave Dorr and Bernie Prendergast (10) by half-a-shot. The day’s play was followed by a presentation ceremony and music in the Clubhouse as the 2020 season begins to unfold.

Sunday, February 23 – Captains’ Drive-In 14 Hole Champagne Team of Four: 74pts* – Adrian Kenny (16), Martin Cairns (16), Michael Brown (20), Greg McCaughey (6). 70pts – Michael Coburn (10), Trevor Giff (9), Dessie Ward (13), Pat Davis (16)

Sunday, February 23 – Captains’ Drive-In Nine Hole Scotch Mixed Foursomes – Front Nine: 27.5 – Vice Captains Eoin Doohan & Alison Quigley (8.5), 32.25 – Liam & Teresa O’Mahony (12.7), 32.5 – Jim & Mary Burlingham (13). Back 9 – 32.5 – Ciaran & Caroline Dunne, 33 – Dave Dorr & Bernie Prendergast (10), 34 – M & M Browne (8).

Sun shines for Captains’ drive -in

Captain Trevor Giff and Lady Captain Pauline Campbell got the 2020 golf season underway at Dundalk Golf Club today when they held their Captain’s Drive-In watched by a large crowd of family, friends and Club members in the sunshine.

Click here to watch a video of what happened!

Captain Trevor Giff with Lady Captain Pauline Campbell at today’s Captains’ Drive-In

Experience counts as Storm Dennis creates tricky conditions

Storm Dennis ensured there were tricky condition to test the field in last Sunday’s Four Man 14 Hole Scramble and in the end it was the experienced quartet of Pat Curran (14), Tadhg O’Sullivan (22), Andrew Shekleton (14) and Seamus Kelly (18) that prevailed.

The winners had just 0.3 of a shot to spare over the runners-up who were a formidable outfit themselves with two five handicappers in Conor McCaughey and Colin Roche as well as Martin Cairns (16) and Adrian Kenny (18).

The 14 Hole course did not include the third, fourth, 15th and 16th holes so after opening with two pars, the winners moved the par three fifth where Shekleton’s tee-shot set up their first birdie of the round. His tee-shot at the next, the par five sixth, also proved decisive in setting up another birdie and they then parred the next three holes to turn for home in 26.

It was O’Sullivan’s drive at the par five 10th that laid the foundation for their third birdie of the round and at the index one par four 11th it was off Curran’s drive that they delivered the fourth and final birdie of their round.

They then successfully negotiated the final five holes without dropping a shot to finished with a gross score of 52 which became a nett 43.5 after their team handicap of 8.5 was deducted. A previous success over the winter by Pat Curran saw 0.3 added to their score to leave them on 43.8 but it was still enough to denied McCaughey and his team-mates who finished on 44.1 after their various deduction.

Sunday, February 16 – Four Man 14 Hole Team Scramble: 43.8* – Pat Curran (14), Tadhg O’ Sullivan (22), Andrew Shekleton (14), Seamus Kelly (18). 44.1/29* – Conor McCaughey (5), Colin Roche (5), Martin Cairns (16), Adrian Kenny (18). * Reductions apply.

Association of James Braid Courses

Dundalk Golf Club is one of the 411 courses around the world that were designed or improved by five times Open champion James Braid. Braid visited Dundalk in 1935 and made several recommendations which were carried out in the following years. Our par three 13th hole is named Braid’s Way in memory of the legendary Scot and his connection to our club.

The Club is one of 300 clubs from Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, Isle of Man, Jersey and USA who are members of the Association of James Braid Courses. Members of those clubs, including Dundalk, can available of reduced green fees when booking a round at a James Braid course.

A full list of member courses and details of how to book rounds at these clubs is available here

Ace Rafferty finishes sixth in African Amateur

Caolan Rafferty finished sixth in the African Amateur Strokeplay Championship in his first tournament outing of 2020 and also managed to record the second competitive hole-in-one of his career to date.

The ace came on the third day of the tournament at Leopard Creek Golf Club when he holed a pitching wedge from 145 yards at the par three 12th hole. “I got the yardage, picked a club, and tried to hit a shot,” said Rafferty.

“It was one of those funny ones. I didn’t really catch it and turned away in a bit of disgust. As I was turning back, I heard my playing partner telling it to go in, and I was like, ‘Sorry, that can’t be right!’ And as I turned around, it just disappeared!

“It was lovely to get the hole-in-one because it’s been a while since I had one. It wasn’t a pretty shot but that’s golf for you, the bad ones end up being the best sometimes.”

The hole in one helped to propel him into the top ten and into contention for the tournament going into the last round after he had opened with rounds of 74 and 72 to sit on two over par and tied 16th at the halfway stage. In addition to the ace, he also recorded two birdies, a bogey and a double-bogey on his way to a one-under par 71 which was one of just seven sub-par totals in the third round.

It moved Rafferty up to tied fifth and just four shots off the lead going into the final day. But he was unable to mount a challenge and needed a birdie on the last to join Ireland teammate and British Amateur champion James Sugrue on sixth place on three over, seven shots behind the winner Martin Vorster, who won the 2019 East of Ireland Championship at Baltray.

Nonetheless, Rafferty was very happy with a top ten finish and the opportunity to dust off the cobwebs ahead of what will be another very busy year for him.

“It was a funny old week because I didn’t play wonderful at all. I just managed to get it round in a way that kept me ticking over. It was my first tournament of the new year so to finish tied sixth was nice. It leaves me looking forward to next week and trying to improve on that.”

Rafferty’s next assignment in South Africa is the South African Amateur Strokeplay at Rand Park Golf Club which has previously hosted the South African Open.

Rafferty wasn’t the only Dundalk player in action abroad last week. Eoin Murphy, who is a student at Maynooth University, was in Portugal for the fourth round of R&A Student Series where he finished tied 27th after rounds of 76, 77 and 79 in the three-round 54 hole event. 

Vintage display wins Champagne Team event

The team of Michael Carr (14), Pat Donaghy (13), Gerry Murray (9) and Sean McGeough (17) prevailed in Sunday’s Four Person Champagne Team event as they won by two points from the quartet of Pat McEntaggart (14), Andrew Cumiskey (13), Joe Garvey (19) and Mark Cumiskey (7).

Both teams got off to a good start by taking six points from the first hole with Donaghy and Murray parring for the winners while McEntaggart and Garvey parred for the runners-up.

Both teams picked up 18pts over the next four holes with the highlight being Mark Cumiskey’s eagle three for four points on the par five sixth. Both did well over the next four holes from the eighth to the 11th with the winners taking 25pts around the turn while the runners-up gained 23pts.

Donaghy and McGeough delivered six points on eighth with three-point pars while Carr’s birdie two and McGeough’s par yielded seven points at the ninth. A three-point birdie from Murray and a three-point par from McGeough saw them take six points on the par five 10th before three-point pars from Carr and Murray on the 11th added another six points to their total and brought them to 49pts with five holes to go.

They covered those five holes in 22pts with three four-pointers at the 13th, 14th and 17th sandwiched by five-point returns from the 12tha and 18th.

That left them on 71pts and their nearest challengers just came up short in their attempt to pip them.

After claiming four points at the eighth they registered a six-point return at the ninth, thanks to three-point pars from McEntaggart and Garvey, before earning a seven point return at the long 10th where Garvey birdied for four points and Andrew Cumiskey birdied for three points. Garvey and Mark Cumiskey then parred the 11th for another six points to leave them on 47pts with five holes to go.

They too had a five-point return from the par five 12th but, although they produced eight pars over the final four holes, they only accumulated two points for four of them and three points for the other four to finish on 70pts and this was reduced to 69pts when they had 1pt deducted for previous winter successes by the Cumiskeys. 

Sunday, February 2 – Four Person 14 Hole Champagne Team: 71pts – Michael Carr (14), Pat Donaghy (13), Gerry Murray (9), Sean McGeough (17). 69pts* – Pat McEntaggart (14), Andrew Cumiskey (13), Joe Garvey (19), Mark Cumiskey (7). 

Crowe flies to impressive victory

Noel Crowe (19) won Sunday’s Singles Stableford on what was a beautiful day for January golf. Crowe took full advantage of the excellent conditions to shoot an impressive 36pts over 14 Holes and claimed overall victory by three points from Conall Murdock (4) and Bill McCarthy (30).

Like last-week the second, third, 15th and 16th holes were not in play but that didn’t bother Crowe who recorded eight pars over the 14 holes that were in play, scored at every hole, and only had one one-point hole.

After a two-point bogey at the first, Crowe then recorded three successive three-point pars as he raced to 11pts after four holes. He reached 18 points after seven holes having recorded a three-point par at the eighth hole, his sixth.

Turning for home he parred the 10th for another three points and a bogey five at the 11th, where he had a shot, yielded another three points. Two points followed after a bogey at the par five 12th before he once again reeled off three successive three-point pars to move 35 points with one to play.

His double bogey six on the 18th represented his worst hole of the round but the one point gained was enough to bring him to an impressive 36pts and give him his first win of 2020.

Murdock’s 33pts was enough to give him the Category 1 prize by a point from Colin Roche (5) who had a deduction for previous successes while McCarthy took Category 3 by one point from Brendan Cleary. Pascal Keenan (14) edged out Oliver McGinnity (18) on countback for Category 2 after both had finished on 32pts.

Sunday, January 26 – Men’s 14 Hole Singles Stableford – Overall: Noel Crowe (19) 36pts. Category 1 (0–13): Conall Murdock (4) 33pts, Colin Roche (5) 32pts*. Category 2 (14–18): Pascal Keenan (14) 32/22pts*, Oliver McGinnity (18) 32pts*. Category 3 (19+): Bill McCarthy (30) 33pts. Brendan Cleary (24) 32pts. * denotes point deducted for previous prize/s won in the Turkey series.

Hot scoring in low temperatures

 There may have been low temperatures on Sunday but things were certainly hot on the scoring front as Tommy Renaghan (15), Maurice Soraghan (9), Dennis Cunningham (14) and John McErlean (23) won the Four Man Team Rumble over 14 holes.

Under the Rumble format, one score counted over the first five holes, two scores counted over the next five and the final four holes saw three of the four scores counting. That meant that over the 14 holes there were 27 scores and the winning team returned 19 pars, five birdies and just three bogies as they recorded a gross 79pts, which was reduced to 76pts when reductions for previous winter prizes were applied.

They amassed 15pts from the first five holes, picking up three points at each, courtesy of pars at the first, second, fifth and sixth and birdie from their low man, Maurice Soraghan, at the par five sixth.

Over the next five holes, with two scores counting, they continued to dove-tail well and collected 33pts over this section with Tommy Renaghan and Denis Cunningham both birdieing the par five 10th for a return of eight points.

With three counting on the final four holes there was little room for error and they didn’t make any as they completed the homeward stretch in 31pts with two pars and a birdie from Cunningham delivered eight points at the par three 13th while two pars from Renaghan and McErlean and a birdie from Soraghan at the par three index 10 17th delivered nine points.

They finished with 79pts and a three-point deduction for previous successes left them on 76 just half-a-point ahead of Michael Coburn (10), Pat Davis (16), Dessie Ward (12) and last week’s winner Noel Reid (15).

The runners-up finished with a gross 76pts after a fine round that included three birdies, 23 pars and just one bogey but they then lost 0.5pts for Reid’s win last week to finish on 75.5pts and missed out by the narrowest of margins.

Sunday, January 19 – Four Man 14 Hole Team Rumble – 76pts* – Tommy Reneghan (15), Maurice Soraghan (9), Dennis Cunningham (14), John McErlean (23). 75.5pts* – Michael Coburn (10), Pat Davis (16), Dessie Ward (12), Noel Reid (15). *Reductions applied.