By: Derek Clements | Wed 20 Jul 2022
OH HENRIK, how could you? It is bad enough that Henrik Stenson has announced his defection to the Saudi-backed LIV Series. It is a hundred times worse that he has done so after being named as captain of Europe’s Ryder Cup team.
Ryder Cup Europe confirmed the news with a brief statement that simply confirmed what we all already knew: “Ryder Cup Europe today confirms that Henrik Stenson’s tenure as captain of Team Europe for the 2023 Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome, Italy from September 25-October 1, 2023 has been brought to an end with immediate effect.
“In light of decisions made by Henrik in relation to his personal circumstances, it has become clear that he will not be able to fulfill certain contractual obligations to Ryder Cup Europe that he had committed to prior to his announcement as Captain on Tuesday March 15, 2022, and it is therefore not possible for him to continue in the role of Captain.
“Confirmation of the new 2023 European Ryder Cup Captain will be made in due course. Ryder Cup Europe will be making no further comment on any aspect of the process until that time.”
The Swede’s announcement has thrown Europe’s preparation into chaos. Earlier this year he told the media that he had no intention of defecting but apparently money talks louder than words for the man who thrilled us every step of the way when he saw off Phil Mickelson to win The Open at Troon in 2016.
The most unedifying element of this is that Greg Norman and his cohorts have targeted a golfer whose game has fallen off a cliff in recent times and have done so because they knew that it would stir up a massive hornets’ nest.
In terms of his drawing power as a player there is not a single good reason for paying him a fortune to join them. He has been targeted purely and simply because he had been named as Ryder Cup captain and his defection is certain to attract a huge amount of publicity.
At a time when Norman and Co need to be looking for some positive media attention they will surely understand that is the last thing on earth they are going to get after this coup.
(Image Credit: Kevin Diss Photography)
What is not widely known is that a Ryder Cup captain signs a contract – we can safely assume that Stenson has been reassured that the Saudis will foot his legal bills should Ryder Cup Europe opt to sue him for breach of contract. However, in this day and age contracts hardly seem to be worth the paper they are written on.
I have to say that the powers-that-be should have seen this coming.
Stenson lost a fortune when he fell victim to Allen Stanford’s Ponzi scheme in 2010 and had to work hard to get back on his feet. Despite all his on-course success, it is widely believed that the Swede is not as comfortably off as he should be, so he was always going to be vulnerable to an approach.
He was named as Ryder Cup captain in March, presumably after giving assurances that he would be remaining loyal to the DP World Tour, but he had been linked with LIV Golf for months.
A number of LIV players were booed at The Open but I have to believe that the resentment felt towards them will be as nothing when compared with the vitriol that may be coming Stenson’s way. For the sake of his own well-being, I sincerely hope that he has thought this through.
Attention will now turn to the identity of his successor, with Paul Lawrie and Luke Donald emerging as the two front-runners. But don’t rule out a surprise selection, such as Paul McGinley or Padraig Harrington.
Shocking Merger Throws Golf Into Even More Chaos
By: Derek Clements | Wed 07 Jun 2023 |
In a special View From The Fairway column, Golfshake’s Derek Clements shares his current thoughts on the staggering news story that has engulfed the world of golf this week.
AND so, finally, the squabbling is over. In a shock announcement, it has been revealed that the PGA Tour and DP World Tour will now be working alongside the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, which has financed LIV Golf.
Well, that’s what those in charge would want us all to believe. In reality, there is not a chance.
If anything, the merger has thrown the sport into even more chaos, with allegations of hypocrisy being aimed at many of the central players involved. Many golfers feel let down by their leadership, believing that golf has now been sold to the highest bidder.
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, who could barely bring himself to utter the words “LIV Golf” only a few days ago, is one of the chief architects behind the merger and many of his members feel that he has let them down.
Last year Monahan said: “As long as I’m commissioner of the PGA Tour no player who took LIV money will ever play on the PGA Tour again.” He now says all golfers who joined LIV will be able to reapply for PGA Tour membership in 2024.
Unsurprisingly, there have been calls for him to resign, and it is difficult to see how he can possibly survive.
Human rights group Amnesty say the announcement is further evidence of Saudi Arabian efforts to draw attention away from the country’s human rights record. And the 9/11 victims group says the PGA Tour should be ashamed of their “greed and hypocrisy”.
In theory, LIV golfers are now free to play in the Ryder Cup, but first the Europeans would have to reapply for membership of the DP World Tour, serve suspensions and pay fines.
It remains to be seen whether relationships that appeared to be irreparably damaged as a result of the split can ever truly be healed but this is probably the outcome most of us who love golf had hoped for – but never dared believe would actually happen.
Many harsh words have been exchanged by all sides over the past year or so, things that can never be unsaid.
But at least we now know that there will be no more protracted court battles and that everybody involved can get back to doing what they do best – playing golf without distractions and allegations ringing in their ears.
It will also hopefully see the end of all those dreadful parody accounts on social media. And we can look forward to golfers no longer bad-mouthing each other on Twitter.
Hopefully, most LIV golfers will be welcomed back with open arms but there may still be some difficult conversations ahead for some of those who moved to LIV Golf and were the most vocal critics of the PGA Tour and DP World Tour.
Phil Mickelson accused the PGA Tour of greed. Then again, he said the Saudis were “scary mother*****s”. And remember that Brooks Koepka was booed when he was announced to the first tee at the US PGA Championship, which he went on to win.
There was also that unsavoury spat between Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed in Dubai.
And does this mean for Greg Norman? During the past year he has arguably been the most divisive character in this whole sorry saga, closely followed by Sergio Garcia and Mickelson.
So how will this deal sit with the many people who have criticised Saudi Arabia’s involvement in professional golf, given their human rights record?
The man who now appears hold all the cards is Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the governor of the Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund and the man who holds LIV Golf’s purse strings.
On Tuesday as the news broke, PGA Tour pro Michael Kim asked on Twitter: “What the hell is going?” Canadian Mackenzie Hughes wrote: “Nothing like finding out through Twitter that we’re merging with a tour that we said we’d never do that with.”
Two-time major winner Collin Morikawa echoed that sentiment: “I love finding out morning news on Twitter.”
It is clear that PGA Tour golfers had no clue that this was about to happen, and many feel bewildered. Considering everything that has been said and written, that is hardly surprising.
The Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee said: “When I first heard about it, I was completely shocked. After the shock sort of ebbed away, I was hugely disappointed.
“I think this is one of the saddest days in the history of professional golf. I do believe the governing bodies, the entities, the professional entities have sacrificed their principles for profit.”
It is difficult to argue with that view.
Unsurprisingly, Mickelson had a different take on it all. He tweeted: “Awesome day today.”
There will, no doubt, now be a clamour for Garcia to be included in Europe’s Ryder Cup team. Given some of the things he has said about the DP World Tour, how can that possibly be allowed to happen? The Spaniard has always been a man who divides opinion and would do little to promote team unity.
Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter may also find some support for Ryder Cup recalls but, really, what would they add to the team? They have shown no form to speak of since their defections and are clearly past their best.
This is a stunning development that has taken the golf world by surprise. The PGA and DP World Tours were sworn enemies of the LIV circuit, which had poached some of their best players.
They viewed Norman’s breakaway tour as an existential threat and entered into bitter and expensive legal action. But this was becoming increasingly uncomfortable for LIV’s Saudi Arabian backers, who faced the prospect of being interrogated under oath during the discovery process.
The PGA Tour were also looking at huge costs to finance a string of $20m (£16.1m) tournaments introduced to counter LIV and had already dipped into their reserves.
It is a truly extraordinary climbdown for the PGA and DP World Tours to acknowledge LIV as being “positively transformative for golf”.
Nevertheless, this deal appears to signal Saudi Arabia’s massive wealth as a unifying force for the men’s professional game. That is not likely to sit easily with critics who have regarded the PIF’s involvement with LIV as nothing more than sportswashing for a Kingdom whose human rights record is often questioned.
How this will transform the game remains to be seen, but all sides will be happy the threat of legal action has gone away. LIV players also now have a pathway back into a more unified game.
The golfers who turned down the LIV millions to remain loyal to the established tours must be questioning their decisions now.
They could be forgiven for feeling somewhat betrayed when the rebels walk back into the PGA Tour and DP World Tours next season.
It turns out that they could have had their cake and eaten it after all.
Vice Captain’s 23
Looking good lads!
Dressed by Gucci.
Roddy and Paul set the style in the Club Match Play this morning.
But alas, in round 2, the Gucci men met their match in Martin and Sean in what was a humdinger on Tuesday. They’ll have to keep the other 5 outfits till next year.
Where would it have gone!!
Shay Lynam had a hole in one on the 9th hole on the 18th May.
West of Ireland Championship (see update below)
The West of Ireland Championship which starts Easter week in Rosses Point is celebrating the event’s 100th Year. First played in 1923 when Co Sligo’s Larry Vernon beat BM Cook 3&2 in the final, the Championship has since been won by major winners Pádraig Harrington (1994), Rory McIlroy (2005 and 2006) and Shane Lowry (2008).
The championship will boast a new format this year with the field playing three rounds of stroke play on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with the leading 16 players then facing off in match play. There will be an 18-hole stroke play qualifying event on Wednesday April 5th offering at least eleven places in the 132-strong Championship field.
Bray’s Alan Fahy defends the title he won twelve months ago and last year’s beaten finalist, Liam Nolan is in the field as well. A notable absentee will be Matthew McClean who will be playing in the Masters over the Easter weekend.
4 players from Castleknock, Paul Coughlan, Quentin Carew (Irish Close Champion), Ruairi Kennelly and James Mitten qualify directly for the event while Luke Curran and Dara McNicholl will tee it up in the qualifying round on Wednesday. We are hoping for great things for the lads and they can be sure we will be following their progress with great interest on the URL below.
Update on West 11/4/23
Quentin Carew finished in 4th place overall in the stroke play portion of the west and this morning overcame the English man Aaron Edwards-Hill to win by 2 holes in the last 16 of the match play. Unfortunately , after a real neck and neck match in the quarter final, he was beaten 2 & 1 by Marc Boucher of Carton House.
The overall winner of the West of Ireland was James Claridge from Enville Golf club near Birmingham England who had an easy 6 & 5 winning margin over Barry Anderson from the home club, County Sligo.
Rosslare Senior Scratch Cup
Quentin and Paul finished joint leaders along with Jake Whelan of the Grange on 4 under par at the Rosslare Scratch cup on Saturday. In the playoff between the 3 of them, Jake fell by the wayside on the first hole and left both Castleknock lads to battle it out. A fine putt won it for Quentin on the 3rd playoff hole.
Congratulations and well done to both of the lads, they’re certainly putting Castleknock on the map!!
What a great way to focus the mind and swing for next weeks provencial championship at Rosses Point.
Captains’ Drive-in 23 Pics HERE
Jayo in New York HERE
Saint Paddy’s Day
Junior Car space
Una Murphy has submitted the successful bid for the Junior Club reserved parking space. Una will own this space from this weekend the 4th March.
On behalf of the members, we thank Una for her generous support of this fundraiser for the Junior members. Thank you Una !
In addition, on behalf of our Captains John and Carol . Can I remind everyone that tickets for the raffle for the other reserved car parking space are still available in the pro shop. All funds raised go to the captain’s nominated charity, the Alzheimer’s society.
The draw for this prize will be made on the evening of the Captains Drive in on Saturday the 25th of March.
Plenty of time to get yourself the winning ticket for the good cause.
Regards, Hon Sec.
Draws for Reserved Car Spaces
In support of our junior club, we have the pleasure to offer members a chance to tender for a Reserved car parking space at the front of the clubhouse. Funds raised will go directly to support our Junior members development at Castleknock golf club.
This is a blind Bid tender with the parking space for 1 year going to the highest bidder.
Bids must be made via one single email to the hon secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org copying also our junior Conveyor, Cormac Reilly at email@example.com
Deadline for valid bids is Friday the 25th February.
The new owner of this valuable space will be announced on the evening of the Captains Drive in.
On behalf of your committees’ and the Junior club , we thank you in advance for your support
Please note this is running in conjunction with a separate Raffle for another reserved parking space with the funds going to the Captains charity for 2023. Tickets available for this space in the Club shop.
A charity raffle will be held on the evening of Saturday, March 4th (Captains Drive-in) for the reserved parking space in front of the entrance of the Club House.
The raffle is being held in aid of The Alzheimer Society of Ireland which is the Captains Charity for 2023. Tickets can be purchased in the pro-shop and cost €10 per ticket and are on sale now. This is your chance to win your own reserved parking space at the club until March 2024 whilst supporting a wonderful charity in their fundraising efforts.
The Alzheimer Society of Ireland is the leading dementia specific service provider in Ireland. The society works across the country in the heart of local communities providing dementia specific services and supports and advocating for the rights and needs of all people living with dementia and their carers.
The society also operates the Alzheimer National Helpline offering information and support to anyone affected by dementia on 1800 341 341.
Thanks in anticipation of your support for this worthy cause.
John Newcombe and Carol Kirwan
Captain Lady Captain
The Brophy Trophy 2023
- It’s that time of the year again & we’re calling on all members interested in representing Castleknock Golf Club in inter-club competitions during 2023.
- Our annual foursomes competition, open to all members, will recommence on 6th February & will be limited to the first 32 pairings entered.
- All interested players must register with the pro shop before 6pm on the 4th February.
- This competition has played a major part in identifying players for inter-club teams, so we’d encourage anyone interested in representing Castleknock to register.
- In the event you don’t haven’t a partner, not to worry, we will match you up accordingly.
Competition Format As Follows :
- Foursomes match play played from the white tees.
- Golf Ireland playing Handicap allowance applies, the maximum handicap for each player is 24.
- Entrance fee is €10 per player. Register your name and telephone number via the pro-shop by 6pm on 4th February.
- An open draw will take place on the 16th January and will be published, along with competition rules, that evening.
- Round 1 to be completed by Sunday 19th February.
- Round 2 to be completed by Sunday 5th March.
- Round 3 to be completed by Sunday 19th March.
- Semi-Finals will be held on the weekend of the 1st & 2nd of April.
- The Final will be held on the weekend of the 8th & 9th of April.
Prizes for winners, runners-up & semi-finalists.
Best of luck to all participants,
Michael Clancy & Stuart Banks
Well done Paul!
Paul Windsor had a hole in one at the 18th last Saturday.
Captains’ Dinner (photos)
Match Play Championships
The final of the Mixed Foursomes took place today (October 27th) and resulted in a win for Feargal Costello and his daughter Iseult against Paddy and Rosaleen Geaney.
The singles match play champion is Mark Gilsenan who got the better of John R Murphy in the final on Sunday last.
In the Doubles event the winners were Anthony Doyle and Diarmuid O’Mahony who overcame the father and son pairing of John and Ben Newcombe. It was a second championship for Anthony and Diarmuid who had won it previously in 2018.
Golfer of the Year
Liam Smith is the Golfer of the Year for 2022. It was a very close run race with a mere 3 points separating Liam and the runner-up Martin Cahill over the 12 events that made up the competition.
Barton Shield at Tramore GC. and the night before in Waterford
Captain’s Plate and Lady Captain’s Prize
Luttrellstown Challenge Match – Sun 4th Sept
We lost out to Luttrellstown in our annual Ladies Fourball Annual challenge yesterday. But everyone really enjoyed the day and it was fantastic to have 3 junior girls on our panel for the match… Ellen O’Shaughnessy, Caoimhe Toland and Iseult Costello .
Luttrellstown have now won the trophy 3 times in a row . So, we will have to do better next year and bring the trophy home !!!
All Ireland Barton Shield Finals
All Ireland information update at Tramore Golf Club.
Thursday 1st September Tee off at 9.40 and 9.50
Castleknock v Roscommon GC.
If Castleknock win they will play either Cork or Galgorm Castle in the semi-final on Friday at 11.50 and 12.00.
For Supporters travelling please note below regarding parking. All supporters are to use parking and shuttle service which will be available at Tramore Racecourse, which is 4 minutes away.
No parking available at the golf course itself.
Best of luck to Michael and Margo on their Captains day
Leinster won the Inter-provincials by half a point today with a score of 20 matches won and a big part of their success was due to our own Paul Coughlan who contributed 4 and a half of these. Paul was unbeaten in his doubles matches and his overall performance has surely cemented his position in the team moving forward.
Wednesday 17th Jack Creaner
Arrived in Headford around 8.30 and dropped into pro-shop for my first cappuccino of the day. It was chilly and I was glad I had my vintage Castleknock jumper to keep the chill out. The first person I met was David Coughlan who was “in the office” but had time to let me know that Quentin was 1up having just made a birdie on the 2nd hole but as I reached the group of spectators he had been pegged back to all square by Paul Conroy’s birdie on 4. Sharing 5, 6, 7 and eight, Quentin went 1 up at the ninth with a super putt for a birdie 3 and he held onto the 1 hole advantage through the back nine which both players covered in level par. What a morning, and the dream lived on.
It was time to refuel for the final in the afternoon against the 1/10 favourite Hugh Foley, playing out of Royal Dublin, who had already won the North of Ireland, South of Ireland and the Bridgestone Order of Merit for 2022. Quentin had reached the final and we were delighted for him but surely he could not overcome an Irish champion at the top of his form – no, the bookies were right and the contingent from Castleknock and Edenderry should be happy enough with what they had. And we were. Great. We all went to lunch..but ended up having breakfast and someone had trifle …just like mother made.
So one o’clock arrived and we all washed the hands and trudged off to see what the afternoon would bring. The sun was breaking through so it was decided to leave the jumper in the car and and don the wide brimmed sunhat. Got to the first and they had already teed off and I noticed Quentin had found the left side bunker some 190 yards from the green. The loud cheer told it all and the hole was halved but Q went 1 up when his approach to the third finished a foot from the hole and was conceded by Hugh. A poor tee shot to the par 3 fourth resulted in a loss and both had birdie threes at the fifth before Q hit a bad patch and lost the 6th, 7th, 8th and ninth to go 4 down. Surely there was no coming back from that! A bird on the 10th was followed by another on the 12th and when Foley conceded the 14th it was game back on. The par 5, 16th was huge. Quentin hit a 3 wood to 7 or eight feet of the pin and Hugh then bunkered his in the green side bunker. With a slightly downhill lie his bunker shot went close but continued through the putting surface and left a tricky return chip which he didn’t execute too well. The eagle putt was conceded and we began to wonder if this thing was possible. Certainly, Q was the coolest of the two but both hit great shots to the 17th and to the last but although they went close, neither could sink a winner.
Lap 3 of the day. The 19th. Foley went close with his birdie putt but Quentin’s looked to have his in the middle of the hole until the last couple of inches. On his knees, he couldn’t believe it!
The 20th is a 525 yard par 5 and both players used iron to leave themselves about 275 yards from the hole. Q went first and faded a 2 iron to 8 feet from the back pin. What a shot!! Under the greatest of pressure, Hugh finished up in the bunker short of the green and his bunker shot came up 20 feet short. He putted and missed. The unbelievable story of Quentin’s journey could never had ended with a concession and indeed it didn’t. The eagle putt never left the hole and the 2022 Irish AIG Irish Men’s Amateur Close Champion was Quentin Carew of Castleknock golf club.
Sure we always knew he would do it.
Tuesday 16th 4.20pm
This is some adventure. Quentin has reached the semi final having won 2&1 in the morning game against Jake Foley and beating Sam Murphy by the same margin in the Quarter final.
Headford is the place to be tomorrow for the semi final 😀😀
Monday 15th 4.30pm
Quentin has progressed to the 3rd round of the AIG Irish Men’s Amateur Close Championship at Headfort golf club. He beat Alex Maguire from Laytown and Bettystown in the morning round and has just overcome Rory Milne from Faithlegg in the afternoon fixture. He’ll be lining up against Jake Foley from Elm Park in the 3rd round and with a little luck he will keep the Castleknock flag flying. C’mon Quentin.
From John Newcombe: More good news!
Paul Coughlan has been selected on the Leinster team for upcoming inter-pros.
See below from the Leinster manager.
Subject: Leinster Inter-pros 2022 – Paul Coughlan
As you are probably aware by now, your Club member Paul Coughlan has been selected to represent Leinster in the 2022 Interprovincial Championship being played in Moyvalley Golf Club.
This is a great honour for Paul, his family and indeed Castleknock Golf Club. Paul’s selection reflects the fine form he has displayed this year and is now one of the top Amateurs in Ireland.
We write to you to congratulate your Club on Paul’s selection and also to ask you to reach out to your members and encourage them to come down to Moyvalley to support Paul and the rest of the Leinster team. The matches are on Tuesday to Thursday 23-25 August with foursomes each morning followed by singles in the afternoon.
Yours in golf.
Harry McAllinden (Team Captain) & Michael Maher (Team Manager)
Captains’ Prize 2022
Revive Active Ladies Fourball
Margo: Revive Active Ladies Fourball Leinster North Final v Royal Tara
Unfortunately we lost out to Royal Tara, in the Leinster North final yesterday. The better team won on the day.
It was fabulous to see so many supporters come along to cheer on our team in Lutrellstown – in the glorious sun.
Thank you to everyone who came along – both male and female!
A special thank you to Una Murphy & Carol Kirwan – for managing the panel during the last few months- and for getting us to a final !
Some photos of the day below
Barton Shield Leinster Region
Paudie Lyons: Bard in Residence at Castleknock G.C.
“All hoped for things will come to you, who have the strength to watch and wait”
Violet Fane- “Tout vient a qui sait attendre”
A Barton Shield final where the venue was fixed before a ball was struck.
The Knock burdened with the cruel injustice of facing a team who had the enormous good fortune of playing both matches, not at a neutral venue, but on their home patch.
Often the underdog, sometimes the upstart, this Castleknock team stared down the inequity and dismissed it.
The old saying held true that the bigger they come, the harder they fall. And so it came to pass that a Dundalk team, with Irish International and Walker Cup player Caolán Rafferty in its ranks, reached for 5th gear down the stretch, and found that it simply wasn’t enough.
In the end it came down, as it must in any good golf story, to the last.
A treacherous chip over a bunker to a tight flag off a dodgy lie. Cometh the moment, cometh the man. Our man. Iano. For most of us who have been here since at or near the start, Ian is a young fella who has grown up with the club. Fitting then that he should deliver the coup de grace.
But this panel has now written their names in the history of Castleknock GC. As has the manager, Dave Coughlan, and the interclub brains trust, the dream team of Niall Duggan and John Newcombe.
And so onward to an All Ireland Quarter Final. Dreams of a green pennant dancing in our eyes.
The American Quarterback, Joe Namath perhaps put it best
“If you aren’t going all the way, why go at all?”
Joe could talk. He knew. Three superbowls. Now is the time to embrace our inner Joe!!
And so we watched and waited, but we wait no more. See you in Tramore. This story has a bit to run.
The Quarter Finals of the All Ireland Barton Shield will take place in Tramore golf club from the 1st to 3rd September
Leinster Women’s Championship
Congratulations to Ellen O’Shaughnessy who finished runner up in the Leinster Women’s Championship match play at Bray golf club on Sunday.
Hole in One
Iseult Costello, Siun’s sister, claimed a hole in one on the 18th hole last Friday!
Junior Open Tour
Well done Siun we’re very proud of your great achievement.
President’s Prize photos
The NCBI HolmPatrick cup raises funds for the National Council for the Blind of Ireland.
The 2022 Brophy Trophy winners( Gerard Gilsenan and Nicholas Treanor) will represent Castleknock Golf Club in the HolmPatrick Cup at Bray GC on 8th September 2022. Best of luck to the lads. –https://www.ncbiholmpatrickcup.com/all-dublin-final/
Mixed Foursomes Interclub Team
John Newcombe 21st July
Congratulations to Mixed Foursomes team who had a comprehensive 4-1 win over Blackbush last night. They are now into the semi-final against Balbriggan. Date to be confirmed.
We’ll done all! The teams photo below.
Revive Active Ladies Fourball
By Margo: 18th July 2022
We are through to the final !!!
What a successful Interclub weekend we Castleknock Golf Club had this weekend! On Saturday the men won their Barton Shield semi final v Portmarnock , and on Sunday the Ladies Revive Active Fourball team won their semi final v Ardee.
So, the club is now through to 2 regional finals !
Huge Congratulations to the Revive Active Ladies Fourball team (and their very dedicated managers Una Murphy & Carol Kirwan) on getting the ladies through to our first ever regional final !!!.
The semi final v Ardee was played on the hottest day of the year so far. The fact that Trish & Iseult’s match in Castleknock went down the 19th and the last match in Ardee (Eilish & Vivien) went down the 20th made the temperature even hotter for all players and spectators ! Well done to Eilish , Vivien, Trish & Iseult on having nerves of steel to win those matches on the playoff holes .
Here are some photos of the victorious team:
Home – Trish Ryan & Iseult Costello, Richella Boggan & Sadhbh Kenny
Away- Eithne Cusack & Margo O’Donoghue, Una Murphy & Colette Cleary, Eilish O’Sullivan & Vivien Lee
The final will be v Royal Tara , on August 7th in Luttrellstown.
From Captain Michael Clancy:
Castleknock Golf Club are playing Portmarnock Golf Club in the semi- final of the Barton Shield at 3pm tomorrow Saturday 17th( 1 match in each location)
It is the first time that the club has an opportunity to reach a pennant final at this premier elite golf level .
The weather will be good with 25c+ temperatures so I would appreciate your support (and family) by either coming to Castleknock or Portmarnock to cheer on the team.
Michael Clancy – Captain Castleknock Golf Club
John Newcombe: 13/7/22
3 Castleknock players, Paul Coughlan, Ian O’Connell and Ruairi Kennelly, have qualified for the North of Ireland Championship in Royal Portrush starting this morning. You can follow their progress using this link.
There was a great turnout of 181 for the President’s prize on Saturday and in the middle of the holiday season it shows how popular the new president is within the club. The weather played its part as well and produced a beautiful summer’s day with a slight breeze for comfort’s sake. The course as usual was playing in top notch condition and the scores reflected this with a good number of players beating the 36 points mark.
7 DAY Members: The President’s competition for 7day members will take place on Saturday 9th July 2022 from 7am to 2pm. This is the second major of the season and will count towards GOTY.
Format: Men: Stableford from the Blue Tees. Ladies: Stableford Red Tees
Competition entry Fee: €10 payable in the Pro-Shop
BBQ food (Beef burger, Chicken Burger, Sausage) and salads (€12.50) will be available on the ground floor terrace area from 12pm and will run throughout the day. Presentation of prizes is scheduled for 6.30pm.
First, Second and Third Overall
First and Second in Handicap Categories
Lowest Gross, Nearest the Line on 13th
Nearest Pin on 18th, Front 9 and Back 9
(Max. of one prize per participant)
5 DAY Members: The President’s competition for 5day members will take place on Thursday 14th from 8am to 9am & 11.10am to 1.30pm. The time sheet will be open for the competition at 6pm Wed. 6th
(PLEASE NOTE – If you are a member of the Porterstown Golf Association and normally play on Thursday morning, you may still play at your normal time-slot- between 9am and 11am and also enter the President’s prize at the same time as well – Remember to register for both in the Pro-shop)
Format: Men: Stableford from the White tee. Ladies Red Tees
Competition entry Fee: €10 – Payment by debit/credit card payable in the pro-Shop
BBQ food (Beef burger, Chicken Burger, Sausage) and salads (€12.50) will be available on the ground floor terrace area from 12pm onwards and will run throughout the day.
Payment will be taken by your Castleknock member’s flexi credit or by credit / debit card for refreshments and food.
The presentation of prizes is scheduled for 5.30pm Thursday afternoon.
There will be an array of prizes to be won:
First, Second, Third and Fourth Overall
Nearest the Line on 13th
Nearest Pin on 18th, Front 9 and Back 9
(Max. of one prize per participant)
The best of luck to all and looking forward to seeing you all then .
President – Castleknock Golf Club
Hole in One July Medal
Mixed Foursomes Rd 3
Margo: CONGRATULATIONS to the Mixed Foursomes Interclub Team on their 3rd round victory over Headfort on Sunday . We are now through to the Leinster North Region Quarter Final v Blackbush .
Photos of the smiling teams and their managers at home and away :
Inter Club 26th June 22
Upcoming Junior Boys fixtures this week
U15 boys against Laytown and Bettystown – away on Monday June 27th and home on Sunday July 3rd
U18 boys qualifiers in Forrest Little on Thursday June 30th.
Castleknock beat Laytown by 6 holes.
Castleknock to play Portmarnock in S/F .
Vice Captains’ Prize
Keith Walsh and Sharon Cosgrove win the Vice Captain Prizes
Interclub Mixed Foursomes
Margo: 13th June
The club won their 2nd round match v Greenore 3-2 today. Congratulations to the managers and their team. In Castleknock, the 2 pairings who played (and won their matches) were Danny Cole & Veronica Coughlan, and Luke Curran & Eilis O’Sullivan.
Photo of the team that played in Greenore are below
UKRAINIAN SUPPORT FUND
CAR SPACE RAFFLE RESULT
Thank you to all who supported our Captains Raffle – for the Reserved Parking Space in the golf club – from 1 June 2022. We raised €1,220 for Enable Ireland
The winner is: COLETTE CLEARY. Congratulations and enjoy your new parking space Colette!
Michael Clancy & Margo O’Donoghue
Raffle for Reserved Car Space
In Aid of Enable Ireland. Tickets €10 each.
Reserved parking space for a year, starting on 1 June 2022.
Tickets are available at Pro Shop: payment by credit / debit card only
If you have an active competition account, simply reply to this email stating how many tickets you would like to purchase .
Tickets must be purchased by Sunday 22nd May to be included in the draw.
The Men’s interclub season gets into full swing next week with 3 teams in action.
Our Senior Cup team kicks off their campaign on Wednesday 4th May with a home match against Co. Meath. Tee off at 4.30 pm.
On Friday 6th May our All Ireland Fourball team start their season against Rathcore in an away match. Tee off at 4 pm.
Finally on Sunday 8th May our Jimmy Bruen team tee off against Balcarrick at 2.30 pm. The Jimmy Bruen team reached the Area Final last year and are putting every effort to go one better this season.
All teams would appreciate as much support as possible so if you are around why not come down and watch your Club teams .
Men’s Singles, Men’s Doubles and Mixed Foursomes
You have to enter through the Club V1 screen in the Pro-shop
[05/04/2022] John Newcombe:
The Laytown and Bettystown Scratch cup
Special Mention to Eoin Marsden on winning best 1st Round Gross in The Laytown and Bettystown Scratch cup last weekend. Eoin shot a superb 4 under par 1st round to lead the competition which was eventually won by Walker cup player Caolan Rafferty.
Well done, Eoin!
West Of Ireland Championship.
Castleknock have 5 players taking part in the West Of Ireland Championship taking place over Easter in Rosses Point.
Darragh McNichol and Luke Curran are taking part in the qualifiers on Wednesday with Ruari Kennelly, Quentin Carew and Paul Coughlan have already qualified for the main event starting on Good Friday.
Best of luck to all the lads and hopefully one of them will beat Paul’s 2nd place finish in 2021.
BROPHY TROPHY update
[05/04/2022] John Newcombe:
After 5 rounds in all types of weather, congratulations to our 2 Final pairings
Nick Traynor/Ger Gilsenan v David Beechinor/Brian Stephenson.
The Final has been confirmed for Good Friday at 1pm with trophy presentation taking place in clubhouse directly afterwards.
Well done to both pairings for reaching this stage and best of luck in the final.
Also many thanks to Lorcan Brophy for his kind sponsorship and support of this year’s tournament.
Also a special mention to Jack Creaner who updated the results section on the members website and kept everyone informed.
Winter/Spring league Update
Congratulations to Keith Walsh who won this with 233 points for his 6 best events. Full table here
Interclub News from Golf Ireland for 2022 season
For Golf Ireland information on the Inter club 2022 season click https://castleknockmembersclub.com/interclub-stuff/
Club Foursomes Trophy ( sponsored by Mr Lorcan Brophy)
Calling all members interested in playing interclub for Castleknock golf Club in 2022.
The Annual foursome’s competition will recommence on 17th January 2022 .
This is a competition open to all 7-day, student and Junior members and will be limited to the first 32 pairings entered.
We encourage all players who are interested in playing to register at pro shop before 6pm on 15th January.
The tournament has played a major part in identifying players for Inter-club teams, so we encourage anyone interested in representing Castleknock at all levels to register to play.
Don’t worry if you haven’t a partner, once you enter at the pro shop a suitable team partner will be matched with yourself.
Foursomes Match-play off white Tees.
Golf Ireland playing Handicap allowance applies. Maximum Handicap for each player is 24.
Entrance fee €10 per player. Register with name and telephone number in Pro shop by 15th January 2022.
Open Draw will take place on 16th January and will be published along with competition rules on the that evening.
Round 1 will be completed by Sunday 30th January.
Prizes for Winners, Finalists and both semi-finalists.
John Newcombe and Niall Duggan
Message from President
I am privileged and honoured to be appointed President of Castleknock Golf Club for 2022 -2023.
I would like to thank Lady Captain Ann Robinson and her committee for nominating me for the position of President.
It has been an uplifting experience for both men and lady members to have a Lady President in the club for the first time. I very much appreciate the response from the members to my appointment which has been hugely complementary, supportive and encouraging.
I look forward to being your club ambassador, upholding its values, following in the footsteps of Pat, Bernard and Jack.
I would like to take this opportunity in wishing you and your family a very enjoyable and peaceful Christmas time and a healthy and prosperous New Year.
Ladies AGM 8th December
Awards Night 3rd December
Big thank you to Carr Golf and the golf and restaurant teams at Castleknock for hosting the 2 appreciation days this weekend. It was a huge success and very much enjoyed by the large turnout on both days.
As a gesture by Carr golf to reward the loyalty and understanding of the membership during the difficult period of the covid closedowns, it was a big hit.
Mixed Foursomes Matchplay 2021
Ladies Singles Matchplay 2021
Men’s Doubles Matchplay 2021 (23rd Oct)
Men’s Singles Matchplay 2021 (17th Oct)
Ladies Doubles Matchplay 17th Oct.
Player of the Year 2021
The Player of the Year was won by Stephen O’Donnell from Enda Ryan and Paudi Lyons. The result was in the balance until the final event.
Paul Coughlan wins the Castleknock Senior Scratch Cup
Senior Scratch Cup
The Castleknock Senior Scratch Cup (Maximum handicap 2) takes place next Saturday the 25th September. It promises to be a top class competition and at time of writing has 51 players taking part in this 36 holes comp. So if you want to see top notch golf, Castleknock is the place to be next Saturday.
A big thank you to Jim Curley of Jones Engineering for a very generous sponsorship.
Thank you also to Paul Coughlan who has used his considerable influence in attracting Ireland’s champion amateur golfers to attend.
Big names in attendance will be:
Rob Moran ( current Irish international / 2021 Ulster Strokeplay Champion)
Rob Brazil ( Irish International / 2018 West of Ireland Champion)
Colm Campbell (Irish international , Former Irish Amateur & East of Ireland winner
Jake Whelan ( 2021 Mullingar scratch cup Winner / Leinster Interpro )
This is a great opportunity for all members and Especially Juniors and their parents to enjoy an exhibition of Ireland’s great amateur golfers.
Captain’s Prize 4th September
Photo’s from the course and the prize presentation
Field for Captain’s Prize 2021
President’s Prize Winners All
President’s Weekend 17th July
President Prize for Men: Paul Myler in a 3 way tie and winning on countback with 41 points.
President Prize for Ladies: Kay Murray had a comfortable win with 41 points.
President’s Prize for 5 Day: Stephen Lynch had a round of a lifetime bringing in 44 points.
Below is the planned schedule for the President’s Prize but of course there may be disruption to our planned programme due to current covid-19 restrictions.
Please note that to win the President’s prize you must have entered 4 qualifying club competitions (i.e. weekend competitions) in the previous 12 months.
- Timesheet for President’s Prize will be populated by the Competition Secretary .
- There is no planned dinner but casual dining will be available after your round of golf. Burgers will be available as usual at the 9th.
Looking forward to meeting up with you all on the 17th.
SENIOR CUP (Area Quarter Final) 9th July
Another big win yesterday for our Senior cup team of -Paul, Ruairi, Alan, Dara and Ian- over a strong Baltray side.
Coming down the 17th fairway at 2-2, the game was very much in the balance with both golfers giving as good as they got. From very good drives both the combatants struck excellent irons into about 9 feet and 4 feet (shown in photo). Paul putted first and from where we stood it looked like it was missing on the high side until close to the hole it caught the slope and found its way home. A great cheer went up from the large crowd as Coughlan raised his fist in triumph.
So the bandwagon rolls on, next up is Laytown and Bettystown in the Area Semi finals and if I were you, I wouldn’t miss it.
Well done to Michael McNiffe who won the July medal after countback with a great net score of 68 playing off a handicap of 15. Losing out on the countback were Declan Murray and Michael Kenny also with 68s.
David Coughlan had the lowest gross score with a 70.
Interclub Week ending 11th July
More good Inter-club results again this week with the Metropolitian Cup team together with the Pierce Purcell and the Mixed Foursomes teams all winning handsomely.
The Vice Captains’ Prizes (Jim Reynolds & Margo O’Donoghue) which took place last Saturday was a great success. A big thank you to the 160+ members who played in the competition to make it the successful day that it was.
Many congratulations to all the winners, in particular to both Freddie Smith and Patricia McCormack, who won the VCs prizes with magnificent scores of 42 points and 44 points respectively. Well done Freddie and Patricia.
We will be in touch with all the prize winners shortly to make arrangements for them to receive their prizes.
Again congratulation to all the prize winners and thanks to all who played on the day.
Jim & Margo
JIMMY BRUEN Sunday 27th June
Interclub success continued on Sunday when the Jimmy Bruen team overcame Royal Dublin by 3 matches to two on a gloriously sunny and warm afternoon. There were a good group of fans at both venues and those at Royal Dublin were treated to a superb fairway bunker shot by Marty Cahill to a couple of feet on the 17th for the match
BARTON CUP on Saturday 26th June
Another great display by our lads against Luttrellstown -who must be sick at the sight of us. Winning the 3 matches at home was enough to secure the tie and it was great to see Karl and Mick introduce some young blood into the team which bodes well for the future. Round 2 is away to Royal Dublin who got a Bye in the 1st round.
A new look Senior Cup team (Paul, Dara, Alan, Ruairi and Sam) won a very tight game in Dunshaughlin tonight with Dara sinking a 3 foot putt on the 19th for a well deserved 3/2 victory over the Black Bush side. Dara having come back from 3 down with 5 to play for his memorable win. The Quarter Final of the Leinster North Section will be against Co. Louth. Date to be decided shortly.
Round 2 on Thursday 24th at 5.30pm with The Black Bush, 3 matches away and 2 at home.
The Senior Cup team of Paul and David Coughlan, Ian O’Connell, Alan Geraghty and Jamie Kiely won their 1st round match 4-1 against Balcarrick last Wednesday.
This week’s Inter Club Menu
Winning our 2 matches at home, we clinched victory when Karl won the 17th away by 3/1 to drive us into the next round against the winners of Royal Dublin and Sutton….bring it on!!
The Junior Cup Team of Jason Marks, Stewart Banks, Karl Craven, Brian Fitzpatrick and Martin Cahill won a trilling encounter against a strong Hollywood Lakes team on Saturday with Martin sinking the winning putt on the 19th at Ballyboughill.
Junior Cup 2nd Round versus Luttrellstown
Confirmed for next Tuesday 22nd.
2 games in Castleknock starting at 5.20 and 3 games in Luttrellstown starting at 5.50
Result: Some excellent golf played in both venues with Forrest Little coming out on top in the later stages.
Thursday 17th June: If you want to see real good golf then the place to be is in either Castleknock or Forrest Little where our best golfers will play in the Barton Shield. The format is Foursomes and kick off in both venues is 5pm. Try to be there.
Our men at home are Paul Coughlan and Ruairi Kennelly and Ian O’Connell and Alan Geraghty take the away leg.
ALL IRELAND 4 BALL
Wednesday 16th June: The All Ireland 4 ball team take on our near neighbours Luttrellstown in the local derby. Word from the camp is suggesting that Damien and Keith have put together a strong and relatively young squad to avenge the drubbing we received the last time we met some years ago. The lads are hoping for a strong turnout of fans to drive the team on. There are 3 matches away and 2 at home and the first group tee off at 4pm.
Castleknock won 3/2
Well done to Keith Delaney who won the June medal with a brilliant net score of 62 playing off a handicap of 22. I believe that 62 is the lowest winning score for a medal in Castleknock since it opened in 1995.
Derek O’Neill with a great 65 and his son Jack (a Junior) with 69 filled 2nd and 3rd positions while the in-form Mike Gorman was 4th.
CLUB MATCH PLAY
The Club Match play Championships are in full swing at the moment. For those involved, please remember that the 28th June is the final day to complete round 1. There can be no extensions.
Club Match play 2020
The long delayed finals of the 2020 match play were finally decided a while ago.
In the singles, Mike Gorman beat Danny Cole and in the doubles Joe Craven and Francis Hughes beat Brian Smyth and David Kealy
Derby Winner bred in Somerton
A suffragette, a sunken ship, and the infamous Epsom Derby of 1913 won by a colt bred at Somerton.
The connection with Castleknock Golf Club is that Aboyeur, the winner of the race, was bred by Tom Laidlaw at Somerton.
It was British racing’s most infamous incident, the moment suffragette Emily Davison stepped in front of the King’s horse as the field galloped round Tattenham Corner. Yet, even if that hadn’t happened, the 1913 Epsom Derby would still rank as one of the most sensational races in the sport’s history, as Sean Magee reports.
It was, according to the Daily Telegraph on the day after the race, “the most unsatisfactory, sensational, and lamentable Derby in the history of the sport” – and a year after its centenary, the 1913 renewal of “The Blue Riband of the Turf” at Epsom is still considered most extraordinary racing event of all.
The race was won by 100-1 outsider Aboyeur, but will always be always be known as “The Suffragette Derby” in recognition of the moment when Emily Wilding Davison, a fanatical activist for the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), ducked under the rails near Tattenham Corner and was flattened by King George V’s horse Anmer.
She sustained injuries that would prove fatal, and that would immortalise her – justifiably or not, according to your point of view – as a martyr to the cause.
But, Emily Davison was only one character in a drama that had more sub-plots than a Shakespeare play, and a dramatis personae that included royalty, feuding members of the English racing establishment, dyspeptic jockeys, and a myopic racecourse judge – plus, for good measure, the sinking of the Titanic.
On the run-up to that Derby, the bare bones of the story so far went as follows:
The red-hot favourite for the 134th running of the world’s most famous race was Craganour, owned by Charles Bower Ismay. Despite his exquisite racing colours – officially “Neapolitan violet, primrose hoops, violet cap” – Ismay came with a considerable amount of baggage. His shipping magnate father Thomas Henry Ismay had founded the White Star Line, whose “unsinkable” liner RMS Titanic had made its catastrophic maiden voyage some 14 months before the 1913 Derby.
The loss of more than 1,500 lives had not endeared the Ismay family to the public, and yet more opprobrium was to follow when it came out that Bower’s brother Bruce, chairman of the White Star Line, had been on board the ill-fated vessel, but had survived after taking a place in a lifeboat, leaving others to perish in the icy waters.
Even before the Titanic sinking, Bower Ismay had made himself highly unpopular with certain Jockey Club members – notably Eustace Loder, a pillar of the racing establishment whose dislike for Ismay embraced more than disapproval of his racing practice.
In the scene-setting Prologue of his 2013 book The Suffragette Derby, the definitive account of the whole story, Michael Tanner writes: “Loder’s distaste for Ismay cuts far deeper than suspicions of foul play on the Turf. It’s acutely personal. Quite possibly, in another era, they’d have settled their differences with pistols at dawn. Ismay has been brazenly conducting an affair with Loder’s sister-in-law, an affront to his own moral code and a slight on his family honour.”
And unfortunately for Bower Ismay, Eustace Loder was a steward at Epsom on Derby Day.
Craganour himself came with baggage of a sort, since he had been at the centre of a controversy in the 2,000 Guineas, when the great majority of spectators were convinced that he had beaten Louvois – even though the judge declared that Louvois had won.
This led Ismay to change Craganour’s riding arrangements for the Derby, replacing jockey Billy Saxby with Johnny Reiff, one of many American jockeys making a big impact on European racing at a time when the standard of home jockeyship was considered generally poor.
Reiff would ride 6-to-4 favourite Craganour in the Derby, with Saxby now booked for Louvois, a 10-to-1 chance. It can be imagined how Saxby felt about that.
On Wednesday, June 4, 1913, all these plot lines came together to produce a sensational denouement, but an event far more astounding was waiting in the wings.
That morning Emily Davison – whose previous episodes of direct action had included attacking a Baptist minister on a train, under the mistaken impression that he was Prime Minister David Lloyd George – bought two suffragette flags at the WSPU office in London. She then took the train to Epsom.
Although the long tradition of Parliament suspending business for Derby Day had by then ceased, the occasion was still England’s unofficial holiday, attracting hundreds of thousands of spectators to Epsom Downs.
Davison joined the throng on Tattenham Hill, in the infield just short of the straight, and waited – and shortly after 3 pm the cry went up: “They’re off!”
There are several eye-witness accounts of what happened at Tattenham Corner, none more dramatic than that quoted by Michael Tanner, from one “Mr Turner of Clapham Common,” who was standing on the outside rail at Tattenham Corner – that is, on the opposite side of the track from Emily Davison:
“I noticed a figure bob under the rails. The horses were thundering down the course at a great pace, bunched up close to the rails. From the position in which the woman was standing, it would have been impossible to pick out any special horse. Misjudging the pace of the horses, she missed the first four or five. They dashed by just as she was emerging from the rails.
“With great calmness, she walked in front of the next group of horses. The first missed her but the second came right into her, and catching her with his shoulder, knocked her with terrific force to the ground while the crowd stood spellbound.
“The woman rolled over two or three times and lay unconscious. She was thrown almost on her face. The horse fell after striking the woman, pitching the jockey clear over its head.”
The unfortunate Anmer galloped off into his unlikely entry in the history books, leaving jockey Herbert Jones and Emily Davison prostrate – the former not seriously injured, the latter never to regain consciousness. She died four days later, by which time the debate on exactly what she had been intending by her action had already started to rage – and it continues to this day.
Even as spectators were rushing onto the course to help the stricken, the race itself was producing an all-action climax, with hotpot Craganour and the blinkered rank outsider Aboyeur engaging in a brutal barging match all the way to the winning post, where five horses crossed the line with little more than a length covering them.
Craganour was declared to have beaten Aboyeur by a head, with Louvois and Billy Saxby a neck behind in third, and Great Sport a length further back in fourth – except that Day Comet had finished third on the inside but had not been noticed by the judge and so was not officially placed.
Bower Ismay proudly led in his Derby winner, and shortly afterwards the winner-all-right announcement was made, and the result was official.
For Eustace Loder, there was no time to seethe with resentment that his bête noir had won the greatest race of them all. Having learned that Aboyeur’s connections were not proposing to object, despite their standing to win a great deal of money had their horse been upgraded, Loder consulted his fellow stewards, and they lodged an objection on the grounds that Craganour had caused Aboyeur interference.
Given Loder’s view of Ismay, and given that the witnesses before the stewards’ panel included the aggrieved Bill Saxby, it cannot have come as a complete shock that Craganour was disqualified and placed last.
Such an outcome was highly contentious, with many observers considering that Aboyeur had been as much to blame as Craganour, but it was Aboyeur’s name that was inscribed onto the most historic roll of honour in racing.
Four days after the Derby, Ismay lodged an appeal – but the rules of racing required that any challenge is made within 48 hours of the race, and subsequent attempts via legal channels took Ismay no farther. He was never to own a Derby winner.
As for the horses at the centre of the story, Aboyeur was beaten in his next two races and then sold for 13,000 guineas to the Imperial Racing Club of St. Petersburg, where he disappeared during the Russian Revolution. Craganour was sold to Argentina, where he became an influential stallion.
And in 1918, five years after Emily Davison ducked under the rail, the first women got the vote in the U.K.
SMILING THROUGH THE TEARS
After losing a son, Feherty relies on his support team to live a complex life of his own.
By John Feinstein
June 26, 2018
It’s a rainy night in Georgia, and David Feherty is on fire.
He has been on stage at Atlanta Symphony Hall for almost two hours, and those in the audience of about 1,200 have only stopped laughing when one of his stories brings them to tears of hysteria.
“Tiger Woods is funnier than people know,” Feherty says at one point. “When I was walking with him for CBS, he used to pull the brim of his hat down low so the cameras couldn’t pick up what he was saying—he was convinced everyone watching could read lips.
“One day he says to me, ‘Hey, Farty,’—that’s what he called me—’do you know what you call a black guy flying an airplane?’
“I said, ‘No, what?’
“And he said, ‘A pilot, you f—— racist.’ ”
People can’t stay in their seats, they are laughing so hard. One woman, who has been letting out loud whoops at the punch line of every story, doubles over, unable to stop laughing.
Twenty-four nights a year, Feherty does his act—three nights a week on eight occasions. He does an hour and 40 minutes of straight stand-up, pausing only occasionally for brief sips of iced tea. The stand-up is his life story—told as only he can tell it. It includes a good deal of bathroom humour, plenty of profanity and some poignant moments, especially when he talks about his parents and his wife, Anita.
After the stand-up, he pulls a chair out from behind the desk that is designed to look like the set of his TV show, “Feherty,” and does 20 minutes of Q&A with his audience.
On this night, the Saturday of Masters Week, he is asked—predictably—why he isn’t in Augusta.
“I’d rather be here with you,” he says. Then he points out that he’s no longer with CBS, which has the broadcast rights. What he doesn’t mention is that Golf Channel, which is part of NBC, his current employer, would love to have him there during the week to add some much-needed humour to the shows it does before and after live coverage.
Except that Feherty has an agreement that he doesn’t have to work Masters Week.
“I never felt comfortable there,” he says. “Never had a problem with anyone or anything. I just didn’t feel I could be myself. I was in the clubhouse once in 19 years when I went up to have lunch. That was it.”
Which means he’s telling the truth when he tells his Atlanta audience, he’d rather be with them. That doesn’t mean he isn’t terrified every minute of the evening.
‘THE SWEETEST BOY YOU WOULD EVER MEET’
Very few subjects are out-of-bounds in Feherty’s routine. He talks about his parents, about his first wife, about Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus and Ken Venturi and Tiger Woods. The only person he doesn’t joke about is Anita.
And there is one subject he won’t go near, if only because he knows if he did, he wouldn’t get to the end of the act.
“He was the sweetest boy you would ever meet,” he says very softly—his voice is rarely louder than a whisper when he talks about him. “He liked people, and people liked him. He had that kind of personality. He was working in a restaurant for a while and doing very well because he had a way with people. He was moving up the ladder there.
“But he got it in his head that he wanted to start a ticket-reselling business. He was going to compete with StubHub. He was a naïve kid in many ways. Lost, really, just lost.”
Feherty shakes his head. “Can you imagine that career move? He was lost in so many ways. Reminded me a lot of me. Which is just one of the reasons I can’t help but feel devastated and guilty about what happened to him.”
On July 29 of last year—Shay’s 29th birthday—the phone rang early at the Feherty home in Dallas. Anita answered. It was Rory, David’s younger son. Shey, his older brother by four years with Feherty’s first wife, Caroline, had died that morning of an apparent overdose at their mother’s home. The coroner would later determine that a mixture of cocaine and alcohol had killed him.
Anita walked the phone into the bedroom where David was still sleeping.
“You need to take this phone call,” she said softly, handing him the phone as he slowly came awake. “It’s Rory.”
It was Rory who then told his father the news. It was stunning, but not completely shocking. On July 4, Anita had gotten a text from Shey saying he needed to go back to rehab. He had never gotten there.
For a year, Feherty had been told by professionals that he needed to stay away from Shey, that he was enabling his drug habit by giving him money. He and Anita had agreed the night before that they would call him the next day—Saturday—to wish him a happy birthday.
“The truth is, I’d broken down on several occasions and given him money again,” Feherty says. “He was so sweet, and I couldn’t say no to him. Plus, like all of us addicts, he was a very good liar. He convinced me the money wasn’t for drugs. I’m sure I knew deep down he was lying, but I wanted to believe he was really on the way to coming out on the other side.
“Not talking to him regularly, not seeing him, was painful. But this …”
He stops, unable to go on.
Feherty’s memory of the rest of the day is blurred. Anita’s is not. “David, Rory and I went to the funeral home,” she says. “Rory did the best he could to take charge. David couldn’t speak—literally. He couldn’t move his mouth. His face was frozen. He was completely paralyzed emotionally. He zoned out completely. I think he had to.”
Somehow, the family has moved on—as best is possible—through the tragedy. Feherty was diagnosed with clinical depression and bipolar disorder several years ago. Not surprisingly, the depression has worsened since Shay’s death.
“It doesn’t get better,” he says. “It just gets farther away.”
Fortunately, Anita instantly recognizes when he is, as she puts it, “heading to a dark place,” and will force him to leave the house—go to lunch with her—anything to change his mind-set.
“He never wants to go,” she says. “And then when we get home, he thanks me for making him do it.”
Rory McIlroy, who has become close to Feherty in recent years, puts it another way: “David does best,” he says, “when he’s thinking about anything but David. It’s why he’s so good with helping others but struggles at times to help himself.”
SUPPORT FROM PRESIDENTS, SOLDIERS AND THE GOLF WORLD
Feherty got through the tragedy, he says, because of the overwhelming outpouring of support he received from his family, from friends like McIlroy and from people around the world whose lives he has touched—often at times without knowing it. Wounded soldiers he’d visited or joined for golf or pheasant hunting (an annual trip Tom Watson helps put together in North Dakota), not to mention the golf world.
Three former presidents reached out to him. “President Bush  and President Obama both sent me beautiful notes,” he says. “President Clinton called. He was unbelievable. Kept telling me what a good dad he knew I was and that if there was anything he could do to help … ”
That was the recurring theme: Anything I can do to help. Watson spent hours with him on the phone and in person. “I just let him talk,” Watson says. “There’s really nothing you can say in that situation. You can’t bring back life. So, you just listen and let him know you’re there—always there.”
McIlroy remembers feeling helpless. “I had no idea what to say or do,” he says. “I finally fell back on just, ‘Whatever you need.’ ”
It all kept Feherty going and keeps him going now.
The pain, he knows, will never completely go away. He has four other children: Rory, who is now 26; Anita’s two sons, Fred, 35, and Karl, 33; and Erin, their 19-year-old daughter who is finishing her freshman year at Oklahoma.
Rory is a member of the Texas National Guard and deployed to Djibouti in May. “I couldn’t be more proud of him,” Feherty says, “and I couldn’t possibly be more frightened.” His eyes cloud. “I can’t even think about the possibility of losing another son. Just can’t think about it.”
Shey ‘was lost in so many ways. Reminded me a lot of me.’ —David Feherty
‘SHE SAVED MY LIFE’
It’s an hour before Feherty has to become Feherty for an audience. He has not paid any attention to the third round of the Masters that afternoon because he knows nothing will be decided until the next day.
He is stretched out on a couch in a tiny room in the basement of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra building. There’s no Internet service, and only by walking down the hall is there cell phone coverage. Feherty knows he’ll hear what’s happening in Augusta soon enough.
There’s a piano against the wall on the far side of the room that Feherty could no doubt play quite well if he were so inclined.
He’s not. He’s tired and eager to get home to Dallas later that night. He’s already been in Little Rock on Thursday and Biloxi, Miss., on Friday.
He eats a few bites of a greasy hamburger and swigs from a bottle of water.
“Right now, I’m almost frozen with terror thinking about what I have to do tonight,” he says. “It’s that way every time I do this. I’m very aware of my ADD, and I worry about losing my place in the middle of a story and standing there with a blank look on my face. I’m absolutely convinced it can happen.”
He has been doing the show for four years. Has that ever happened?
“Lose my place? All the time,” he says. “Totally frozen and unable to go on? Close, but no. Not yet.”
The show was conceived by Brad Jones, a young promoter who, five years ago, convinced Feherty to come to his hometown of London, Ontario, to speak at a corporate event. When Feherty was finished with his talk, Jones asked him: “Have you ever considered doing a stand-up act?”
“Isn’t that what I just did?” Feherty answered.
“What blew me away,” Jones says, “is that nobody had ever approached him with the idea before.”
Jones put together a proposal, and Feherty unveiled the Feherty Off-Tour act in November 2014. Each year, the number of performances has increased and the venues have gotten bigger.
‘I think that his genuine kindness has given him a few more mulligans in life than most people get.’ —Anita Feherty
Feherty, who will be 60 in August, has Anita and Andrew Elkin, his agent at Creative Artists Agency, handle all his finances. He and Anita have been married for 22 years after meeting on a blind date in Dallas in the summer of 1995. Each had been through a failed marriage that had produced two children.
“She saved my life,” Feherty says. “I mean, literally. My life was an absolute mess when we met. I was trying to raise two little boys [Shey and Rory] alone in a two-bedroom apartment. I was addicted to alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, painkillers and just about anything else you could name. I was running like Forrest Gump and weighed about 150 pounds. When Anita and I went on our first date, I was so thin she thought I was HIV-positive. The first date lasted about half an hour before she walked out after I had reached over, put my straw in her drink and drank from it. Fortunately for me, for some reason, she agreed to go on a second date—to a baseball game.
“I didn’t know the rules of baseball. Neither did she, but I kept asking her questions, and she tried to answer them. Finally, she stood up and said, ‘Would you like something to eat or drink? A hot dog or a beer?’ It was the nicest thing anybody had said to me for years. Honestly. I sat there and thought, I think I’m in love with this woman.”
Anita Schneider had to be convinced to go on that second date. She was a successful interior designer who ran her business from home so she had flexibility to take care of her boys, who were 12 and 10 at the time. She wasn’t looking to remarry. But she was talked into meeting Feherty by a mutual friend, Gary Knott. They were the same age, they were both divorced, and they both had two boys. Worth a try, she figured.
The first night they met, she wasn’t impressed.
“It did cross my mind that he might be HIV-positive,” she says. “Remember, this is when people were terrified by the epidemic. He was much too skinny. Plus, he showed up drunk. When he put his straw in my drink, that was it—I had to leave.”
Through Knott, Feherty asked for one more chance. Knott told Anita that David had promised he’d show up sober. He did—30 minutes early. Anita thought it was charming that he was trying so hard. In the end, though, it wasn’t his humour, which was apparent, or even his charm.
“It was his kindness,” she says. “His kindness outshines everything else. I think that his genuine kindness has given him a few more mulligans in life than most people get.”
Feherty moved in with Anita before the end of the year, and when Shey and Rory were with him—he had split-custody with his first wife—they stayed there, too. He went to South Africa early in 1996 to play the Sun City Tour, one of the few places he still had playing privileges. When he came back a month later, he walked into Anita’s garage, and when she came out to greet him, he said, “Please marry me.”
She said yes, and they were married May 31, 1996. Life got better for Feherty—slowly.
“I haven’t had to write a check for 22 years,” he says. “I have no idea what I’m worth or what anyone is paying me. Anita has allowed me to just do the things I can do without worrying about any of the other stuff. Much more important, though, when the boys and I moved in with her and her two kids, we became a family. That was life-changing.”
So was his career change, from good golfer to unique TV presence. To hear Feherty talk now, you might think he never made a cut as a professional golfer and that he can barely remember which end of a golf club to hold.
“Actually,” he says, “I’m not always certain about that nowadays. I’ve forgotten a lot of things.”
What he does remember is turning pro at 17 after deciding he wasn’t meant to be an opera singer, which is what he aspired to do for most of his childhood.
“I had a good voice,” he says. “I trained and worked at it. But I knew I wasn’t going to be good enough. Of course, I wasn’t good enough at golf, either. I was like a 5-handicap at the time, but I figured I’d try it. I went to work at a club north of London [Mid Herts, where he was paid $10 a week] but came home after a few months because I missed my mom [Vi]. That’s when I went to work at Holywood.”
Holywood Golf Club is most famous as the place where Rory McIlroy learned to play and where his father, Gerry, tended bar and taught his son the game. In his stand-up, Feherty points out that he got to Holywood in 1976, “years before the little bastard was born.”
Feherty adores McIlroy, who adores him. “He is absolutely a product of his parents,” says Feherty, who got to know Gerry and Rose McIlroy while at Holywood. “He hasn’t been changed by fame or fortune. He’s just one of the most thoroughly decent people I’ve ever met. I had nothing to do with him becoming who he is, but I’m just so damn proud of him.”
McIlroy says there’s nothing he wouldn’t do for Feherty because he knows there’s nothing Feherty wouldn’t do for him. He often tells the story about Feherty coming to find him after his Sunday meltdown at the Masters in 2011. As soon as Feherty got off the air, he drove to where Rory was staying. In Feherty’s version of the story, he was blown away by McIlroy’s ability to keep the loss in perspective. In McIlroy’s version, he couldn’t believe how quickly Feherty helped him forget what had happened.
“Once he decided I was really OK, he just sat down with me and my friends and basically did a ‘Feherty’ show for us right there,” McIlroy says. “An hour after he got there, we were all literally falling off our chairs, we were laughing so hard.
“He’s a complex and wonderful individual,” McIlroy says. “Anita calls it kindness; she’s right. I’d add compassionate. Kind, compassionate, brilliant—and very, very hard on himself at times.”
‘Tom [Watson] looked at me and said, “You’re not well.” He was right, of course—I wasn’t. I asked him later what it was he saw, and he said, “I was looking at myself a few years earlier.” ’ —David Feherty
A MARRIAGE AND A CAREER CRUMBLE
From Holywood, Feherty moved on to Balmoral Golf Club, where he worked for Fred Daly, the 1947 Open champion and the only Northern Irishman to win it until Darren Clarke in 2011 and McIlroy three years later.
“I was playing with Fred one day, and he hit a ball into a bunker, blasted out and hobbled onto the green,” Feherty says in the act. “He said, ‘I’m really having trouble getting out of bunkers as I get older.’ I said, ‘Fred, you just hit a fine shot there.’ He shook his head and said, ‘I don’t have any trouble getting the ball out of the bunker, I have trouble getting my body out.’ ”
Balmoral was a largely Catholic club, but there were also Protestant members because it was set between a Catholic neighbourhood and a Protestant neighbourhood. “There were never really any problems,” says Feherty, who grew up in Bangor going to a Protestant church three times a week with his family but now describes himself as an agnostic. “People just came there to play golf. But the clubhouse did get blown up twice while I was there.”
Phone calls warning people to leave a building were taken very seriously during The Troubles. Feherty was on the golf course once when a bomb went off. “Very loud pop is all I remember,” he says.
Feherty won five times on the European Tour after getting his card in 1980 and was on the European Ryder Cup team for the famous/infamous War by the Shore at Kiawah in 1991. There, he beat Payne Stewart, 2 and 1, and fondly remembers thinking that he and Seve Ballesteros had truly bonded through the week as teammates—”until I saw him in the locker room a week later in Stuttgart and he called me Donald,” Feherty says. “I was crushed.”
What was truly crushing Feherty during that period was his first marriage, to Caroline DeWit, a beauty queen he had met while playing in South Africa. Shey was born in 1988 and Rory in 1992. In 1993, Caroline decided she wanted to relocate to Dallas; Feherty believed it was because of another man.
Even so, he followed, if only because he didn’t want to be apart from his sons. He had to go to PGA Tour qualifying school to earn playing privileges. He succeeded but never really adapted to playing in America. He did, however, play well enough at Turnberry in 1994 to have a real chance to win the Open Championship. He trailed co-leaders Fuzzy Zoeller and Brad Faxon by two shots after three rounds and shot 70 on the final day, which left him tied for fourth behind Nick Price, who shot 66 to win.
“Looking back now, I don’t think I wanted to win,” Feherty says. “I had a few very makable putts around the turn that if I’d made, I’d have had a very real chance. But I missed them. I’m not saying I tried to miss, I’m just saying subconsciously I just didn’t believe I was good enough to win the Open. I didn’t want the responsibility. I’d had a chance in ’89 [T-6 at Troon], too, and the same thing had happened.”
GETTING A LIFELINE
By 1995, Caroline had left Feherty, and he was about to lose his playing privileges on the PGA Tour. He was drunk or high more often than not and had no idea what he was going to do.
Then, Anita and CBS came into his life—specifically, in the case of CBS, Gary McCord. The two men had never met, but McCord was in the locker room during an opening-round rain delay at The International in 1995. He was there to find players who would come on-camera and kill time for USA, which had the Thursday-Friday cable rights.
“I was there for a while,” says McCord, now one of Feherty’s closest friends. “David was in there telling stories. I knew who he was but didn’t know him. People were falling over laughing while he talked. When we went off-air, I said to him, ‘You ever do any TV?’ He said no. I said, ‘Would you like to?’ He said, “I don’t know.’ I said, ‘Well, if you want to, I’ll be in the tower at 15 tomorrow from 2-5, and if you want to, come on up there.’ I did it as much to keep myself from getting bored because I figured if I had someone to listen to, I’d have to pay attention.”
The next day, when he got to the tower, McCord told long-time CBS golf producer Frank Chirkinian that he’d invited Feherty.
“What?” Chirkinian screamed into McCord’s headset. “No way. No way you two f—— guys are going to be together on-air.”
Chirkinian knew Feherty’s reputation for blunt humour.
McCord didn’t blink. “First, it was cable, not the network,” he says. “It was Friday afternoon, small audience. Frank liked to yell and grumble; that’s what he did. Plus, I didn’t even know if David would show.”
Feherty showed. And he blew McCord away. “He just went to places with his answers to questions I never imagined anyone could go,” McCord says. “As we walked down the steps from the tower, I said to him, ‘This is what you’re going to be doing next.’ I knew he wasn’t playing well and was going to need something soon. So, I said, ‘When the time comes, please call us.’ As in CBS, not me.”
Months later, CBS was forced to fire Ben Wright after his politically incorrect comments about why women—in his opinion—struggled to play golf well.
Feherty was sitting in a hotel bar, drinking vodka and Gatorade—”because I was still an athlete,” he says—when he saw CBS producers Lance Barrow and Rick Gentile approaching.
“When they said, ‘CBS,’ I thought they were from ’60 Minutes’ and they were doing a story on golfers and drugs,” he says. “Who better than me to talk to? I was terrified.”
Barrow and Gentile offered Feherty a three-tournament contract to take Wright’s spot for the rest of the year. Feherty was hired full time in 1997.
Getty Images (2) Feherty with his contemporaries on the European Tour (left) during his playing days, which included competing for Europe in the 1991 Ryder Cup.
Having a job he was very good at and a happy marriage didn’t mean that Feherty got sober overnight. When Erin was a pre-kindergartner, Anita came home after dropping her from school one morning and told David if he didn’t get sober, she was leaving him.
He did. For a while. But never for good. He drank so much on a trip to Barbados early in 2006 that he got alcohol poisoning. After that, he and Anita went to an addiction therapist.
Still, he was fighting a losing battle. Then, that summer, he was doing the play-by-play for an exhibition match on Prince Edward Island between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus.
Feherty has told the story often about that being a turning point in his life.
“Tom looked at me and said, ‘You’re not well,’ ” Feherty says. “He was right, of course—I wasn’t. I asked him later what it was he saw, and he said, ‘I was looking at myself a few years earlier.’ ”
It wasn’t as if Watson sprinkled magic dust on Feherty and he was cured. Anything but. Feherty wasn’t willing or able—in Anita’s opinion—to handle rehab. Watson found him an AA group in Dallas, and even though it was difficult for Feherty, he went to a meeting every day. Until one day, he didn’t.
“I’d been riding my bike to the meetings every morning,” he says. “That day, I just kept going.”
He was north of McKinney—about 35 miles from Dallas—when he finally called Anita to come and get him.
“I don’t do well in groups,” he says. “I like being alone. When I’m home, I don’t answer the door and I don’t answer the phone.”
“David is OK in a group if it’s on his terms,” Anita says.
“Fortunately, the bike became his addiction. That’s when he got sober.”
Feherty would be up before dawn, ride the bike for several hours, stop for coffee with friends and come home too exhausted to go to any dark places or to think about drinking. “When he wasn’t riding the bike,” Anita says, “he was working on it.”
Unfortunately, he was hit by cars on three occasions on the bicycle. The first accident crushed his left arm so badly he had to give up playing golf. The third one forced him to give up the bike.
But, with a lot of therapy and support, he came out on the other end—sober. If Anita ever thinks things might go bad again, she’d call Watson.
“He was clearly struggling, physically and emotionally,” Watson says of the Prince Edward Island weekend. “I said, ‘I see you. I’ve been where you are. Let me help.’ He was very receptive. It wasn’t an easy process, but he got through it.”
Watson says their friendship really took off when they went to Iraq together in 2007 as part of a trip to entertain the troops, put together by Rick Kell, co-founder of Troops First Foundation, a group Feherty has been extremely involved with for years. When Feherty became an American citizen in 2010, one of the people who flew to Dallas for the ceremony was Watson. In 2016, after Watson played his final round at the Masters, his family threw a party with about 60 friends invited. The star of the evening was Feherty, who was funny and poignant.
“When I was in the abyss, at the bottom of a well I thought I’d never climb out of,” Feherty said that night, “I looked up for help, and the face looking down at me and the hand reaching for me was Tom Watson.”
The first person to tell you that Feherty still struggles with his addictions every day is Feherty. He takes 14 pills a day—seven of them psyche meds—to help him deal with his depression, bipolar disorder and various physical maladies that will never go away.
“There isn’t a day that goes by when I’m not sad for at least part of the day,” he says. “And some days, I’m just sad all day. It’s gotten worse since Shey died. Sometimes I just start to cry and can’t stop.”
He stops there and smiles. “And yet, I love my life. I don’t see how I could possibly be any happier than I am right now.”
He left CBS at the end of his contract in 2015 and signed a deal that calls for him to do 16 of his “Feherty” shows each year for Golf Channel, NBC’s golf tournaments and various other events, like the Olympics.
NBC offered more money than CBS—a good deal more—but it wasn’t so much the money as the chance to do some things that were different—including spending some of his time in a tower rather than walking with the final group—that made the deal attractive. Add the 24 Off-Tour dates, speaking gigs, the occasional outing and events for Troops First, and he’s on the road almost nonstop.
“I need it that way,” he says. “I need to be busy. If I’m home for more than a week or so, I start to lose my mind. Most of the time, I like the work. I might be terrified on stage, but I do enjoy it. Once I stop shaking with fear.”
He isn’t exaggerating. “I can see it on stage,” Anita says. “But I also know when he’s really frightened, that’s when he’s at his best. If he’s not, he might lose focus and then, even though he’s still terrific, he’s not as good as he can be—or wants to be. He always knows, even if the audience doesn’t. He’ll come off stage and say, ‘I didn’t have it tonight.’ The crowd is out there screaming, but he knows. He always knows.”
‘There isn’t a day that goes by when I’m not sad for at least part of the day. And some days, I’m just sad all day. … Sometimes I just start to cry and can’t stop.’ —David Feherty
A SON LONGS FOR HIS DAD: ‘I MISS HIM’
The evening in Atlanta is winding down. There’s time for one more question. It’s the one everyone who has ever played golf is often asked: “What’s your dream foursome?”
“Jack Nicklaus,” Feherty says quickly. “He’s the one great player of my time I never got to play with.” He pauses a split second for applause. He’s done this before. “Annika Sorenstam,” he continues. “Never played with her, either, and I’ll never forget her first tee shot at Colonial [in a 2003 PGA Tour event], when she hit it perfectly and staggered off the tee because the pressure on her that week was so overwhelming.”
He pauses again. Not for effect or because he’s thinking, but to gather himself. “And my dad,” he finally says. “I’d like to play one last round with him.”
His voice catches. The emotion is quite real. “Happens to me every time,” he says later. Billy Feherty died in November 2016 of Alzheimer’s at the age of 91.
“I miss him,” his son says.
He’s thinking back to his childhood now, and he smiles at the memory of his parents. “They say that humour is a sixth sense if you’re Irish,” he says. “When I was a kid, humour was my defence. I was clearly ADD and wasn’t any good in school except in math and music. Humour was what kept people from making fun of me, from calling me dumb. I’m not sure where I’d be or what I’d have become without it.”
The humour is matchless. But those who know him best will tell you it is the remarkable kindness and the compassion that his wife and friends speak of that makes Feherty Feherty.
And that’s no joke.
New Out of Bounds areas
Carne Golf links
Something to put on your ‘bucket list’.
The Wild Atlantic Way
The Wild Atlantic Way is the world’s longest defined coastal touring route. It stretches over 2,500km, from Co. Donegal to Co. Cork, and takes in the unspoiled, rugged west coast of Ireland. Officially launched by Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland in 2014, the Wild Atlantic Way has gained a great deal of interest overseas and also here in Ireland.
It has been an incredible tourism marketing achievement and the coastal communities all along the west coast of Ireland are revelling in its success. he attention has also been a little bit strange for those living on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. We have always been here. Our ancestors lived here – they lived off the land and off the seas. We’ve always appreciated the beauty of where we live. We love it here.
Sometimes it seems like the Wild Atlantic Way was invented by the national tourism authorities! But the west coast of Ireland has been here for millions of years. The landscape and the seascape here in Belmullet and around the Erris region have existed for quite some time! The oldest rocks on mainland Ireland (1,753 million years old) can be found here in Erris – at Ceann an Eanaigh [Annagh Head]. The nearby Céide Fields is an archaeological site with the world’s oldest field-systems – older than the pyramids of Egypt. There is evidence on the islands off the coast of Erris to suggest that there was a Bronze Age settlement (2,500 BC to approx 500 BC) and during the Early Christian Period (325 AD – 800 AD approx) there was a settlement of monks. The largest of the Spanish Armada galleons, ‘La Rata’, foundered in 1588 in the waters of Blacksod Bay. All around Erris there are remains of forts and castles that were built in the 1600s. There is a Napoleonic Tower in Glosh, near Blacksod, which was built around 1806. The entire area is rich history and heritage – it is, literally, all around us.
Eddie Hackett, the architect who designed the original 18 holes at Carne Golf Links, was well aware of the area’s authentic beauty and heritage, and he pleaded with the course staff to acknowledge this: “It took nature thousands of years to create this and I don’t want bulldozers to destroy it. Don’t change anything after I’ve gone or I will turn in my grave.” Thankfully, his words have been heeded. Carne Golf Links has gained a reputation as one of the most beautiful and rugged courses ever constructed, with wild undulating fairways, towering dunes and cathedral greens. Indeed, the appreciation of the landscape’s natural splendour and its history is reflected in the naming of the holes. The second hole is called ‘Tochair Easpag’ (Bishop’s Path), referring to an ancient pilgrimage path that cuts across the second fairway. The third hole, ‘An Traonach’ (The Corncrake) pays homage to the endangered species of bird that nests here every summer, after travelling from Africa. ‘Log ‘a Sí’ is the name of the eighth hole, which means that this area is a fairy hollow – now you know why the putts don’t drop! And Hole 18 is called ‘Log ‘a Fola’ (The Bloody Hallow), in deference to an ancient burial ground near the tee, where the slain of Ár Iorrais (an ancient battle) are buried.
The history and the heritage of the local area is very much appreciated by the locals, and visitors can learn more in places such as Ionad Deirbhile Heritage Centre in Eachléim, the Visitor Centre at Ballycroy National Park, and in Áras Inis Gluaire arts centre. You will also learn a lot about our history just from chatting with locals in the pub!
Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland have (much to their credit) recognised that it is the people and the places that make the Wild Atlantic Way what it is. Of course, each of the 150 discovery points along the route are beautiful and awe-inspiring in themselves (Erris has no less than 11 discovery points, with a further two on our doorstep), but it is the people who live here that have helped to create such a wonderful experience for visitors.
Here in Belmullet and in Erris, one of the most westerly points of Europe, our location has meant that our area’s beauty has been one Ireland’s best-kept secrets. But that is changing now. Thanks to the Wild Atlantic Way. And also thanks to ‘The Irish Times’ voting Erris as the best place in Ireland to go wild! So you could say that Erris is the wildest place on the Wild Atlantic Way! As for Carne Golf Links, visiting golfers frequently use the word ‘wild’ to describe the course. “A beautiful wild beast!” “It’s a great big monster carved out of the wilderness by God.” “This is links golf as I’ve always imagined it should be played. Wild, rugged and without concessions.” “Wild, untamed links golf … fabulous, but not for the faint of heart!”
The Wild Atlantic Way has been here for thousands of years. Erris has been here for thousands of years. The land at Carne Golf Links has been here for thousands of years. These are not new places. They are very old – teeming with history and heritage. But they are relatively new destinations. Don’t be the last one to discover them. Start exploring and go wild now!
Lucan Golf Club. Brief History 1897-2013
Copied from the Lucan GC website
Lucan Golf Club was set up in 1897 and was initially located in the Moor of Meath which is between Dunboyne and Leixlip. This course did not last long and the club moved to its present location in 1900. The new course was contained within 3 fields leased from M. Barr and also the area of the present 7th fairway and green.
In 1906 the club leased additional land and invited a Mr. McKenna of Carrickmines Golf Club to lay out a new course incorporating the new land and the existing 3 fields. At a committee meeting on January 5th, 1907 all the recommendations for the new layout were accepted. There was however, concern as to whether the quarry hole would be retained. The quarry hole (the present 7th) was played from a tee box approximately 30 yards left of the bell at the 6th green. The tee box was at the same level as the present clubhouse; the tee shot had to be played over the quarry which contained gorse bushes and trees. In front of the green were two streams and a lane (Tubber Lane).
Further designs to the course took place under Mr. Cecil Barcroft of Royal Dublin Golf Club in 1907. The tee for the 4th (the current 7th) was moved to its present location, and the green was elevated. These designs remained unchanged up to 1980.
At the A.G.M. held in January 1905 the members were informed that the Club had become affiliated to the Irish Golfing Union, and that the membership of the Club was 78 members. At the April meeting, two proposals were put forward:
(1) That the Club should be extended to 18 holes; and
(2) that a new Clubhouse should be built.
This paved the way for very important negotiations, with a number of parties involved.
At a Special General Meeting on 14th September 1905, Mr. Jas. Walsh (who was to become the first Captain of Hermitage Golf Club) proposed the requisition convening the meeting and the following motions were discussed. “That the time has arrived when the club should cease to be proprietary but should be vested in the members”. Agreed unanimously. Following these decisions the members investigated the possibility of purchasing land for a new course. Having negotiated an agreement with a local landowner, a further meeting was arranged with the members. However, at the same time the owner of the course (the Hotel owner Mr.Scallon) submitted new terms to the committee. There was a clear fork in the road for the members.
(Picture:- Evening Press, March 26, 1970)
The Lucan Golf Club’s Vice Captain Michael Gannon and former Captain Joe McDonald look on as the Captain Thomas Martin putts out on the first hole this morning. The Club’s lease expired at midnight.
The following are details of the scheme proposed by the Hotel proprietor as amended by the meeting.
The Club to lease the three fields from Mr. Barr for five years with a clause for surrender at the end of every year on six months notice at £120 per annum. The hotel Co. to expend on additional improvements, extensions of the Club House and retaining wall, totaling a sum not exceeding £100. The Committee to have a voice in this expenditure. The Hotel to lease the Club House and Stable for five years to the Club at one shilling a year. The Hotel to receive all payments from visitors. Mr. Scallon to pay during the continuance of lease the difference between Barr’s rent and £100.00. When the transfer is arranged the Club to take over the links free from debt. The outstanding and any further subscription and entrance fees in the meantime to be handed to Mr. Scallon.
This was adopted and those who supported the other option left to form the Hermitage Golf Club. One of the affects of this was that at future A.G.M.s the members elected a committee of ten members of which five were the nominations of the proprietor (this procedure ceased after 1930).
(Picture:- Our First Barton Cup Winning Team 1971)
L-R front: Joe McGloughlin; Barry Keely; Michael Gannon (Club Captain); Christy Fitzgerald; Eamon Tully. L-R back: Jim Downes; Tony Rogers; Joe Kelly; Rev. J.S.C. Strong; Seamus Malone; C. Burden; Paddy Culligan; Don O’Reilly; Dick Dynan (Hon. Sec).
The First Interclub Competition
Friday April the 19th, 1907. Lucan enters its first interclub competition – the Barton Cup – on 19th April 1907, their opponents appropriately being Hermitage Golf Club. Lucan Golf Club would have to wait until 1971 to win its first Barton Cup, with further successes in 1975 and 1988.
The Long-Running Land Saga
In 1960 the hotel and golf course were sold. At the time the hotel paid the rent for the 4th, 5th and 6th holes to the Department of Agriculture, and in addition, the hotel allowed the club, free of rent, the use of the entire nine holes. However, in 1964/65 the hotel management advised the club with a notice to quit.
Negotiations followed and the club was left with the following ultimatum in order to obtain a further lease of five years:
(a) The rents paid by the hotel to the Dept. for the previous five years to be refunded over a twelve month period;
(b) Make our own arrangements with the Dept. for the leasing of their land;
(c) Pay the hotel £250 per annum plus rates and taxes for the lands comprising the remaining six holes;
(d) Grant the new owners grazing rights on the course.
The lease was signed on October 17th 1966 and the expiry date was 24th March 1970. The signing of this lease gave the club time to see what could be done about its future.
About this time a body was set up by the Government to review the Landlord & Tenant Act of 1931. It became known as the Landlord and Tenant Commission and was chaired by Judge Conroy. It was hoped that when the findings of the commission became law, the future of the club would be ensured. With all this in mind the committee made preparations for how they would approach the whole matter of the club securing a new lease.
Two courses of action were taken:
To influence the findings of the government commission by approaching political representatives at all levels;
To see what could be done at county council level.
As the draft plan for Dublin County was being prepared at this time, a proposal that the nine holes be zoned as a golf course was submitted to the county council. The proposal was that no other type of development could take place on the course during the life time of the Development Plan. This proposal was passed and this was to prove very important in the club’s submission to members of the Dáil and to the commission.
In 1969, the club made a number of verbal approaches to the landlord to draft a new lease but to no avail. On the 18th June 1969 a formal application for the renewal of the lease was made. A reply was not received until 17th September stating that the lease would not be renewed. On the 20th November 1969 a Special Meeting of Members was called in the Four Courts Hotel and the position of the club was outlined to them. The members were advised that the main hope for the club’s future lay in the findings of the commission, whose report was going to be presented to the Government in the New Year. It was more than likely that the report would not become law until later in the year. As the club lease was going to expire on March 24th, 1970, it was imperative that the report went to the Government before then. When the findings became law, they would be retrospective to the date of presentation of the report.
The following is a report in the Irish Independent 4th March:
“Important changes in the leasehold renewal rights and the purchase rights of certain classes of tenant were passed at yesterday’s meeting of the Government, 3rd March 1970. The Minister for Justice Mr. O’Morain, was given the green light to draw up a Bill implementing the changes, and this Bill is expected to come before the Dáil in the next few months.The changes are regarded as so important by the Government, however, that they decided to back date the Bill (no matter how long it takes to pass it) to yesterday. This means that any benefits extended in the new legislation will apply to anyone who was a tenant yesterday, even though his tenancy might have expired last night or today.
The Bill will deal with the question of extending leasehold renewal rights and the right to purchase the fee simple to new classes of tentants. The new classes would include, for instance, sporting bodies of various kinds.
As from yesterday, a sports organisation which holds land for recreational purposes, will have a statutory right to renew its tenancy, provided it has held the land under lease for at least 25 years, or has occupied the land for 25 out of the last 40 years, and provided it has spent 15 times the rent or minimum of £1,000 on the lands.”
March 24th came and went but the club’s future was assured. The recommendations of the Dáil Commission were passed in the Dáil in 1971 and became law and this assured the Club’s future. The securing of the new lease dragged on for a period of years.
In 1975 a further notice was served on the club to quit the lower part of the course. By now the club were prepared to go to court, and after exhausting every avenue open to them to come to an amicable arrangement, the club took the only other option left to them, and went to court. On the 24th of June 1979 the Court ruled in favour of Lucan Golf Club and granted the club a 99 year lease. This was the end of a saga that had commenced on October 17th, 1965.
An 18 Hole Golf Course At Last
As the 1980s approached, at the same time that the building of a new clubhouse was under consideration, the possibility of extending the course to 18 holes began to enter the minds of the members. Both these aspirations were originally considered in 1905.
By 1989 the club had an 18 hole golf course and their own Clubhouse. The first competition played in Lucan as an 18 holes golf course took place in November 1988. The winner of the first competition as an 18 hole golf course was Christy Fitzgerald, and the first winner of a gross prize as an 18 hole golf course was Micko Rankin. The course was opened officially in 1989.
In the 10 years from 1979 to 1989, the club had achieved what the members in 1905 had aspired to. They built and owned their clubhouse and constructed their own 18 hole golf course.
Lucan Golf Club celebrated its Centenary year in 1997. Over the many years of playing competitive golf the winning of a green pennant became an elusive object for the club, but, as faith would have it, the Junior Foursome’s team achieved that feat in Centenary year in the final held in the City of Derry Golf Club.
While the club has a varied history, it is interesting that it was the Junior golfers who achieved this honour and, tellingly, many home-grown players played an integral role in Lucan’s second green Pennant – the Junior Cup – in 2004.
The club continues to go from strength to strength and one can guarantee that there are many more chapters to write on the history of Lucan Golf Club.