FERMOY Golf Club rounded off their very busy summer recently with the successful hosting of the Cups and Shields Munster finals.
The North Cork club has served its members for over 120 years and the staff and members provided the finalists with a testing course and great experience in September.
The finals saw eight teams from Munster head for Fermoy, and a team of volunteers were on duty from 6am through to just after 8am when the last hole as played.
While there wasn’t a Cork winner in the two competitions, Fermoy came in for great praise. And the praise wasn’t limited to the course, the welcome and the catering and the overall running of the event meant that the golfers and limited number of spectators enjoyed the event.
Like all golf clubs, the summer of 2020 was a strange one. Fermoy had to deal with the enforced closure of the course for two months, but when the course reopened in May it was in superb condition.
Despite being a very busy place over the summer months, the course was in pristine condition for the Munster finals in September.
Fermoy had started preparing for the finals in January but the Covid lockdown delayed preparations and there were fears at one stage that there may be no inter-club matches.
In the end, the GUI launched a revised schedule, with Fermoy asked to host the AIG Pierce Purcell Shield and the AIG Junior Cup.
From Thomas O’Flynn and the course team of Pat Finn, Pat Tobin, Pat Murphy and Pat Lane, to the catering teal of Monika and Pavel Romecka the Fermoy experience was great for all visitors.
For Fermoy’s secretary manager Denis Twomey it was a great way to finish the season. “We were delighted to be asked to host the finals this year, however when Covid 19 happened everything was in doubt” explained Denis.
“It was only in July that it was confirmed the finals would go ahead in September. As a club a huge effort was made to ensure the finals would be hosted safely and that the clubs involved would enjoy and remembers their visit to Fermoy.
Our course staff led by Thomas O’Flynn did a tremendous job in presenting a fantastic course.
“Our Officers and volunteers made a huge effort to organise and welcome for our visitors to Fermoy. The weekend was a great success based on all the feedback. Course Manager Pat Roche was thrilled with the feedback from the visiting clubs and the recognition that our course received. The hard work over the last number of years is bearing fruit.”
The course in Fermoy suffered in the storms over the past six years, losing thousands of trees in the high winds in various storms. The falling trees caused damage to the course along with changing the look and feel of the course from their sudden disappearance.
Since 2013, the club committees along with the staff have worked hard not only to repair damage and replace trees, but also to improve the course for members and guests alike.
Those efforts were rewarded when the club not only renewed almost all of their existing membership, they also added a large number of new members.
As well as progressing the work on the course, the members backed their club and raised over €14,000 in a members Covid draw. Members were asked to join the €100 draw and the response was great.
During the spring lockdown, Fermoy’s team of greenkeepers along with Secretary/Manager Denis Twomey worked a four day week, and adhering to the strict social distancing protocols along with additional rules about machinery use.
The team set about maintaining and improving the course, as well as preparing for the Cups & Shields finals.
“Basically our initial task was to get the essential work completed; cutting greens, aprons, fairways, rough” said Denis Twomey.
“We had a lot of projects going on in preparation for the Munster finals of the Bruen & Purcell in July. We have put in a number of flower beds around the course, planted hundreds of new trees & shrubs (we lost close on 2,000 trees in the two storms since 2013).
“New seating was also added and fortunately most of this work was close enough to being finished. That work was completed once the team got back to working full time and the finished product claimed a large amount of praise during the Munster finals.”