WITH club competitions now back up and running many golfers will also be looking forward to the start of the inter-club competitions at the end of this month.
The GUI launched a revised schedule last week and there are just four of the key AIG Cups and Shields events taking place with several format changes being introduced to ensure the competitions are run within the current public health guidelines.
The AIG Senior and Junior Cups will be run in the regular format as singles but the Jimmy Bruen and Pierce Purcell Shields will be played as fourballs and not foursomes.
All matches will be played off scratch meaning there will be plenty of pressure on team managers regarding selection.
Due to time pressures and the lack of course availability, the regular single or dual venue qualifier is also being changed to a home and away format.
They first named team for each match will host three matches with two matches taking place at the second club’s course. All matches up to the area finals will use the home and away format, with neutral venues to be selected to host the area finals (Munster quarter finals).
First round matches can commence from 20th July and the deadline for completion varies but it generally within two weeks.
The area finals are due to take place at the end of September with the Munster finals scheduled for a week later. Fermoy and Killarney are still scheduled to host the Munster finals, although much later than originally planned. The Junior Cup and Pierce Purcell finals take place in Fermoy on Saturday 26th of September.
The Senior Cup Munster Final takes place in Killarney (Killeen) the following day with the Jimmy Bruen final taking place the following Saturday on Killarney’s Mahonys Point.
The All-Ireland finals are scheduled to take place in Donegal Golf Club in mid October.
Missing out on the months of May and June were critical for inter-club golf, with many of the qualifying rounds taking place during that eight week period.
The decision to cancel the Barton Shield and the Irish Mixed Foursomes was made early in the process as the GUI looked to keep as many of the key events as they could on the revised schedule.
The response from clubs has been very positive with over three quarters of clubs backing the holding of the events. The ILGU cancelled their Cups and Shields schedule after the majority of clubs voted to cancel each of the five ladies inter-club events.
A reduced schedule of championships has also been confirmed with Munster clubs holding several events. The All Ireland finals of the Irish Schools Junior & Senior Championship are set to be hosted by Macroom on the 18th August.
They were originally scheduled for April and with both Munster winners from Cork the hopes of a local win will be high.
Colaiste Choilm from Ballincollig won the Senior Schools title while the Junior Schools title was won by St Colmans from Fermoy. Both have won provincials titles for two years running so hopes will be high that the Cork sides will capture a green pennant this time around.
The Irish Under 18 Boys Championship will now take place on 10-12 August at Thurles Golf Club over three rounds.
This venue and set of dates had originally been planned for the Munster Under 18 Boys Championship. The Irish Under 14 Boys Championship at Cahir Park has been rescheduled and will now take place on Thursday 20th August, over one round of 18 hole stroke play. Full details for all Munster and Irish events, including entry details are available on the golfnet website.
The 50th staging of Muskerry’s famous Ford Junior Scratch Trophy gets underway tomorrow.
The “300 to 1” challenge normally takes place at Easter but the qualifiers and the matchplay stages were cancelled a few months ago.
There are two full time-sheets in Muskerry tomorrow and Saturday as well over 250 golfers will aim to capture a place in the top 64 who qualify for the matchplay stages.
Those 64 qualifiers will face a gruelling six round battle over three days later this month as they hope to win Munster’s only open matchplay competition for handicap golfers.
2019 winner David Howard will not be back to defend his title, the Fota Island member is too low to qualify this year following a number of handicap cuts following a really impressive season of golf last year.
The top 64 will start the matchplay on Friday 24th July and will conclude that Sunday. Many clubs are now in the process of scheduling invitation and open events.
Bantry will hold their scratch cups on Sunday while there are open singles next week in many clubs including Castlemartyr, Charleville, Mallow, Mitchelstown, Fermoy, Macroom and Bandon.
There are over 60 open competitions currently listed on the Golfnet website for the month of July. Mahon hold their scratch cup weekend on the 25-26 July and Castlemartyr has retained their traditional August weekend date for their scratch cups.
Early booking is advised for the very popular event. Fota Island are also holding scratch cups over the August weekend and Cork hold their Intermediate Scratch Cup on the Sunday of the August weekend and this too should be a sold out weekend.
August also looks like a busy month for Cork clubs with plenty of open competitions and scratch cups confirmed in Kanturk and Charleville among others.