AT just 14-years-old Glen Towler from Gurranabraher is making massive strides in the world of pitch and putt.
He recently returned home with a gold medal which he won at the Spanish Open.
The second-year St Aidan’s Community College student has been playing the sport since the age of eight and has always been a promising player, representing Cork sides at U16 level from the age of nine.
Although he also plays soccer with Leeds as a centre half and is very good at it, pitch and putt is his preferred choice.
He is now looking forward to the 2019 season where he hopes to pick up the National Strokeplay title and retrieve the National Inter-county title with Cork.
“It’s definitely a busy year ahead which I am looking forward to,” said Towler.
“My hopes for 2019 is to win the National Strokeplay and to retrieve the National Inter-county with Cork and to be as successful as possible in anything I participate in.
“I started pitch and putt at eight years of age as my brother Ryan, dad Dave and cousins were already playing the game.
“My neighbour Michael Mahony was a great help to me at the early stages of my pitch and putt and it’s what really drove me on to success really.
“I play three times a week or as often as possible with my club St Anne’s.
“It is a very competitive sport which I love and we get to travel nationwide to participate in events.
“There are approximately 70 members in St Anne’s pitch and putt Club and we are extremely lucky that we have one of the top players in the country Ray Murphy who is a huge help to the club.
“I compete at an amateur level.
“I have been very lucky, I have been on the U16 Cork team every year since I was nine years of age up until now and have been fortunate to represent my country this year in the U16s for the International friendly in Seapoint against Catalunya which we won.
“I also won the juvenile Dutch Open 2017 and Catalan Open in 2019.
“I won the National Matchplay in 2016.
“I have won three Munster titles, three U16 Cork titles along with multiple Scratch cups in Cork and Kerry.
“With the Cork team and I have won two All-Irelands and two Munster titles.
“The most recent tournament I compete in was held in Barcelona in April.
“The opponents were all Spanish. The course Portal Del Roc is notoriously tough but for the first round I was two under, the second round was one over and the final round I finished one over to win the competition with level par.
“I was elated to win this tournament but my biggest win was the Irish National Matchplay as I was the first player to ever win this trophy due to the kindness of Noel Collins for sponsoring the trophy.
“The next major tournament is The Munster Matchplay in my home course St Anne’s followed by the Munster stroke play in Hillview, Co Tipperary.
“Then with the Cork Team, it will be the Munster Inter-County and followed by the National Stroke play and the National Inter-County in Glenville in August this year.
“The final tournament of the year will be the National Matchplay held in Deerpark, Co Kerry in the late summer so it really is a very busy schedule for me, but that’s what I thrive on.”
Towler is a well-known name in the sporting circles in Cork and in the Glen.
He is a grandchild of George Towler, who is the current President of Blackrock Rowing club, never had a doubt about playing sport as a child as his father Dave would have been one of the major influences in his sporting career.
“I have been greatly influenced by my brother Ryan and Dad Dave, who has enjoyed a lot of success in pitch and putt, also my uncles who have been very successful in soccer and my aunt Liz Towler who has represented Cork for camogie and Ireland for soccer.
“My grandad George Towler who is currently President of Blackrock Rowing club and was a great soccer player and rower in his youth so sport is a huge part of our family.
“Sport has kept me focused and given something to do in my spare time.
“I think it is very important for kids to get them involved to keep them active and keep the game alive along with the social aspect of making great friends.
“I find it easy enough to manage both sporting codes, soccer and pitch and putt as they don’t clash due to the time I spend on each sport.
“They both help with each other as I have made lifelong friends in both sports. Even though I enjoy soccer immensely I would definitely prefer itch and putt.
“I am very grateful to the following who have been so influential to me Ray Murphy, John John Walsh, Weeshie Murphy (coach of the Cork Team), my dad Dave Towler who has been by my side constantly with support and guidance, my family who are also very supportive of what I do.”