LIKE most club professionals, Cian McNamara was busy last week getting ready for the reopening of golf.
It’s eight years since Cian landed in Monkstown, and the Limerick native has made Cork and Monkstown his home.
Like everyone interested in the sport, Cian was counting down to the reopening of golf.
He is expecting a busy restart to golf, and he’s expecting a busy summer.
“I certainly believe with the long lay-off from golf, golf tuition will be busy over the summer months,” said McNamara.
“With Golf Ireland determined to play championships and inter-club events it will also add to the golf tuition demand which will be great.
"Custom fitting is certainly a big area that has emerged over the last few years. With PGA Club Professionals providing the opportunity to compare different models while using various launch monitors it gives the customer the assurance that the purchase they make is certainly suited to their technique.”
McNamara has helped drive several changes in Monkstown and one of the most exciting developments was the opening of a new Trackman studio last year.
The studio has the latest technology including an indoor driving bay and a putting area, and this gives members a real advantage when it comes to analysis and custom fitting.
“The reaction was incredibly supportive from the members,” explained Cian.
“We are very lucky at the Pro Shop to have such loyal and supportive members. I was lucky to travel to the PGA Show in Orlando early last year and it was evident to see that this is how golf coaching and custom fitting was heading.
"Trackman 4 was certainly a serious investment for us at the Pro Shop. In our Trackman room we currently have seven of the leading brands to custom fit. We are lucky with the software Trackman 4 provides for putting performance.
"In our Trackman studio we have an artificial green that provides us with the opportunity to provide detailed putting lessons and custom fits.”
Putting lessons and fittings are becoming increasingly popular, and Cian is now ideally placed to help golfers as the only authorised stockist for SeeMore putters in Cork.
“When attending the PGA Show I came across the new SeeMore models, I’ve always liked the theory behind their putters.
"When doing further research and testing on our Trackman I certainly feel it is a product when fitted correctly can provide the golfer with a more consistent method in putting.
"The “red dot” theory certainly limits the amount of rotation in golfers hands throughout the stroke.”
Although his playing time will be limited this summer, Cian is hoping to get back playing himself on the PGA Irish Region tour.
Cian developed his name as a top level amateur as a junior and a senior, winning the Junior Open at Royal Musselburgh and World Junior Championship.
He was the youngest winner of the South of Ireland in 2004 and represented Ireland alongside Rory McIlroy.
After finishing his leaving cert in Limerick Cian headed to the US to East Tennessee State for four years and after that he returned home and trained under Lee Harrington at his home course in Limerick Golf Club.
The opportunity in Monkstown arose a year after he qualified and Cian hasn’t looked back.
He became a firm favourite among the members and staff and has worked hard to build his reputation as a top-class coach.
With the pro-shop open for up to 90 hours or more in peak season, it takes a well organised team to keep the operation running.
Elaine Collins has worked with Cian since he first came to Monkstown and Shane Irwin has been in Monkstown since late 2016.
“I’m very lucky to have Shane working alongside myself at Monkstown.
"Shane is a very popular figure around the golf club, and he has developed a very strong name for coaching and custom fitting.
"Alongside his achievements on the golf course we understand fully that we are lucky to have him at Monkstown Golf Club.
"Elaine too has been superb to work alongside at Monkstown. Elaine is very experienced in the industry and has developed a really strong name for retailing.
"It’s great to have Elaine’s experience in the ladies section of our Pro Shop and it is because of Elaine it has been a great success over the last few years.”
In addition to Elaine and Shane, David Carroll will be joining the Monkstown Pro-Shop team shortly as Cian plans for a busy summer.
Monkstown is an important part of the local economy, providing full and part time jobs for up to 20 people in the peak season.
General Manager Maurice O’Meara joined Monkstown last year and brings his extensive experience to the club.
Alan Field runs the catering and celebrated 20 years in Monkstown last month, he kept his side of the business running through lockdown with a very popular take-away menu.
Martin Travers leads a team of course staff and they have been busy with course development works alongside the routine course maintenance. Cian appreciates the effort that everyone makes to ensure the club continues to thrive.
“We are very lucky to have Martin Travers as our Head Greenskeeper at Monkstown Golf Club.
"The course condition is always a credit to both Martin and I can honestly say that Martin’s motivation and dedication to the club is second to none.
"The course condition is always a credit to both Martin and his staff and the work carried out to both the course and its presentation has moved our product onto the next level.
"Martin is a very popular figure around the golf club and both the staff and our members know we are very lucky to have somebody with his knowledge and experience at the club.
"Maurice too has been a great addition to Monkstown Golf Club. Along with his vast experience in the industry combined with his work ethic has made progressive changes in his first six months at Monkstown.
"He leads by example and as a result there is a great atmosphere amongst the members and staff at the golf club.
"Gillian Devine also rejoined the team in last year and has offered superb assistance to both Maurice and ourselves in the Pro Shop.”
Like the rest of the team in Monkstown, Cian has been busy for the past few months.
Ordering stock was a key part of the plan for 2021. Given the shortages of clubs and clothing last year, Cian has ensured he’ll have a fully stocked pro-shop ready for members and guests, and the shop itself also got a makeover in the last few weeks.
“We carried out a complete re-fit of our pro shop recently. We wanted to provide a more spacious and modern atmosphere in our pro shop with the ability to display our product in a more welcoming manner.
"I’ve been very lucky that Monkstown have committed to a long future with myself so with these assurances it gave me great confidence in constructing the Trackman room and re-fit of the Pro Shop.
"I’m very proud of our offerings now at the Pro Shop and I’m looking forward to a long future with the golf club.”