MONDAY marked another chapter in the redevelopment of Douglas Golf Club as the new pro shop opened for business.
Stephen Hayes and the pro-shop had been working from the cottage in Douglas while the old pro-shop building was completely renovated.
The new shop is far bigger than the previous one and in addition to the extra retail space, Stephen also has a new workshop and an impressive Trackman Swing Studio in the pro-shop.
Douglas has been on a multi-year journey upgrading the facilities on and off the course.
Over the past five years the club has upgraded the range, developed a new chipping area as well as a five hole short game course.
Late last year the refurbished clubhouse was opened, and the temporary clubhouse was repurposed as a gym where Peter O’Keeffe is now based.
100 years ago there was a different atmosphere, it was a week after the clubhouse was damaged extensively after a fire.
Despite several challenges, and the potential move to a new site, Douglas has remained on it’s original site for over 100 years.
Needless to say the club has been busy place since golf reopened.
General Manager John McHenry has been busy ensuring that the new developments enhance the experience that members and their guests have at the club.
East Cork is another busy spot. The golf course, the range has proved to be a popular destination since golf reopened.
There was a new addition to the East Cork to the East Cork schedule this week with the launch of the Maurice Moloney Memorial Open Singles. The open series takes place every Tuesday, the competition fee is €20 or €15 with a member.
All top five each week going forward to a series final in September.
Weekly prizes are on offer and there’s a top class selection of prizes at the series final. East Cork Scratch Cups have also been scheduled for July. The competions take place from the 16th to the 18th and full time sheets are expected.
Raffeen Creek recently announced a new open series starting on Wednesday 16th June.
The nine hole ladies and gents competitions are and ideal way to play a shortened competitive round, and the 12 weekly qualifiers go through to a series final in September.
An overall prize pool of €3,000 will be shared between the 24 finalists. The competition is also qualifying for WHS purposes.
Open week in Raffeen takes place in early July with ladies, gents and mixed events scheduled for the six days.
Raffeen are also holding an Am-Am competition at the end of July. Any combination is allowed in the team of four event and the cost is €120 per team including food.
Further west, the Bantry Bay Masters takes place on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th June.
The overall winner will take away the Bantry Bay Masters Green Jacket and there are a number of prizes on offer.
Bantry also launched their scratch cups which will take place over the 10th and 11th of July.
Sponsored by MSL Engineering, BAM Construction and Cetti Building Contractors the Senior, Junior, Intermediate and Minor competitions take place over the two days with an entry fee of €20 for visitors.
Accommodation packages are also available through the club.
John Murphy made his final appearance for the University of Louisville this week.
After four years in the Kentucky campus, this might well be Murphy’s final appearance as an amateur.
The Kinsale golfer has signalled that his intention is to turn professional during the summer.
It’s likely that Murphy will play in Europe for the summer, targeting a few starts in the Challenge Tour.
Following his performances in college and more importantly the Walker Cup, he should secure a few starts on the Challenge Tour during the summer. Murphy will be hoping for good start as he has a date the PGA Tour lined up for 2022.
He was due to play in the Byron Nelson Classic this year, part of the prize for winning the GCCA Byron Nelson Award last year.
As the 2021 event was clashing with the Walker Cup and the NCAA play-offs, Murphy elected to defer his invitation and will now take part in the 2022 event as a professional.
Another Cork golfer at the start of his pro career is James Sugrue.
The Mallow golfer has a week off after his first three weeks on tour.
Sugrue received invitations to two events in Sweden while he was practicing in Spain and he followed that will an appearance in the Irish Challenge in Portmarnock last week.
After a missed cut in his first event, Sugrue showed some form with two top 25 finishes in the following events. After three weeks on the road James is now back home practicing.
He’ll have a number of further appearances on the Challenge Tour and hopes are high that he’ll secure a full card on the tour for the remainder of the season.
There was further good news for Mallow golfer when he was confirmed as part of the Team Ireland Golf scheme from Sport Ireland.
Sugrue has been awarded €17,500 in funding for 2021, and is one of 16 golfers to receive funding for the season.
The funding scheme has been in place for many years and provides up and coming players with grant funding to help them start in the pro ranks.
Golf Ireland Chief Executive, Mark Kennelly commented “Golf Ireland are extremely grateful to Sport Ireland for the 25% increase in funding for 2021.
"This funding has enabled Team Ireland Golf to continue to financially support our emerging professional players to enable them to get out and compete on tour after a challenging 2020 for many of them."