In this week’s Limerick Leader column, Ivan Morris looks back on the recent local club golf action.
Last weekend was a busy one in local golf circles with the North Munster area of the Barton Shield and Fred Daly competitions decided.
Probably because of the unique, aggregate team, alternate shot, foursomes format, shock results occur more frequently in the Barton Shield than in any other GUI Interclub competition. The golf can be brilliant and unpredictable with birdies and errors following each other in rapid-fire order. There was a time when such interclub matches received huge support from fellow club members. Nowadays, if there are 20 spectators in attendance, it’s as much. People don’t know what they are missing.
It should not have been that surprising that Castletroy would fall at the first fence to a determined home team, Shannon, or that Rathbane would defeat Ennis before losing to an East Clare side that openly admitted they were ‘only practicing for the junior cup’ in a match that went all the way to tie holes.
The biggest surprise of all was the forceful and uncompromising lecture delivered on the first tee by Munster Branch Official, Peter English, on slow play before the Lahinch-Woodstock game. Actions speak even louder than words. Lahinch were given literally 10 minutes for their luncheon after coming through a titanic, morning tussle with Dromoland that went all the way to the 18th green.
One can only imagine what Mr English would have said and done if that match had gone to tie holes? But, he was right. If play is excessively slow it should be highlighted and punished. Officialdom normally tends to funk the slow play issue. A 10-minute lunch break (and some hot tongue!) is an extremely rare way of making your point.
Lahinch were not fazed and played well on hungry stomachs. They promptly went on a birdie binge against a team that had been waiting impatiently in the clubhouse for over two hours. Par golf nearly always wins a Barton Shield match unless you happen to be Tony Cleary and Brian Gilligan of Woodstock who were decimated by a scintillating 5-under par display by Declan McInerney and Brian Ahern. The magic was plainly missing on Sunday morning and another surprising result emerged with East Clare’s ‘junior team’ handing out a 6-holes drubbing. On their home course, Shannon proved too steady for Limerick’s quartet that included two former internationals, Pat Murray and Justin Kehoe, winning by two holes.
That was the end of the surprises. As expected, Shannon GC represented by Ed Hickey and Jamie O’Shea; Jason O’Donnell and Danny Brennan Shannon defeated East Clare (William O’Brien and Padraig Hession; Mike Carey and Mike Whelan) by six holes to win their place in the Munster semi-final in August.
The North Munster Area Final of the All-Ireland Fred Daly (U-18) Interclub competition was played at Castletroy Golf Club on a damp and windy Saturday evening last - a relentless and fully focused, Limerick team steamrolled a game but outclassed Dromoland side without losing a match.
Limerick got their noses in front early and maintained the momentum throughout in spite of notably valiant efforts by Killian Howard, Brian Meaney and Ryan Foley to stem the tide. Details: (Limerick names first) - Ciaran Vaughan (3) defeated Killian Howard (5) by 3/2; Luke O’Brien (5) defeated Gordon O’Neill (6) by 5/4; Eoghan C. O’Neill (5) defeated Dale Foley (6) by 3/2; Shane O’Neill (5) 1-up on Ryan Foley (7) after 16 when called in; Morgan Hanley (7) defeated Kyle Neylon (8) by 5/3; Ross Fitzgerald (7) defeated Callum Spicer (9) by 6/4. Limerick GC is now in the Munster semi-final, to be played at Gold Coast GC, Dungarvan on August 9 with Mallow, Kinsale and Waterford Castle or Thurles making up the provincial ‘last four.’
Electric Trollies Are Good For You - I don’t use one myself but I am well aware that the health and performance benefits that accrue from using an electric golf trolley are beneficial.
Golfers who carry their clubs (especially juniors) are at risk of musculoskeletal injuries and impaired golfing performances. Bending over to lift the golf bag is where the biggest risks occur. For the older golfer, a significant reduction in energy expenditure and heart rate when using an electric trolley is bound to pay off.
Less well-conditioned golfers, or those with reduced walking efficiency, benefit most from using an electric trolley. Not to mention evidence suggesting a 2.5% reduction in club head speed as the golfer tires over the course of a round. That’s 10 yards on tee shots! How many of us can afford to forfeit 10 yards?