Ivan Morris - The voice of Limerick Golf
The ILGU Girl's U-19s Interclub All Ireland Championship reached its climax at Royal Curragh on Sunday, 27 August. Grange (Leinster) and Limerick (Munster) reached the final and had a terrific battle for supremacy.
The concession of 11-shots told a tale against the gallant Munster champions as Grange just came out on top but it could so easily have gone the other way.
Ellen Nolan (Grange) began with a birdie and utilising her 3-shot advantage never lost a hole as Emily Walsh's usually reliable putting deserted her. Nolan strode to a faultless 6&5 victory.
The value of 'shots' was seen to even greater effect in Emma Guinane's (Limerick) clash with the 'cool as ice' Rachel Lynch. Twice on the back nine Emma scored birdies but lost both holes.
From beginning to end, this match was a high quality tussle that finished on the 17th; enough to see Grange crowned All-Ireland champions as the third match between Ciara Corcoran and Katie Gleeson was called in.
A crushing disappointment for the talented Limerick girls and their hard-working and dedicated team captain, Judi Lyons.
Before I write another word, an apology is due because of my unforgivable loss of memory and slipshod research last week when I wrote that the Ballyclough Club would be attempting to bridge a 27-years gap.
In fact, Niamh Kitching's winning team in 2010 meant the gap was, in fact, 7-years. Sinead Conway, Eimear McManus, Nicole Power, Clodagh Moloney, Nessa McGann and Maureen Tucker were the All Ireland champions only seven years ago.
How blind can one be not to see the winner's green pennant and appropriate photograph hanging on the wall of the clubhouse in one's home club?
I'm convinced that somebody moved it on the day that I looked. So much for my 'legendary' memory for golfing dates and facts, getting old, I suppose?
Death and retirement
I MET my buddies Mutt and Jeff since I made that embarrassing omission and we discussed the inevitability of death and retirement.
Ivan: I have become a little disenchanted with golf. I do not like playing badly and I've been threatening to give it up for sometime. From now on I will use golf strictly as a walk in the park for a bit of exercise and leave it at that.
Jeff: There will be a severe reduction in my enjoyment too if you carry out that threat.
Ivan: Nice of you to say so but It is not a threat, it is a done deal as far as watching golf on TV is concerned. Never mind about me, what about you after your operation?
Jeff: I'm doing fine. No pain, just discomfort from the metal clips in my belly to stop my insides from falling out.
The clips come out next Monday and then I should be fine. I'm grounded. I cannot drive the car for another 10-days but I am allowed to take walks as long as they are not too strenuous. There will be no golf for me for 10-weeks. I can live with that.
Or, maybe live without it is a more accurate statement? I'm treating it as a tryout for complete retirement.
We'll see how I feel when I start playing again and if I can get my ailing golf game back to full health. Like you, I quite like the idea of not playing anymore especially if I cannot play to a satisfactory standard.
Ivan: I've been threatening the same thing but my friends say: Retire and you'll die quicker! It's a proven fact that regular golfers live longer. Play more golf and live longer! It's as simple as that. How you play doesn't matter a damn. Nobody cares except yourself.
Mutt: That's rich coming from you two! Retire from what? You don't think you are still players, do you? Why would you retire from being an opinionated curmudgeon?
Life would be very dull without a bit of giving out to keep everyone on their toes. It's good for them, it's good for you and it's good for the game!
Jeff: Not being able to play like one used to is frustrating. There is no frustration in walking. There are lots of people who never played golf who have lived to be 100 because they walk a lot.
Lots of people I know gave up golf years ago (for various reasons) and they are still in the land of the living. I played a huge amount football in my youth and was very keen. I gave that up too and survived.
Mutt: In the end, no body cares and we all die. Living too long in this crazy world, getting crazier by the day is not that rosy a prospect.
Ivan: Any walk that is not after a golf ball on a golf course is a walk spoiled in my view. I'm of the Augustinian mindset: Dear Lord, make me pure but not yet! But, I'm getting closer to being converted.
Jeff: Any golf no matter how bad is better than lying in hospital with tubes hanging out of you.
Ivan: I agree with that but it is the mental torture that wears me down. If only I could go out and play and not give a damn where the golf ball goes?
Mutt: You'd play better if you did exactly that! From now on, use golf strictly as a walk in the park for a bit of gentle exercise and leave it at that.