Saturday marked the official opening of the golfing year when the opening ceremonial shots were struck by the incoming Captains. First up was Sean Walzer (Men’s Captain 2012) followed by this year’s Lady Captain Sheelagh Foster.
Both kept their nerve and put club to ball in a positive manner. Emma Kerwick and Cathal Byrne then got the junior calendar underway with their drives. Don Bolger and Margaret T. O’Shea are the RGA and 55 Club Captains, who also represented their sections on the day.
The scramble that followed was memorable for a wonderful turnout of over 100 players who made the day a huge success. The weather was bitterly cold and at times wet, but there was a great atmosphere.
Afterwards the golfers were fed and watered and there was a presentation of his life membership certificate to the ever green Nashie Rice. Nashie thanked the club and in particular the RGA for all his years of enjoyment got from Callan golf club.
It is the club and the RGA who should be grateful to Nashie for his wonderful organisational skills and dedication in making golf a huge factor in peoples lives. It was fantastic that Nashie and everyone else had such an enjoyable offical opening day to 2012.
MEN’S STABLEFORD: This weekend’s event attracted over 50 competitors which produced a result which was not a huge surprise. Mick Hickey has been the most in-form golfer in the last number of weeks. He continued his wonderful form with a winning score of 44 points.
Jim Kirby had an excellent 43 points to pick up second prize. Brian Doheny had an excellent gross score of 37 points.
Next weekend will feature another singles stableford. All interested in competing in this year’s Scratch Matchplay in which no handicaps apply and all matches are played with no shots given or received should put their name down on the draw sheet in the clubhouse before March 1.
When all the entries are in there will be a first round draw to be played by a pre-arranged date. There will be a subsequent draw and so on after each round until the semi-finals. It is a difficult competition to win. Richie Condon is the defending champion.
UPCOMING EVENTS: The dates for some of this year’s matchplay events have been set. On the first weekend of March the qualifier for the Club Fourball will be played. On the second weekend the club foursomes qualifier will be held.
In a hectic month for qualifiers, the singles matchplay will be held on the weekend of March 25. There is plenty of time for all to prepare for these fantastic events.
The Winter League continues this week with visitors welcome on Wednesday and Friday, while Saturday is for members only. Members can play in the Winter League and the weekend competitions, but they must pay 3 euro extra and fill out a separate scorecard to do so.
Failure to fill out the second card will result in the non-entry of the score. The final of the Winter League has been set for Saturday, March 24 with a set of clubs for the lucky overall winner.
INTER-CLUB EVENTS: Callan will be entering a number of GUI competitions in 2012. team managers have been recruited. Traditionally the first inter-club competition is the Barton Cup. Tom Donovan will take charge. Tom led previous teams to the latter stages of the competiton and will bid to do so again.
The format for this competition is five foursomes matches played home and away with the club with home advantage hosting three matches. Each pairing must have a minimum combined handicap of 12 based on last year’s lowest handicaps.
Callan have drawn Mount Juliet in the opening round which will be a local battle as is usual in the early rounds.
The Provincial Towns team will be the next team into action, Brian Cullen is the manager and he will select a side of those who have played off 9 or more throughout 2011.
The three other inter-club events which Callan have been entered are the Junior Cup (managed by Richie McMahon, who enjoyed much success when managing the Jimmy Bruen team a number of years ago) which comprises of five golfers who have played off 5 or more throughout 2011; the Jimmy Breun Shield and the Pierce Purcell trophy.
Both of these competitions have been strongly contested by Callan teams over the years. Niall O’Sullivan (Bruen) and Mick Byrne (Purcell) are hopeful of putting runs together.
The Bruen team has a lower limit of 6 with 12 the lower limit for the Pierce Purcell. All those interested in participating in these teams can contact the managers or put their names on team sheets in the mens locker room.
WALKING CLUB: The walking club had their weigh-in last week under the supervision of Brigid Maher. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the next 10 weeks the club will meet at Super Valu, Callan (8pm) with everyone welcome to come along and enjoy a walk with like minded people.
RGA: For Monday, March 5 there is a timesheet available on the notice board. There will be finger food also. Please put down your name to reserve a time as soon as possible.
Last Monday John Kinsella won with a good 12 hole score of 29 points, followed by Don Bolger with 27 points and Johnny Butler third with 25 points.
Results - men’s singles Stableford, Februray 18/19, 1 Mick Hickey 44pts; 2 Jim Kirby 43pts; Gross Brian Doheny 37pts.
RGA Monday, February 13, 1 John Kinsella; 2 Don Bolger; 3 John Butler
Ladies Tuesday, February14, 1 Kay O’Neill 26pts; 2 Margaret T. O’Shea 23pts; 3 Breda Bolger 22pts; 4 Marie O’Riordan 22pts; 5 Anne Hickey 22pts; 6 Lorraine Donovan 22pts.
55’s Thursday, February 16, 1 Margaret T. O’Shea; 2 Geraldine O’Sullivan; 3 Ann Bowen; 4 Marie O’Riordan; 5 Annette Hogan.
DIARY: Today (Wednesday) men’s Open singles Winter League; Thursday, Ladies 55s 10.30am to 12pm; Friday, men’s Open singles Winter League; Saturday, men’s Winter League (members only); Sunday, men’s singles Stableford; Monday, RGA 11am to 1pm; Tuesday, Ladies Day all day.