Get into Golf
The latest series of the Get into Golf (GIG) programme began in Muskerry in 2015, following an initiative by Confederation of Golf in Ireland (CGI) aimed at encouraging new membership to golf clubs throughout the country.
The then president, Seamus O’Brien, professional Fred Twomey and interested club player Katy Keohane attended a meeting and training session in Mallow G C, run by C.G.I., which outlined the principles of the programme.
The emphasis was on making learning golf fun, especially as part of a group and socially enjoyable.
Lady Captain Maryll McCarthy and her committee also got behind the programme run for ladies that year with Katy compiling lists of participants to partake and volunteers to help run the programme.
In all 21 ladies signed up for the programme which ran from May-July 2015. Katy remembers that the sun shone every Thursday, and she says that, thanks to an enthusiastic group of volunteer helpers, the two hour sessions ran without a hitch.
The ‘old fourth’ practice area was used for pitching, putting and longer shots, taking groups of seven at a time. ‘Games’ were devised to encourage the competitive instinct and teamwork.
Fred Twomey gave a lesson for an hour on alternative weeks and the volunteers took the groups for the remainder of the time. After each session, everyone involved returned to the clubhouse for refreshments provided by Lucy and her team, and to have an all-important ‘chat’.
Jennifer Hickey of Confederation of Golf in Ireland also shared her expertise and attended one of the sessions.
At the end of eight weeks, 12 of the participants joined as members, and 10 continued membership. There was a ‘graduation ceremony’ complete with certificates and goodie bags!
‘Buddies’ were appointed to the new members to aid achieving handicaps and to facilitate integrating into the club.
The programme was run again in 2017, 2018 and 2019 with the support of lady captains Ger Dennehy, Louise Murray and Maeve Burke.
In total, 49 ladies joined the club and 44 still remain as members.
Katy Keohane, who has supplied all the above information, also lists what she sees as the key elements to the success of the programme:
1 Selecting participants who were friends or relatives of current or past Muskerry members.
2 The enthusiasm of both the participants and the volunteers who gave selflessly of their time.
3 The excellent lessons and encouragement by Fred.
4 The ‘bonding’ of friendships over a cuppa after the sessions.
I think we can add to the list of ‘key elements for success’ that of having someone to take responsibility for the overall running of the programmes and we have Katy to thank for that. Well done all!
Muskerry’Jean on the Ladies victorious Munster Interprovincial Team
Muskerry’s Jean O’Driscoll was a member of the victorious Munster Interprovincial Team in 2019. The team claimed the first Munster victory in 13 years and Jean was unbeaten in her five matches.
The Munster team with the Interprovincial Trophy.
L-R Back: Rachel Thompson, Sarah Cunningham, Sinead Sexton, Paula Walsh, Aideen Walsh
L-R Front: Jean O’Driscoll, Orla Barry (Captain), Clodagh Coughlan.
Jean O’Driscoll was awarded Honorary Life Membership of the Muskerry club in 2019 in recognition of her great achievements in golf and for her contribution to ladies golf in Muskerry.
Jean received an Irish Senior Cap in 2014 and represented Ireland at the Home Internationals in Wales.
Her list of golfing achievements as a juvenile is both impressive and extensive.
Jean also brought in the course record of a six under 69 in 2018.
Jean O’Driscoll with her Irish senior cap 2014. (Cap donated to Muskerry in 2015)
A Lady For President
In 2013 it was agreed by a majority vote at the Club AGM to have a lady elected as Club President one year in every three.
This was a historic day for the club and was greeted as a progressive move into equality for men and women in sport.
Since then many clubs, who historically had two presidents over the years (one for the men and one for the ladies), have adopted this policy of one president for the club from the collective male/female membership.
To Maura Minogue (pictured) went the honour of being elected Muskerry Golf Club president for 2016 – the first female to attain the honour. Marion Nugent followed her in 2019 and was a wonderful ambassador for the Muskerry club.
Other Firsts for the Ladies
Theresa Sheehan, in her year of lady captaincy in 2002, was the first female member to sit on the club’s management committee and, in 2005, Siobhán Maher became the first lady to be voted on to the Management Committee following a ballot at the club’s Annual General Meeting.
Intermediate team’s magnificent victory at Castletroy. 1989
A triumph, much sought after over the decades, was finally achieved when Muskerry ladies made up for years of disappointment by winning the Munster Intermediate Shield for the first time with a dramatic 3-2 victory over favourites Killarney at Castletroy.
Paula McNamara gained the crucial point on the last green and the other members of the all-conquering panel were: Eileen Buckley, Maria Hegarty, Mary Healy, Bridie Casey, Aedin McCarthy jnr, Lucia Ahern and Eleanor O’Regan. Teresa MacCarthy was team captain and Aedin McCarthy was Lady Captain that year.
The Muskerry club had presented the Shield to the Munster Executive for competition in 1955 and it was understandable that there should be great delight and excitement at the triumph as earlier teams had unsuccessfully contested the final on six occasions.
Front row from left: Lucia Ahern, Aedin McCarthy, lady captain, Teresa MacCarthy, team captain, Paula McNamara.
At back: Eileen Buckley, Maria Hegarty (Magee), Mary Healy, Bridie Casey and Aedin McCarthy.
Another Team to reach the Munster Final:
Muskerry’s intermediate team was again to the fore in 2014 before losing in the final to East Cork at Limerick.
The road to the Munster finals in the Summer of 2014 was a long and competitive one. The Muskerry team beat Kinsale, Monkstown and Mahon to get to the semi-finals in Cahir where they beat Dooks in thrilling style. The final was in Limerick and Muskerry were narrowly defeated by a strong team from East Cork.
Manager: Marion Nugent, Assistant Manager: Eileen O’Shea
Muskerry’s Intermediate panel in 2014.
L-R: Frances Jermyn, Sheila Plant, Carol O’Leary, Alice O’Donovan, Carmel McCarthy, Siobhan Maher and Jennifer Kilcoyne (Unfortunately, Jennifer is missing from the photograph).
A golden age for the Juvenile Girls.
Following on from an initiative in the mid 2000’s to encourage more juveniles to play the game of golf, Muskerry Golf Club was fortunate to attract some very talented young girls to the game.
Initially the most notable of that group of impressive and talented players were Laura McCarthy and Jean O’Driscoll. They were soon joined by Jill O’Driscoll, Aoife Barry, Eadaoine Cronin, Hilary O’Driscoll and Ciara Leonard.
Each of these exceptionally talented girls went on to achieve great success at junior level and into the senior ranks of the game. Having them all actively playing in Muskerry allowed the club to advance to a standard of senior cup success never before experienced by the club.