Gents Notes w/e Sun 26th April 2020

Golf Courses Hoping to Reopen after May 5th if the government opt to lessen lockdown restrictions.

Golf is hoping to be one of the first sports to get the nod to resume after May 5th if the government opt to lessen lockdown restrictions. There has been a halt on all Irish sport for well over a month as the country gets to grips with the coronavirus pandemic, with the latest government restrictions set to remain in place until after the May Bank Holiday weekend. However, Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan said in a press conference that the resumption of certain sporting activities is among the broad range of measures being considered in the medium-term, provided social distancing measures can still be adhered to. As golf is a non-contact sport, played among a maximum of four people, most of whom spend 90% of their time on the course well apart from each other, the sport’s governing Bodies, the Golfing Union of Ireland and the Irish Ladies Golf Union, are hopeful that just social golf on the country’s 300-odd golf courses might be able to start sometime early in May. Club competitions will not be allowed initially, until clubs are happy that they are able to comply with all health issues. But golf club bars and restaurants will only open when pubs and restaurants open in the rest of society. To have a golf club bar open while the pubs of a nearby town or area are not open would lead to mayhem. The GUI and ILGU fear that inter-club competition might not be allowed for a long time yet, something that would put the annual programme of various cups and shields, that are so popular, at risk. Those nationwide events would normally start at this time of the year and that is not going to happen. With the added complication of clubs from the six counties needing to be able to travel later in the year, it may be that a limited programme of regional events in the autumn is the best that domestic golf can do in 2020.

Social Golf during Covid-19

If and when golf gets the go-ahead clubs will be bound to a large number of restrictions. No doubt, many golfers would be delighted to get back on a golf course following the long absence, even if only from a fitness point of view and the opportunity to play a so-called social round. West Waterford golf club is in perfect condition at the moment and you may even get back in time to enjoy the annual pink and white array of colour from the cherry blossoms. Just to give you an idea of the many restrictions that will apply, here is a random list of just some of them as recently published by Carr Golf.

To access the course a player must

  • Be an active member or an invited member guest

  • Not have been out of the country for over 14 days

  • Not be in self-isolation and not required to cocoon

  • Not be displaying Covid-19 symptoms

  • Have a pre-reserved tee time

All players are required to produce a phone no and an email address to enable contact tracing.

Golfers should travel to the club alone or with a member of the same household

Locker rooms are closed. Arrange golf attire and change footwear at the car

Observe social distancing always and resist the temptation to mingle

Two metre queue markers must be adhered to at all times and positions.

On the Lighter Side

ODE TO GOLF

In my hand I hold a ball

White and dimpled, rather small

Oh how bland it does appear

This harmless looking little sphere

By it’s size I could not guess

The awesome strength it does possess

But since I fell beneath its spell

I’ve wandered through the fires of hell

My life has not been quite the same

Since I choose to play this stupid game

It rules my life for hours on end

A fortune it has made me spend

It has made me swear and yell and cry

I hate myself and want to die

It promises a thing called par

If I can hit it straight and far

To master such a tiny ball

Should not be very hard at all

But my desire the ball refuses

And does exactly what it chooses

It hooks and slices, dribbles and dies

And disappears before my eyes

Often it will take a whim

To hit a tree or take a swim

With miles of grass on which to land

It finds a tiny patch of sand

Then has me offering up my soul

If only it would find the hole

It’s made me whimper like a pup

And swear that I will give it up

And take a drink to ease my sorrow

But that ball knows

I’ll be back tomorrow

  • Drowning your sorrows: After a particularly poor round, a golfer spotted a lake as he walked despondently up the 18th. He looked at his caddie and said, “I’ve played so badly all day, I think I’m going to drown myself in that lake.” The caddie, quick as a flash, replied, “I’m not sure you could keep your head down that long.”

2007 A Year to Remember

Tuesday 28th August was another red letter day in the history of West Waterford Golf Club as our Junior Foursomes team captured their second ALL-Ireland title in three years at the beautiful Westport Golf Course in Co Mayo. In the morning’s semi final they overcame a spirited Cairndhu team who were the Ulster champions from co Antrim and in the afternoon, willed on by a huge travelling support they defeated the Leinster champions from South County Golf Club in Dublin to capture another coveted pennant for West Waterford. Team manager and captain kept faith with his morning pairings of Philip Walsh and Jamie Glavin and Gary Hurley and Philip Spratt in the afternoon final and they repaid him with a great display of concentration, stamina and composure to capture the title. It must be remembered that there were many other rounds in this prestigious competition prior to the glory day in Westport and the other panellists namely David Curran, Kenneth Kelleher and Aidan Walsh play no small part on the way to All-Ireland success. When we captured the All-Ireland title in 2005 we were bolstered by the presence of Irish Boys, Youths and Senior International Seamus Power, while this time around, the new wave of golfing talent emerging from West Waterford were to the fore. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the travelling supporters who made their way to Westport, including families of the panellists and many more whose support was crucial on the day. Well done to the team, panellists and Team Captain Justin Spratt for creating another piece of history for us at West Waterford Golf Club. This win has capped a momentous year during which we hosted the Ireland vs Scotland Youths International match, followed by the Irish Youths Amateur Open Championship which was won in pillar to post fashion by our local hero Seamus Power.

West Waterford Heroes honoured in Home Town – September 2007

A landmark niche in the proud and prestigious history of the Park Hotel Sport Star Award scheme was reached last week with the presentation of the 200th monthly award to Justin Spratt form West Waterford Golf Club. In his role as Captain of the West Waterford team that won the All-Ireland Youths Foursomes Championship for a remarkable second time in three years, Justin was bestowed with what many people have long come to accept as the ultimate sporting accolade within the county

As winner of the August monthly “Park” award, Justin accepted it on behalf of an all conquering team which scored a thrilling victory over Leinster champions South County Dublin in the final at Westport having earlier defeated Ulster’s best, Cairndhu in the semi-final. The heroic quartet who brought All-Ireland glory to the Brickey Valley and County Waterford as a whole were Philip Walsh, Philip Spratt, Gary Hurley and Jamie Glavin with invaluable back up from fellow panellists Aidan Walsh, Kenneth Kelleher, and David Curran. As non playing captain the all important onus on Justin Spratt was to get the team formation correct on the given day, and this he did with spectacular success righ to the championship. “There were serious decisions to be made in that regard, very difficult decisions” Justin said after accepting the inscribed monthly award from Park Hotel managing director Pierce Flynn. “To be chosen for this wonderful monthly award is a great honour, not just fir me personally but for West Waterford Golf Club as a whole”, he went on. “To win an All-Ireland at any time is a great feat but to win the same championship twice in three years is a phenomenal achievement”. Justin said he had some “terrible” choices to make along the way to ensure he teamed up the most compatible pairings, and it was that compatibility which had them crowned champions in the end.

West Waterford club Captain, Michael O Dwyer said that apart from the great honour of winning the All-Ireland title the behaviour of all the young team members, on and off the golf course, was a credit to themselves personally and to the club they so proudly represented. In making the presentation to Justin, Pierce Flynn said he was a very worthy winner who would stand deservedly alongside all of the other 199 monthly winners who preceded him.

Fr. Pat Moran OSA, chairman of the adjudicating panel, praised the magnificent West Waterford course, the excellence of the mentors in charge, and the quality of the golf its members are producing on a regular basis. “Just a few short months ago” added Fr Moran,” another West Waterford member, Seamus Power, was also honoured with the monthly award”. Finally, Fr. Moran thanked the Park Hotel for the launch of this prestigious awards scheme “all those years ago” and its progression to the point where the monthly award is the most sought after sporting accolade in the county.

Adjudicator Kieran O Connor said their choice of Justin Spratt as the award winner will be universally popular, describing him as a man who “just doesn’t like losing”

Also present were Brendan Cullinan, president West Waterford GC, Joanne Barron, Lady Captain, Pat Spratt who is the founding member of the club, and members of the adjudicating panel.