Clare County County Golf

Claregolf Winners enjoy a day in Dromoland.

Dromoland Castle was the venue for an end of season gathering of eight Clare junior golfers who had won silverware during the 2019 season and competed in National GUI competitions. The eight juniors in the picture are from five different Clare clubs. Dara Casey and Shaun Kenny Shannon. Matthew Whelan Ennis, Eoin Magill Niall Melody Luke Carey and Jack Whelan East Clare and Sean Spicer Dromoland Castle. Their where two who could not be present due to competition commitments, the two were Tom Clancy from Kilrush and Cal Connolly from Lahinch.

All these juniors have come through the structured junior section of their home club where many hours of practice have been put in and great opportunities ‘presented to them by both their clubs and the Munster Branch of the GUI who have selected four players for provincial training in 2020 they are Tom Clancy Kilrush, Ronan Herbert, and Jack Clohessy Ennis and Eoin Magill, East Clare. These opportunities have come about due to the commitment of the junior officers in the county and his or her volunteers who give of their time freely in order that young people are introduced to the game of golf. This commitment is given in the hope that these juniors will one day become adult members of their club and perhaps go on to become committee members and club officers and even club captains as is the case in Shannon golf club where this year captain Vincent Scully was a junior not too many years ago and next year’s captain Mr. Keith Buckley was also an ex junior and is the current Junior Officer.

Over the past thirteen years, great benefits and rewards have come about due to the introduction of Clare Junior Golf and the county competition structure that it offers the junior golfers of Clare. Those competitions are The Clare Boys Links Championship. The Clare Boys Parkland Championship. The County Matchplay and the Clare Junior league.

Two graduates from this competition structure, East Clare’s Tara Whelan and Shane Lillis from Kilrush have gone on to gain overseas college scholarships in the United States of America. Tara has completed her college degree and is now an assistant Professional in Florida. Shane has just started his college education this year in Tennessee, other notable names to have come through both club and county golf are Paul O’Neill who is the assistant professional at Shannon golf club and Shane O’Sullivan who also became a professional golfer and is now working for Callaway Golf, Danny Brennan also of Shannon golf turned professional last year and at present is competing in Q School for a European tour card for next year. Others went on to achieve success in the amateur game such as Ciara Magill East Clare and Lisa O’Shea Shannon who were key players in the 2012 Munster girls’ team that won the All Ireland inter Pros championship. There is also Jonathan Keane of Lahinch who has enjoyed success playing for the Munster and Irish boys and was awarded the Munster under eighteen player of the year in 2018. Clare Junior Golf has truly come a long way in the last fifteen years and it is wonderful to see such a large number of these juniors have gone on to represent their clubs in GUI interclub competition attended Irish Universities and they now do what the Irish youth do the best travel the world for work experience and are enjoying the golf courses in the countries they have traveled to.

Looking forward was searching for ways to improve the golf experience for the juniors in the county and this year it introduced the under thirteen short course series. This tournament gives the juniors new to golf the opportunity to play age-appropriate courses other than their own home course and get to meet other junior golfers in the county. The new competition proved to be very popular with over sixty juniors taking part. It is the intention of Clare junior golf in partnership with the clubs of Clare to continue with this new competition in 2020 as a way of growing the junior game In order to support this are staging a Christmas Scramble in Dromoland Castle on December 7th with tee times available between 10 am and 12noon. A team of four cost one hundred and thirty euros with all proceeds going to grow the game in 2020. All information on this event and the events for the new year can be found on our website