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da fallon factor
16 Apr 15 18:07
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Date Joined: 18 Jan 09
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Great to see some of the world's best golfers coming to play now that Rory has put his name behind this years tournament, so far confirmed
McDowell
Westwood
Els
Garcia
Fowler
Donald
Reed
Kaymer

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Replies: 209
By:
padlock
When: 16 Apr 15 18:27
Well tbf the amount of money you would spend going to it you would hope to see the best in the world playing imo
By:
applehunter
When: 16 Apr 15 18:56
Fair play to Rory.

Irish Open is always one of the best supported attendance wise.

It was about time it was given more respect by the tour.

Snowball effect will mean field will only get stronger.
By:
frank60
When: 16 Apr 15 19:05
Hope your right Apple,
By:
paulie wallnuts
When: 16 Apr 15 19:20
These kind of tournaments are useful stepping stones for people ....and they may use it as practice for bigger events....but basically the bigger players will be just treating it as an exhibition.....the bigger names will be fulfilling contractual agreements....otherwise they wouldn't be bothered with the kip.....you only have to look at the recent winners to see what level of esteem the top golfers hold this tournament in.....if I'm not mistaken McIlroy didn't make the cut in one of these in the last few years....
By:
frank60
When: 16 Apr 15 19:24
I dont think he made the cut last year Paulie,
By:
frank60
When: 16 Apr 15 19:24
I dont think he made the cut last year Paulie,
By:
applehunter
When: 16 Apr 15 19:27
He missed the cut in Fota & Killarney I think.

He actually Shot a 63 in the practice round on the Wednesday last year but never got it going then tournament proper.
By:
paulie wallnuts
When: 16 Apr 15 19:28
Ya I think it was last year....he couldn't get out of the place fast enough....the European tour is the ugly sister nowadays....nobody has any respect for it....it's the darting equivalent of the BBC one....it's for second raters and young guys trying to get a leg up....
By:
frank60
When: 16 Apr 15 19:33
A bit unfair Paulie, ILONEN won e330,000 for the irish open last year
By:
applehunter
When: 16 Apr 15 19:34
Reflects the struggling Euro economy in the last 5/6 years.
By:
applehunter
When: 16 Apr 15 19:35
Big laugh is 3 Mobile giving up the golf sponsorship of the Irish Open to get into bed with John Delaney.
By:
paulie wallnuts
When: 16 Apr 15 19:44
Frank....in the words of those soccer supporters....when ilonen would be mentioned ...."who are ya"... Springs to mind...
By:
frank60
When: 16 Apr 15 20:07
Ilonen won the world match play last  year beating Stenson in the Final Paulie, He would be well know by a lot of people, we all know that the Euro tour is 2nd best to the U.S.its your choice of words to Describe it was over the top [.the European tour is the ugly sister nowadays....nobody has any respect for it..Crazy
By:
Kelly
When: 17 Apr 15 10:23
This years event in Newcastle will be at least as good as the 2012 Irish Open at Portrush , and may even eclipse that if the starting line up continues to gather momentum . The 2012 Portrush event was the best attended golf tournament in Europe that year ( Open aside , but it is run by the R & A ).

The Irish Open has a proud record . Before Portrush in 2012 , the last time it was in the North of Ireland was in 1953 at Belvoir Park ( then just outside Belfast as the pavement markers decreed) , but now just a 9 iron from the large shopping centre at Forestside in Belfast . The prize money for the winner of that Irish Open ( Scot and subsequent Ryder Cup captain Eric Brown ) in 1953 was £750 for the winner , the British Open ( The Open) paid under £400 to the winner . I was there every day .

During the seventies and into the eighties the Irish Open became the second most important event on the European tour --after the Open obviously . And when operating as the Carrolls Irish Open it attracted all the best players in the world . So Seve and Bernhard and Sandy and Greg and Woosie and Nick were all  more or less regulars .  Fair play to Joe , he charmed them all , not that they needed a lot of charming , particularly given the brilliant venue that Portarnock was / is .  All world No 1's in their time  , and there were a few Yanks as well , but Jack never came , the only blot on his escutcheon in my book .

The European tour at present has a lot of events taking place which are really not up to the mark venue and location wise . Portush and Newcastle ( and Belvoir ) are excellent golf courses , RCD was regularly voted No 1 in the WORLD  up to the seventies , before golf courses started getting zillions thrown at them design wise . RCD "fee" for design was 4 guineas , a one day trip over from Scotland and a 4 hour "walk" .  Subsequently Harry Colt did a few relatively minor tweaks , RCD then became a "Colt" course .  Colt courses are invariably among the best in the world , partly via Mckenzie who was a "disciple "/ associate of Colts . Augusta and several of the excellent Aussie courses bear the Colt stamp .

Calling RCD a kip calls into question the poster . Once upon a time visitors were just about tolerated at RCD , provided they passed the initial inspection when purchasing green fee tickets . However last time I brought a visitor there , my visitor was president of his home golf club in England , and was surprised when he didn't need to be dressed to the nines when we went in  to the main clubhouse for lunch after our round . And some of the staff were wearing local GAA shirts  , also changed times --ALL insignia branded logo infested tops are banned ( properly) in our club for sectarian associated reasons . Even Man U tops .

The only problem I see for this years tournament resides with the complete traffic kip ( and I use the word advisedly) that is called Ballynahinch , the Irish root of that name giving a big clue as to why there is a traffic problem . Getting to RCD from north of Ballynahinch is going to be a problem unless someone devises a better way than presently exists .

RCD coped with up to 10,000 visitors daily during Walker Cup and Senior British Opens in the last 15 years . Jack finally appeared in a tournament on Irish soil  , with Arnie and Gary to boot , fitting I suppose that he chose Irelands No 1 course ( probably) to appear . 25,000 will be a stretch , but as Irish  golf crowds are well behaved there should be no problem , and no "in the holers" or "mashed potatos" whatever that means .

Worth the trip  , weather permitting . If the wind blows there will be the odd big score .
By:
Catch Me ifyoucan
When: 17 Apr 15 15:46
Kelly, shocking omission not a mention of the Mourne club ?
By:
Kelly
When: 17 Apr 15 17:35
Mourne only use RCD course , catchme , they have no jurisdiction . Know a few of the Mourne members , dont know any RCD members myself now .

Interesting story re formation of Mourne club , one of the central figures involved was a friend of my father and uncle , a bookmaker in Newcastle . He and others had been chundering for local representaion in RCD , eventually just post war ( I think) they got a hearing . There was debate about conditions etc , then the "committee" threw a curve ball , they needed a "deposit" , to formalise the "application " .  £100 , a mighty sum in those days . According to reportage , the bookmaker in question reached into his hip pocket and plonked a £100 note on the table .  The rest is history as they say .  There is a portrait in his honour in the Mourne clubhouse ( which is seperate by about 100 yards from the RCD clubhouse ) . P J McAvoy . From Glasgow I think originally .

Only big competition I won in my golfing career was run by Mourne , McKeown Cup  , during Open week . Gross 75 off the back sticks , won by 8 shots .  The prize money was exactly the yearly sub I was paying for my annual membership at my home club , so free golf that year . 

Mourne is a fairly vibrant club , restrictions apply on Saturday play before a certain time  , Mourne competitions are therefore not on Saturdays . To be a memeber of Mourne you have to apply as a part time member of RCD , thus giving control to the host club , and you have to have a full time residence within 4 miles of Newcastle . Suspect it helps keep the price of peripheral property in Newcastle up to the mark . Those were the rules some time ago , I think they still apply , but thats the general gist .
By:
Ozymandius
When: 17 Apr 15 17:39
Kelly, out of interest, how do you cope with text messages?
By:
Kelly
When: 17 Apr 15 17:56
Have never done a text message in my life , Ozy . I use a phone to talk to people .

Took you 4 minutes , you are slipping .
By:
Ozymandius
When: 17 Apr 15 17:59
I figured as much.

Probably wise to give Twitter a swerve, also.
By:
Kelly
When: 17 Apr 15 18:11
Think an examination of the dictionary definition for "to twitter" might be interesting Ozy . To me it implies something non serious . Might be wrong though , have never referenced it , so I would be going on hearsay .
By:
Catch Me ifyoucan
When: 17 Apr 15 18:58
Kelly fyi

The numbers competing in the Shilling Sweep increased. Town membership was easily obtained. Bill Cleland, for example, applied verbally for membership through the caddie master on a Friday afternoon and on the following Wednesday was informed that his application had been successful.

In tandem with an increase in membership of the Shilling Sweep came an increase in golfing skill. Many of the golfers under Jack McLachlan's handicapping system became 'plus men', notably the Toner brothers, Jimmy and John Joe, Alfie Corry and Brian McManus. The last name in particular was a major factor in the train of events which led to the formation of Mourne Golf Club. Brian was the son of Jack McManus, owner of Ye Olde Bar. Following his education in St Malachy's, Belfast, Brian had the time and the inclination to enter many open competitions which he did with distinction collecting en route the scalps of such notable golfers as Joe Carr and John Burke.

He had however one major problem - he did not belong to a duly afflicted club. Newspaper cuttings from the time show that Brian entered these competitions under the auspices of Warrenpoint GC and Downpatrick GC.

In the opinion of many it was this fact that prompted Gerald Annesley, grandson of the first President of Royal County Down, to write to the Council of Royal County Down during the closing stages of World War II, proposing the formation of a local club for the residents if the Newcastle area.

The proposal was accepted and a meeting of local golfers was held in the lifeboat house, later the Women's Institute and now the Elim Pentecostal Church on the Downs Road. The name Mourne was proposed by Mr Gerald O'Donoghue and accepted as the name of the new club.

The first captain was Mr P.J.McEvoy, a local bookmaker, who, although Irish by parentage, was raised in Glasgow and had a distinct Glaswegian accent. He was a keen sportsman with a great interest in soccer and was for a while on the books of Glasgow Celtic.

Luckily for Mourne he had two other qualifications which led him to captaincy. He had a great interest in golf and had sufficient money to grubstake the infant club in it's shaky initial stages.

First and foremost, the club needed premises. Wartime huts situated between Royal County Down and the Slieve Donard Hotel were deemed suitable. Unfortunately on demolition they were purchased by Mr Ivor Taggart, a local builder who was then developing the Tullybrannigan area. It was at this time that P.J.McEvoys third great attribute came into play -he was an able negotiator. A meeting was arranged with Ivor Taggert in a licensed premises(it is presumed) and the combination of good Scotch whiskey and Scotch blarney won the day - the huts were acquired from Ivor Taggart for the price he paid for them - £100, which just happened to be the amount P.J.McEvoy had in his pocket.

Pat McEvoy's efforts on behalf of Mourne were rewarded by making him Captain for the first four years of the existence of Mourne. When he indicated he wished the captaincy of Mourne to go to someone else a grateful AGM created for him the office of President, a post he held until his death in 1965.

An original painting of P.J.McEvoy was commissioned from Bond Walker and hangs in a place of honour in the Clubhouse.

Lest it be thought that the founding of Mourne Golf Club was a one-man show let it be known that he was aided, abetted and constantly encouraged by many others but chiefly by Peter McGrath, manager of Quinn's of the Milestone, and by Fred Wadsworth Sr, a local draper, both of whom were very friendly, in a conventional sort of way with Gerald Annesley, hence the latter's letter to the Council of R.C.D. It was a tribute to the above named triumvirate that they were appointed first trustees of the new club.

A strong supporter of the Annesley proposal within Royal County Down was D Wilson Smyth. He was a powerful ally to have. He was Captain in 1921, 1922 and 1931. He was Honorary Secretary from 1936 to 1953 and, above all else, he was an excellent golfer. In the year of his first captaincy, 1921, he won the Irish Close Championship over the local course. His family inherited his golfing talent especially his daughter Moira. One day while she was practising on the Number 2 course she met P.J.McEvoy who was so impressed with her play that he invited her to join the Shilling Sweep where she would meet golfers worthy of her talent. She was delighted but, more importantly, so was her father and it is no coincidence that the two premiere cup competitions in Mourne Golf Club are the Wilson Smyth Scratch Cup and the Annesley Cup. In return both G.F.Annesley and D Wilson Smyth were elected Honorary Life Members of Mourne.

So began Mourne Golf Club, and it was not without an amount of nostalgia that the remaining few Shilling Sweepers saw their home fall to progress leaving them with nothing but their memories.
By:
Kelly
When: 17 Apr 15 20:21
Catchme , we took a house in Newcastle every year from about 1946 through to 1959 , nearly always the same house on the road in from Dundrum . 100 yards up the avenue and you were crossing the railway lines which seperated the golf course from the houses , running into the station which is now a LIDL outlet .

Technically illegal , but it saved a mile or more hike up to Golf Links road and further traipse to reach better beach .  The better beach in Newcastle runs from the Slieve Donard hotel north to near Dundrum . With an eye out for any approaching warden ( the odd shout , but we were fleet of foot) we kept a good weather eye out for the odd ball in the rough , the course was nowhere near as busy then as it is now .

When my brother and I started golf , we got monthly juvenile tickets , allowing the odd excursion onto the main course , but mostly learning the trade on the smaller (ladies ,No2 , Annesley) course . Excellent still the small course , have added 3 new holes , yet to play them , but will soon DV . One year P J "waved a magic wand  ," bestowed "honourary membership " on us , we chanced it and played for free that particular year . Often wondered about what would have happened if we had to explain the lack of documentation  , but suspect that the said gentleman had settled up for the 2 of us in recognition of his friendship with our father and uncle .  Different world then too .

Only real change to the RCD course since then was the remodelling of the 16th hole , for the Walker Cup I think .  Old 16th was a super 3 hole , but invariably was played as a 4 at about 275 yards , a tee move up might have been a better option , but would have reduced the par to 71 instead of the hallowed 72 .  SSS in those days varied between 73 and 75 dependent on conditions .
By:
one last chance
When: 17 Apr 15 22:01
Where did the hen run name come about ??
By:
Catch Me ifyoucan
When: 17 Apr 15 22:44
Drove the old 16th (and the new too) - was a little dangerous as the 17th tee box was also nearby.



OLC,
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/hen+run
By:
Kelly
When: 18 Apr 15 02:15
17th tee was just to the right and back of the old 16th , so with a following wind and dependent on tee in use for 16th hole it was possible to "catch one" and fly the green , which was dangerous . However if the hole had been used as a par 3 the danger would have been more or less removed , but it was going to reduce course to par 71 .

Last day I played the new 16th , 2 of our 4 drove the green , but one of them is a pro and the other is probably the longest in his club . I was still hitting a 70 yard pitch in , but it is not a great hole .

Presumably the Annesley course was called the hen run because it was viewed as the ladies course .
By:
Catch Me ifyoucan
When: 18 May 15 16:49
Kelly,

Rory Mc's win at the weekend another BIG BOOST for Ticket Sales. Is there a traffic plan in place, parking, etc ? Are the players staying in the Slieve ?
By:
Catch Me ifyoucan
When: 19 May 15 12:46
REED OUT however, the Ryder Cup star has opted to compete in the Crowne Plaza Invitational instead this week and will also miss out on the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

“I am really looking forward to playing on the European Tour this year which makes me even more disappointed to withdraw from Wentworth and the Irish Open,” the 24-year-old American said. "We will not be able to travel overseas at this time. My sincere apologies go to the organizers of both events, and to the fans. Thank you all for your support.”
By:
Catch Me ifyoucan
When: 19 May 15 12:52
Hasnt Garcia got some can of tax moan up about playing in Britain.
GB Tax laws mean he has to pay a proportion of his annual global earnings if he plays this week
Tiger had some moan too, he would have to pay 1 million in tax to play Ryder Cup in UK


THIS MAY BE THE REASON.
By:
Catch Me ifyoucan
When: 21 May 15 21:22
Reed later relayed the following to Golf Channel's Tim Rosaforte in a text:

"We have a family member who has been battling cancer and is now in hospice, and they say only has a few days if that left. So we don’t feel comfortable leaving the country at this time, and wanted to be able to go down and see him before he passes to say our goodbyes."
By:
Kelly
When: 22 May 15 02:09
Been away for most of a week , catchme , Bonnie Prince Charlie seems to be following me around . I was in the Burren for most of the week until today when I returned to Belfast . Sightseeing in the Burren on Monday , discovered the place was well populated by Gardai . Today he was in Belfast as I am .

Dont know any of the arrangements to date re traffic / parking etc .  No doubt there will be info available somewhere  , best news I have heard is that unlike at Portrush any spectators will be able to nip out and re enter .  Portrush shopkeepers etc complained bitterly that they lost out big time because of that punitive rule , considering too that their normal trade was interrupted by traffic considerations . Newcastle town is very accessible from the course , half a mile would take you from the RCD clubhouse to well down the main street .

I assume there will be park and rides in operation as at Portrush . I am also assuming I will be able to manouevre some adjacent parking via contacts and some I know who are stewarding , they will possibly have priority parking . Still have to sort it out though .

I also assume the Slieve Donard and other local hotels will be hosting the players . Called into the Slieve about a month ago , queried facilities ( if any ) available for us general public re access to the hotel during the tournament , took my e-mail address , still waiting for any missive .

Weather dependent we are hoping to go Tuesday to Friday , Saturday and Sunday too busy probably .

If Rory continues his current run its going to be crowded following him !
By:
pa lapsy
When: 25 May 15 12:00
Jimmy Bruen 76 years ago seems to hold the course record of 66 here(?), a right tough test,it reminds me a bit of Royal St Georges with plenty of bunkers,deep rough and gorse bushes. 7/2-4/1 looks the likely price for Rory,that would be very short to me giving the amount of potential trouble in not being straight off the tee which he certainly was at Wentworth.
Right or wrong i,d be looking at driving accuracy,Rory's 55% this year would say he is going to find a fair bit of trouble here and i'll be looking elsewhere.
By:
stan246
When: 25 May 15 14:08
Not suprising the Irish firm going 5 places, poor stuff.
By:
callitasucit
When: 25 May 15 14:14
PP are going 6 places. Are also top price about Ricky Fowler. Good enough starting point for me.
By:
Kelly
When: 25 May 15 15:35
Jimmy Bruen's round of 66 pre war has stood the test of time ,pa.  Obviously there have been a few amendments , notably the new 16th .  Have a feeling that Bruens 66 then will rank in tandem with Rory's 61 at Portrush as major reference points in Irish golfing history .

Was in Newcastle last night , but did not access course , bits and pieces of security about and I forgot my season tickets . Greens were fast last month apparently , interesting to see if they get them to near 12 on the stimpmeter . I have played there occasionally when it was like putting on linoleum, mid summer admittedly . If the greens are fast you need bottle to keep holing out . But they are true . 

Good field , course deserves that . Practice day tomorrow , Rory is in Ardglass ( nearby) today for a while . Hope weather is kind , gorse is near full bloom .
By:
huddys
When: 25 May 15 18:21
Backed Sergio 12/1 and Fowler 14/1 both e/w,
By:
frank60
When: 25 May 15 21:39
LARA José Manuel finished 7th in the Spainish open just 2shots behind the group in second place,his round included a 2nd round of 76 which messed up his chances of winning,.. on betfair he is 1000/1 to win the irish open, worth a small bet of anyones money...goodluck to any of the formites heading up north.
By:
Catch Me ifyoucan
When: 26 May 15 19:26
The OPEN Qualifying Series:
Three players, who are not already exempt and who finish in the top ten at The Mizuno Open in Japan AND The Irish Open Hosted by The Rory Foundation, will secure places in The Open Championship at St Andrews from 16-19 July.
In the event of a tie, the qualifying place(s) will go to the player with the highest ranking in the Official World Golf Ranking at the start of that week.
By:
Catch Me ifyoucan
When: 26 May 15 19:32
Course horses players from 2007 Walker Cup are OWGR #1 RORY, #9 RICKIE, #39 Danny Willett, #222 David Horsey & #483 John Parry.
By:
freddiek
When: 26 May 15 21:16
Kelly, did ye ever hear of a Hugh Boyle who apparently played in the Ryder Cup of 1967?

he died recently and there was mention of it in the papers. He was born in Omeath, Co.Louth which is not far from me so I should know of him really, but never heard of him until now and nor did anybody i asked yet
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