Youghal GC is in very good hands

Irish Examiner - County - - Sport - Niall O’Shea

DON­NACHA O’BRIEN is the cur­rent Cap­tain of Youghal Golf Club.

It’s taken him a long time and a huge dis­tance travlled to reach this point in his ca­reer.

From a long and wind­ing road from Mitchel­stown to Youghal via Aus­tralia, Dublin and Por­tar­ling­ton the fa­ther of three found his home in the East Cork sea­side town where he has lived for the past four­teen years.

First im­pres­sions of the man, is that he is ex­tremely sin­cere, hon­est and most im­por­tantly he is down to earth, there are no airs and graces with this guy and his pas­sion for sport is ap­par­ent from the very sec­ond he starts to speak.

Don­nacha and his brother are mar­ried to two sis­ters, but from no or­di­nary fam­ily but the Keane fam­ily from Cur­row Co. Kerry and big brother watch­ing over his sis­ters was none other than the rugby leg­end the late Moss Keane and man he came to love ad­mire and call a friend.

“I was lucky I got to meet my hero, I was priv­i­leged to be­come his friend and the only time we fell out was when Cork and Kerry played each other and he had the up­per hand more than I did, but he was a great man and an im­por­tant part of our fam­ily and he is dearly missed,” Don­nacha O’Brien said.

Mar­ried to Paula, the O’Briens have three chil­dren Jemma (21) Ellen (19) and son An­drew, who at 17 years of age is the Youghal Golf Club ‘Ju­nior Cap­tain’ a unique event in the club to have two Cap­tains come out of the same home in the same year.

When Don­nacha and his fam­ily ar­rived in Youghal in 2003 they moved to East Cork for a bet­ter qual­ity of life and im­me­di­ately Don­nacha be­came a mem­ber of Youghal Rugby Club where he served as the club Sec­re­tary for four years and on the com­mit­tee for seven years and was part of the devel­op­ment of the new dress­ing rooms, grants and club devel­op­ment, but he took some time out af­ter those seven years be­cause he is a firm be­liever in new blood and new ideas, then out of the blue he was ap­proached by the then Vice Cap­tain of Youghal Golf Club in 2015 Don­nie McCarthy.

“It was just out of nowhere re­ally, I was a mem­ber of the club, but I was never in­volved at com­mit­tee level so I was a bit taken aback.

“So I took a few weeks to think about it and asked some friends and fam­ily for some good ad­vice and in the end I thought to my­self that it a great hon­our to be asked and the op­por­tu­nity may not come around again and I gladly ac­cepted the of­fer.

“As the Cap­tain one of my pri­mary roles was to get a fully spon­sored cal­en­dar for the year and I think I achieved that as well as I think re­in­forc­ing the ethos that our club is renowned for be­ing a very friendly club with a warm wel­come and the re-in­tro­duc­tion of the Mi­nor Scratch Cup,” added O’Brien.”

Don­nacha O’Brien went on to say that the club’s identy is vi­tal.

“Har­mony within the club and a pur­pose of iden­tity in the club is crucial. “My way of think­ing is that it’s not Men’s or Ladies it’s just Youghal Golf Club and I am de­lighted to say that we have just got our first fe­male Pres­i­dent Eileen Far­rell and that for me is bril­liant, she is the Pres­i­dent of our club and that is great progress and I wish her well.

“Also the clubs Lady Cap­tain Sharon Or­monde has been fan­tas­tic.

“We have a great work­ing re­la­tion­ship and it has been a great help to me over the twelve months.

“I am sure Sharon will agree that we have some great peo­ple at the club and they have been here for quite some time, like our PGA Pro­fes­sional Liam Burns is the ‘Ju­nior Of­fi­cer’, Pa­trick For­rest and his staff are great in terms of ca­ter­ing and our club house bar.

“Mau­rice Smiddy and his crew have the course in pris­tine con­di­tion and on the play­ing side we have some great ac­tive se­nior groups who are fan­tas­tic to sup­port our club like as well as a fan­tas­tic ‘Mixed Four­somes’ com­pe­ti­tion ev­ery week with great crowds, great at­mos­phere and we ap­pre­ci­ate the club house full on Fri­day nights for the weekly pre­sen­ta­tions.”

One ex­cel­lent in­cen­tive the mem­bers have at the Youghal club is an al­liance with seven other golf cour­ses where you can play for free.

“The Al­liance is work­ing well, with New­cas­tle West, Thurles, Black Bush, Cool­lat­tin, Man­nan Cas­tle, Wex­ford and Por­tar­ling­ton.

“Youghal out of all those clubs is prob­a­bly the only one who can of­fer golf all year round and de­spite a rare bit of frost or the very rare sea fog we get out course is open 12 months of the year and with the fan­tas­tic fa­cil­i­ties here at our club I think we of­fer fan­tas­tic value and peo­ple should check out our web­site at www.youghal­go­lf­club.com or our so­cial me­dia sites.”

There is so much more one could say about Don­nacha O’Brien who re­ally wanted to thank ev­ery­one equally for their sup­port over his year as Cap­tain of Youghal Golf Club, but the most ob­vi­ous com­ment you can make about this very pop­u­lar cap­tain is that he is a very nice guy and the golf club in the East Cork sea­side town is in very good hands in­deed and that will be his le­gacy. FERMOY Golf Club are hold­ing a spe­cial fundrais­ing club devel­op­ment clas­sic later this month to as part of the 125th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions.

The club clas­sic is a three per­son event and takes place on the 25th and 26th of this month.

En­try is open to all and the fee is €125 per team which in­cludes a meal. The for­mat is a cham­pagne scram­ble with a power play on the fi­nal two holes.

All funds raised at the event will be used in the re­con­struc­tion of the tee boxes on the 6th, 7th and 8th holes with plans in place to level and re-sod the three tees. En­tries are open to mem­bers and non mem­bers and tee box spon­sor­ships are also avail­able. Fermoy has had a busy year cel­e­brat­ing their 125th an­niver­sary.

This week their JB Carr team take part in the Mun­ster fi­nal against Dun­gar­van and ear­lier this month the course hosted the Mun­ster fi­nals of the Ju­nior Four­somes and Fred Daly Tro­phy.

Next month they host their Se­nior Scratch Cup which will also be a big event for the club.

Cap­tain Frank Fen­lon is de­lighted with the year so far, es­pe­cially with the feed­back on the course.

“I have to say that any­one who plays in Fermoy Golf Club at the mo­ment has the high­est of praise for the Course. “We have an open sin­gles run­ning ev­ery Tues­day/Wed­nes­day/Thurs­day un­til the end of Au­gust with a first price each week of €125 to tie in with our 125 cel­e­bra­tions, the course needs to be seen to be ap­pre­ci­ated.”

Septem­ber too will be busy for the North Cork club as Frank ex­plained.

“We have the John Whyte Memo­rial Scratch Cup which is on the week­end of the 9/10th of Septem­ber where the re­cent win­ner of the South of Ire­land cham­pi­onship James Su­grue will be de­fend­ing his ti­tle.

“First prize is €500 with an en­try fee of €30 which in­cludes a steak din­ner af­ter the round.

“We ex­pect the time sheet to fill up, so the ad­vice is to con­tact the club asap.”

The se­nior scratch cup al­ways at­tracts a large at­ten­dance and a top class field is ex­pected.

Mean­while, Jor­dan Spi­eth missed out on be­com­ing the youngest win­ner of a ca­reer grand slam but still had rea­son to cel­e­brate as his good friend Justin Thomas claimed a first ma­jor ti­tle in the US PGA Cham­pi­onship.

Thomas carded a clos­ing 68 in a pul­sat­ing fi­nal round at Quail Hol­low to fin­ish eight un­der par, two shots ahead of Pa­trick Reed, Louis Oosthuizen and Francesco Moli­nari.

Don­nacha O’Brien re­lax­ing at home in the front Strand area of Youghal, just a five-minute walk to Youghal Golf Club.

Don­nacha O’Brien: ‘The fan­tas­tic back­drop of Youghal Bay greets ev­ery player on the open­ing hole at Youghal Golf Club.

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