Youghal GC is in very good hands
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.