THE Covid-19 pandemic has ensured that 2020 is a year mostly devoid of positives but if there has been one, at least in golfing terms, then it is surely the welcome and much-needed influx of new young members that are keen to lap up this game.
Without seeking to offend anyone, it’s fair to say membership in Portsalon is that of an ageing profile.
Picture: Joe Coyle, winner of the Charlie Canning Memorial, receiving his prize from Sean and Cathal Canning with club captain Stephen Connolly.
Youth has not been on our side but, this summer, we have seen upwards of 40 new members joining the club with many of them in the Under-30 bracket. This new blood is simply vital for our future and, indeed, the future of all golf clubs in Donegal and further afield.
They are starting out their golfing careers and doing so in eager fashion, determined to score the best they can at any opportunity and get those handicaps falling down. These new members are noticeable by their continued presence on the course, on competition days and any other day aside as they hone their skills.
Our Sunday Members stableford was by won by Ramelton’s Kyle Burke (21) who carded a remarkable 53 points after playing the back-nine in one-under par gross.
Two birdies on the card and 11 pars, living proof that a double-bogey start to a round shouldn’t put anyone off! Congrats to Kyle, who took FIVE shots off his handicap in one afternoon. This is surely a testament to the hard work and practice being put in and Kyle looks well on his way to single-figure handicap.
At Portsalon we are truly thrilled to have a new generation of golfer amongst us. We welcome them with open arms and will applaud every one of them as they find their levels in the game and thrive in the years to come.
They are our club’s future and their enthusiasm won’t be dampened by sideswipes from an altogether more materialistic faction that attempts to move amongst us.
There’s also a fair bit of bite left in some of the older dogs too, with Pascal Cullen (7) landing Sunday’s gross prize with a fantastic one-over par round that yielded him 35 gross points.
Whatever stage your golfing life is at, get out on the course and enjoy it for what is, you’ll still be going to work in the morning regardless. If Covid-19 hasn’t taught you to enjoy the small mercies in life; you’re playing the wrong game.
A busy weekend of action for our teams just gone. First up on Friday evening was Conor McGettigan’s Jimmy Bruen team as they face a tough looking clash with Cloughaneely.
Portsalon came through in strong fashion, winning all matches at the away venue and taking care of business on home soil to move into the next round. It was a different story on Sunday as Daniel Shields’ Pierce Purcell outfit came up just short again Letterkenny.
The first four games were split and, with the remaining match level through 18; it was only via a playoff hole that Letterkenny advance. Commiseration to the Portsalon team. Better news on Sunday evening for Donal Callaghan Snr and his Ulster Cup selection, as they battled past Murvagh in their opening match in the competition, which has been regionalised for 2020 owing to the Covid-19 restrictions.
Scratch Cup 2020
Saturday 29th August is the date for our Senior (0-9) and Intermediate (10-18) Scratch Cups at Portsalon, this year very kindly sponsored by Manor Motors Open, Manorcunningham. The time-sheet is now live and it’s €10 members, €25 visitors with array of Gross and Nett prizes on offer on the day. Call the shop or register via BRS to play.
Wednesday Open – 5th August
Winner: Ultan McGettigan (33) – 46 pts; Runner-up: Joe Coyle (5) – 39 pts; Gross: Jamie Foley (5) – 33 pts; Third: David Deeney (12) – 38 pts; CSS: Men 72, Visitors 75, Ladies 75 RO
Saturday Members – 8th August
Winner: Davitt Walsh (17) – 43 pts; Runner-up: Pascal Hull (25) – 39 pts BOT; Gross: David McCormick (5) – 31 gross pts; Third: Shane Sandilands (11) – 39 pts; CSS: 72
Sunday Members – 9th August
Winner: Kyle Burke (21) – 53 pts; Runner-up: Paul Gallagher (13) – 44 pts; Gross: Pascal Cullen (7) – 35 gross pts; Third: Des Fegan (23) – 41 pts
Congratulations to Marion O’Reilly (16) winner of the Sunday Members Competition with a clear five-point win over the nearest competitor. Recording seven pars and a birdie on the 18th for good measure, well done Marion.
Portsalon Ladies Winter Links Captains Day Thursday 27th August: Deferred from March due to the Covid restrictions this much anticipated event has been rescheduled for Thursday 27th August. All players are reminded that booking is essential and the timesheet will be available from Thursday 20th August.
Competition Rules Amended: Due to the Covid restrictions competition rules have been revised and amended accordingly, for further details of these, please check the notice board in the locker room and familiarise yourself with these.
Dates for your diaries: Book before you play, (timesheet is available to book one week in advance). Follow Club protocols before, during and after your game.
16th August (Sun) and 14th August, (Fri) alt: Members Competitions
12th, 19th and 26th August: Wednesday Opens (Ladies and Gents)
12th September (Sat), Donegal Shield: Ballybofey & Stranorlar GC, Portsalon players are reminded to confirm their availability to play with Marie Gilligan, Competition Secretary.
19th September (Sat) Past Captains
24th September, 29th October and 26th November (Thurs) Portsalon Ladies Winter Links 2020/21.
28th November (Sat) Ladies Christmas Hamper