News from the fairways

This week’s golfing news from across the fairways of Offaly.

This week’s golfing news from across the fairways of Offaly.

Esker Hills Golf Club was recently rocked by the tragic death of one of its lady members, Suzanne Heffernan. Suzanne a past lady captain in 1999 was an integral part of the ladies club in Esker. She brought a wicked sense of humour and fun to the game she loved and anyone who played golf with Suzanne could not fail to be affected by her infectious laugh and her constant joy for life.

Suzanne won the Captains Prize in 2002 and she was immensely proud of this. She was also very proud of her work for SADS, through the Mark Heffernan Trust, which held a very successful golf classic in Esker in 2010. The trust was set up by Suzanne and her husband Martin in memory of their beloved son Mark who died suddenly in 2008.

The huge turnout for her funeral reflected the esteem and genuine affection felt for her by her golfing friends, nursing colleagues and her large circle of friends. Our condolences go to her husband Martin, her children Kate and Shane and to all her family and friends. Suzanne will be greatly missed by all the members, staff and management alike and her passing will be mourned at Esker Hills for a very long time. May she rest in peace.


Team News: The Junior Cup regional qualifying was held in Tullamore this week-end and the home team took full advantage of home venue to go through to the Leinster Quarter Final’s in Greenore on July 23. 15 teams started in this qualifying section on Saturday morning with four teams going through to the semi-finals on Sunday. Tullamore were the leading qualifiers and were drawn to play against Mullingar on Sunday morning The other semi-finalists were Castle Barna and Moate.

Tullamore had a hard battle to defeat Mullingar with the final match going to the 18th – Paul Daly who was at one stage 5 down but won the vital match on the 18th. On Sunday afternoon, our team met Castle Barna in the final and won the first three matches. Team members - Eoin Flanagan, Paul Daly, Dave Hughes, Fergal Scally, Noel Cleary, Liam Mooney and Colm Cassidy. Team Manager Ronan Coleman and Selector Conor Ruane.

Under 15s: The Tullamore team of Mark Sallon, Darrah Burke, Mathew Grehan, Conor Flanagan, Emmet Minch & Mark McNally had a very hard fought 3/2 victory over Castle Barna in this competition held in Tullamore on Sunday.

Weekend Competition: This competition saw all the winners coming from Sunday’s players with John McNiff just edging out John Kelly on 37 pts. 3rd on 36 was P J McIntyre on 36 beating Matt Doyle & Phonsie Daly on the back 9 - great scores in such blustery conditions.

Open Week: Commences this Friday 27. Times still available for all competitions.


Wednesday, May 18 - 18 Hole Stroke Competition. Poole Cup. Sponsor: Lady Captain Elect Cait Cooney: 1st Nina Dunne(29) 68 net. 2nd Alison McCarthy(25) 71 net; Gross Una Marsden(3) 85 gross; 3rd Jacinta Cox(31) 71 net.

Next Week’s Competition: Today (Wednesday), Fourball Betterball. Sponsor Hugh Lynch Vintner.


Inter Club: In a mixed weekend for Castlebarna our Michael Moore team gained the upper hand against Abbeyleix on Friday evening winning all four of our home games . Team : Dave Berry , Michael Farrell , Liam Lynch , Dave Walsh , Adrian Stewart , Liam O Shaughnessy & Anthony�(Slim) Lynch.� Anthony has been�training hard for this event so much so that braces were the order of the day to hold up the trousers.

On Saturday�at Tullamore G.C�our Junior cup team played exceptional golf to qualify in third place for Sunday’s semi-final against Moate. On Sunday morning we played & won against Moate 3 to 2 in what can be best described as atrocious conditions. Alas it was not to be our day as a very strong home team won the first 3 mathplay games with the last two matches called in. It was a great achievement to get to the final & congratulations is due to the management of Ali Powell & John Fagan and players John M Lynch , Dan O Shaughnessy, Robert Hogan, Sean Lynch Shay Egan & Aidan McCormack.

Our U-15 Leinster Singles team lost 3 to 2 against Tullamore in a round robin matchplay on Sunday evening .

Tuesday Senior Open Single Stableford: Winner: Bill Foley (40 pts); 2nd Tom Dunne. (39 pts)

Thursday Open Stableford: 1st Eoghan Mangan (42 pts); 2nd David Brazil�(38 pts); 3rd John Fagan (38 pts)

Thursday 9 Hole: 1st Seanie Geoghegan 23pts; 2nd Liam Scally� 23pts; 3rd Alan McInerney 21pts; 4th David O Connell 21 pts. All of the above four are currently under the eye of the man with the saw .

9 Hole Spring Chicken: This was won by Colm (the goose) Carey and will definitely have his wings clipped tight in the near future. At last weeks presentation his father Donie had to bring down his tractor & transport box to carry all of the prizes “the goose” collected on the night.

Sunday Single Stableford: 1st Alan O Connell 39 pts; 2nd Conor Casey 39 pts. Cat A David Brazil 37 pts; Cat B Stephen Harte 37 pts; Cat C Julian Rowden 38 pts; Cat D Dave Satori 32 pts.

Footnote: Our Vice captain Anthony Lynch has decided to open a gym�(Slim Gyms)�after loosing 6 waist inches in 3 weeks . Membership can be purchased at very keen rates�. Phone 80 80 028. The draw for the foursomes mathplay and the singles match play is on view on the clubhouse notice board with some very interesting matches to take place in the near future.

Open Days: The Seniors Open continues every Tuesday while the Open Single Stableford is on each Thursday. Visitors are always welcome. Booking available on-line at or by phoning the clubhouse on 057 9353384.


Michael Moore Cup: Esker Hills played Mount Temple Golf Club in the first round of the Michael Moore Cup on Saturday last. Esker Hills won their three matches at home and a crucial match away to advance to the second round. Conditions on the day were very difficult and credit is extended to all players on some excellent golf.

Junior Cup: Disappointment for the Esker Hills Junior Cup Team on Saturday last when they failed to qualify to the semi-finals of the competition. The team played well and lost out on a semi final spot by just a couple of shots.

Barton Cup: The Esker Hills Barton Cup team continued their winning ways by overcoming a superb New Forrest Golf Club team. Esker Hills home pairings of David Hogan & Gary Scanlon and Barry Gillespie & Nigel Dunne both cruised to easy wins to win the two home matches. Excellent golf from Niall Flanagan & Ciaran Boland resulted in the important away win on the 16th hole. The Barton Cup await the winners of Dunmurray Springs and Woodlands Golf Club in the final 16. Esker Hills find themselves playing without home advantage for the fourth consecutive round.

Notes for your Diary: The first round of the Diageo Mixed Foursomes Competition has been set for Friday, June 3 with Esker Hills playing away to Athy Golf Club.

Ger Cunningham Plumbing 18 Hole Stableford Competition: The winds blew across the Esker Hills on Sunday last and only died down intermittently to allow for some nasty showers of rain. The endurance of the members was well and truly tested, however David Brennan showed some excellent course management in the conditions to return an unbeatable score of 39 pts. Category 1 went to Tommy Cushen with 37 pts and Category 2 went to Brendan O’Shea with 35pts. The Category 3 winner was Billy Clavin who also returned a score of 35pts. The Front 9 went to Paul Rudge with the Back 9 went to Ross Scanlon on countback.


The Offaly Strokeplay Championships took place on Sunday in Tullamore in very stormy weather, however, a great crowd turned up to compete for the first championships of 2011. The weather took its toll on the players in the early stages but as the rain subsiding in the afternoon players got to grips more with the blustery wind.

All sections were decided over 36 holes with the exception of the Senior Gents section which saw the top 16 qualifying for a final 18 hole play-off. The Senior Gents section was dominated by local favourite Martin Hoctor from his first round -10 which he followed up with a second round -5 to go into the playoff 6 shots ahead of his closest opponent William Buckley Jnr. on -9. Two furthers shots behind were Joseph McGrath Jnr. and Graham Newman on -7 and one further back was Darren O’Connell on -6. Hoctor added another round of -5 to finish on -20 which was good enough to take the coveted title by 8 shots from Darren O’Connell who shot -6 in the play-off to beat Graham Newman on the back 18 for the runner-up spot.

The final results of the County Strokeplay Championships were as follows: Senior Gents: Winner – Martin Hoctor (Tullamore) -20, Runner-Up – Darren O’Connell (Tullamore) -12, Last 18 – John Fleming (Tullamore) -6, Inter Gents: Winner – Larry Maher Snr. (Erry) -5, Runner-Up – Sean Galvin (Tullamore) -2, Junior Gents: Winner - Dylan Melia (Tullamore) Level, Runner-Up – Gary Pyke (Tullamore) +6, Ladies 0-5: Winner – Margaret Hogan (Tullamore) Level, Runner-Up – Tracey McGrath (Erry) +2, Ladies 6-18: Winner – Una Pyke (Tullamore) -3, Runner-Up – Denise Pyke (Tullamore) +6. The Offaly County Board would like to thank everyone who took part on such an overcast day and also the Tullamore Pitch & Putt Club for hosting the event.

Dates for your diary: The Erry Open Fourball takes place over the June Bank Holiday from Friday June 3 to Sunday June 5 and will be followed by the annual Erry Scratch Cup on Monday, June 6. All are very welcome, further information and prize details can be found on our website

The Leinster Matchplay Finals take place this coming weekend in Kildare. We wish all our representatives the very best of luck, they include: Larry Maher Jnr., Graham Newman, Gerry Gallagher, Patsy Reams, Joseph Pyke, Dylan Melia, Helen Wynne and Annie Galvin.


County Strokeplay: The Ladies and Gents County Strokeplay Finals were held at Arden on Sunday last. The results were as follows: Senior Gents winner Martin Hoctor and Runner up Damien O’Connell. Last 18 John Fleming. Inter winner Larry Maher Snr (Erry) and runner up Sean Galvin. Junior winner Dillon Melia and runner up Gary Pyke. Ladies Senior 0 – 5 Margaret Hogan (Tullamore) and runner up Tracy McGrath (Erry). Ladies 6 – 18 winner Una Pyke and runner up Denise Pyke.

Club Matchplay Final: The final of the club matchplay result are Senior winner Anthony Galvin and runner up Ger Palmer. Inter winner Joseph Pyke and runner up Brendan Galvin. Ladies 0 – 9 winner Denis Pyke and runner up Una Pyke. Ladies 10-18 winner Lauren Pyke and runner up Catherine Galvin. The junior match will be played at a later date.

Monday night foursomes: The Monday evening foursomes have resumed and play starts every Monday evening at 6.30pm. Last weeks winners were: Nett- Una Pyke and Dillon Melia and Gross – Annie Galvin and Joseph Pyke.


Results – May 18 Men’s Open 18 Hole Single’s Stableford (Sponsor B M Carpentry (Noel Mulhall & Grace Daly) 1st Jimmy B O Reilly 39pts; 2nd Dermot Murphy 38pts; Gross Lorcan O Donohue 30pts; 3rd Kieran P Savage 36pts(B9)

April 20 Senior’s Open 18 Hole Single’s Stableford. 1st Larry McLoughlin 43pts; 2nd Anthony Boyne 38pts; 3rd Fr Michael Noonan 36pts(B9)

Weekend - Johnny Webster memorial Trophy 18 Hole Stroke (Medal) (Sponsor Webster Insurances LTD) (Matt & Valerie Moore) 1st Eamon Behan 68pts; 2nd Frank Smith 70(b9); Gross Kevin Connolly 77; 3rd Austin Fenlon 70. Juniors – 1st: Trevor Morton 75; 2nd Ciaran Murphy 76

Competition Notices: May 25 - Men’s Open 18 Hole Single’s Stableford (Sponsor Well-Red Nass) (Darren Conlon & Family)

May 28 & 29 - Irish Heart Foundation 18 Hole Scotch Foursomes (Sponsor Oxigen Environmental Ltd) (John Gorman)


Seerys Golf Society held their first outing for 2011 at Esker Hills GC. In very blustery conditions the cream again rose to the top with Dan Cunningham(39pts) emerging victorious followed closely by almost professional golfer Stephen Brennan (38pts). Cat A was won by Seanie Geoghegan returning to golf after a long lay off with a hamstring injury.

This injury was picked in the Tullamore town league after a strong challenge from his friend Deccy Harvey. Cat B was won by society secretary Kevin Kennedy who is getting back to form after several lessons from his wife Jane. Cat C was won by our latest adopted son in Donegal man Adrian Stewart. Front nine was won by Jane Kennedy with the back nine going to our spiritual leader Fr P O Byrne.

On Saturday, May 7 our society travelled to Birr for our second outing. In tough conditions apprentice barman from Seerys Select Bar & Lounge, Daryl Frances emerged the winner . It was stated at the presentation that perhaps he should stick to the golf . Hot on his heels was another of our spiritual leaders in Bishop James Mahon who also won the 2s club . After collecting his cash bonus James had to be prized away from the bar with tyre levers to prevent him from over spending .

At one stage his neighbour Ollie had to give him a severe talking to stop him from buying. Cat 1 was Liam Scally who dedicated his win to all the lessons hi is getting at the moment . He was overjoyed that the hundreds of euro lessons are finally paying off. Cat B was won by the very sensitive Kevin Mann . Cat Cwas won by Bridie Fay who dedicated her win to the lessons she is getting from her husband , society captain Pat Fay . The big boy of the society Ollie Scally won the front nine and was barely able to collect his prize after all the drink his friend James bought. For the second outing in a row Adrian Stewart was in the prizes with a back nine win & is now under the watchful eye of handicap secretary Roy.

Athlone GC is our next port of call on Saturday June 4. The Society matchplay has been drawn and is on display in Seerys Select. Deposits are now due for our weekend in October & can be paid to any committee member. Society lotto money overdue by some individuals & can also be paid to any committee member. This lotto is what keeps the society afloat , so try and support it.


Vice-Captain Helen Walshe Prize 18 Hole Stroke. 1st Pamela Blanche (18) 70 nett; 2nd Anne Galvin (24) 73 nett; Gross Gretta Foran (13) 86 nett; 4th Marie Conlon (24) 73 nett; 5th Carmel Fitzpatrick (18) 74 net

18 hole Stroke (Sunday, May 22) 1st Pamela Blanche (17) 73 nett; 2nd Joan Bennett (24) 74 nett


ON the weekend of Friday, April 29 to Sunday, May 1 seventy-two members of Ballinagar Golf Society hit the road for The Rebel County. On Friday morning thirty golfers headed for Fota Island GC in what was decided to be the outing where the scores would count for major honours.

On a truly magnificent course scores were hard to accumulate with some lads almost failing to register at all while others took the course in their stride. Whether it was their scorecards or the sun there were some bright red faces when all scores were checked. Winner on the day was the wily Donal Scally followed closely by Alan McKnight.

Winner Donal Scally, 2nd Alan McKnight, Cat A Dan Cunningham, John O’Meara & Brendan Scally, Cat B Seamus McCann, Brendan Cuskelly & Michael Farrell, Cat C Paul Cuskelly, Darren O’Meara & Tom Ballesty, Nearest the Pin Seamus McCann.

On Saturday morning a coach arrived at the hotel at 8am to transport a lot of shook buck rakes to The Old Head of Kinsale. If scoring seemed hard on the first day a serious shock was in store at the Old Head.

After helping Tom Ballesty to tie his laces he headed for the first tee with great gutso but soon came to a sudden halt after finding the ocean with several pinnacles. Not to be outdone Mick Horan proceeded to hit 5 sleeves of Pro-Vs into the sea before the 8th hole.

At a €5 per person entry fee 33 not in good shape ‘golfers’ played (walked) the course. Winner on the day was last year’s captain Seamus ‘The Biff’ McCann with Kilkenny man Morgan Farrell in second place closely followed by Donal Scally in third. After two carry overs in the 2’s club who else but Derek Hannon had the only two of the day.

Seamus & Ann McCann brought their 18month old son for the weekend & it was stated by our local councillor Ger Plunkett that the little lad C.P Darcy had to be put to bed before the child. It was said that the wrong little lad was drinking the alchohol & bottles should nave been swapped. It was a great weekend and roll on next year.

Ballinagar Golf Society will hold its third outing for 2011 at New Forest GC on Saturday, May 28 with tee times reserved between 11am & 12 noon. Names for matchplay & entry fee (€5) will be taken on the day with open draw taking place at the presentation. Hope to see the usual good turnout.


THERE was a three ball scramble at Erry recently. The 36 nett was won by Gavin Fleming, S Kane and K Doyle. The Gross was won by Billy Buckley, J Roe and C Egan. The second nett was won by Jackie Rabbitte, Steven Fleming and James Fleming. The second Gross was won by Helen Wynne, Mark Newman and K Hartnett.


Scratch Cup.: Well done to Alan Lowry of Esker Hills on winning the coveted Birr scratch cup on Sunday. Teenager Alan, a brother of Shane of international fame. Obviously has an equally bright future and we wish him every success.

Time sheets are are now up for the Club mini-classic which takes place over the bank holiday weekend. As this is an important fundraiser for the club all are requested totake part.

For your diary

Thurs May 26 - Seniors outing to Mountrath; 12pm Glenn Eagles. Fri May 27 - 2pm to 4pm Offaly Hurlers. Sat May 28 – Societies; 3.30 to 4.30 Diageo Mixed. Sat/Sun May 28/29 - Presidents’ Prize to ladies and men. Sun May 28 - Birr v Mountrath in O’Moore Cup. Mon May 29 - 5pm Presidents’ Mixed Scramble. Beginners especially welcome.

Results: Senior Scratch Cup: 1st Alan Lowry (Esker Hills) 76+75 = 151. 2nd Billy Donlon 77+75=152. 3rd Niall Flanagan (Tullamore) 75+78=153. Nett. 1st Stuart Carter (Mountrath) 78+73=151. 2nd Declan Gath 75+76=151. 3rd Michael Power (Moate) 75+77=152.

Junior Scratch Cup: 1st Eddie Costello (Rathbane) 79+71=150. 2nd Seamas Breen 82+75=157. 3rd Liam Horgan (Heath) 78+84=162. Nett. 1st Michael Lyons 74+74=148. 2nd Peter Keane 78+72=150. 3rd Joe Slevin 76+75=151. Monday 16 3-Ball - 1st Tom Rigney Tony McCormack Roddy Molloy; Wednesday 18 Ladies day - 1st Bernadette Coughlan 38pts. 2nd Margaret Wilkinson (Coolattin) 36pts. 3rd Valerie Coleman 35pts. Seniors - 1st Jerome Molloy 38pts. 2nd Robert Ryland 36pts. 3rd John Wims 35pts. Chernobyl Classic. 1st Capt.Joe Slevin Joe Cuskelly PJ Lowry Pachal Troy 92pts. 2nd Roger Byrne Ian Smyth Michael Carter Alan Hennessy 92pts. 3rd Pat Scully Martin Talbot Patrick Scully TJ Talbot 90pts; Men’s Stableford - 1st Jimmy Egan 38pts. 2nd Christy Purcell 30 pts. Pat Gleeson 30pts; President’s Mixed - 1st Pres. Tony McTague, Marie Keane Carmel Ryan. 2nd Seamas Breen Mary Ryan Therese Kennedy. 3rd Sheila Brennan Olive Mulhare Sean Stone; Open Week 9h -1st Theresa Fealy Margo Regan Rene Haverty. 2nd Francie Horan Mairead Freemam Mary Callaghan; Presidents’ Mixed - 1st Pres. Tony McTague Liz Nolan Mary McGee Mary Sullivan. 2nd Pat Doyle Christy McGarry Eileen Delaney. 3rd Evelyn Bell Enda Carroll Tom King.

Inter Club: Good luck to our Diageo Mixed under Presidents Gemma and Tony in their match Sat.28 against Mount Temple. At home are: Pat Molloy/Ann Kenny, Martin Talbot/Marie Tooher, Jerome Molloy/Liz Pardy and Tom Wright/Mairead McIntyre. Away are: Stephen Grogan/Mary Ryan, Capt. Joe Slevin/Kathleen Doorley and Bernard Kennedy/Vera Smyth.


Ladies Open Day. The results of the recent Open Day very kindly sponsored by Monaincha Health & Spa, Roscrea are as follows: 1st Bernadette Coughlan (36) – 38 Points, 2nd Margaret Wilkinson –Coolattin (16) – 36 Points, 3rd Valerie Coleman (34) – 35 Points.

Congratulations to the above prizewinners and thank you to all the ladies who played on the day.

18 Hole Singles. The second leg of the 18 Hole Singles takes place on Wednesday, May 25 very kindly sponsored by The Glenns Restaurant – Deborah Horan to whom we are most grateful. Draws at the usual times on Wednesday.

Presidents’ Prize to the Members. Presidents Tony McTague’s Prize to the Ladies and Lady President Gemma Butler’s Prize to the Men takes place on Sunday, May 29. The draw for partners will take place on Thursday evening so please ensure you have your name down prior to this date. Please come out and support our Presidents next weekend.

Presidents’ Mixed Scramble. The very popular Presidents Mixed Scramble continues each Monday evening from 5pm.

The Countess of Granard. The Countess of Granard Trophy continues for the month of May – see locker room for details.

Club Mini-Classic. The second Mini-Classic takes place on the upcoming bank holiday weekend – 5th and 6th June. An ideal opportunity to invite your golfing friends from the surrounding clubs to play in the Glenns. Your support much appreciated.

A.A. Team News. As promised we hope to keep you up to date on upcoming fixtures in the A.A. Club Matches.

The Junior Foursomes next round against Moate takes place in Portarlington on Wednesday, May 25. Team Captain Mary Ryan.

The Challenge Cup team play Tullamore in Mount Temple on Monday, May 30– Team Captain Liz Pardy

The Boyne Team lost out to a strong Rathdowney team on Thursday, May 19 with Tory Baker Team Captain. Commiserations to the team of Mary Ryan, Ena Guilfoyle, Frances Ashe, Aileen Watkins, Ann Kenny, Mary Sullivan, Kathleen Doorley, Mary O’Gorman, Rita Enright and Vera Smyth – what’s another year.

The Diageo Mixed team play the first round against Mount Temple on Saturday with the Presidents Tony and Gemma in charge. 3 pairs away and 2 at home.

The Irish Mixed Foursomes next round against The Heritage has been fixed for Wednesday the 1st June with 3 pairs away and 2 at home.

Best wishes to all the above teams and captains in what is a very busy schedule. Further updates on the teams will be included each week as fixtures and results come to hand.