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Rory McIlroy wins at Quail Hollow May 3, 2010

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Rory McIlroy has come from way down the field to absolutely obliterate the famous Quail Hollow golf course record and win his first PGA Tour event.  He is two days shy of his 21st birthday.  Well done Rory – we are all delighted for you and proud of you.

Several commentators are calling the round of -10 par, the best round they have ever seen and I can only agree with them.  The lad never made a mistake and he was straight down the middle every time – he has such a good demeanour and temperament that he is sure to be the next big star to emerge from these islands.  In the end, he won the tournament by 4 shots.

Runner-up Phil Mickelson and other tops stars like Padraig Harrington and Jim Furyk stayed around to congratulate the youngster after their rounds so impressed were they with his performance.

Congratulations Rory !

I give up ! April 23, 2010

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Five-year-old sinks hole in one – via here … well done !

Makes me feel like giving up the game !  I couldn’t hit sh*t off a turnip on the weekend 😦

Golf March 30, 2010

Posted by Rambling Man in Poetry & Humor, Sports.
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Golf
by the Rambling Man

Now golf is a game of very much pain
its like hitting your head with a stick
you swing and you hit and curse when you miss,
sure the game makes the brightest look thick !

From the tee to the green, and to putts most obscene
we weekly subject all our patience
pushed left or sliced right, tis really a fight
not to lose it for lack of adjacence.

But when you hit a good shot, far more often than not
you lose all your anger in seconds
for theres nothing as cool, as watching men drool
when a birdie or eagle them beckons …

So with a good score secured, surely the worst you’ve endured
but your next shot is barely a scuff
and the lie you’ve just found, on scruffy old ground
makes long grass seem like lawn tis that rough !

So you hack and you whack, and damage your back
and grumble all the way to the green
but the ball it pops out, and leaves you a shout
at a putt like you’ve ne’er before seen.

So when out on the links, if your spirit it sinks
just remember the secret to golf
no matter how badly you play, theres always a way
to walk off the course feeling worse !

What think ye of Tiger ? March 23, 2010

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So, after all his admitted infidelities and sex addiction therapy and apologies and comebacks, what think ye of Tiger Woods – the greatest golfer the planet has ever seen?

Personally speaking, I was so disappointed in him when he cheated on his lovely wife and it was contrary to everything I thought Tiger Woods stood for – heretofore he had been, in my eyes, a model of a man and a sportsman.  I had the pleasure of briefly meeting him a couple of times in my role as a player care marshall at the 2006 Ryder Cup …

So am I glad that Tiger is coming back to golf ?  Hell yeah !  Golf is not as exciting a sport without him and the US Masters at Augusta would not be the same either.  I think the golfing public can forgive him his infidelities – or at least separate them from golf – and he will once again become a crowd favourite.  That’s what I think anyway – he’s too good a golfer not to rise back to the top of his profession.

On the other hand, I hope he has made some ammends with his wife. I am not sure whether they are back together and it’s none of our business in any case – but I wish them well … she sure would have to be the forgiving type.

Move over Tiger ! June 9, 2009

Posted by Rambling Man in Poetry & Humor, World Affairs.
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Continuing with the theme of North Korean madness …

N. Korea’s Kim Jong-il shot 38 under par his 1st time out !

via WorldTribune.com

-38 !  30 f*cking 8 under par in the one round …. wait now a minute !  That’s eh … 34 shots !  Most professionals would be happy to shoot that over 9 holes !

So he’s a fantastic golfer on top of it all … so come out from behind the curtain Mr.Kim – the world needs ya !  We bow “Dear Leader” in humility before your greatness !

Now where did I put that bloody holodeck key ?

Immelman wins the Masters April 13, 2008

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South African, Trevor Immelman has just won the US Masters at Augusta, to become the first South African to win that competition since Gary Player in 1978. He shot a final round 73.

He wobbled a bit towards the end, putting his approach on the par 3 16th into the water, but held on to win by 3 from Tiger Woods.

Well done to him – it’s hard to lead from start to finish and he deserves it …

PS – Would whoever wrote or edited this piece on the RTE website about the above golf tournament, please edit it, correct the spellings and repost … for the love of Jaysis, you’re the national broadcaster and a supposed pinnacle of telecomunications !

Unsung Irish : Joe Carr February 20, 2008

Posted by Rambling Man in The Unsung Irish.
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Joe Carr, born in Dublin in 1922 was one of Ireland’s best ever amateur golfers and rubbed shoulders with the world’s best, all the while maintaining his amateur status. His adoptive parents – his aunt and uncle – had just returned from India and had been appointed the stewards at Portmarnock Golf Club and this allowed young Joe to take up his interest in the game from a young age.

He was a highly decorated amateur golfer winning the Amateur Championship on three occasions and finished 8th overall in 1960. He was also the first Irishman to compete at the US Masters, when in 1967 he made the halfway cut ! He went on to play in 3 US Masters, 8 British Opens and the US Open of 1967.
He played in a record 11 Walker Cups and went head-to-head with Jack Nicklaus in the 1961 event. He retired from competitive golf in 1971 but his association with the great game didn’t end there. he was named captain of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St.Andrew’s – the home of golf – in 1991. And to cap it all off, he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2007. That is some achievement.

Sadly Joe died in 2004. His family runs a successful golfing holiday business in Ireland.

Property prices still crazy October 27, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery, Ireland & the Irish.
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Property prices are still crazy in this country – I don’t care what anyone says !

While reading through one of the property supplements this week, my eye was caught by a tiny advert regarding a plot of land available in the town of Enniscrone, Co.Sligo. Now just having come back from there (playing golf), I was interested even more.

But wait for it ! The plot of land, allbeit facing the sea and with a wonderful view over Kilalla Bay, was only .3 of an acre. Yes – point 3. That’s roughly seventy feet square – or even less maybe.

The price ? A whopping and equally shocking …. € 1.2 million ! Would whoever owns this land kindly get a reality check.

Rory McIlroy earns Tour Card (nearly) October 10, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Ireland & the Irish, Sports.
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Big congratulations are due to Rory McIlroy who is well on his way to earning his Tour Card for the European Tour just a matter of weeks after he turned professional.

The Co.Down youngster has played in just two tournaments as an amateur but has already earned enough from those appearances to propel himself into 118th place (5th Oct) so as to earn playing rights for next season.

sgwalk109.jpg

The day after he turned pro he competed in the British Masters earning €15,128 and the following week came a fantastic third at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship earning him a whopping €212,664.  Not bad for a couple of weeks as a pro !

So best of luck to you Rory.  Here’s hoping that you will be up with the big boys for many years to come and that you do us all proud – and whatever you do, enjoy yourself !

The Stimpmeter October 3, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery, Sports.
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Many of the golfers among you may have at one point or another in your golfing lives, been caught out by a visiting tourist asking about your greens … “What do they run at on the Stimpmeter ?” you may have been asked, and looking agog at the tourist, not been able to make head nor golfing tail out of what they were asking …

Well, the Stimpmeter is the official USGA reading of the speed of a golf green. The higher the reading – in feet – the faster the green, and the more likely you are to miss the feckin’ putt.

The device is named after its creator – Edward Stimpson – who wanted to measure the speed of greens he deemed unfair, having watched the US Open at Oakmont in 1935.

Here is a Stimpmeter …

stimpmeter.jpg

One must roll the ball down the chute (a known speed and force) and then take several readings from different parts of the green, as to how far the ball rolls – on the flat, on inclines and rises and average out the figure to give a final Stimpmeter reading in feet.

Thus a green running at 5 feet on the Stimpmeter is a slow green and the harder you have to hit the ball and vice versa.  Tiger Woods and the lads on the PGA tour face greens of 10 feet and upwards every week which is insane !  My local club has greens that run at somewhere between 4 and 5.5 feet in the summer – like treacle in other words … and the ruination of many’s a decent round.

The Stimpmeter – so now you know !

Golf in Sligo – a review September 27, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery, Ireland & the Irish, Sports.
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I have recently returned from hacking significant bits of carefully laid turf out of three of Co.Sligo’s more renowned golf courses. Family members and various hangers on have, over the past 5 years or so, made a tradition out of visiting some of the most famous and talked about golf courses in these islands and making bits of them ! We are an enthusiastic bunch of golfers on the hunt for a good course, a few pints and a nice setting for our competition.

This year it was the turn of Co.Sligo (aka Rosses Point), Enniscrone and Castle Dargan.

Co.Sligo – also referred to as Rosses Point.
This was by far the most windy day we played and I had heard of Co.Sligo numerous times before, as the Irish Close Championships, the West of Ireland etc. had been and are played here on a fairly regular basis.

I have to say I was slightly disappointed with this course. It’s not your typical links, being quite flat and open. There are some great holes, especially at the start and end of the course, but overall there was a few too many same type holes on the links for me. The greens were in good enough order, quite true but by no means like lightning. The wind will always be more of a factor here more than anything else.

The highlight of this course for me was the par 5 3rd hole, complete with landing area and bail out for the sissies … the type of hole you only know the line of, when you’ve played it a couple of times. The par 5 5th has a 100 foot drop from tee to fairway which really messes up your perspective and makes a par a good score. As with all links, if you stray even 1 foot off the fairway, you are in 4 feet high, thick whins and dune grass – forget about it !

Overall, with a green fee of €55, good showers and dressing rooms etc. we were very satisfied with the course – it just did nothing for me, despite playing it reasonably well.

Enniscrone
Day 2 was on to the wonderful links that is Enniscrone. I can honestly say that this course ranks up there with the best I’ve played, in terms of quality, condition and scenery – but it will batter the shit out of you. And the wind didn’t even blow the day we played. I think most links golf courses are relatively really unfair and this one is no exception. Hit your tee shot a couple of yards offline and your ball and score is dead – period ! On the 200 yard par 3 3rd – a lovely hole – my shot went 6 feet left of the pin and over a dune into what can only be described as an abyss of misery, gorse and 150 feet of a drop. End of !

There are some fantastic holes on this course with some fantastic options for braver men than me … but, as I suppose all top courses are, it is unbelievably punishing. I mean how many average handicappers do you know who can put the ball down the middle every time. Even when I did that the run off was severe if you over hit it or under hit it – put it this way – it presents you with thoughts on the tee that the average golfer never has to face. How far to hit a driver, for instance. Whether to draw it or fade it when you can comfortably do neither. To hack out and take your punishment or send it over that dune and see what happens because you need to score on that hole. Except when you hack out it goes 3 feet further into the rough because a farmer with a scythe couldn’t even reach the ball !

It has terrifying rough – tall and stout dune grass than catches your club and forces the ball to come out with a flier … the greens were very good, much better than Co.Sligo and a stern test. And furthermore, there is not a flat lie on the course – the ball is always above or slightly below your feet and you need to be confident in your striking. I am not surprised that there were guys in our party who didn’t break 15 points for the full round.

Overall, the facilities are good but not great. Older and more historic clubhouses tend not to be too modern. At €60 it’s a course I would love to play again because now I have more of an idea how to play it. As far as our competition went, for the third year running I blew out on a tough links, putting me out of touch with victory. Be prepared to love it and to hate it at the same time.

Castle Dargan
This is Darren Clarke’s latest course and came as a welcome relief to those of us who were sick of hacking our way around dunes and gorse bushes.  This is  fabulously laid out parkland course with some testing water holes.  The wind blows like made here too.

They have a real problem with drainage on this course and it’s a shame because the fairways are now serrated with drainage lines.  It will come in time, I suppose.  My favourite here are the par 5 6th which is short enough to go for in 2 with the problem being a tricky 170 yard carry over a lake into the wind to make the green.  Went for it I did, of course, made the bank before the green and fell back into the water !  Bastards !

There is also a lovely par 4 hole – the 14th I think – which is only 20 yards long but built in such a way that the green is all carry and a fade is required between 2 bunkers to run it up to the green.  Water on the right means that you can’t lash at it.

This was the course I played best on and that’s because there’s no whins or dune grass !  The dressing rooms are a little disappointing with timed showers but at 5 you can’t really go wrong.  It has a nice looking hotel too … despite the smokers.

So Sligo, a bit remote but a good place to golf for a few days.