BY MICHAEL O’LEARY
Gowran Pitch and Putt Club have enjoyed plenty of success since establishing as a Pitch and Putt Club over 50 years ago at Regional, Provincial and National level, and as it’s a sport that anyone of any age can play, it’s a perfect way of meeting new people and getting involved with the sport while operating in both a competitive and fun environment.
Having enjoyed so much glory over the past half a century, the Club continues to thrive and they had another highly successful year in 2023.
It’s a very popular Sport particularly among Juveniles, and the underage players had plenty to celebrate this year especially Jack McShane who represented Ireland recently in Catalonia in Spain. Jack won The National U-16 Strokeplay Championship in Seapoint Co. Louth, while he was part of the U-16 Team along with Tomas Carroll, Harry Concannon and Michael Holland that finished runner-up in The National Inter-County competition.
As they are affiliated with Pitch and Putt Ireland, Gowran Pitch and Putt Club is able to host competitions that attract competitors from around the country, and they always get a great response. The Scratch Cup held in Gowran in in July brought several participants nationwide, and the home players performed very well in competition of a very high standard.
Patrick Robinson won The Intermediate competition, while Liam O’Hara won The Junior competition with David Holland Runner-up.
Patrick was runner-up in The National Intermediate Stroke Play competition. while Gowran also enjoyed glory in The Leinster Matchplay Finals in Enniscorthy with Mark Comerford runner-up in The Intermediate Final, while James Casey won The Junior Final.
Gowran Pitch and Putt Club has produced plenty of Leinster and All-Ireland Champions throughout the years, and often produces playing members from outside the parish enhancing the strength and popularity of The Club.
One memorable day in more recent years occured in 2019 when Derek Delaney won The All-Ireland Junior Stroke Play Championship. Another of their highlights took place in October with Matchplay weekend for Club members, and that was a marvellous success with the competitions fiercely contested with Finals taking place in Ladies, Gents and Juveniles.
Stasia Heafey won The Ladies Final against Chrissie Keating, Christy Purcell was The Gents winner as he prevailed against Mark Kirk, while Jack McShane pipped Tomas Carroll to win The Juvenile Final following a thrilling battle.
Meanwhile, Eoghan Morrissey won The Plate section as he took victory on the 4th extra Play-off hole.
After all the competitions had finished that day, a special presentation was made to all players U-16 who competed in Regional, Provincial and National competitions in recognition of their acheivements.
Also, The Patsy Gibbons Secret hole competition that was scheduled for two weekends ago had to be postponed due to a waterlogged course, and is hoping to be rescheduled at a later date.
The competition named in honour of Patsy who sadly passed away recently and who was a long serving member of the Pitch and Putt Club for so many years, with so many of her relatives having been centrally involved within The Club over the years and continue to be very much involved to this present day.
Gowran Pitch and Putt is an 18 hole course that was converted in the late 60s/early 70s having been a Cricket ground prior to that, and over the past 5 decades it has seen so many volunteers who have dedicated their time and effort to keep the course in pristine condition.
One of those volunteers who has given wonderful service for years is Larry Gibbons who constantly ensures that the course is in proper order and fit for purpose.
In May 2021, Larry received a special presentation for his dedication and outstanding contribution to the sport for over 50 years, and he also received lifetime honary membership. He received his presentation from Aine Mackey, who herself has given wonderful service to Pitch and Putt for so many years as Club Secretary. It was thoroughly deserved for his committment and dedication across the decades, and in which he continues to do so professionally to this present day.