Mid Western Alliance
Joe’s blog today reports on the upcoming Mid Western alliance. This alliance is exclusively run at the majestic Dromoland Castle Hotel and Country Estate. The alliance has grown significantly over the past few years and provides amateur golfers in the region an opportunity to compete in a highly competitive field in preparation for the season ahead. There have been a few great tussles on the closing Sunday over the last few years and with Pros and Champion Amateur golfers such as Pat Murray, Eddie McCormack, Ronan Mullarney and Tony Cleary competing, the Alliance is a prestigious event in it’s own right. Indeed I seem to remember Tony Cleary closing out the title with a closing 66 a couple of years back.
While our elite amateurs are blazing a trail across the globe, alliances such as the mid-western alliance provide the rest of us with an opportunity to sharpen our tools in an effort “to have a pop” at our elite on home soil once the Championships get going again at home. That being said, even if there is a tinge of envy, I am sure we all wish the lads well on their travels. Indeed as we speak Stuart Grehan is just one behind going into the final round of the South African Amateur Championship. Best of luck to Stuart (Current East and South of Ireland Champion) tomorrow from all at “The Noticeboard”.
Back to Dromoland! I was on to Seamus McEnry the driving force behind the event along with David Foley. Seamie, outlined the following:
2016 dates are February 6th,21, 28 & March 7th.
It’s €30 to enter which is to be paid on each day.
There are 2 categories the 0-3 hcp and 4-9 hcp.
The format is stableford gross ( no handicaps) with 1 point for a bogey, 2 for a par, 3 for birdie, 4 for an eagle and 5 for an albatross.
Ring 061 368444 to enter.
In recent years the MWA has experienced severe wind storms which saw 200 trees fall on the Dromoland estate. We’ve experienced dense fog and ice too and the course is always in great shape thanks to Paul Coleman and his staff at Dromoland Castle.
Coleman has also been very flexible in allowing the O.B to be pushed in 7 yards on the right of the tough dogleg 2nd hole.
In the past non members hitting their drive off the 18th hole would not know which line to take. Thankfully a pole has been put on the slope at the far side of the fairway to highlight the perfect line from the tee.
Also the water hazard from the 18th tee has been made an O.B to avoid any confusion.
All of these changes make the course set up very fair and have contributed to making the MWA a fantastic event.
Titleist have been terrific sponsors and this year we’ve added Kerry based Premier Irish Golf Ltd and Ennis based company, Set up Eye. In this tough economic climate it is very difficult to get good sponsors and we are delighted to be able to say that we have.
Stepping stones for championship golf?
In 2015 The South of Ireland re-introduced the 36 holes stroke qualifier at Lahinch. Wouldn’t it be great to see a Mid West golfer progress from winning both the MWA 4-9hcp & 0-3hcp categories and then be leading qualifier at The South?
Anyone can win a singles using their handicap but it’s virtually impossible to win a 54 holes gross event on a challenging golf course in good company without having to fine tune your mental, physical and technical golf game.
Bob Rotella says that ‘Golf is a game of confidence’ and it’s my strong held believe that winning a 54 holes gross competition will help develop a golfers confidence and provide excellent preparation for playing provincial championship qualifiers.
5. Amen Corner:
One very interesting fact that has emerged in recent years of hosting the MWA at Dromoland is what can accurately be described as “scorecard carnage” on the 3 water holes 9,10 & 11.
It it a fact that the in both the 2014 and 2015 final rounds the 0-3 hcp category saw a 3 shot swing in favour of the eventual winner on these 3 holes.
This exciting discovery has made the final round most enjoyable to follow in recent years and it should be the case again this year as it’s highly probable that Brian Keogh, of the Irish Golf Desk will be to reporting live on Twitter the final round action.
See the course below. Hopefully the weather will behave and let us enjoy the competition, the course and the company!
That’s it for this week folks. More from Joe’s blog Tuesday. In the meantime I will post expert guest blogs to our facebook group as they come our way.
Also some exciting new competitions coming up very soon!
Regards to all,