*Keith Buckley. Photograph: Joe Buckley
Golfing history will be made in Shannon in August of this year when the annual inter Pro competitions will be hosted by the club as this will mark the first time that the men’s and ladies events will be held together.
This has come about following the amalgamation of the GUI and the ILGU. “We are planning our calendar around the hosting of the inter provincials and I am confident that Covid 19 regulations will allow for the staging of these championships”, the club’s men’s captain Keith Buckley told The Clare Echo.
Keith, lady captain Maura McMahon and president Christy Moylan have remained in these positions for a second term and they are leading plans for the hosting of the inter provincials
Established in 1966, Shannon Golf Club, which was designed by John D. Harris, is well used to the hosting of major events and has welcomed golfers from all over the world including many professionals and a host of U.S. stars.
The club has hosted both the Irish and European amateur championships as well as the men’s amateur Irish close championships. The staging of an annual PRO-Am tournament in the eighties proved a huge attraction when players of the calibre of Seve Ballesteros and Greg Norman were amongst the stars to play the course. A special stone was erected on the 18th fairway to mark the drive of Norman during one of those Pro-Am tournaments.
The club has hosted both the Irish and European amateur championships as well as the men’s amateur Irish close championships.
“Like all golf clubs Shannon has suffered a loss of income because of the Covid lockdown but the biggest damage has been to our members. This is a members club and we rely on subscriptions from our members. After last year’s lockdown we focussed on attracting new members and on getting former members to re-join the club and that was quite successful. Our focus this year is on adding value for the members and we have made a serious investment on the course by upgrading tee boxes, driving range, a new short game area and the development of new buggy paths. We have a number of attractive membership offers available”, explained Keith.
The club retained their course staff during the recent lock down and they have been busy developing the improvements. “We want to retain the new members that we have attracted and the improvements carried out which include sanding of the fairways as well as tree cutting will ensure that the club will be in pristine condition when it re-opens for play next week”.
The captain was keen to point out that the club has a very strong junior section. “Our junior section is very strong and it is getting stronger and our club professional Artie Pyke and his assistant Paul O’Neill are a big help to us in this area. Paul has come through the ranks here at the club and he has played in the South of Ireland and being part of Munster panels”.
Shane O’Sullivan, the Callaway representative in Ireland has come through the ranks at Shannon as has Daniel Brennan who have been in the U.S. in recent years where he has had success in a number of collegiate competitions.
Keith also pointed out that “the club competes in the many mens and ladies inter club competitions annually. I want to see our members and particularly the new members, have the opportunity of representing the club”.