Officials in all sports club will agree that the future of their clubs depends hugely on having a strong junior section and this is certainly the case at Kilrush Golf Club.
“Our junior section here in Kilrush golf club is very vibrant with between 80 and 90 members”, explained the club’s junior convenor, Seamus O’Doherty.
“In my role as junior convenor I am very lucky to have Jim Young junior and Donnacha Nagle coaching the junior players. We have weekly competitions for them on Wednesday mornings with coaching sessions for the group on Sunday evenings. Our junior membership comes from throughout West Clare as well as from the town here in Kilrush”, the former club captain said.
The work being done with the junior section at the club helped Kilrush win the Clare junior foursomes title in 2018, a title they retained in 2019 when they went on to add the North Munster title before losing out to a strong Faithlegg side in the Provincial final which was played in Clonmel. Because of the Covid lockdown this competition did not take place last year.
The club is particularly proud of the progress made by 19 year old Shane Lillis from nearby Cooraclare.
“Shane wasn’t with us in the foursomes success in 2019 as he had just started his first year on scholarship at Martin Methodist College, known as the Red Hawks, in Tenessee”, explained junior coach, Donnacha Nagle. “We have some very good juniors here in the club”, he added
Currently Shane’s younger brother Rory and Kilrush teenager Tom Clancy are making great strides through the club’s junior programme.
The current club captains are Gerry Duffy and Mary Bolton while the presidents are Pat Shannon (Kilrush) and Ailish Lorrigan.
“We have a membership of 550 and currently we have some very attractive membership offers for people who might be interested in joining the club”, the club’s public relations officer, Noel Kilkenny who is also the current vice captain stated.
“We have a huge volunteer input. Last year we asked for volunteers to act as starters to help with keeping records of who was on the course and we were over subscribed. This volunteer ethic has brought the club very much together. We have always relied heavily on volunteers and we have a huge group of volunteers supporting our two full time course staff”, according to Noel who added that the club benefitted with over 40 new members last year.
“A lot of work was done during lockdown and it was the same last year. Huge improvements have taken place at all levels from the quality of greens to planting of trees and drainage works. We have improved it year on year”, Noel explained
Known for the welcome accorded to all who visit the club, the public relations officer said “we take great pride in being noted for this. Our ladies and men’s sections along with our senior men and ladies groups hold a lot of competitions and we compete in the various GUI and ILGU competitions each year”, he concluded