Clarks Beach Golf Club hosted the inaugural Peter Hickey Open and we had another great turn out for the new pairs competition. Considering the long drive and threatening skies, 33 players enjoyed the well-kept course and even better hospitality from the staff and locals.
We took a break from the yearlong Auckland Irish Society Championship as Peter Hickey and Anne Duncan Real Estate sponsored the prizes. There was a pairs competition, two person scramble, where the best ball is played by each player and the lowest net score wins. The new format turned out to be a lot of fun as each bad shot didn’t just disappoint yourself, but also your partner which can result in some heated discussions and mumbled insults.
The insults started early on Darryl and Shane Mitchell’s team where a week before the competition, Darryl played down their team’s chances because his partner “is currently chipping like a drunken donkey”. Darryl’s expectations were so low that in search of some decent golf for the day, he drove to the Awhitu club for an early nine holes before gracing Clarks Beach with his presence.
The usual pre game ritual of team Atkinson and O’ Gorman, or the PJs as they like to call themselves, was well underway hours before the first tee. Padraig was settling John’s nerves as he anxiously looked toward the dark sky and was already counting his compulsory five tee shots with only 18 holes to play. Padraig ‘The John Whisperer’ had settled the nag’s nerves by the fourth hole as the rain passed, his blinkers were on and he was fed sugar lumps after each shot.
I joined Seamus and Martin, who looked like a strong team but a slight back injury to Martin meant that Seamus did most of the heavy lifting, carrying Martin to a free chicken dinner and 3rd place. Martin did eventually warm up and the lads dove-tailed nicely to shoot 73 and on the long drive 17th, Martin thought he better get some wine to go with the chicken and hit his best shot of the day to take the prize.
Martin may actually have been aiming for Anto and Shane who were playing in front of us and were deservedly awarded the clock for slow play. The clock appears a couple times a year as a way for Gerry to humiliate a player who may have had an off day. However, Gerry had to get a new clock as the previous winner decided he liked the old and broken one so much that he put it up at home. Eamon, you can keep the old clock but in future the winner can only get a picture with the clock and then return it. For those of you that read the reports and don’t know Shane and Anto, look the pictures attached and see why I am compelled to write about these two most months.
Thanks again to Gerry for the prize giving and speech addressing all of the Clarks Beach locals in attendance. They were very happy to host us and enjoyed the back handed comments from Gerry to our members, but know your audience Gerry. Everything was great until you insulted their rugby team, after that I think we were lucky to get out of town!
The winners and places on the day were:
1st Andy Gray & Tom Horsburgh 58 Net - ½ Champagne Ham on the bone each
2nd Keith Lawson & Bruce Payne 61.33 Net - 1 kg Pulled Pork & 1 kg Bacon each
3rd Seamus Brennan & Martin Conlon 61.33 Net - Large fresh, free range chicken each
Longest Drive - Martin Conlon on the 17th hole
Closest to Pin - Shane Mitchell on the 3rd hole
Clock Award - Shane & Anto
Thanks to Peter Hickey for the prizes. We hope to do it again sometime and maybe the next one will have a 1st prize of a batch on Waiheke Island, or maybe not.
The next round will be at Whitford on the 19th of May and we will email you in a couple weeks.
Muriwai Golf Club was the destination for the second round of the year and over forty dedicated Irish Golf Society enthusiasts played on the immaculate course in perfect conditions. With the tricolour flying and sun blazing you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in the sunny South East of County Wexford minus the strawberries, misery and Dublin commuters.
I must be honest and say that I am a bit short on material to write about because I did not play with the usual suspects who are always too keen to make fools of them-selves on the course. Instead I was playing with two of the fairer sex and as you know, they are never wrong and rarely make mistakes. Except for the cursing, it was terrible and as Father Ted said, you wouldn’t hear it from a Docker! I learned a few new words that I can’t say here when Maria found herself in the bunker on more than one occasion. She restored to shouting insults at the ball to get it out of the bunker when the sand wedge didn’t work. To be fair, I did the same myself on the 12th resulting in a triple bogey. Julie was no saint either when each time she reached for her “pitcher” and remembered that someone had lost it, most likely her son Tom.
I met Toms’ Dad, Joe earlier that week and he quietly asked me to leave Tom out of the reports as it was affecting him too much (while laughing). However, on Sunday Julie insisted that I keep it up because he lost her “lovely umbrella”. Tom was out practicing earlier this month and after hitting one of those typically wayward drives he turned to find his trundle, with open umbrella attached, sailing towards a stream like a Blokart on Muriwai beach. The trundle and clubs landed in the eel infested water where a putter, Julies’ umbrella and possibly her pitching wedge were never recovered.
The winning team on the day was Gerry, Paul, Dave and Jim. Gerry was in a typically boisterous mood, walking around like the Champ, telling everyone how great he is and became completely unmanageable when he learned he had actually won something. Dave and Paul were unusually quiet in the Clubhouse, visibly shaken from their day with Gerry and his ear bashing “pep-talks”. You can now understand why Jim has to go on holiday after each time he plays with Gerry. If only we could all do the same!
Gary Pollitt was closest to the pin on the iconic 8th hole. Unfortunately he had to leave before the prizes so Martin insisted on collecting the bottle of wine for him. Martin doesn’t know Gary but said he would hold onto the bottle anyway.
Once again our resident bad boy Shane “Shano” Duffy is in the headlines for causing controversy on the fourth tee. Known for his disruptive and erratic on course behaviour, the former Boy band member shocked fans and spectators with his outbursts.
Playing for “The beer” against Anto Watters and Shano’s best mate Paul Bartlett. Shano was in trouble early, three down going to the fourth hole. His frustration was evident as he drove his tee shot into the right rough about a hundred metres ahead and the expletive filled rant followed. Anto waited on the tee for several minutes for the noise to die down when in his setup, Shano muttered, ”Block it out”, apparently referring to a nearby dog barking and not his own grumblings. Anto had the presence of mind to step away and after politely explaining to Shano that his behaviour was not acceptable or words to that effect, proceeded to drill his shot down the middle of the fairway while Shano trudged of to find his ball.
Both players refused to comment after the event and may need to be separated in the next outing. Shane, fresh from his last suspension, is awaiting the committee to check the footage.
The top 5 players all had 39 points and were separated by countback on the back nine. Honourable mention to Dore Reid who was 5th, also with 39 points but unfortunately we don’t have a prize for that.
Thanks to Gerry for presenting the prizes and Kevin Joyce from Toi Toi Wines for helping with steady demand for bottles.
The winners and places on the day were:
1st Seamus Brennan 39 points - $50 Golf Warehouse
2nd Kevin Everett 39 points - $30 voucher
3rd Richie Hayes 39 points - Bottle of Wine
4th Anto Watters 39 points - Bottle of Wine
Longest Drive - Sue Gander on the 15th hole
Closest to Pin - Gary Pollitt on the 8th hole
Best Lady - Sharyn Kidd, 33 points
Best team - Gerry Quinn, Jim Conway, David O’ Reilly, Paul Mc Niff
The next round will be at Clarks Beach on the 28th of April and we will email you in a few weeks.
Waikare Golf Club hosted round one of this year’s Auckland Irish golf society and the inaugural Paddy McAuliffe Trophy. In the blistering heat the fairways were burnt by both the sun and some players with a few incredible scores. It’s brilliant to see so many people attending and we hope it’s another great year.
Not such a great start to the year was the closest to the pin completion on the 9th hole. Unbelievably, yet is has happened before, not one of the 35 players manged to hit the green. A mere 125 metres with no water to the front but an extremely inviting Out Of Bounds behind. Luckily the unclaimed bottle of wine was needed elsewhere later that day.
The team competition was a pair’s best ball score but due to numbers and the draw we had one team of three. With Maria leading the way, the ladies team including Denise and Sue took the chocolates with 57 points and were left to fight it out over the bottle of wine. Maria continued on her Waikare form from last year claiming overall second place again but this time with a better score of 46 points.
Each player was allowed one free throw on the day and while some where throwing out of bunkers or down the concrete fairways for a gain of 150 metres, Kevin Everett needed his from under a tree. On the par-5 third hole, Kevin hit his ball into the green side bushy tree. With an unplayable lie it was time to use the throw but this was difficult with the ball against the trunk and Kevin’s reach was just long enough so that any passer-by could only see a hand immerging. With a flick of the wrist and directions from his playing partners, the unsighted Kevin managed to make the green and save par.
Other players in our group were also struggling mentally and physically. Tom’s head was melting (not from the sun) as he could not hit a fairway from the tee. The driver looked like something he was holding for the first time ever as he found himself on the 10th fairway four times. To be fair to the big man, one of those times we were actually playing that hole but soon enough he decided to leave the driver in the bag just hit his 6-iron over 200 metres.
Seamus was struggling physically with stomach pains blamed on the heat or that eighth pint last night was a bit off, all the rest seemingly tasted fine. Seamus was in some distress for the first nine holes until Kevin gave him some “pain killers” from his bag. After that Seamus managed to finish strongly on 42 points which highlights the need for more drug testing on the day of competition.
If Seamus took a couple of these tablets then Kevin must have finished off the bottle. With a near flawless performance, the Scot rarely found himself in trouble and with a sharp short game Kevin shot four over with a handicap of eighteen for a winning score of 50 points!! With strong accusations and raised voices of cheating and handicap fixing in the clubhouse, the legend of Paddy McAuliffe will live on in the Auckland Irish Golfing Society.
With such a high winning score, Martin Conlon can be forgiven for thinking he had won with 46 points as he re-hydrated after his round. Martin was heard practicing his winning speech in the shower by the ever present Gerry Quinn who will search out any weakness that can be used in his attack / prize giving later on. While Martin was compiling his list of liars which would be crowbarred in his speech, Father Ted style, I met John Atkinson in the carpark. John was also feeling bullish about his chances of winning a prize with 41 points. His face dropped when I told him I had 42 points and when he received the news that someone in my group had 50 points he slammed the car door and spun the wheels all the way out of the carpark. He shouted something out the window about beating the traffic but it was difficult to hear with the noise of screeching tyres and pedestrians screaming.
The winners and places on the day were:
1st Kevin Everett 50 points - The Paddy McAuliffe Trophy
$40 Golf Warehouse Voucher & Bottle of wine
2nd Maria O’ Hanlon 46 points - $30 voucher
3rd Martin Conlon 46 points - Bottle of Wine
4th Diarmuid O’ Keeffe 42 points - Bottle of Wine
Longest Drive - Aidan Redmond on the 18th hole
Closest to Pin - Nobody! What a useless bunch
Best team - Maria O’ Hanlon, Sue Gander, Denise Flanagan
The next round will be in Murali on the 24th March and we will email you in a few weeks.