Golf writer & photographer. Author of ‘Hooked’, the most comprehensive guide to Ireland's golf courses, and ‘Driving the Green’. Published by Collins Press. Editor for Destination Golf Ireland, feature writer for Irish Golfer Magazine freelancer for Irish Examiner. Golf is in the blood. http://www.kevinmarkhamphotography.com
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
A fine day in Athy
Athy is in a perfect spot, both for a golf course and for its proximity to Dublin county. It is also close to many other good clubs – Rathsallagh and Carlow most notably. Short and wonderful, with great character the whole way round. I played in an open competition on the May Bank Holiday Monday. I had two partners: Seth and Tom, but Seth cried off after six holes as he was recovering from flu and he was clearly struggling. Combine that with bad golf and it will do anybody’s head in. Seth, if you read this, I hope you get well enough to win your matchplay… and you’re overswinging.
[Photo: Athy, Par 4 7th]
Tom and I continued on a perfect day of sunshine and minimal wind. I had a great score for the first 9 – 23 points – but failed to maintain the momentum, while Tom suddenly found a bout of the three-putts. He is 66 and plays off 11, and finished with 34 points despite four or five three-putts. Hits the ball a long way too. Not the kind of guy to be playing for money.
We encountered an unfortunate incident at the 10th, where two gents teed off just as we walked over from the 9th. We were somewhat bemused by their arrival, while they were highly frustrated when we deduced that they thought they were playing the 1st. Penalised before they even started. Bummer. The problem for them was that the 10th tee used to be the 1st, back when it was a 9 hole course, which was when one of them had last played here. Unfortunately, it's no excuse.
My morning round had been at Kilkea Castle, a round not nearly as satisfying as Athy, although it does have some extremely memorable holes. Hitting at the Castle as you come up 18 is one of the highlights, while the River Greese that appears on numerous occasions is very calming. Another short course, I was round in 2 and a half hours. [Photo: Kilkea Castle, Par 3 10th]
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