Junior golf at Castle Dargan Golf Club has gone from strength to strength and under the watchful eye of Paul Little, the club’s Junior Convenor, the younger members of Castle Dargan can take advantage of the excellent facilities and numerous activities in a safe and structured environment.
Paul has been a member of Castle Dargan since the club’s formation and has been involved with junior golf from the outset. A keen club golfer Paul plays off a handicap of 6 and is a fully qualified volunteer coach, licenced and insured by the Professional Golfers Association, to this end Paul has undergone full Garda vetting and extensive child protection training. Castle Dargan Golf Club has adopted The Code of Ethics for Golf for Young People as recommended by Junior Golf Ireland, the Golfing Unions of Ireland and the PGA. Parents can rest assured that their children feel safe and protected within a positive sporting atmosphere whether they are playing in competition or enjoying one of the many camps and group lessons run by Xavier Medas our resident PGA Professional.
Picture: The Connacht U-14 Winning Team Including Castle Dargan's Seán Carrol, Daragh Connolly & Patrick Callaghan
Connacht won the inaugural Under 14 Interprovincial Championship in style in Athlone, beating Ulster in the deciding match by winning the first three matches. Former West of Ireland champion Joe Lyons, Connacht’s Captain, bestowed the wisdom of his years of Championship experience on his charges as they took the initiative on the first day’s place with impressive wins over Munster and Leinster. They never took their eye off the prize against a strong Ulster team, which included Slieve Russell’s Odhran Maguire, a brother of current Women’s World Amateur No.1 Leona.
They hit the ground running with victory for Sean Carroll and Eoin McGrath in the foursomes by 3/1. Due to an injury incurred on the previous day, Ulster’s Scott Millar was unable to compete and as a result his match with Darren Leufer was called a half. With the result of the first match, this mean that Connacht now only needed one more point, and that winning point was clinched by Darragh Connolly, with a 2/1 victory over Odhran Maguire. Luke O’Neill sealed Connacht’s triple crown with victory on the final green against Jack Duffy, while Ulster scored a victory through Aaron Marshall, who defeated 2014 Irish Under 13 champion Patrick Callaghan – also on the final green.
The U-16 team of Fergal Collery, Patrick Callaghan, Daragh Connolly, Seán Carroll & James Carroll brought home Castle Dargan's 3rd Connacht GUI Pennant in as many years when they won the U-16 Interclub Strokeplay Championship on Friday 26th June. Impressive rounds of 2 over & 4 over par from Seán & Daragh were followed up with an 81 from Patrick & 83 from James giving a team score (best 4 from 5) of 314 to take the Michael O'Donohue Cup by 9 shots from Galway GC who finished runners up.
The Leslie Robinson PGA sponsored Fred Daly Plate has once again been very keenly contested in Connacht during the Spring of 2015 and the Final Four have been established for the Provincial Semi-finals and Finals at Athlone Golf Club (pictured) on Friday July 3.
The Semi-final line up and Match Timetable looks like this -
Fred Daly Plate Semi-finals TEE TIME
1. Ballinrobe Vs Roscommon No.1 09.00hrs
2. Castlebar Vs Castle Dargan No.9 09.00hrs
Fred Daly Plate Final TEE TIME
3. Winner 1 Vs Winner 2 No.1 13.20hrs
For all but Ballinrobe this stage is new territory as Ballinrobe have done quite well in the 5-Man event over the last four or five years capturing the Plate twice. Given the progress made with the Junior section at Castle Dargan over the last 3years and their back to back Kenny Cup wins of 2013 & 2014 it’s probably fair to say that they go off as slight favourites.
Connacht GUI's Junior Inter Club season may have commenced back in March with the Fred Daly Trophy and Plate but the real season commences next month coinciding with the completion of the Academic Year.
The Connacht U16 Inter Club (formerly U15 Inter Club) for the 'Michael P. O'Donoghue Cup' shall be played for on Friday June 26 at Castle Dargan Golf Club. Galway shall be defending their title and also aiming to complete a three-in-a-row. The event is very kindly sponsored by Connacht Provincial Coach, HUGH O'NEILL PGA
After a brief interlude of two weeks the Boys U17 Kenny Cup Strokeplay Qualifiers shall take place on Friday July 10 at their now traditional North and South Qualifying venues - Swinford and Oughterard respectively this year. This is annually the best supported Junior Inter Club event as it is the first outing outside the comfort zone of their own course for many given its Development nature being a Handicap rather than Scratch event. Castle Dargan Golf Club shall be defending and going for a three-in-a-row also.
The final Junior Inter Club of the season takes place at Athenry Golf Club on Monday July 27 as Clubs vie for the title of Regional Champions of the National irish Junior Foursomes and the right to go forward and represent Connacht at the National Finals in The Heath Golf Club on August 18. Galway Golf Club shall be defending.
2014 was an incredibly successful year for all the Juniors here at Castle Dargan both in team events and for individual players. Patrick Callaghan followed up his win in the 2013 Connacht Close U-12 Championship in style by becoming the inaugral winner of the Irish Boys U-13 Amateur Open Championship held at Malahide GC in August. With Daragh Connolly coming in 3rd and Sean Carroll finishing 4th, the lads were the talk of the town and their exploits really put Castle Dargan to the forefront of junior golf in Ireland. Patrick went on to finish 3rd in both the Ulster Boys U-13 Open and the Connacht Boys U-14 Close, he also came close to winning the Leinster Boys U-14 Open eventually finishing 4th after finding the water on the final hole!
Not to be outdone, Sean Carroll put in a sterling performance in County Derry to win the Ulster Boys U-13 Open Championship. Sean played some great golf all season coming close on a number of occasions, finishing 4th in both the U-13 Irish Open & U-13 Munster Open, all his hard work came to fruition on 18th August at Moyola park GC to become the Ulster Champion.
Below left: Pathrick Callaghan, Irish Boys U-13 Amateur Open Champion 2014. Below right: Sean Carroll, Ulster Boys U-13 Amateur Open Champion 2014.
This years U-16 Inter Club Strokeplay Tournament is being held in Castle Dargan on Friday 26th June and with so many boys having produced great performances on the course last year, there will be stiff competition for the 5 places available on this team. Performances in club competions & GUI events as well as handicap will be taken into account when the team is picked.
This year the Kenny Cup North Zone Qualifiers are scheduled to be held on Friday 10th July at Swinford Golf Club, Co. Mayo. Castle Dargan will be trying to win this Provincial title for the 3rd year in a row, a feat only managed once before byThe Kenny Cup is an U-17 Tournament and I have entered three teams this year in order to give as many lads as possible the opportunity to represent their Club at a higher level.
This year the Connacht Close Qualifier for U-12, U-14, U-16 & U-18 will be held on Tuesday the 21st of July 2013 in Strandhill Golf Club, Co. Sligo.
Please see the 2015 Junior Year Planner in the Pro Shop or ask Paul Little for further details of relevant Championships.
*10% discount for children of full members
NB: All new members will be assessed by Xavier Médas (PGA Professional)
Junior Club Competitions
• 18 Hole Singles Stableford Every Weekend
• Monthly Medal on Last Weekend of Every Month
• Junior Matchplay Competition Through the Summer