As the year comes to an end it is an opportunity to ask: How was 2019 for Irish golf clubs? Positive vibes continue, boosted by the €2.34m (up from €1.96m two years ago) recently awarded to golf clubs under the Sports Capital Programme.
Of all the challenges Shane Lowry had to overcome in Portrush last week, none was more persistent or annoying than the American journalist who insisted on pestering the Irish golfer — and the others from the island — with questions about the symbolism of an Open Championship held in Northern Ireland.
An hour after Declan Hannon lifted the Liam MacCarthy Cup last August, Éamonn Cregan phoned another Adare man whose leadership wasn’t so visible. ‘Congratulations. That’s what you started.’ Shane Fitzgibbon may have been a frustrated if well-heralded player, but that would inform him in becoming a brilliant, if unsung coach