Inside Golf: Philip Walton’s son hoping to follow in dad’s footsteps

The son of a former Ryder Cup player is looking to ignite his own playing career with success in the Galvin Green PGA Assistants’ Championship, which starts tomorrow at Co Meath.

Beaverstown assistant Rhys Walton, son of European 1995 hero Philip, will tee up in the regional qualifier at Trim with the aim of reaching the £32,500 (€44,500) grand final at Coventry Golf Club in August.

Walton, 22, is in the first year of The PGA’s Foundation Degree programme, which aims to equip students with every aspect necessary for a succssful career in golf, from club fitting and retail to playing and marketing.

And he admitted he is looking forward to this week’s tournament having taken advice from his sister’s boyfriend Jack Harrison (Wildwood) who finished third in last year’s final.

“Jack’s been saying a lot of nice things about the event so I’m really looking forward to getting started in the qualifier,” Walton said.

“We’ve had a bad winter for golf so I feel like I’m playing catch up a bit, but my game feels good and I have been out playing competitively. I want to play as much as I can and eventually I would love to play on tour. I have a main initial aim of qualifying to play in the Irish Open and doing well in this would be a really good place to start.”

With a background like his, the young Walton’s career path in golf seemed inevitable.

“Golf was something that I was always around with my dad playing on tour,” he said. “So I always knew that was what I wanted to do. I’ve been working towards it for a while.

“I always think that you have to do what you’re interested in as that means that you will apply yourself properly. And that is the case with golf for me at the moment. I want to do well and I’m working hard, both on the degree and with my playing to make sure I have a future in the sport.”

Tramore’s 100-year association with racecourse revived

There will be a meeting of minds as well as neighbours in Tramore, Co. Waterford, next week when the seaside town’s golf club and racecourse join forces to co-sponsor a race at the Whit Weekend meeting.

The Friday, May 29 race sponsorship came under starting orders last week when representatives of Tramore Racecourse and Tramore Golf Club gathered with National Hunt jockey David Splaine to launch the first of what is hoped will be many ventures aimed at developing the rapport between the race-going and golfing fraternities.

A further incentive will be the golf club’s granting of playing facilities for one year, subject to the usual club conditions, to all owners, trainers and jockeys in the race in question.

A move it is hoped will lead to future visits to the home of the reigning Senior Cup champions when future race meetings are taking place in the town.

The association between racecourse and golf club goes back to 1894 when both entities shared land known as the Back Strand at the rear of Tramore Bay. A severe storm four years later destroyed both properties and threatened their existence but both organisations found new, separate homes.

Now the feeling is that it is time to find some new common ground, metaphorically speaking.

Walton junior hoping to follow in dad’s footsteps

The son of a former Ryder Cup player is looking to ignite his own playing career with success in the Galvin Green PGA Assistants’ Championship, which starts tomorrow at Co Meath.

Beaverstown assistant Rhys Walton, son of European 1995 hero Philip, will tee up in the regional qualifier at Trim with the aim of reaching the £32,500 (€44,500) grand final at Coventry Golf Club in August.

Walton, 22, is in the first year of The PGA’s Foundation Degree programme, which aims to equip students with every aspect necessary for a succssful career in golf, from club fitting and retail to playing and marketing.

And he admitted he is looking forward to this week’s tournament having taken advice from his sister’s boyfriend Jack Harrison (Wildwood) who finished third in last year’s final.

“Jack’s been saying a lot of nice things about the event so I’m really looking forward to getting started in the qualifier,” Walton said.

“We’ve had a bad winter for golf so I feel like I’m playing catch up a bit, but my game feels good and I have been out playing competitively. I want to play as much as I can and eventually I would love to play on tour. I have a main initial aim of qualifying to play in the Irish Open and doing well in this would be a really good place to start.”

With a background like his, the young Walton’s career path in golf seemed inevitable.

“Golf was something that I was always around with my dad playing on tour,” he said. “So I always knew that was what I wanted to do. I’ve been working towards it for a while.

“I always think that you have to do what you’re interested in as that means that you will apply yourself properly. And that is the case with golf for me at the moment. I want to do well and I’m working hard, both on the degree and with my playing to make sure I have a future in the sport.”

Plan to lure golfers

A bid to attract more UK-based society golfers to the east and south-east of Ireland has led to a new partnership between Irish golf operator Club Choice Ireland and The Union of Irish Golf Societies.

The union, which represents 22 golf societies across the UK, was formed in 1980 and boasts more than 1000 individual members, who will now see Club Choice Ireland promote their tailor-made golf packages to its alliance of more than 40 resorts, hotels and golf clubs including Mount Juliet, County Louth, Druids Glen and Carton House.

“We are a young, growing company and to get the formal recognition of The Union is a proud day for us,” Club Choice Ireland managing director Tiernan Byrne said. “This is a partnership which makes complete sense and we are thrilled to be part of it. We are really looking forward to working with many more of the individual golf societies within the Union across the UK and believe that this partnership is a springboard for success.”

Honour for Water Rock

Less than four months after Water Rock Golf Course in East Cork started offering memberships at its previously green fees only facility, the Midleton course is set to host a provincial championship area final.

Water Rock, ratified by the Golfing Union of Ireland only in February after a successful 20 years providing an affordable golfing model to societies, tourists and locals alike, will this Thursday play host to the Munster South area final of the AIG Jimmy Bruen Shield.

Mahon will take on Lee Valley at 4pm and Water Rock owner Claire Healy said she was honoured that the course had been selected as hosts, if not initially a little surprised.

“We’re quite blasé about everything at Water Rock and it wasn’t until other clubs got on to us and asked ‘how did you get that’ that we realised what an honour it is.”

Dignam and Brady share Seafield spoils

John Dignam (Slade Valley) and Eamonn Brady (Clontarf) each carded two-under-par 68s in gusting winds to share first place at last week’s Seafield Golf and Country Club Pro-Am.

Just three players broke par on the Peter McEvoy-designed course near Gorey, Co Wexford, with Brady following on from a tie for third at the previous week’s K Club Pro-Am.

Wexford’s Liam Bowler finished one shot back in third on one under par, while Co Louth professional Glen Robinson led his team, including Seafield GC lady captain Nuala Noone, to victory in the team event with 89 points.


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