Amy Galvin

Ladies National Matchplay Champion

Amy Galvin image

Amy Galvin

Ladies National Matchplay Champion 2024

The June bank holiday weekend 2024 was to be one filled with some of the most exciting pitch and putt to be seen this year.  Among those taking part was a lady from Tullamore club, Amy Galvin.  I caught up with her to chat about her experience over that weekend.

Five times a Leinster Juvenile Strokeplay champion, Amy enjoys a wonderful family tradition in Pitch & Putt. Her grandmother Annie and dad Anthony have obviously been a huge influence on her Pitch & Putt career.

“I love that so many people in my family play Pitch & Putt. My Dad has been teaching me the ropes since I was eight years old, and I'll still take any pointers he throws my way.”

“Any course I go to in Ireland, I'm always met with fond stories about my nanny Annie and Grandad Dinny (RIP), which is amazing to hear. I'm so glad I still get to play Pitch & Putt with my nanny. She is a fantastic role model, as well as my aunties Lynda and Denise.”

After excelling as a juvenile and winning a Leinster Inter-County Stableford medal with Offaly at Castletown in 2015, Amy took some time out of Pitch & Putt. A seismic international event close to home attracted her back to the sport. “The Irish Open was held in Tullamore in 2022. The atmosphere that weekend was incredible. That was definitely the deciding factor for me. I came back the next day to join as a member again.”

Amy finished in the Top 6 of the 2023 National Strokeplay Championship and it’s a title she has aspirations to win one day. “Yes, I would definitely like to win a national championship at some point in the future” she tells John Manning  after her fantastic win in Kilbeggan Scratch cup where she shot an incredible 16 under par 92  to win the overall award, a shot clear of club-mate Patrick Murphy.  The pitch and putt world was abuzz with anticipation for what would come next for Amy.

Fast forward to June 2024

National Girls’ Strokeplay champion at St. Bridget’s in 2012 and at Navan two years later, Amy came into the weekend like all the other contestants, some looking to win another title and some with enthusiasm and hope of making it their first National senior championship.

How were you feeling going into the matches? “It was great to be among all these fantastic ladies some of whom had lots of National titles under their belts” she tells me “but after a few holes playing with them they made me feel at ease and I lost my nerves and began to enjoy my game”

Amy is acknowledged as having a very even temperament, reacting very much the same to both bogeys and birdies. How does she achieve this? “This game is all about having fun for me. I find that the more I enjoy a game the better I play.”  She added “ It’s a great game though, 1 day your playing great stuff and the next wondering what went wrong, keeps drawing you back for more, keeps you grounded”

Having seen off her opponents Marian Courtney and Margaret Keogh from Ryston on Saturday, the semi finals on Monday saw Amy meet Breda White from Tipperary Hills. Breda is a player that Amy has known from a distance but has never played with.  

 How did you feel meeting her for the first time as an opponent? “I do know Breda and have seen her in action,” says Amy. “I hadn't had the pleasure of ever playing with her and I felt a little nervous meeting her for the first time as an opponent.” I had all Sunday to think about the match but it was great meeting her and we had some great conversation going around”

Amy recalls that within a couple of holes Breda had put her at ease and in Amy’s own words “encouraged and applauded her” for the quality of pitch and putt which she (Amy) displayed when she defeated her 8 & 7 to take her place against Paula Lynch (defending Champion, Oldcastle) in the final .

These ladies were familiar with each other, having played the same circuits together; “It helps knowing each other” she says “Paula is a fantastic player and a lovely lady, we just relaxed into the game “

The match began at a calm and even pace.  After 18 holes Amy, who had a string of birdies in the back nine, had turned 7 up on Paula. The match would go to the 8th hole in the second round before Amy became the newest Ladies National Matchplay Champion.

When asked about how she felt becoming National Matchplay Champion, she says she felt “honoured to have been part of the whole experience and delighted to have won the title”.  The celebrations however had to wait for a few days as Amy had work commitments but enjoyed a well deserved get together with her family in Tullamore on Friday.

Frances Ryan

 Excerpts from John Manning