AHEAD of the staging of this weekend’s 2014 National Ladies Strokeplay Championships in Fermoy PPUI Communications and Press Officer Jason O’Connor spoke with Club Chairman JJ O’Connor and Lady Captain Nell Richards about the staging of the 2014 competition for the Cork club both on-and-off the course.
There is a certain significance for Nell Richards with Fermoy staging another big National Championship this weekend. In 1992 she was Chairperson of the club when it hosted the National Juvenile Strokeplay Championships and now she holds another prominent position in the club two decades later as its Lady Captain as the country’s female players go in search of its three biggest titles at Senior, Intermediate and Junior level. This is Nell’s second time as Lady Captain as it is 25 years since she held the role for the first time back in 1989.
The changes in the game are probably best illustrated in the numbers who have participated in her Captain’s Prizes on both occasions. “In 1989 I remember having 86 play on the day of the Prize. Now our female membership is nearly half that figure. We had around 30 play in the event two weeks ago and to be honest you have to be very happy with a figure like that in the present time,” Nell said. The club generally runs two Ladies competition weekly during the playing season in an effort to cater for their membership and Nell is happy that at least half the club’s membership are taking part in the three events this weekend. “22 entrants is a good showing and there is a buzz around the club about hosting the event. You don’t usually get many opportunities to host these events and we hope that it will raise the profile of the club around the area as well as increasing our membership,” she said.
There was a local success when Nell was Chairperson of the club at the 1992 National Juvenile Strokeplay (Sharon Bowes winning the Girls event), will her being Lady Captain on this occasion serve as an omen for a local success in one of the three events this weekend?
IT was a pretty frightful hour on the course during the storms back in February as it lost a total of 12 trees during the course of 60 minutes at the full force of the storm but luckily for the Fermoy club it had no adverse effect on the condition of the course according to Club Chairman JJ O’Connor. “You can still see the scars from the ones that fell but thankfully they fell in areas that weren’t interfering with any of our holes. The stumps will be well out of harm’s way for the players this weekend,” he said.
While the club have made no major changes to the design of the course in advance of this weekend’s National Ladies Championships, the club has worked hard to get everything ready. “We’ve painted the tee-boxes and hope that the hole measurements will be a lot more clearer for the players. We hope that the course holds up to the usual standards we set it up to and that the players in all grades find it to their liking,” the club chairman said.
A warm welcome is assured to all competitors this weekend by the club as the chairman hopes that everyone will enjoy themselves over the course of both Saturday and Sunday. Hopefully all 117 players in the three competitions will find it to be so when they head south for proceedings.
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