Ahead of its official opening this Sunday, Communications & Press Officer Jason O’Connor gives an overview of the Newmarket Pitch & Putt course which is returning to the PPUI fold after a near two decade absence.
SUNDAY will be a unique day not only for Newmarket but also the Pitch & Putt Union of Ireland as it welcomes a formerly affiliated course back into the fold in the form of the 900 metre course on the grounds of the James O’Keeffe Institute. The course was last on the PPUI’s books back in the 1990’s and while the area was still maintained in some shape for play, it lacked the proper look one would associate with a functioning Pitch & Putt course.
Recent years saw a move to bring the area back a Pitch & Putt identity and the road to this Sunday began in earnest in October 2012 when IRD Duhallow applied for a grant through the LEADER programme to get the first phase of the development of the ground. A figure of €150,000 was eventually approved for the initiative. Once that had been secured official works on the course began in the summer of 2013 with a two year programme under the guidance of the PPUI Technical Committee now ready for use. The Newmarket Community Development Association have also been involved in helping get the project running with a voluntary committee including Secretary/Registrar of the club Gerald O’Connell now in place.
Beyond Sunday’s grand opening, the course will affiliate with the Kerry County Board given its unique geographic location on the border with the Kingdom. The county’s Paul O’Sullivan Memorial Scramble will be the first major competition that it will host on Sunday April 12th. O’Connell says the club have big hopes for the future. “We’re starting small in terms of our plans but we would like to host provincial or national competitions someday down the line. There is a nice buzz around Newmarket about this project and we will actively be trying to promote it around the area over the coming weeks,” he said.
Of the 900 metres that make up the course, a 69 and 70 metre shot is the longest while 40 metres is the shortest distance a player will encounter on the present layout. A lit walkway around the course is another unique feature of the course and something that will give it a degree of character.
We in the PPUI are proud to welcome Newmarket back into the fold as a registered course and we wish them every success possible both in the near and hopefully distant future.
- Sunday’s ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 1pm at the course. It will be performed by Noel Dillon, Chairman of the IRD Duhallow Board with NEC Officers also in attendance. Following the ceremony a Challenge match involving members of the Kerry and Tipperary Gents teams and Kerry and Cork Juvenile teams will take place.
- More photos of the course can be found on the attached link. https://www.flickr.com/photos/ppui/sets/72157650966295577/
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