The 2020 edition of the Pop Ryle Multicard was even more of a success than the previous iteration in 2019. The Pop Ryle was the first competition of the year in the club and over the course of the week, we had 40 players play more than 300 cards in the competition. In the end, it was 2019 Champion Pa Fitzgibbon who took the trophy home for the second year running with a Nett total of -34. Keith O’Brien finished in 2nd Nett with a total of -32. Jason Cregan took the Gross Prize with -21. Alan Hobbart pipped Eamonn to 2nd place with a better back 18 as both players tied on -18.
Jason Cregan entered the 2020 Club Strokeplay looking to win the Paul Leahy Cup for the third year in a row, the first time the feat would have been done. It was not to be however and after the initial 36 holes, Alan Hobbart and Eamonn Sheehy were tied on -13. 2 shots behind was Keith O’Brien, having shot a fantastic -10 second round. Nobody else could break into the top 3 over the course of the final round, with Keith finishing in third with a total of -16. Alan Hobbart held off the challenge of Eamonn Sheehy in the final two ball to win by 2 shots with a -20 total.
u-16 county strokeplay
The club was delighted to have 5 U-16 members competing in the U-16 County Strokeplay taking part in Deerpark on the 25th of July. These players were Mark O’Regan, Ethan Ballard, Conor Morrissey, Nikita Hoare, and Ella Moynihan. All players made the club extremely proud and Ella won the Beginner’s Prize and the Girls County Strokeplay title.
For the first time in 6 years, the club hosted the County Strokeplay on the 26th of the July and the competition was a huge success for the club, with Tralee members taking 1st Prize across all three grades. Paul O’Shea started the day off for the club by winning the Junior Grade with a flawless -12. Michael Conway went on to win the Intermediate Grade later in the day with a score of -11. The Senior Grade was a 1-2 finish for Tralee with Jason Cregan taking 1st with a -13 total and Eamonn Sheehy coming 2nd on -9. A clean sweep for the club.
tralee scratch cup
Different conditions to normal for the Scratch Cup with a new format being used across the country. Timesheets were introduced and no final rounds were permitted. Despite the strange circumstances, it was nearly another clean sweep for Tralee, but Paul O’Shea (now Intermediate) was beaten on Back 18 by Listowel’s Killian O’Gorman for the Intermediate Scratch Cup. Brian Moynihan’s superb -9 early in the morning was enough to hold on all day and saw him take the Junior Scratch Cup by 3 shots. In Senior, Jason Cregan held the lead for much of the day on -12 before Eamonn Sheehy came in late in the evening with a -16 total to take the Bob Casey Memorial Scratch Cup.
2019 was a fantastic year for Tralee Pitch and Putt on many fronts and marked an excellent end to the decade for the club. Our members competed and won across a variety of competitions around the country. We also saw a few lapsed members return to the game and quickly find success.
The first club major took place on the 30th of June, with Jason Cregan winning the competition for the second year in a row. Alan Hobbart also finished in the runner-up spot for the second year running but winning the Overall Gross. Danny O’Leary won the Inter Nett prize and Dan Murphy won the Junior Nett prize. Tony Blake shot the best last round of the day, winning the Final 18 prize for his efforts.
The Club Matchplay was kindly sponsored by McGuirks, with the competition taking place in the middle of August. The club had a number of returning players who were seen as favourites for the top prize, but it was Paul O’Shea who won the competition outright, beating Keith O’Brien in a close final, winning 1 up in the end. Stephen Browne and Rodger Guthrie were semi finalists on the day, both putting in great efforts to reach that stage and battling all the way.
The Pop Ryle Cup replaced the President’s Prize as a club major for 2019, taking place in a multi-card card format over the course of a week at the end of July and start of August. The competition was by far the most successful event of the year in the club, with 140 cards being played by 17 players. Patrick Fitzgibbon, only back to the game a matter of weeks, played fantastic over the course of the week, with his two best rounds seeing him finish on 83 Nett, twelve shots ahead of Stephen Browne in 2nd, with Keith O’Brien finishing 3rd. In the Gross, Jason Cregan’s 87 Gross saw him beat Jason O’Regan by 2 shots, with Jamie Blake taking 3rd place over Alan Hobbart on back-18.
From the end of October onwards, competitions were and continue to be held on a weekly basis. A club is nothing without support and we have to give credit to all the local businesses that sponsored our Winter events. These businesses are Celsius Menswear, the Grand Hotel, Terry’s Butchers, the Greyhound Bar, and the Burger Shack. The sponsorships were incredibly generous and played a massive part in the Winter events being so exciting.
After years of trying and coming very close, Jamie Blake won his first Tralee Scratch Cup in fine weather on the June Bank Holiday, shooting -10 in his final round to finish on -18 total, 2 ahead of Jason Cregan in 2nd and 3 ahead of Alan Hobbart in 3rd. It was fantastic to see all top 3 players in the Senior Grade coming from Tralee. In fact, 6 of the 9 prizes were won by Tralee players, with Danny O’Leary winning the Inter Prize with -5 par, Eamonn Sheehy taking Final 18, and Lisa O’Connor winning the Ladies Prize.
Jason O’Regan put on some fantastic displays in Kerry Scratch Cups in 2019. Having led the Tralee Scratch Cup after 36 holes but not winning it, he went on to make up for the missed opportunity. On the August Bank Holiday Monday, Jason won the Listowel Scratch Cup. Nearly three months later, he won the Deerpark Scratch Cup with -12 for 36 holes on the October Bank Holiday.
Mention must also be given to Danny O’Leary, the club’s most traveled player in 2019. Week in, week out Danny was traveling to Scratch Cups up and down the country. His dedication was exceptional and he has certainly set an example for other members to follow in 2020.
Eamonn Sheehy won the Intermediate County Strokeplay in Castleisland with -14 for 36 holes, finishing six shots ahead of 2nd. Eamonn was the club’s only podium finisher in the Country Strokeplay. At the end of August, Jason Cregan reached the final after defeating Sean Kelly, Jason O’Regan, and Jamie Blake in the first three games. The final was tightly contested but Deerpark’s Damien Fleming won the match and the championship on the 17 hole.
Provincial and national
With the Munster Strokeplay taking place in Listowel, hopes were high that a Tralee player might emerge victorious in one of the grades. In Senior, the club was represented by Tony Blake, Alan Hobbart, Jamie Blake, and Jason O’Regan. In Intermediate, Eamonn Sheehy, Padraig Hobbart, and John Fitzgerald took part. Lisa O’Connor played in the Ladies Grade. Unfortunately things didn’t go as hoped, with Padraig Hobbart being the most successful by making the final round of the Intermediate Grade.
In the Munster Matchplay, Jason Cregan represented the club in Senior and reached the Quarter Final stage, before being beaten by Michael Fennell of Lakeside. Aidan O’Sullivan was beaten in the First Round in the Intermediates, and Lisa O’Connor was unlucky in her loss in the Ladies section.
Jason O’Regan was the club’s most successful player in the National Matchplay and Strokeplay. Jason reached the second round in the National Matchplay in Rocklodge and qualified for the final round in the National Strokeplay in Ryston, finishing in the top 20. Tony Blake was defeated in a tight match by Bryan Delaney in the National Matchplay. Alan Hobbart and Jason Cregan both shot -2 totals in the National Strokeplay, far from the playoff spots on a tricky Ryston.
Inter-county and inter-club
The club had a number of representatives on the various county teams. Danny O’Leary continued his strong year by making the Intermediate team, with Eamonn Sheehy also joining him on the team. Jamie Blake and Alan Hobbart finished 3rd and 4th in the Senior trials respectively, playing as partners in Hillview for the Munster’s and McDonagh for the National’s. Jason Cregan was substitute for the Senior Team. John Fitzgerald served as captain of the county’s Junior team, although the club had no playing representatives.
The Inter-Club events got off to a terrible start for the club in the summer, with the Tralee team finishing in last place in the Kerry event. In September, the Inter/Junior team missed out on qualifying for the National Quarter Finals by the tightest of margins in Bruff. The Senior team of Alan Hobbart, Jamie Blake, Jason Cregan, Padraig Hobbart, Jason O’Regan, Tony Blake, and sub Danny O’Leary came from behind in fantastic fashion to beat St. Anne’s in the National Quarter Final at Lakeside. In the deciding singles match, Tony held off a comeback from Ray Murphy to win the tie for Tralee and send the club to the Semi Finals. The following week, a disastrous Foursomes performance saw Tralee fall 3-0 behind to Fermoy. 3 wins in the Singles weren’t enough but there’s no doubt that the team did the club proud on the National stage.
2019 also marked the return of Juveniles to the club, with competitions and coaching taking place from the start of July to the start of September on 2 nights a week. We were lucky to have a fantastic turnout every night and we hosted a Player of the Year competition with trophies on the final evening of the Juvenile Club. In the past, Tralee was a club that always had a load of Juveniles and it was great to see the return of youth over the course of the summer.
Tralee Pitch and Putt’s 18-hole championship course is enjoyable for experienced pitch and putt players, golfers, and the more casual player just looking for a day out. Holes vary in length, with the shortest at 30m and the longest at 60m, with most holes being between 40 and 50m long.
The first hole is a 30 metre uphill pitch to a heavily sloping green. Hit the left or right hand side of the green and the ball could kick off and down the sides, leaving a difficult second shot. Long will find a tough downhill chip. Most players will be happy with a par here.
From the tee, you are faced with a 38 metre shot between two tall ash trees. The green slopes heavily to the left from the centre. One of those holes on the course that can seem much easier than it is.
Playing 50 metres slightly downhill, another hole that looks a lot easier than it is. The green has a lot of hidden slopes and golf balls will often get an awkward bounce. Putting is very tricky on this hole, with most putts sloping far more than you would expect.
Playing back up toward the clubhouse, this 47 metre hole can be very challenging. A narrow green leaves little room for error from the tee, and if you’re chipping from the back of the green, you’ll be very lucky if the ball doesn’t roll down the other side.
One of the most scenic holes at Tralee Pitch and Putt, the 5th was once one of the hardest holes on the course. Lined by tall ash trees on either side, this 48 metre pitch is pretty straightforward. The trees are often an obstacle and put pressure on the player to hit a straight shot.
By index, the second easiest hole on the course, the 38 metre 6th is no walk in the park. The small hump before the green can cause a distraction, and the left side of the green is heavily sloped. If the pin is on the left, most players will be glad to finish the hole with a par. If the pin is anywhere else, birdies are much easier to come by.
The longest hole on the course at 63 metres, the 7th is also the second hardest. Hitting the ball far enough is often the biggest challenge here, but the trees that line both sides of the fairway. can also cause problems. The hump before the green often makes people think the hole is shorter than it is, but a strong hit is required to get near this green.
In many ways this hole is very similar to the 4th. This hole is a similar distance at 48 metres, and if you go long here, your chip will need to be perfect to save par, as the green slopes toward the tee box. More skilled players will often see their ball spin off the front of the green.
The 5th hardest hole on the course, this hole is a 54 metre pitch toward one of the most difficult greens. The deep slopes on the left and right of the green will kick golf balls away from the green. A very tough green to pitch with some tricky slopes for putting.
Standing at the tee box, it’s easy to think this hole is simple. It’s a short 30 metre pitch, the green is slightly elevated but not much. But in practice, the shot is a lot harder than it may seem. Missing on any side can make things tricky. One of the easier holes on the course, but it’s very easy to get complacent here.
Without a doubt, the most difficult green to putt on on the course, the 9th is the third hardest hole by index. There’s no easy hole location on this green. If you go long, you could easily chip off the opposite side of the green, the same can be said if you go short. Birdies are rare at this hole and to pitch the ball close is quite the achievement.
The second longest hole on the course, the 12th is also the first hole with bunkers. Two bunkers sit short of the green, welcoming any under hit pitches. A steep slope on the right side of the green is used by more experienced players to bring the ball into the middle of the green. Hitting the green is paramount here as chips tend to run through and be quite unpredictable.
The only green on the course you can’t see from the tee box, meaning pitching to this hole requires a lot of feel. If you don’t get up the hill at the front, you’ll be left with a very tough second shot. Being on the green is a bonus, but there’s plenty of deceiving slopes that make putting difficult. Give every putt a second thought here.
Another short hole that is a test of a player’s pitching ability. Two bunkers sit short of the green, and a large drop at the back welcomes pitches that were hit a little too hard. The green slopes heavily away from the tee box so balls will often skip off the green and down the back.
By index, the easiest hole on the course. A 40 metre uphill pitch to a fairly flat green, with another two bunkers set up in front of the green. The green slopes heavily at the front and right. This hole plays easiest when the pin is on the back portion of the green.
The hardest hole on the course. From an elevated tee, the player must pitch the ball 50 metres toward the relatively small green. Short and the player risks going into one of the two large bunkers. Long or off to the sides and the sides of the green will kick the ball off at least a few feet. Easily the toughest green to pitch from the tee box.
51 metres toward one of the longest greens on the course, 17 is a hole the experienced player will be expecting to birdie more often than not. A single bunker is set up in front of the green and while more skilled players can easily avoid it, it can be very tough to get out of. A large hill sits on the right side of the green, and errant tee shots will often kick off it and toward the middle of the green.
The 18th is situated right in front of the clubhouse and in many ways, it’s a hole similar to the 16th. Long or off to the side and the player will be left with a tough second shot. Short and the player will find the steep bunker. The green is heavily sloped on its right side, but is flatter on the left. A tense hole to play when the clubhouse balcony is loaded in the summer.