DURING a visit to the “Home of Golf”at St. Andrew’s, back in 2010 Derry man, John O’Donnell and his son Darryn, who was then celebrating his 30th birthday, were fortunate to be on the course at the same time as the official Media Launch of that year’s Open Championship.
Mr. Peter Dawson, secretary of the R&A and several other leading R&A officials were present in the vacinity of the world famous Swilken Bridge with the coveted Claret Jug, the oldest of the four Major trophies (1860) and which remains one of the most sought-after accolades in professional golf.
With a litany of photographers and television camera men taking pictures of the Claret Jug on the Swilken Bridge, John informed Mr. Dawson that it was Darryn’s 30th birthday and asked him if it would be possible to have their photograph taken with the Claret Jug on the Swilken Bridge.
Mr. Dawson was happy to oblige, informing the Derry pair that this was the original Claret Jug, the trophy never allowed to leave the confines of the St. Andrew’s club.
Meanwhile, almost four years on andDarryn, who resides in New Jersey, U.S.A., opted to enter the photograph in a competition organised by “Perrygolf.com,” a travel company specialising in golfing holidays all over the world. The travel company was seeking personal photographs associated with th esport of golf in an effort to find their “best ever personal golf snap.”
Amazingly, the “luck of the O’Donnell’s” then kicked-in with the the Waterside father and son receiving confirmation that their photograph from 2010 had won the top prize!
In fact, the President of “Perrygolf.com,” who was one of the judges in the competition, commented: “Standing on the Swilken Bridge on your 30th birthday, holding the Claret Jug with your dad, it just doesn’t get much better then that!”
Having now been officially declared the winners, the first prize for the John and Darryn is five a nights stay in St, Andrew’s, staying at the five star Fairmont St. Andrew’s Hotel; three rounds of golf to be played on the Old Course, the New Course and the Kingsbarns course - with a rental car thrown in for good measure during the five days of the trip!
When interviewed after news of their lucky break was made public last week, John, a current member of the local North-West Golf Club, Lisfannon, said he was thrilled with the win.
“It’s as if all our Christmases have arrived at the same time,” he laughed.
“However, to win a five days trip, going back to visit and play at St. Andrew’s, the home of golf, is simply magical. It’s like visiting the Disneyworld for golfers,” he added.
The pair have since organised to set off next month to Scotland for what promises to be yet another memorable golfing experience.
Meanwhile, on the local front, the official launch of the new North-West Inter-Club League will take place in the Foyle Golf Centre on Wedneseday next, March 26th at 7.30 p.m.
The following local clubs have registered an interest in competing in the competition - Buncrana, Ballyliffin, Faughan Valley, Foyle, Greencastle, North-West, Redcastle and Roe Park.
City of Derry
Norman Kane emerged victorious following some great scoring in the Joe Ramsey Trophy, played over 18 holes last Thursday at City of Derry Golf Club.
Norman defeated Robin McClay on a tie-break after both players had returned scores of 44 points. In fact, just two points separated the top five places in what was a scramble for the prestigious prize.
The presentation will take place on Skipper’s Day on April 3rd next.
Members are reminded to list their names and choice of meal on the sheets provided in either the Locker Room or the Professional’s Shop, if they wish to attend dinner and presentation.
Full results were - Joe Ramsey Trophy - 1, break of tie, Norman Kane (17) 44 points; 2, Robin McClay (14) 44; 3, break of tie, John Woods (13) 43; 4, Eddie Mitchell (15) 43; 5, Paul Glackin (12) 42.
Dermot Coyle took top honours in last week’s Thursday Society outing at Lisfannon, the former club President and Captain, returned a superb score of 41 points.
Full results were - Singles Stableford - 1, Dermot Coyle, 41 points; 2, Davy McElhinney, 39; 3, Dudley Coyle (42, -2), 38.
‘Twos’ were carded by Mickey Bradley, Gerry Coyle and Brian O’Sullivan.
This Thursday’s competition is another Singles Stableford over 18 holes.
Meanwhile, the weeily North-West Open “Meal Deal” continues today (Tuesday) with a timesheet in operation.
Visitors pay E21 which includes green fee, competition and a meal in the clubhouse following the completion of round.
For bookings please telephone Gary in the Golf Shop on 00353 7493 61715 (from N. Ireland).