Esker Hills Golf Club – April 2016 Yesterday I had the pleasure of playing at Esker Hills Golf Club, home of Shane Lowry, and I quite liked the idea of me playing his home track as he is teeing it up at The Masters.
The club was hosting a special event – From Esker Hills to Augusta to celebrate that Shane Lowry just happened to be playing on one of golf’s biggest stages.
I arrived early (as per usual) and as it was chilly parked my back to the fire as soon as I stepped into the welcoming clubhouse. I had a good golf chat with a couple of members and I was pleased to watch some old Masters footage on the television, as being new to golf I haven’t seen anything from more than two years ago.
I also had a golf chat with Greg (the current Captain) before Kevin arrived and we met up with the others for a spot of lunch before teeing off. There is nothing like a a chicken curry to warm the insides on a chilly Irish afternoon.
After posing for a photo we teed off the first and I was very pleased to have a nice solid par. I hit a cracking shot with the used Callaway 5w (that I bought earlier in the week) and after hitting five golf shots in a row, I actually looked like I knew what I was doing.
I had a great chat to the boys as we traversed the hills with our trolleys (Aaron carried) and for anyone who has the pleasure of playing this track before will know just walking the course is a great workout in itself.
It was soggy and a little rainy in patches but the course really is wonderful and a great test of golf. I seem to have mastered the 5w and am even considering not repairing my 3w but replacing it instead – I will think on that a little longer. My golf is by no means great but I did have moments of greatness yesterday with some very well connected shots.
I was very happy to par the 1st and the 9th but between the two there were also a couple of scratches, as we were playing an individual stableford.
I had drop kicks and quite a few belly laughs as I completely duffed numerous shots. I had a terrible drive off the 16th (let’s be honest it is not a good day when you get dirt on your driver from drop kicking it on the tee) but I still managed to come away with a double after hitting two great 5w shots – I am loving this club.
I got to watch some wonderful golf from the boys, all of them having some amazing shots. While golf for me is predominantly “getting yourself out the the crap you just put yourself in” (my golf game anyway as I am a bit of a scrambler) there is something about witnessing golf magic from the clubs of your partners.
We had a coffee stop on the 12th and I pulled out more banana oatmeal slice (I had made enough for all of us to have two pieces each). It was quite popular with my playing partners (just saying).
The boys all enjoyed at least one birdie but for me the only birdies I saw were the ducks and the crows.
The rain stopped and we had a laugh on the 11th as I pointed to the glowing cloud noting the sun was out – and yet come out it did on the 15th (I even had a shadow).
The last three holes were played in the glorious early evening sunshine. I actually made the boys stop as we walked up the 18th to appreciate exactly where we were in that moment with the green glowing in the afternoon light.
Darren and Aaron had to leave right away but Kevin and I stepped into the warmth of the clubhouse which was full of folk watching The Masters. I loved the atmosphere in the clubhouse with the timber and stone and the fire and kitchen and of course all the wonderful golfers fixed to the televisions.
Shane came on television and a hush went through the place, everyone holding their breath as he lined up his birdie putt on the 15th and the roar of delight and cheer when the ball dropped in the cup was fantastic.
What a special moment for me, to be watching The Masters in the home club of Shane Lowry while we watch him on television.
I had another chat with captain Greg and then Kevin and I joined Ray Molloy. We talked golf in Ireland and what is happening at Esker Hills and various marketing strategies that are in place in other parts of the world all the while watching the masters duke it out on television.
At Ray’s urging I pulled out the video camera again and filmed the folk in the clubhouse who cheered and applauded their local champion and then broke out into a local Irish ballad.
What a wonderful day and celebration of golf!
Thank you for inviting me Kevin.