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Tuesday, May 26, 2020
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Welcome to Finals week at Westport  

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Learning from the pros

We can all learn a thing or two by watching the pros in person. Just a shame that spectator-free events make such opportunities unlikely this year

One Sunday every summer, as the song goes, the pilgrims climb the reek. 

Westport Golf Club, a stunning set beneath Croagh Patrick’s brooding peak, is a shrine for devotees of a different kind this week. Golfers from all four provinces are travelling to Co Mayo in search of glory on the greens. 

Five club championships are down for decision at the AIG Cups and Shields Finals, which begin on Friday (20 September). Limerick, chasing a rare Senior Cup-Barton Shield double, get proceedings underway in the semi-finals of the Barton Shield against Warrenpoint. By Friday afternoon, they will either be halfway towards that double or regrouping ahead of their Senior Cup semi-final on Saturday against Galway, which is a repeat of the 2017 final won by the Connacht side. 

While Limerick are among the headline acts, every challenger is chasing a dream. For the host club, all eyes are on the Junior Cup, which offers Westport the chance to savour All Ireland glory on their home patch. Champions once before, at Lahinch in 1980, Westport suffered three heartbreaking losses between 2006 and 2017Those defeats – at Enniscrone in ‘06, at Royal Tara in 2013, and at Carton House in ‘17 – have not deterred a committed cohort of players. But will playing at home feel like a comfort? Saturday’s semi-final against Ulster champions, Malone, will tell a tale. 

Clubs such as Massereene (Senior Cup), Carton House (Senior Cup) Dundalk (Barton Shield), Dun Laoghaire (Junior Cup), Roscommon (Jimmy Bruen Shield), Tandragee (Jimmy Bruen Shield) and Rossmore (Pierce Purcell Shield) have yet to win on this stage. For them, success this week would seem like fairytale stuff. 

Then there are serial winners hungry for more: Warrenpoint and Co Sligo in the Barton Shield; Galway in the Senior Cup; Nenagh and The Island in the Jimmy Bruen Shield. 

At the AIG Cups and Shields Finals, agony and ecstasy are never far apart. Golf, when played in team format, magnifies emotion. Some soar and more despair but the spectacle never loses its appeal. 

Full Programme & Schedule HERE

New Gear

Get to grips with Golf Pride online

With restrictions still widespread, Golfers can find the perfect golf grip digitally with the Golf Pride online Grip Selector tool, offering us access to the company's most extensive ever range

Free GPS App from Bushnell Golf gets a massive upgrade

Free to download for all Bushnell Golf product owners, the new App provides access to state-of-the-art graphics and technology designed to further enhance a golfer's experience on the course

TaylorMade unveil timely MyMG2 personalised wedges

New custom wedge programme offers thousands of combinations to personalise the company’s latest wedge offerings

Golf needs its Putt Buddy now more than ever

An Irish company, run by Irish golfers have enlisted the help of Irish manufacturers to produce a stainless steel product that allows the ball to be removed from the hole without touching the flagstick

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