The eagerly-anticipated 60th edition of the prestigious All-Ireland Father & Son Foursomes competition will take place at Castle Golf Club in July.
Once again sponsored by proud supporters, Dawson Jewellers, the event was postponed in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid-19 but celebrations for the 60th anniversary edition are sure to make for a great occasion for all involved given how long the event has been in the making.
Qualifying rounds for this year’s tournament take place on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd July with matches taking place over the following week, culminating in the final on Sunday 10th July.
Visit www.castlegc.ie to reserve your preferred time with online booking opening on Monday May 16th at 10am.
About the event
It all started in1961 when some Juveniles got together and proposed the idea of a competition in which they could participate on a Saturday. The Captain of the day Gerry Garland suggested a Father and Son Foursomes and that was it. The first year it was an internal affair confined to Castle members. The inaugural winners were Dick and Tom Lenehan and it was played over 18 holes stroke play. The following year it was opened to other Clubs and it continued as stroke play until 1964 when it altered to its present format of match play. The first winners in that year were Davy and Brian Knott. The Rules of the Competition have remained the same ever since.
As years passed the event became more and more popular and to accommodate the increasing numbers a pre-qualifying round was introduced. The time sheet started at 6.00am; still there was a waiting list so in recent years the qualifying had to be extended to Saturday and Sunday. Over the years many Irish Internationals and current professionals have taken part. Mark Bloom (and his father Jack, the donor of the Bloom Cup), Jody Fanagan, Tom Craddock, Noel Fox to mention a few.
Of course the most famous winners in 1967 were the late Joe Carr and son Roddy. J B Carr was a very busy golfer in those days; so to facilitate him a special parking spot was reserved beside the clubhouse. At a recent Pro-Am in Castle Phillip Walton recalled how he caddied for his father in 1973 when the Waltons were successful. Martin Sludds, now a professional in the south of England was a beaten finalist. In the early ’80s a regular entry come from the then President of Ireland Dr. Paddy Hillary and son John; sadly they never made the match play.
Over the years we have had entries from all over Ireland and from time to time from across the water. Every year since 1961in early July, the All Ireland Father and Son Competition takes place without interruption…There was one exception; in 1973 during the qualifying round, the Gardai arrived to announce there was a bomb scare, (maybe someone who could not get on the time sheet !!!) and the clubhouse and course were to be evacuated. Competitors were told to mark their place on the fairways and greens, vacate the ground and only continue when the search had been completed. When the all clear was sounded, after almost three hours, play continued. Quite a few groups did not help their chances of making it to the match-play rounds after retiring to the local ale house during the break.
It speaks volumes for the popularity of the All Ireland Father and Son that it grows from strength to strength and it has never been found necessary to alter the format since 1964.
*with thanks to Castle Golf Club.