Irish Close champ Carew “warming to links golf” as he hunts Irish double

Ronan MacNamara

Garda Quentin Carew back at work with his gleaming AIG Irish Close trophy - Image @gardainfo

Not since Peter O’Keeffe in 2021 has an Irish golfer held both the Irish Amateur Open and Irish Amateur Close titles at the same time, but that’s something Quentin Carew can achieve this week.

Carew enters this week’s Flogas Irish Men’s Amateur Open Championship as the reigning Close winner having beaten Hugh Foley in the final last August.

The Castleknock golfer is possibly still flying in under the radar despite his sensational win in Headfort because his links record isn’t particularly good. However, a win in the Rosslare Scratch Cup and a quarter-final appearance in the West of Ireland suggest he is adapting to coastal conditions.


“Looking forward to it, the Island is one of the best courses you’re going to play all year. It’s a really tough links test, it’s all about getting yourself in play off the tee, it’s huge this week,” said the Allenwood man.

“The game is not too bad and I’m looking forward to getting stuck into it out there.

“I said links was always something I’ve found difficult over the years and I’m slowly learning how to play it and figuring it out there this year was good. I won in Rosslare and had a good time in the West last month so learning how to keep the ball down under the wind and I’m starting to warm to it a good bit now and enjoying it.

“I think links golf is about understanding you’re not going to stand up and rip every ball at the flag and you have to play every shot in the bag and it’s about being patient.”

Carew will admit himself that his game was perhaps too one dimensional for links golf. A high ball flight off the tee and a pin seeking attitude is an unlikely remedy for success in the dunes but the Tallaght based Garda has developed an imagination for links golf and it has paid dividends this year.

“I have a 2-iron in the bag so I’ll be getting friendly with that this week. It’s a patience thing I think in years past I would have tried to attack everything but you have to understand par is a good score in links golf.

“I did a good bit of work on my short game over the winter, my putting is good and my chipping has improved. I did a lot of work with Brendan McDaid and we’ve focused in on using other clubs around the greens rather than sticking with a 58 and trying to have more imagination and that’s something you need out here.”

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