Opportunity knocks for Poots at Woodbrook

Ronan MacNamara

Katie Poots (Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

The Irish championship season is gathering pace and after John Gough triumphed at last week’s Flogas Irish Men’s Amateur Open Championship, this week the best Women and Girl amateurs take centre stage.

Woodbrook hosts the much-anticipated 2023 Flogas Irish Women and Girls Amateur Open Championship which tees off on Friday May 19-21.

Looking to defend her Girls’ title at Woodbrook while claiming the Women’s prize as part of a double swoop is Knock’s Katie Poots as the championship leaves Baltray after five editions. 


Poots claimed the Irish Girls title at County Louth Golf Club last year having ran Lorna McClymont close on a thrilling final day before eventually finishing second to the Scotswoman in the overall Women’s category. 

“Me and Lorna had good craic all day really,” said Poots reflecting on last year’s championship. “Her back nine on the day was unreal and on 18 I didn’t even realise I had won the Girls until one of the Irish girls came up and told me. It was just great to have all my friends there so we could celebrate together. 

“I played deadly last year, had a few eagles and a lot of birdies which was nice.” 

The teenager has already taken a liking to Woodbrook Golf Club having finished fourth in the Scratch Cup in March which was won by Kate Dwyer. 

“I’m excited to get started. I played the Scratch Cup in Woodbrook at the start of the year just for preparation for the Irish Women’s Amateur, the course was really nice and it was just another competitive round so hopefully I can do well in the championship,” said Poots who finished four-over-par in wet and blustery conditions. 

“It’s a lovely course and it can be quite windy being near the coast but it’s really nice and the greens are in great condition so it will be a tough test and we’ll see how it goes. 

“The plan is to win. I’ll just take every shot as it comes and to win the Girls again would be class and if I could win the Women’s it would be even better, but the main goal is to win both of them hopefully.”  

Opportunity knocks for Poots who can become the first Irish winner of the event since Maria Dunne in 2017. Poots has already taken in spells in France and Spain this year as she ramps up her preparations for the season ahead although they have been clashing with her final year exams in secondary school before she embarks on a new and exciting chapter at the University of Central Florida in August. 

“My prep this year compared to last year has been different with SAT’s and getting ready for America and my A levels,” said Poots who has already paid a visit to what will be her new home to try and get a feel for her surroundings. 

“There’s a girl from England who will be on her final year in Florida when I go over there and it’s always good to have a person you know at the same university. 

“I went out there in November and loved it. It’s always a bit scary but I’m really excited to go over and see what it’s like. The practice facilities over there are in another world and the weather as well.  

“I’m really excited to go over in August and see how my game improves. The game isn’t as good as where I’d want it to be but it’s definitely heading in the right direction so just taking each tournament as it comes and see how it goes. Just trying to get better as the season goes on. 

“My main goal is to get as good as I can get before going to America. I want my game to be in top condition heading over there. Leading up to it I’m just trying to get my game as good as I can get it and just prepare for America.  

“Obviously I want some wins along the way and to get up the world rankings but just go out and have fun,” added the Bridgestone Order of Merit winner who is also targeting spots on the Irish Home Internationals side and GB&I Junior Vagliano team before she leaves. 

2022 proved a fabulous year for Poots who added wins at the Fairhaven Trophy in England and the Connacht Women’s to her Irish Girls’ title, as well as cracking the top-500 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking in the process. 

Such achievements helped her secure a spot at last year’s KPMG Women’s Irish Open in Dromoland Castle where she got to rub shoulders with Leona Maguire and some of the top women professionals in Europe. An opportunity she hopes will become more frequent in the future. 

“It was class playing with professionals, it was a great experience to compare myself to them and it definitely kicked my game on a bit and it was different to anything I had ever experienced before so it was a week to remember,” she said. 

“Their short games are just unreal, there’s not much in terms of driving distance or accuracy, it’s all just short game, short game, short game. Their accuracy is so consistent, every time. It’s not just one time they get it close, it’s every single time so just trying to get the game to there. 

“I’ll miss it this year going to America but hopefully in the future I’ll get a few more professional events.” 

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