Shane Lowry’s coach, Neil Manchip, says he is confident The First Tee team are almost ready to take on the KPMG Women’s Irish Open Pro-Am.
Valerie Wheeler, Pamela Joyce and Lorraine Keane have spent the summer learning about the game while taking part in Golf Ireland’s latest initiative that aims to get more women involved in golf.
The First Tee, Journey to Dromoland, sees the three celebrities go from relative beginners to playing in the Pro-Am event at the KPMG Women’s Irish Open in Dromoland on 30 August.
They have been training alongside their Golf Ireland professionals and recently Ireland coach Manchip got to take them out on the Montgomerie Course at Carton House.
“There is no shortage of enthusiasm, there is no short of dedication to their new-found sport and definitely some talent there as well so we have got a lot to work with,” said Manchip.
“In a month’s time all roads lead to Dromoland and the KPMG Women’s Irish Open so they’re very apprehensive but looking forward to it.”
Spin South West presenter, Wheeler, is being coached by her partner and golf professional Gavin Young. Today FM host, Joyce, and IFTA-nominated broadcaster, Keane, have been learning from Golf Ireland’s own, Mary Doyle.
And Manchip, who is also Golf Ireland High Performance Director, knows that they have lots to learn out on the golf course but could see the progression even during his three holes with them.
“Great fun, each one of the players made good progress,” said Manchip.
“They all hit good shots. Learned a bit about the architecture of the course, played a bit out of the bunkers. Had a few putts, some good short game as well. So a bit of all parts of the game covered which was great fun.
“The main thing is just being a bit more comfortable and knowing how the game works and playing the next shot and learning about the different clubs, which club to use where.
“So there is quite a lot to pick up and golf courses sometimes can be a bit intimidating, you’ve got people waiting for you, people watching you.
“So just learning a bit about that and learning how the different grasses work and which club to use from which situation. Quite a lot to do in three holes.
“A few more rounds like that would be really really good, and some practise on the driving range and a bit more tuition as well.”