Gort Golf Club are in Revive Active Women’s Four ball action on Friday with the opportunity to set a new milestone in the club.
The ten-strong team from Galway have triumphed in Connacht and will now face off against Dungannon in the quarter-finals as they bid to banish the memories of a semi-final loss in 2021.
Opportunity knocks again and with a chance to move on to Inter-Club finals at Knightsbrook next month, the pressure is on. But their team captain, Anne Marie Craddock, knows just how far her relatively small club have come in such a short space of time. And they are backboned by a new cohort of players who have taken to the game in order to get out on the golf course and keep active. Craddock, herself, recently retired from her job where she worked with people with disabilities and is thrilled to have golf as a hobby and social outlet.
“It’s my pastime. I’m just after retiring so now I’m going to be golfing more which is great,” said Craddock. “I worked with the health service so you can imagine when Covid struck we really didn’t get time for golfing that much, due to work and the health service, but now I have plenty of time to keep active.”
Gort have had an influx of beginners into the game and their ‘Get into Golf’ programme has even had an impact on their Revive Active Women’s Fourball team. Anne Connolly, Marcella Killeen and Petra O’Connor all came through the ranks there.
“They brought down their handicaps very quickly, I mean those girls are only in the golf club a few years, five years probably,” said Craddock.
“The person that started the ‘Get into Golf’ was Jane Joyce, who is a volunteer with Golf Ireland, and it was her who started the first lot coming in and she did a great job.
“They would go out for their round or practice, we will say, with a coach and then she would bring them up and they would be entertained up there. They would all sit together and have a cup of tea and biscuits. The other women in the club would take them out golfing as well and she really did a great job with it and that’s really how we started it.
“We have three rounds of it now and our membership have gone from 60 women to 120 which is great to say. They are very involved in the club they support everything, and they have done an awful lot. They are very involved and support everything in the club, there’s a great bunch of women there now.”
And this week Gort will be looking for another shot at glory when they take on Dungannon. It is a huge chance to reach the national finals again and Craddock is determined to see her club go further.
“It would mean the world to us in Gort, as you can imagine we are a small club surrounded by bigger clubs and it would be just fantastic for the morale and everything for everybody, just fantastic,” said Craddock.
“A win would be super, we are delighted that we won the Connacht final but to get to the next stage and after being beaten in 2021 it would be fantastic for us.”
Speaking before the quarter final round, Revive Active MD Daithí O’Connor said “We are delighted to support Golf in Ireland, it has been a large focus of ours particularly in the past few years, we are proud to have Irish Golfer Tom McKibbin as our Brand Ambassador for the past two years and have sponsored the Ladies Four Ball for over five years now. We are thrilled to see Gort, a club on our doorstep in Galway winning the Connacht Finals. We wish them the very best of luck and to all those competing this weekend.”
The Revive Active Women’s Fourball All Ireland quarter-finals will take place from Friday 25 to Sunday 27 August in four neutral venues across the island.
- Gort (Connacht) vs Dungannon (Ulster South) Friday 25 August at Mannon CastleGolf Club
- Dundalk (Leinster North) vs Greenisland (Ulster North) Saturday 26 Augustat Greenore Golf Club
- Gowran Park (Leinster Central) vs Ballybunion (Munster West) Sunday 27 August at Nenagh Golf Club
- Dun Laoghaire (Leinster South) vs Cahir Park (Munster East) Sunday 27 August at Youghal Golf Club