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  'Monstrous' Insights - Lee Stynes

Westmeath Inter-County player Lee Stynes is hugely pleased that the 2020 Irish Open will be played at Lough Owel. "Myself and all members of Lough Owel Club are delighted to be selected to host the 2020 Irish Open. It gives our members a huge boost and sense of pride and as always will pull the club together to enhance our future on the pitch and putt map."

Lough Owel enjoys a massive reputation around the Pitch and Putt world. Lee enthusiastically tells us more."Lough Owel is known as "The Monster" at home and abroad. We are probably the longest or certainly one of the longest courses in Ireland. We have extensive greens with plenty of breaks which means the player who becomes the Irish Open champion will have found their putting to be a huge factor.

Club Secretary Lee has been rightly praised for the quality of his proposal to Pitch and Putt Ireland for Lough Owel to host the Open and explained the proces to us. "I spent a lot of time carefully preparing our proposal. My first action was to do research by speaking to those clubs who have had the honour of holding this event in the past. I spoke with Pat Green, Damien Fleming and of course our overseas ambassador Ed Janssen. I had numerous meetings with Bord Failte, Mullingar Chamber, Uisneach Catering and the club's main sponsor Ciaran Clarke of Clarke's Bar Mullingar to help gather idea's and information to make the event as successful as we can. My wife Karina took this information and put it all together helping to formulate the initial proposal, which I then had professionally drawn up."

Dublin native Lee is promising a very exciting package for visitors to Co. Westmeath and Lough Owel next August  - both on course and off. "2020 is a big year for Mullingar town as it hosts Fleadh 2020 (huge traditional Irish Music festival), which will see it as one of the most visited towns next year. This event is the week before the Irish Open 2020. Catering for the weekend will be provided by Uisneach Catering who have won numerous awards. On the Saturday there will be a choice of three meals, which include a gluten free option.

There's even a nod to climate change! "Uisneach Catering also use biodegradable plates and cutlery."

A contestant in the VI Irish Open at Seapoint, Lee isn't playing Pitch and Putt at the moment as he has recently undergone surgery but hopes to take his place in the 2020 Irish Open."I am currently recovering from an operation, which involved taking three bone grafts from my hip to rebuild my shoulder but with eight months to go I'm optimistic I will be able to participate in the big event."

Lee wouldn't be drawn on whether he thinks foreign players will have a better chance of winning at Lough Owel than some of the other Irish courses but hopes to see a huge non-Irish reoresentation in the field. There is an international ‘flavour’ to the membership at Lough Owel with their Dutch ‘imports’.and that did have an impact on the decision to apply for the Irish Open?"We're confident that there will be a big overseas crowd. We have 15-20 Dutch members who are also advocating "The Monster" to other Dutch players and who knows we may even see our overseas members increase also. In previous years the Irish Open has drawn a lot of Spanish players who have travelled to Ireland specifically for this event and know the standard and hospitality to expect and we hope to see this continue. We have also seen many English players travel to Ireland to play in the south so I'm sure they will make the trip to the midlands to try tame the monster."