Raffeen Creek, Ireland
2020 marked the 45th anniversary of Pfizer club’s first affiliation to the Pitch and Putt Union of Ireland in 1975.
The Pfizer club was retitled Raffeen Creek Pitch and Putt Club about seven years ago and is located within the Raffeen Creek Sports Club complex (which also features a nine hole golf course) in Shanbally, Co. Cork, Ireland, not far from the Ringaskiddy ferry terminal, which links Ireland with France (Roscoff) and Spain (Santander).
Situated less than 20 kilometres from Cork city centre, Raffeen Creek has expertly hosted some of the major Irish championships - including the National Gents' Strokeplay of 1982 and the National Under-16 championships eight years ago.
At first glance, the greens at Raffeen Creek (which lies less than 15 kilometres away from Fountainstown, the birthplace of modern day competitive Pitch and Putt) look comparatively flat but some contain subtle breaks that can prove difficult to read. Several observers feel Raffeen Creek's closing four holes present one of the toughest finishing stretches in Pitch & Putt.
With plenty of greens and tees available, hole numbers move around a little at Raffeen Creek. The gentle opener presents a relatively short, straightforward flat pitch. The 63 metre pitch to the Index 7 sometime third needs to find a small green perched well below the surface of the teeing ground. A large sand bunker protects the fourth green. The uphill 15th (Valley Hole) presents an interesting challenge. The tee shot needs to be struck firmly enough to make the putting surface. Anything pitched short will spin back, leaving a difficult uphill chip. Raffeen Creek's downhill sometime 18th hole measures 68 metres and is rated Index 3. The pitch on 18 must be threaded through a narrow gap in the trees and bushes that surround the teebox.
Raffeen Creek club members Frank O’Donoghue (against Australia in 1994 and in the inaugural European Team championship) and Weeshie Murphy (in the 2014 International Challenge) have represented Ireland internationally.