St. Anne's, Cork, Ireland
In the words of club personality Frank Dineen, "We are a strong club based in Cork Ireland. We are in the middle of a city suburb of what has been designated a disadvantaged area yet the club stands as a beacon in our community. We were runners up in the PPUI Course of the Year competition for 2010 and played host to the Irish Intercounty Championship last October."
St. Anne's counts among its membership double Irish champion Darren Collins as well as 2008 Irish Strokeplay champion and winner of the II Irish Open - Frank Dineen.
St Anne's boasts many stand out holes. The first gently rises 52 metres from the clubhouse to a green set creatively into a hill. Great use of the natural slopes is made in an ingenious design. The ninth plays semi blind downhill to a green 56 metres below. The sloping 10th green has broken many hearts. The 17th measures just 47 metres but a tiny green and a strategically placed front bunker make for a searching assignment.
Numerous Munster and All Ireland Champions have come out of the club over the years and even a number of international players - names like Ann Ginnane, John O'Neill, Kay Foley, Kieran Dunscombe, John Foley, Donal Long and Marie Allen in addition to Dineen and Collins.
One of Ireland's foremost Pitch and Putt journalists, Vincent Allen, is a member of St. Anne's. Vincent is a PPUI Hall of Famer and his wife Phil has also contributed richly to Pitch and Putt over the decades.
Located on the grounds of Our Lady's Hospital, Shanakiel road, on the northside of Cork City, St. Anne's has in excess of 200 members. Hosts to various All-Ireland Championships over the years and an international challenge in 1983, the club boasts some of the finest (and trickiest!) putting greens to be found in Ireland.
The current course record for 18 holes is held by Thomas Lynch (E.S.B.), who fired 39 (-15) during the 2009 Scratch Cup*. The current course record for 36 holes is held by John Walsh (Collins), with 22 under for 36 holes (86)*.
*These are the current course records on the "new" championship course (after alterations to some bunkers and tee-boxes in 2009).
On the old course the course record was held for quite a few years by Darren Collins (St. Annes) with a score of 25 under for 36 holes (83). In 2007, Kieran Dunscombe then of St.Annes shot an incredible score of 27 under for 36 holes (81). That score included a 'hole-in-one' on the same hole (the difficult 14th) twice in the 2 rounds!
Founded in July 1966 , the course was the brainchild of the Cork Health Authority personality, Dr.R. McCarthy, the Medical Superindent at Our Lady's Hospital. The main driving force came from Mr Tim O' Leary. One could say without any fear of contradiction that the first nine holes were built by Tim in 1966 with little more than a wheelbarrow and shovel. The official opening of the original nine hole course was in July 1966 by the late Sean Casey, then Lord Mayor of Cork. A further nine holes were quickly added and the layout remains largely unchanged today.
St. Anne's Pitch and Putt club is proudly and generously sponsored by Singleton's Supervalu, Hollyhill.
Many thanks to Frank Dineen and to Darren Collins for their assistance with this feature.
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