Finally Footgolf Day arrived in Colemanstown on Saturday May 25th and what a success it was with over 150 participants teeing off in the first ever Footgolf Tournament. For those who were out in the early part of the day it was a serene feeling for a change to have the sun on your back and certainly added to the atmosphere and the occasion. This competition certainly had the wow factor and it was only when it was played first hand that you began to experience the comraderie between competitors and the exhilaration and excitement of this game was quickly catching on and one could see how it is fast becoming one of the upcoming sports. Our beautiful Footgolf course in Colemnastown, made up of 9 holes was exceptionally and carefully planned and designed in our own ‘backyard’ by our local Design Team led by Ross Sullivan, ably assisted by the Ladies Soccer Team, and input from the Finance Committee and Community members. Such was the level of commitment undertaken by all in ensuring this footgolf green was constructed to the highest standard, using all natural amenities and characteristics available in this rural setting, and ensuring that everything was utilised to it’s full potential. On constructing the greens the natural gradient of the surface was fully accounted for with hills and hollows creating natural bunkers, bulrushes making some of the shots more challenging and full advantage was taken of the meandering river separating the footgolf course from the club house with the addition of a specially constructed bridge by Finbar Donnellan so that a water shot could be successfully incorporated as an additional challenge. There was even a poor fisherman (Wilson) who spent the entire day by the riverbank trying to net a catch and was only successful after an energy boost thanks to the kindness of PC and his bar of chocolate! Sincere thanks to all who gave their time freely and unselfishly in assisting with the top class construction of this course.
For the footgolf competition groups of three were organised to Tee off at 10 min intervals. The greens were a buzz with the sound of laughter from early morning with the first participants teeing off at 8.00 am and play continued at a steady pace right throughout the day. To facilitate those who could not play on Saturday a few Tee slots were made available and fully utilised on Friday evening. This tournament attracted a big turn out and was suitable for everyone, a combination of half golf/half football so it suited most sport enthusiasts and above all those who were there to enjoy a day full of fun and excitement. The men’s competition went to a play off between Brierfield natives Paddy Mullins and Ollie Crowe. Paddy was the winner of the 3 hole playoff, played over holes 7, 8 and 9 with Ollie Crowe getting 1st runner up slot and 2nd runner up was Conor Jackson, Garbally. The winner of the ladies competition was Hazel McCafferty from Mayo followed by 1st runner up and ladies team manager Kara Mullins and 2nd runner up her sister Tessa. Nearest the pin was won by Michael Mullins, longest drive for males was won by Matthew Mills and females Tessa Mullins. There was also an additional novelty prize for the first person to get a hole in one on any hole on the course and this was won by Paddy Mullins who sank his ball on the very first hole, a precision kick of 99 meters. You can call that a ‘fluke’ ‘pot luck’ ‘skill’, or ‘talent’ but you’d be hard pushed to get a premiership player who would have done the same as Paddy Mullins at 16 years old! The prize for best dressed ‘Footgolfer’, male and female, went to Rory O’Connor, Monivea, and Kara Mullins, Brierfield. It’s fair to say that there was a lot of competition in this category. Fair play to all the Footgolfers who turned up in golf attire and those who entered into the spirit by turning up in fancy dress, it was obvious on the day that much thought and effort was put into all the outfits. Many of the prizewinners hailed from the greater Brierfield area so whatever preparations were spearheaded by Vera & Rosaleen Mullins, they certainly seem to have the secret ingredients required!
The concept for Footgolf in Colemanstown was initially the pearl of wisdom of Ross Sullivan and Patricia Burke and as the idea expanded and developed Finbar Donnellan and the Burke family were all roped in to give a helping hand. At this stage the Ladies Soccer Team was re-established in the club and the ladies team came on board and committed themselves whole heartily from the offset in organising this event with great assistance from the Finance Committee and local community members who were so proactive in every way possible. This event was organised with so much energy, enthusiasm & professionalism by all involved and went without a glitch from beginning to end. No stone was left unturned by the organisers in a bid to ensure that this Footgolf Tournament was a successful and unforgettable event. Thanks to Frank and Bernie Burke and family, especially in this era when fodder supplies are low, who kindly donated the use of their field and allowed it to be transformed into a first class Footgolf Green. Thanks to Broderick Lawn Cutting Services who kindly enhanced the greens and the course in general and to Cregmore Golf Course for the loan of their flag poles. A big thank you to the many generous sponsors and local businesses who kindly sponsored Tee Boxes; all sponsor names and company logos were displayed on the course on the day. Thanks also to the numerous people who gave spot prizes for the raffle on the night. Following the successful completion of our first ever Footgolf Tournament, many retired to the local hostillery or in golfing terms the 19th hole where the ladies team had organised a splendid BBQ with our local chefs Kevin Devally and Gerry Broderick. With the bodies replenished everyone was in flying form and partied the night away to music by DJ Martin. On the night Linda Broderick Mannion took on the role of MC and what a new role Linda has found for herself within the club; prizes were presented by Ladies Team Manager Kara Mullins.
Overall it was a remarkably outstanding fundraising success, a thoroughly fun filled day and night in every way possible and was hugely enhanced by the good-will and community spirit which it generated. It ticked every box in terms of relaxation, interaction, craic, uniqueness & communication for all involved. The newly formed Colemanstown Ladies Soccer Team took on the responsibility for organising this fun event on behalf of the soccer club and the club are indebted to them for the work & efforts they have put in over the last number of weeks. There’s no doubt about it, but they certainly know how to do it with passion & style! We are already looking forward to their next fundraising event. Pictures to be uploaded to website over the coming days.