COURSE of the MONTH

INDEX

Jun 06 - St.Patricks, Ireland
Jul 06 - Teia, Catalonia
Aug 06 - Stanley Park, Canada
Sep 06 - Portmarnock, Ireland
Oct 06 - Sant Cebria, Catalonia
Nov 06 - Papendal, Netherlands
Dec 06 - Horsholm, Denmark
Jan 07 - Shandon, Ireland
Feb 07 - Portal del Roc, Catalonia
Mar 07 - Terrey Hills, Australia
Apr 07 - Jones Beach Park, USA
May 07 - Gualta, Catalonia
June 07 - Stackallen, Ireland
July 07 - Sant Jaume, Catalonia
August 07 - Waverley, Australia
September 07 - La Rosaleda, Canary Islands
October 07 - Fornells, Catalonia
November 07 - RGSC, Ireland
December 07 - Centenary Park, UK.
January 08 - Chia Laguna, Italy.
March 08 - Royal Meath, Ireland.
April 08 - Imjelt, Norway.
May 08 - Les Goelands, France.
June 08 - Les Moulins, Verbier, Switzerland.
July 08 - Glenville, Ireland.
Aug 08 - Lloret Papalus, Catalonia.
Sep 08 - Southern Cross, Australia
Oct 08 - Overbetuwe, Netherlands
Nov 08 - Fermoy, Ireland
Dec 08 - St. Moritz, Switzerland
Jan 09 - Larkspur Park, Ireland
Feb 09 - Lleida, Catalonia
March 09 - Glanville Hall, Australia
April 09 - St. Stephen's, Ireland
May 09 - Kristtornskogen, Norway
June 09 - Bussloo, Netherlands
July 09 - West Palace, China
Aug 09 - Canberra International, Australia
Sept 09 - Teyco l'Ampolla, Catalonia
Oct 09 - Cloghogue, Ireland
Nov 09 - El Torrent, Andorra
Dec 09 - Colegio Medico, Chile
Jan 10 - 2Club Golf, Ohio, USA
Feb 10 - Mas Pages, Catalonia
Mar 10 - Locarno, Switzerland
Apr 10 - Erin's Isle, Ireland
May 10 - Queen Elizabeth Park, Canada
June 10 - Heerde, Netherlands
July 10 - El Vendrell, Catalonia
Aug 10 - Deerpark, Ireland
Sep 10 - Nuolen, Switzerland
Oct 10 - Tennis Mora, Catalonia
Nov 10 - Koekange, Netherlands
Dec 10 - Collinstown, Ireland
Jan 11 - Utsikten, Norway
Feb 11 - Pazo da Touza, Galicia
Mar 11 - Seapoint, Ireland
Apr 11 - Groningen, Netherlands
May 11 - St. Anne's, Ireland
Jun 11 - Bonarea, Catalonia
Jul 11 - Central Park, UK.
Aug 11 - Boiro, Galicia.
Sept 11 - Ring Commons, Ireland.
Oct 11 - Bryne & Kro, Norway.
Nov 11 - Vall d'Ordino, Andorra.
Dec 11 - Claycastle, Ireland.
Jan 12 - West Golf, Germany.
Feb 12 - Wolvega, Netherlands.
Mar 12 - Hcap 1, Catalonia.
Apr 12 - Valley View, Australia.

Course of the Month - LARKSPUR PARK, CASHEL, CO. TIPPERARY, IRELAND.

On the The Green in historic Cashel, in the Irish midlands, lies a Pitch and Putt masterpiece. Surrounded by tall trees and dotted with well-pruned bushes and lovingly-tended flowers is one of Ireland's top courses. Cashel stands deep in a hotbed of another of Ireland's most popular sports, hurling, but has also become something of a mecca for Pitch and Putt enthusiasts.

Cashel's Town Park is named Larkspur - after the winner of the 1962 Epsom Derby whose owner, Raymond Guest (USA Ambassador to Ireland, 1965 -1968) donated the park. The horse was trained at Ballydoyle stables (just outside Cashel) by the man who left an indelible mark on the world racing scene, Vincent O'Brien. Vincent O'Brien is now retired. Vincent is no relation to his namesake, Aidan O'Brien, but Aidan is carrying on the great horse racing training tradition at Ballydoyle, recording unprecedented successes on the racecourses of the world. Larkspur Park Pitch and Putt course certainly deserves global renown.


Larkspur Park Pitch and Putt course.

Cashel has a very ancient history. The Rock of Cashel, traditional seat seat of the Kings of Munster, with its well preserved ecclesiastical remains, is one of Ireland's most spectacular landmarks, rising above the surrounding plain. The Cathedral and castle, perched on a dramatic outcrop of rock, were silent witnesses to many of the stirring events of Irish History; St.Patrick converted the local King Aenghus, here in the 5th century; Brian Boru was crowned King of Ireland on this spot in the early 11th Century. The site, one of the most visited in Ireland, now provides an interpretative centre, (multiingual) an interesting museum, guided tours and superb views over the extensive and beautiful plains of Tipperary. Larkspur Park is clearly visible from the famous Rock just as one can study the Rock in a quiet moment during a round at Larkspur Park.

As well as the Pitch and Putt course, the Larkspur Park complex boasts four outdoor all weather surface tennis courts along with Badminton & Squash Courts. The clubrooms are lavish and extensive and the visitors are assured of a typically hospitable Tipperary welcome.

Larkspur Park is a wonderful course in a beautiful setting. The eighteenth is Larkspur Park's most famous hole. Sixty metres long, it was ever a tricky assignment. However, since Brian Webster re-designed it in 2002, its fame has spread. Brian added a water feature. The 18th green is now ringed by water and that certainly makes for exciting finishes to the rounds. Many players name the 18th as their favourite hole of all courses. The long uphill second is another standout hole. All around the course, excellent use is made of the rolling terrain with a thrilling variety of sidehill, downhill and uphill pitches. Subtly sloping greens complete a very thorough test of Pitch and Putt.




The famous 18th green at Larkspur Park Pitch and Putt course.

Such is the quality of the Larkspur Park course that it has been in regular demand as a venue for the major Irish championships. Host to the 1994 National Juvenile Strokeplay championships, Larkspur Park has also seen action in the Inter-County championships (1997 and 2008), National Mixed Foursomes (2004) and National Men's Strokeplay championship (2006).

Some important international trials have been held at Larkspur Park and the popular Co. Tipperary course attracts many repeat visitors for its annual Scratch Cup and Juvenile Open.

Larkspur Park's greenkeeper (on a voluntary basis) is Brian Webster, who played for Ireland in their European championship victory at Overbetuwe in 2005. Brian is a former Irish Boys' Strokeplay champion (1994 on his beloved Larkspur Park) and is a professional greenkeeper - he works at the nearby Dundrum House Golf Club. Brian has tended the greens at Larkspur Park for more than a decade. The greens generally run quite fast on the stimpmeter and are universally held to be some of the best in Irish Pitch and Putt.



Another view of 18th green with the imposing Larkspur Park clubhouse in the background.



Course of the Month.

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