The new County Armagh Golf Club Captain's Day Perpetual Cup, which has been kindly donated by 2017 Captain Richard Stewart, will be competed for on Friday/Saturday for the very first time.
Who'll be the first person to get their name engraved on this beautiful trophy?
He has been one of County Armagh's most consistent golfing campaigners over many years and, on 11 June, Paul Doyle lived up to that billing with a characteristically assured nett 66 to secure top spot in the Sunday stroke competition.
Doyle birdied the 3rd to nullify his bogey at the previous hole before further dropped shots at the 5th and 8th saw him reach the turn in 36 strokes.
A tremendous, if topsy-turvy, level-par back nine would follow, with the retired schoolteacher bogeying the 10th, 16th and 18th but slotting another birdie at the 12th and then holing his approach to the 14th green for a spectacular eagle two.
Paul's mastery of low-ball-flight golf is often admired, and he'll hope to earn more plaudits by consolidating the five-handicap status bestowed upon him by this excellent two-over-par round.
County Armagh Golf Club's index 18 and shortest par 5: the 12th, Ballyheridan.
It's difficult to imagine a performance more deserving of glory than that produced by John Maguire on Saturday 10 June.
Maguire illuminated the Lonsdale Cup, sponsored by Armagh City Hotel, with a stunning four-under-par gross 66 to earn a two-shot victory over the rest of a packed 195-man field.
Having netted category and gross prizes in recent weeks, John had already signalled that he was recapturing something like his best form.
Now, after turning in such a majestic display in one of the most prestigious fixtures in the County Armagh Golf Club calendar, he has identified himself as very much a golfer for the big occasion.
The then four-handicapper's sublime showing began with a tepid five at the 1st. However, a hat-trick of birdies at the 3rd, 6th and 7th and just one more dropped shot, at the 8th, saw him reach the turn in only 33 strokes.
Then followed an utterly flawless three-under-par back nine, in which another quick-fire Maguire birdie treble nestled nicely among six serene pars.
Uppermost among the myriad impressive aspects of John's Lonsdale masterclass are the fact that it arrived on a day of such stiff winds and his assured 4, 4, 4 denouement when many others would surely have lacked such composure.
The magnificent Lonsdale Cup is presented to winner John Maguire by Brian McCormack, representing sponsors Armagh City Hotel, and Club Captain Richard Stewart.
The pattern of wet and windy Thursdays continued this week but once again did not deter the 59 ladies who played in the Club Stableford competition which was sponsored by NicMics Craft Creations.
NicMics is a relatively new enterprise, founded by Nicola Spence, who is an active member of the Ladies Committee, and Michelle Boyd. They specialize in bespoke, personalised gifts. The ladies who were in the winners' enclosure were delighted with the beautiful framed prizes which they received. Demonstrating their ability on the night, Nicola made up a bespoke framed gift for June Humphries who had recorded an Ace at the 7 th hole. This was June's 5 th hole in one.
Winner of first prize was Jacqueline Kelly who returned an excellent score of 40 points, to beat runner up Moya Brady who recorded 37 points. Third place honours went to Lynne Brown with 35 points.
Jacqueline accepted her prize and, on behalf of all the ladies, thanked Nicola and Michelle for their generous sponsorship and the stunning array of gifts for all prize winners.
Tim Teahan's All-Ireland Four-Ball Trophy side have continued their entertaining run in the competition with a 5·5-4·5 defeat of Edenmore that seals their passage to the 4th round.
With impressive victories over Ballyliffin and Mannan Castle already under their inter-club matchplay belt, the County Armagh men travelled to Magheralin on Sunday 4 June in the hope of making Edenmore their latest scalp.
In that rain-soaked away leg, the team secured two valuable points through a last-hole win for Oliver Connell and Martin Grimley and the half points provided by the pairings of Davy Spratt and Norman Mallon and Gavin McElmeel and Anthony Fagan.
As Edenmore now enjoyed a 3-2 and 11-hole halfway lead, County Armagh required 3·5 points from the return leg on Sunday 11 June and, with the tie so delicately poised, Captain Teahan shuffled his pack for that home clash.
After his remarkable 12-par salvo paved the way to Sunday Stableford triumph at County Armagh Golf Club, it's clear that Greens Convenor Davy Baird has our beautiful course set up just to his liking.
In the competition sponsored by King Bros Quarry on 4 June, Davy completed his outward nine in just 37 strokes to reach the turn with a more than useful 22 points.
A double bogey on the par 3 11th was unwelcome, but Baird betrayed no signs that this was the start of a rot and immediately embarked on an outstanding run of six pars and a bogey for his final seven holes.
A tireless worker for the club over many years, few will begrudge Davy this win . His fine gross 77 on a day of high winds and nasty showers equated to 42 points that, as well as handing the former Club Captain tournament glory, snipped his handicap to 12.
Davy Baird is presented with his winner's prize by Robert King of Kings Bros Quarry. Also pictured are Club Captain Richard Stewart, overall runner-up Lee Kirrane with his son Luke, and category prize winners Jim Carberry, Ian Millar, John Maguire and Dermot O'Neill.
There was a certain appropriateness in the Bankers' Cup being carried off by another financial professional, Paul Pender.
In the stroke competition played at County Armagh Golf Club on 3 June, the Monaghan Mushrooms accountant turned in a quite masterly display that rendered his 181 opponents bankrupt of ideas and enabled lodgement of the sparkling trophy in Pender's 2017 golfing account.
A tally of six over par for the course's five par 3s didn't provide an obvious foundation on which to build a career best gross 75 but, happily for Paul, his short-hole troubles were entirely incongruous with the rest of this tremendous Saturday showing.
County Armagh Golf Club Captain Richard Stewart presents the Bankers' Cup to winner Paul Pender in the company of category prize winners Cormac O'Hare, Lee Campbell and Ciaran McCreesh.
8th June 2017 - The ladies branch competed in very wet and trying conditions for the Fox Cup for golfers in the handicap range of 0-27, and the Culmore Shield for golfers in the 28 to 36 handicap bracket.
The Fox Cup was donated to the ladies' branch by a past captain, while the Culmore Shield was presented to the club by Mr D S Hyndman in 1953.
Both competitions were generously sponsored by Daily Bake. Unfortunately, Mrs Sheila Stinson who had presented the beautiful array of prices was unable to attend the prize giving.
If there was a league table ranking families on the basis of accolades accrued at County Armagh Golf Club this season, the Grimley clan would surely have already built an insurmountable lead at its summit.
With brothers Kieran, David and Bernard already knee-deep in honours over recent months — even going toe-to-toe with one another for prizes on occasion — Martin added to the deadly quartet's plentiful 2017 plunder by securing victory in the Sunday stableford competition on 28 June .
Starting the day playing off a handicap of 16, Martin posted pars at the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 8th before a double bogey at the often troublesome 9th checked his progress slightly.
Nevertheless, that six-over-par front nine provided the All-Ireland Four-Ball Trophy stalwart with a useful platform from which to launch a potentially tournament-triumphing assault on the back nine.
County Armagh's penultimate par 3: the 11th, Shambles.
Despite a hectic current schedule that sees his weeknights filled with meetings, his weekends spent following the club's teams the length and breadth of the Province and almost every other waking moment consumed with other club duties, notably preparations for his big day on 24 June, Captain Richard Stewart still managed to squeeze in competition glory at County Armagh Golf Club.
In the Open Stroke sponsored by Hillview Lodge Driving Range on Saturday 27 May, Richard produced a career best gross 77 to seal victory by a single stroke from the red-hot Christopher Lester.
Six outward pars enabled Stewart to reach the turn in 37 blows before he went into overdrive early in his back nine.
Birdie fours at the 10th and 12th mingled agreeably with pars at the 11th, 13th and 14th as the then 14-handicapper found himself just one over par with four holes remaining.
It's entirely understandable for anyone to become a tad edgy at such a highly promising juncture and, indeed, Richard somewhat stumbled over the finish line.
However, El Capitano wouldn't be denied a stunning nett 63, which was even more impressive considering the blustery and showery conditions with which he had to cope. His red-letter day means a handicap snip to 12 and ought to put an increased spring in his step for the further busy days and nights ahead.
Gary Baird of Hillview Lodge Golf Driving Range presents County Armagh Golf Club Captain Richard Stewart with the winner's prize for the recent Open Stroke Competition. Also pictured are John Maguire (2nd gross) and Conor McAneney (3rd nett).
Fifty eight Lady members competed for the Marie Curie Classic Competition on the 1 st June. The course was in magnificent condition for the annual competition which was again sponsored by Rice's Supermarket, Keady who have been associated with the charity for many years. Although it was officially the first day of spring the persistent rain, combined with a requirement to play to three quarters of normal handicap, made for a particularly challenging round of golf.
The club house was packed with ladies dressed in pink reflecting the worthy charity which this event supports. Mrs Phil Rice, on behalf of the sponsors organised the fabulous display of generous hampers which she presented to the grateful prize-winners. The overall winners were the experienced pairing of Valerie Gordon and Ellen Brady who returned a magnificent score of 49 points. Valerie thanked Phil for the beautifully presented generous hampers which Rice's always provide for the competition.
The annual Daisy Ferguson Greensomes competition took place on Thursday 25 th May in beautiful, sunny conditions. The competition was sponsored by Wright's Interiors of Russell Street.
At the prizegiving in the clubhouse, the Lady Captain expressed her sincere thanks for the continued generous support which Roberta Wright has given to the Ladies branch and encouraged members to continue to support the sponsors.
Since remarkable back-to-back competition wins on the second weekend of April, Neill Dowzell had been absent from the prizewinners' enclosure as his golfing fortunes returned to earth with the rest of us.
However, the Caledon native is back with a vengeance, emerging triumphant in the stableford competition played at County Armagh Golf Club on 21 May.
In an accomplished 77-stroke round, Dowzell racked up no fewer than 12 tidy pars, including a stunning six on the bounce to conclude proceedings and simultaneously dash the hopes of his 96 rivals on the day.
His 41-point scorecard also showed five acceptable bogeys, with a seven at the notorious 10th the only genuine blot on his highly meritorious Sunday copybook.
Although now playing off 11 as a result of his repeated tournament-winning antics, Neill is clearly an individual who knows how to get the job done and few would be surprised to see him taste further success in some of the prestigious fixtures on the horizon.
The penultimate test at County Armagh Golf Club: the 17th hole, Fairy Thorn.
He'd been knocking on it for weeks as he collected a series of category prizes and, finally, the door to overall competition success was opened to Gary McAleavey in County Armagh Golf Club's May Medal.
In the strokeplay event held on Saturday 20 May, Gary carded an unbeatable nett 63 to seal victory by two clear shots from the rest of the 167-strong field.
Seven fine pars and the bonus of a brilliant birdie up on Rokeby Green provided the backbone of McAleavey's May masterclass, which has resulted in a well-earned handicap reduction from 21 to 19.
May Medal winner Gary McAleavey is presented with his prize by Eileen Stewart, manager at Armagh Business Centre, who sponsored the competition, and daughter Nicola Stewart. Also pictured are category winner Michael Grant and Club Captain Richard Stewart.
With previous club professional, Alan Rankin, departing County Armagh Golf Club after a quarter of a century of dedicated service, the early months of 2017 represented a crucial period for the club as it sought a replacement to take on arguably the most important role in the organisation.
An appointment panel headed up by Richard Black, the professional convenor, worked tirelessly to do exactly that and eventually decided that Holywood native Will Carey was just the man for the job.
Having plied his trade at prestigious golf clubs such as Belvoir Park, Citywest and Shandon Park, Carey brings a wealth of valuable experience to County Armagh. No one who has been at the club since he took up post in April could have failed to notice the ‘new broom' factor as the energetic new professional strives to stamp his mark on the place.
In this brief interview, we try to get to know Will a little better, discussing his career to date, his hopes for County Armagh Golf Club, his life away from the course and, first, his beginnings in the game of golf.
Captain Richard Stewart and Lady Captain Gail Steed welcome our new professional, Will Carey, to County Armagh Golf Club.