With England at one stage looking to be on the verge of World Cup glory in Russia, and our last drop of rain seemingly having fallen way back in 1966, it has felt at times recently as though we are living in some sort of parallel universe. County Armagh Golf Club has at least attempted to retain a small grip on normality in these heady last few weeks, though, with the completion of some refreshingly sane and workaday events that have since been ticked off its 2018 fixture list.
While the Three Lions have actually now racked up 52 years of hurt, Calum Connell rarely has to endure more than 10 days of hurt, such is the remarkable regularity with which he features among the prizes at CAGC. The talented schoolboy's latest winning display arrived on Sunday 1 July, when he topped the pile in a Club Stableford competition. Calum's superb gross 73 incorporated birdies at the 12th and 15th and, most pleasingly, represented the lowest round of his embryonic career.
The massive 41 points that it yielded also left young Connell a full five strokes ahead of the chasing pack. That group was headed up by overall runner-up, Bill Knipe, who birdied the 4th and reeled off three consecutive back-nine pars on his way to a fine 36-point return.
The 18th hole at County Armagh Golf Club: par 4, index 6, Cathedrals.
A recent round-of-16 clash between County Armagh Golf Club and Ballybofey and Stranorlar saw Marty Daly's increasingly confident charges seal a spot in the Ulster Cup quarter-finals.
The first leg was contested in an oppressively hot Cathedral City on Sunday 24 June, when the home team turned up the heat even further on their Donegal rivals to claim a commanding 6-1 halfway lead. Of particular note here were characteristically gutsy fightbacks by Cormac O'Hare and Nigel McMahon.
County Armagh Golf Club set up an Ulster Cup quarter-final derby against Cloverhill by dispensing with Ballybofey and Stranorlar.
The return leg was played a fortnight later on 8 July, when the Donegal course offered up a testing challenge given the many rainless weeks experienced there too. County Armagh required 1.5 points to further their competition participation and the first of these was secured in dramatic fashion when Patrick Brannigan finally overcame his host on the 18th green, having bounced back wonderfully from the previously ominous status of three down after six holes.
Friday 20 th July 2018 - Shotgun start 6 p.m.
Please sign up using sheet in Men's Corridor by Thursday evening.
County Armagh Golf Club's encouraging run in the 2018 Fred Daly Trophy is still very much on track after a second round defeat of Cairndhu in recent weeks.
The buoyant mood created by their dispatch of Portstewart in the tournament's opening phase was enhanced by a magnificent away display in Cairndhu on Saturday 16 June, when Jarlath McReynold's promising panel returned to the Cathedral City with half of the five points on offer.
County Armagh Golf Club's reward for their Fred Daly Trophy success against Cairndhu is a third round meeting with Lisburn.
Having eliminated Knock and Holywood in their previous two encounters in this year's competition, County Armagh Golf Club's All-Ireland Four-Ball Trophy side could have been accused of reserving their heaviest punishments for Belfast opposition. However, after now conquering North West Golf Club of Donegal to book a quarter-final berth, it's clear that their ruthlessness is much more universal.
Tim Teahan's men hosted the first leg on Sunday 17 June, when they bagged four of the five available points through the winning combinations of Oliver Connell/Philip Dowey, Paul Kelly/Gavin Mc Elmeel, Paul Rice/Stephen Nugent, and Ian Ritchie/Stephen Miller.
County Armagh Golf Club qualified for the quarter-finals of the All-Ireland Four-Ball trophy by overcoming North West of Donegal.
County Armagh have qualified for the quarter-final of the Sam Rutherford Memorial Trophy after dispensing with the second round challenge of Omagh.
In this tournament, teams of four pairs play greensomes, with all matches completing 18 holes and the results based on holes up. Ties are contested over two legs, and Patrick Brannigan's side made good use of home advantage in the opening encounter in the Cathedral City on Sunday 24 June, when Jonathan McKnught/Derick Hynes, Michael Cullen/John Vernon and Kenny Edgar/Caolan McReynolds all recorded comfortable victories to leave County Armagh 18 holes to the good at the halfway juncture.
Pictured in Omagh ahead of their second round second leg are County Armagh's Sam Rutherford team, who will now do battle with Downpatrick for a semi-final spot.
It was on the hoisting of the official County Armagh Golf Club flag, which fluttered resplendently in the searing Cathedral City sunshine, that Colm Shannon's Captain's Day Weekend 2018 got under way in earnest.
With the lady members and juvenile girls and boys already having competed in their various categories earlier in the week, the club's male hopefuls filled the demesne's fairways on Friday 29 and Saturday 30 June with the aim of grabbing glory in the showpiece item on the club's fixture list.
This year's event was lent extra gravitas by the fact that the club is currently celebrating its 125th anniversary, and few can remember the County Armagh Golf Club Captain's Prize ever being competed for in such blistering temperatures or on a course that, although presented in absolutely immaculate condition, was so dry and bouncy after many rainless weeks that it offered an almost links-style challenge to the contenders.
There was no discernible difference in playing conditions between the two days, however, so the entire field was faced with the same stern but fair golfing examination – to the best performer the spoils.
Away from the sporting action, family, friends and members joined Colm for a Saturday coffee morning that provided the perfect opportunity for all those in attendance to catch up with old friends, admire the fantastic selection of prizes on offer, and wish our utterly dedicated, hard-working and forward-thinking Captain all the very best. The pristine clubhouse and environs and the refreshments enjoyed by everyone present also served as testimony to the club staff and volunteers who work so diligently to ensure that such events run smoothly.
Meanwhile, we were down to serious business back out on the golf course, where a magnificent nett 66 ultimately made Jim McMullan a most worthy Captain's Day Champion 2018.
Winner of the County Armagh Golf Club Captain's Prize 2018, Jim McMullan, is awarded with the Captain's Cup by Club Captain, Colm Shannon, and his wife, Mary.
Jim's 79-stroke outing clipped his handicap from 13 to 12 but, much more importantly, landed him the most prestigious honour on offer in the County Armagh Golf Club calendar. And the impressiveness of the local GP's display was especially apparent when one considered how few players managed to beat their handicap on what were a subtly difficult couple of days for golf.
Hewitt Meats were again generous sponsors of the Ellie Mayne Cup. Mrs Ellie Mayne presented the beautifully engraved cup to the ladies' branch in 1966 and her golf clubs adorn the walls of the clubhouse.
The glorious weather conditions which have prevailed throughout the month of June continued and attracted 54 ladies to compete in this prestigious event.
The overall winner was Vice Lady Captain Moya Brady with a magnificent score of 43 points on count back from runner up Denise Murphy and Maggie McKee who secured third place with 39 points.
Lily McMullan and John Hewitt sponsor with Moyà Brady winner of Ellie Mayne Cup. Also seated Denise Murphy runner up, LC Elizabeth Mawhinney and third place winner Maggie McKee.
As the wall-to-wall sunshine continues to bathe County Armagh Golf Club's fairways and provide glorious golfing conditions for the playing hopefuls, it glimmered brightest for Tommy Mackin on 24 June when he landed tournament victory.
The Sunday Stroke event was sponsored by Hugh McElvanna Drapery and Footwear and witnessed Tommy deliver a fantastic display in which, crucially, he managed to keep anything worse than a bogey off his scorecard.
Three pars on each nine allied with a bonus birdie boost at the 3rd ultimately led to a wonderful gross 80 and accruing nett 65 that earned Mackin a new handicap of 13 and kept him ahead of the chasing pack.
Prizewinners in the recent Open Stroke event at County Armagh Golf Club (L-R) Dermot O'Neill, Calum Connell, Joe Rhodie, Robert Patterson and Tommy Mackin are pictured alongside Hugh McElvanna of McElvanna Drapery and Footwear, competition sponsors, and Club Captain, Colm Shannon.
The best of that group was Robert Patterson, who was just one shot off Tommy's pace. Robert bagged the overall runner-up award courtesy of a high-quality nett 66 that incorporated seven pars and an admirable riposte to the frustration of two double bogeys in the opening three holes.
Johnston's Bakery kindly sponsored County Armagh Golf Club's June Medal on 17 June, when the sweet taste of tournament success was enjoyed by Keith Stewart.
A magnificent homeward haul of seven consecutive pars saw Keith round off a peerless nett 63 and seal the third monthly Medal to be awarded in the 2018 campaign.
In addition to that pleasing closing streak, Stewart parred six of the concluding seven holes on his front nine, which meant that even double bogeys at the 1st and 8th couldn't blot his Sunday copybook. It all added up to a superb gross 77, and the icing on Keith's cake came in the form of a satisfying 14-to-12 handicap reduction.
Hilary Johnston of competition sponsors, Johnston's Bakery, joined County Armagh Golf Club Captain, Colm Shannon, in presenting the June Medal prizes to winners (L-R) Peter McParland, Mark Stevenson (who collected the Medal on behalf of Keith Stewart), David Leeman, Sean McAnenly, Paul Donnelly and Peter McBride.
David Leeman couldn't quite take the cream off the winner's bun, but his tremendous nett 65 secured for him the overall runner-up prize.
The ladies of Co Armagh Golf club enjoyed Mediterranean weather conditions as they competed for the array of beautiful Newbridge jewellery prizes which Lady Captain Elizabeth had chosen to mark her special day; and what a special day it was.
The course was in magnificent condition thanks to the Greens Staff and volunteers. The beautiful fairways encouraged a run on the ball which some players found difficult to harness, while others welcomed the extra length which they obtained. The sun-drenched, fast-running greens proved challenging. However, these challenges were easily overcome by Valerie Gordon who emerged as the overall winner of the Lady Captain's prize .
County Armagh Golf Club Lady Captain's Day winner, Valerie Gordon, is presented with the new Lady Captain's Day perpetual cup and her winner's prize by Lady Captain Elizabeth