Mel Flanagan .ie

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My Golf Obsession

 

“It is in incurable disease”. I was born on a golf course and ever since mother shoe’d me out from under her feet and sandy our dog whipped out after me, I was smitten.

 

The vast expanse of freedom land seemed never ending, the smell of tightly cut grass with early morning dew on it, sheep maa’ing, lambs desperately looking for their mothers and strange serious well attired people not entirely welcoming mine or more so sandy’s wild intrusion.

He was having a field day galloping over and back, up and down the fairways. It was only the elite who could afford the luxury of golf with Anglo Saxon names.

My older brother sean was a star golfer, his stellar progress was stunted when he fell of a tractor full of hay and had to spend 2 years in merlin park hospital in Galway. It derailed our tight knit family, introduced him to radio Luxembourg and rebellious tendencies.

I became a professional golfer in the 1970’s, and I was a resident pro at Newlands golf club in County Dublin. I remember going with the head green keeper to give an opinion on a course near Dublin. I tagged along not having one clue what it was all about. I was the bit player and held my council hoping no one would find me out.

Seamie Kelly, was a master green keeper wonder player and proper gentleman. We had one heck of a day out. It was my great friend bobby brown, the golf pro at Bettystown Golf Club, who taught me the ropes of golf course design.

I was first in the gates at Lough Erne, now the Lough Erne Golf and Country Club. We were in a top field looking down at the beautiful waterway, when he sat down on his hunkers and rubbed his golfing hands along the grass and said “Mel, always follow the contours” and he repeated “follow the contours Mel”. It was a eureka moment for me, as I was gifted the gold course design keys at that very moment.

Mel Flanagan .ie

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