First of all on behalf of myself and I am sure all “The Noticeboard” members, heartiest congratulations to Pat Murray on a well deserved Global Golf Post award. The leading digital publication has just compiled it’s 2015 list for winners in the various amateur classifications across the globe. Pat’s performances in Limerick and Westport this year were truly phenomenal, winning both the Munster and Connacht Mid-Ams in a canter. As your average narcissistic golfer, its difficult to report on these events, as I finished so far behind it’s a little embarrassing. Nonetheless, these exceptional achievements deserve recognition, so hats off to Pat and the Global Golf Post people for making these awards. Pat is without a doubt the leading mid-am in Ireland with multiple wins over the past number of years. Afraid I don’t know how many but maybe he might enlighten us. I believe Pat has cemented his name in Irish Amateur Golf history with multiple successes at Senior and Mid-Am championships. He has God knows how many caps and inter-pro appearances. Take a bow Pat! Other multiple winners of mid-am events are Eddie McCormack, Gary O’Flaherty, Alan Condron and Eamon Haugh. If I’ve forgotten anyone lads my apologies. Yours truly is still looking to break his duck!
Before I move on to the issue at hand however, I have to blow me own trumpet a little or else these lads will thinks Joe’s gone soft and is a handy touch going forward. Pat, my foursommes partner from my one and only appearance at The Home Internationals, has out performed me on the course in practically every other event since. However the most unlikely scrambling performance did happen to overcome Pat’s superior ball striking in a West of Ireland match last year, so, just so any of my fellow competitors out there know, I haven’t thrown in the towel just yet! Anyway enough of guff about meself!
The Concession Cup
With all the above in mind I am sure there was a strong case for Pat’s inclusion in Garth McGimpsey’s selection for the Concession Cup.While one could not argue with the guys selected it raises issues about differing age classifications.The Concession Cup is a biennial event with Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin event ambassadors. The event is a match between USA and GB+I selections of Mid-am, Senior, and Veteran. The match, to the best of my knowledge is the commemorate the concession made by Nicklaus to Jacklin in the 1969 Ryder Cup in the deciding singles.
Brian Keogh on Irish Golf Desk reviews the Concession Cup selections and highlights the different age classifications to define Mid-ams on either side of the Atlantic. Over 35 years here while over 25 in the USA. An order of merit system seems to have bee used to select the team which seems entirely fair.
A Time For Change?
Lots of unconfirmed rumors flying around in golf circles at the moment that the Amateur Seniors Category is set to be reduced to over 50. This would make a lot of sense in that it will bring the amateur classification in line with the professional classification. Again from a selfish point of view it brings the prospect of competing for International caps five years closer. At the moment we have no National Mid-am team which always seems a pity to me. If the Seniors Category is reduced to 50 then maybe the mid-am should also drop.Twenty five seems a reasonable age to commence playing mid-amateur golf for a variety of reasons. Currently, the top end of Men’s Amateur Golf is dominated by full time golfers with ambition to turn pro. There was always an element of this throughout the generations of Irish Amateur Golf however it appears to be far more prevalent now. I wish to categorically state here that I have no beef with full time amateurs. In fact I am a little envious and would play full time, to this day, myself if I had the opportunity to do so. Most of the full time guys will turn pro or give up before they hit twenty five. Most of the guys remaining amateur and over 25 will be working and therefore by extension no longer full time golfers. This in turn would strenghten mid-am events where the vast majority of amateurs would compete in high standard events against other part time amateurs.
Apart from anything else, surely it’s feesible for the relevant authorities to agree global age classifications for both professional and amateur golf.
Would be very interested in hearing all your views. Feel free to post in the comment box below or in our group on Facebook.
Until Next Week,