Dublin University Golfing Society
The third annual Winter Meeting – 4th and 5th January 2019
The third annual DUGS Winter Meeting took place on the 4th and 5th of January 2019 and it was decided to revert back to the original format and host the meeting over a Friday and Saturday to encourage as many DUGS as possible to attend. Many DUGS made long journeys to participate in the event; for example Michael Black made the long drive down from Derry and George Lewis flew in from Toronto.
Much like previous meetings, conditions on the first day were cold but abnormally calm. These were certainly not the conditions that the DUGS had envisioned when plans to host a Winter Meeting in early January were first conceived, but they were was most certainly welcomed. The DUGS eagerly took to the links of Portmarnock Golf Club early on Friday morning, hearts and minds full with notions of taking advantage of the benign weather in a routing that would see them compete over the yellow and blue nines.
After the first round was completed, some formalities were conducted on the 1st tee as the sun set over the estuary.
Carrying on what surely will be a DUGS tradition, Fergus Duddy had his ‘drive-in’ to begin his year as DUGS Captain. Unaware that the drive was to be hit into the estuary, Fergus only had a fresh Pro V1 in his pocket. Begrudgingly, he teed it up and hit a fine drive into the water beginning his tenure as DUGS captain and sacrificing a brand new golf ball in the process. Fellow DUGS were quick to console him by suggesting that he probably would have hit in the estuary even if he was aiming down the fairway.
As most will know, DUGS had to endure the loss of one of our younger members during the year. Conor Ringland tragically passed away at the age of 26. To honour Conor, twelve DUGS hit synchronised drives into the estuary while everyone took a moment to remember our great friend. May he rest in peace.
The DUGS then made their way into the clubhouse for the traditional black-tie dinner. As usual, the red wine, kummel, and gin flowed in great volume and jokes, stories, and anecdotes were shared.
After dinner, Darragh Garrahy announced the round one scores. Darragh Coghlan then delivered the Match Report on the 2018 DUGS Winter Meeting which was well received. With his confidence still high after winning last year’s Nett Prize, Kenny Johnston had some well-timed jokes and good-natured heckling throughout the evening.
The 2019 Scratch Salver was won by Darragh Coghlan, the Net Salver was won by Aidan Walsh. The Seniors Scratch event was won by John Conway with Kenny Johnston victorious once again in the Super Seniors Scratch event. As usual 8 members of the Dublin University Golf Club played for the Students Salver and the best gross score for DUGC was recorded by Cian McCormack.
It was reiterated that creating and maintaining friendships through competitive golf succeeded by a jovial social night is to be the main principle upon which the Annual Meeting is built on. To which David Conway Snr replied, ‘who ever said that won nothing!’
As has become a tradition Dermot O’Grady gathered the DUGC members in attendance and kindly bought them all a few rounds at the bar, and very generously gave them €150 for their upcoming Colours Match. He then told the young and impressionable men a story about when he was a student and how he would consume a dozen pints before the annual match versus Lahinch and then drive to golf course. Thankfully, David Conway Junior had another story for them that would quash any ideas about recreating such an act.
Day two saw the sun come out, the temperature rise, but the wind stayed down. A perfect day for golf. Portmarnock Links offered a stern test for the competitors and all were in agreement that is an underrated course in Ireland. After golf there was a meal and prize giving in the Links Hotel. Minimising embarrassment for Dougie Heather, Darragh Coghlan took home the Gross event with 76 points. This allowed Dougie to correct his mistake and alter the engraving on the Surgeon’s Salver which incorrectly had Darragh Coghlan as the winner in 2017 although Richard Knightly had won that inaugural event. A skilled hand at Weir & Sons changed a ‘7’ to a ‘9’ beside Darragh’s name and then inscribed, below the 2018 winner Andrew Stokes, 2017 with Richard Knightly’s name rightfully beside it. Future winners will surely be puzzled to see past winners in ascending order!
Dublin University Golfing Society