It has been an action packed summer for golf across the globe in both the amateur and professional ranks. In early July we saw the JP McManus Pro-Am showcase the talents of some of the biggest names in golf.
Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and World No.1 Scottie Scheffler were among the star-studded golfers that travelled to Adare Manor in Ireland for this spectacle of golf. This prestigious event attracted celebrities including Jamie Dornan, Niall Horan and Bill Murray, to name but a few. This two day charity event is a testament to JP McManus’ hard work, goodwill and charitable nature. Both days were filled with excitement from beginning to end, it was just fantastic to see 40,000 people each day gaining such enjoyment from golf.
I landed into Shannon airport, Ireland on July 2, a few days before the JP McManus Pro-Am kicked off. Upon landing I received a message from my brother telling me that I had just missed meeting Adam Scott, he had played a round at my home club, Lahinch Golf Club that morning. Little did I know, an even more exciting welcome home was awaiting me in Lahinch. Word quickly spread around the seaside village that Scheffler, Jordan Speith and Sam Burns were going to be teeing off around lunchtime. I couldn’t believe my luck! All three stars showcased their incredible talents on the challenging links, a day I will always remember and a super start to summer 2022 in Ireland.
Mid July I travelled to the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, USA to attend a former grad school friend’s wedding. As I got out of the taxi on the college campus I noticed a large tour truck pulled up outside my hotel. The truck had Natalie Gulbis and Jimmy Hanlin faces on it. I asked a lady what this was all about, she explained that they were here to film and review a round on the Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame for the Golf Channel. I ended up getting to meet Natalie on the college campus that day. She was as stylish as ever and full of charisma. Natalie was someone I used to look up to as a young girl playing golf, as she showcased golf in an incredibly glamorous, feminine and positive light.
Back to the British Isles, Cam Smith was crowned the 150th Open Championship at St. Andrews in mid-July. Winning this event at the ‘Home of Golf’ was a huge leap forward in the Aussie’s golfing career and without a doubt his biggest victory to date. Rory McIlroy put down a good fight but it simply wasn’t to be for my fellow Irishman. Rory’s 36 putts on the final day proved to be his downfall against the Aussie with the distinctive hairstyle and the silky smooth touch on the greens.
One week later and the attention to the ladies! The AIG Women’s Open Championship was held at Muirfield in early August for a prize fund of over $7M. Ashleigh Buhai secured her first Major win when she defeated In Gee Chun on the 4th play-off hole. This event again showed the world that women’s golf is as skilfull as the men’s game – where raw power is less a factor. Interestingly Muirfield only accepted ladies as members for the first time in recent years. I guess they realise now what they were missing all along!
As the temperatures begin to cool, all roads now lead back to the Middle East! Over the next few months the region will host some major amateur and professional events, for both the men and the ladies. A new season of Chicks with Sticks commences in September, our group continues to gain new members, contributing greatly to the development of the game in the UAE.