Colin McGifford was Captain of the Marriott Beardsall Priory Golf Club in 2012. I was impressed that to raise money for his Captain’s charity they cycled from Gleneagles to Derby. Jane loves golf plays regularly with a handicap in the low 20s.
They had played the Mahoney Point course the day before. Over a velvety smooth Guinness as we watched others tortured by that 18th hole, they compared their experience of the two courses, choosing Mahoney as more fun to play. They said it was shorter and more amusing. They particularly commented on their greater pleasure as a couple not being separated by the huge gaps between tees. Colin said Killeen was straightforward to play.
Colin has a printing business and they travel to Ireland to play good courses. They have been playing for many years and noted the changes which have happened in their clubs and others. They commented on the changes in the relationships between men and women members. In their own club they have achieved full integration but in nearby clubs such as Hollinwell there is an adamant refusal to integrate. The same story of balcony ladies being banned is told of that club as I was told about Cork. So may be it never happened anywhere but was a great story created by a talented wit.
Colin wondered how money has changed golf. 40 years ago golf was played by the rich and powerful and the doors to clubs discriminated against groups of people. Now it is accessible to almost anyone and he referred to a growing number of ‘carboot’ golfers who drive to the club, play and leave instead of the old habit of socialising. Jane referred to the increasing number of senior members and that younger men and women seemed to more attracted by sports that take less time and commitment to master and play at a relatively satisfying standard.
Looking around in the club house, there were more older than younger people. There also appeared to be more ‘golf tourists’ like us enjoying the facilities. There appeared to be a committee holding a meeting in the middle of the room.
It’s a good place to spend a little time.