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Tag: Connor Mallon

A Tribute to Connor Mallon from Narin & Portnoo Golf Club

Marcel Proust wrote that, “People do not die for us immediately, but remain bathed in a sort of aura of life which bears no relation to true immortality but through which they continue to occupy our thoughts in the same way as when they were alive”. Those words were rarely more manifest than last weekend as we all tried to cope with the tragic and heart-breaking news of the passing of our beloved golf professional, Connor Mallon. He was just thirty-five years old.

He was the first to hold the position in the 82-year history of Narin and Portnoo Golf Club and we came to rely on him from the off. The shop was a haven from the wind and rain and many a golfer sat for hours with Connor, discussing the latest sports news and enjoying the banter as he went on about his business. You knew he liked your company and even on sunny days, there would invariably be someone ensconced in the big armchair.

Kids loved him, for in Connor, they saw a kindred spirit. You could see their admiration in the respectful attention to his tuition at his golf clinics. He indulged them with Mars bars, golf balls, caps and tee-shirts, creating for them a friendly club atmosphere in which they felt comfortable. He knew they were the future of the club and they will always look back to their first and greatest golf teacher and mentor.

When Connor spoke to you, you had his full attention. Nothing was too much trouble. His lessons were superbly efficient and positive affairs, full of praise and good advice. Finnian O’Doherty was the first of our young members to graduate from the Connor Mallon school of excellence and he is now reaping the benefits on a golf scholarship in the States. He has lost not just a coach and mentor, but a great friend.

People came from far and wide to our club because of Connor. He marketed and promoted us at every opportunity, bringing the name of Narin and Portnoo to diverse spots around the globe. The many people paying tribute to him on the internet have commented on his good nature, his quick wit and his genuine love of people; how one meeting was all it took to come under his spell, as one blogger recounted who met him in Florida this past January. Fans from North West to Ballyliffin to Florida were testament to that magnetism and charisma.

And what a golfer! His poise and balance were superb, his temperament ideal and his talent there for everybody to see. The quality of his ball-striking was exemplary, which combined with his course management often resulted in scores well below the par of 73. It was a privilege to play with the big fellow and he was never bothered about how high your handicap might be. The craic and the possibility of a good yarn or two were his lifeblood on the golf course, though competitive juices were sure to flow if birdies were required in a keenly contested fourball.

Reminiscences of happier times filled our waking moments as we prepared to lay our friend and colleague to rest: the bear hugs, the friendly salutations, the eclectic fashion statements, the booming laughter and genuine conviviality. Tears flowed as it dawned on us how great a loss he will be.

Others knew Connor better and for longer. We only had the pleasure of his company for four dynamic and fun-filled years. Connor and his assistant, Daragh were an irresistible combination, as fluid and supportive a pairing as you could ever hope to meet. They brought a life and vitality to our club which made it such a happy place to hang out. The other staff members thought the world of Connor and his escapades and the yarns will resonate around the clubhouse and course for years to come. They, and Daragh, will miss him greatly.

We will continue to pray for Shawna and their four young children, and for all his family, friends and colleagues. Their loss is incalculable. He has left an indelible mark on our club and will never be forgotten. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam galánta.

Narin & Portnoo Golf Club Notes 9th August 2011

Vice-captain, Pat Connaghan teamed up with Willie Quinn to win this year’s Spring Foursomes title after a hard-fought battle with Hughie Moore and P.J. Gallagher. It always looked a tough one to call and after 18 holes of this every-other-shot matchplay contest, the pairings could not be separated. On it went, with the eventual victors winning on the 20th hole. For both golfers, it’s their first win in this format and they will prove a difficult pairing to dethrone in 2012.
John McBride continues to excel, winning the latest Wednesday Open by three points from Fr. Adrian Gavigan in second. The former garda birdied the 2nd following fine approach play and ten pars and a birdie later (on 12), there could be no doubt about the merits of his success.

Joseph Shovlin hits a ball like no other, a hammer blow that Thor would appreciate. Added to this prowess is guile around the greens and he demonstrated his all-round talent on Sunday during the Killybegs Golf society stableford. Five pars on the outward nine laid a fine foundation for a good score, but where others wilted on the return, Joseph stepped up a gear, birdying 10 and parring five other holes for a worthy success.

The fourball scramble last Monday week saw Conor Sharkey, Connell Cooke, Lauren Patton and Lisa Patton record 11 birdies and an eagle on 10 en route to a tally of 55.8. The scoring was so good that Harold Reid’s team’s ten birdies couldn’t even get them on the podium!

Our over-50s senior team under the captaincy of James Quinn negotiated the semi-final of the county matchplay, defeating Bundoran over two legs. Four pairings were victorious, while the fifth were called in, as the result was not in doubt. It was a fine performance and one which bodes well for the final against opponents still to be decided. The gallant team members on Friday were: W. Quinn & E. McGill; C. O’Kane & P. Boyle; F. Kennedy & S. Cafferty; M. Nicholson & J. Quinn; S. Ryan & C. Keeney.

Our Ulster Cup team received a bye into the semi-final following the withdrawal of Foyle from the competition. It’s our first semi-final in 21 years and a great boost for everyone at the club.

Finally, we congratulate our professional, Connor Mallon and his wife on the birth of their daughter last weekend.

August 7: Killybegs Golf Society
1. Joseph Shovlin (14) 41; 2. Eddie Gregg (9) 39; 3. D.J. Campbell (12) 38 b.o.t.; Cat A Richard Shepherd (11) 38 b.o.t.; Cat B Adrian Maguire (14) 37; Cat C John Callaghan (19) 38 b.o.t.; Nines: Frankie Kennedy (11) 23; Tony Patton (18) 21; CSS 73; Twos: 4 balls
August 3: Wednesday Open
1. John McBride (9) 42; 2. Fr. Adrian Gavigan (9) 39; 3. Colm McFadden (19) 38; CSS 72; Twos: 9 balls each; 146 played
August 1: Fourball Scramble
1. Conor Sharkey (8) Connell Cooke (3) Lauren Patton (14) Lisa Patton (17) 55.8 (11 birdies & an eagle on 10); 2. Henry Cahill (8) Henry Cahill Snr. (22) Carmel Cahill (8) Ruth Cahill (27) 56.5; 3. Shane Whittington (13) Sean Whyte (11) Don Earley (9) Pauric McHugh (10) 58.7;
July 25-27: 3 Club Challenge (Lough Erne, Donegal, Narin & Portnoo)
1. Declan Devine team (Newtownstewart) 100, 96, 92 288;

August 14: Monthly medal sponsored by Co-Lab
August 17: Wednesday Open, ladies and gents, single stableford, 20 euro entry for G.U.I. visitors, including green fee;