The first golf club in Ireland to host a Yes! Golf Putter Custom Centre opened at the Island Golf Club in Donabate on Thursday 13th December.
The inventor of the phenomenal Yes! Golf Putter and European Tour putting guru Harold Swash flew in especially for the occasion to offer close-up coaching sessions to invited guests of the head pro Marcus Casey, the young South African who now advises the 1,200 members of the Island Golf Club, one of Ireland’s most venerable links courses.
The 74 year-old Swash was last in Ireland at The K Club in July for the European Open, going through drills with long-time student Padraig Harrington, with whom he has had a very fruitful association.
The custom centre represents not only a first for club-golf in the Irish Republic, but a magnet for golfers of all levels in the country who fancy taking fast points off their golf scores through the experienced eye of Mr Casey and a custom-fitted C-Groove putter.
Among the press and club members who came to learn more about the Harold Swash putting methodology, local TD (Member of the Irish Parliament) Michael Kennedy made a special journey to catch the guru before Mr Swash himself had to catch a flight back to his home adjoining Royal Birkdale golf course in Liverpool (host to the 2008 Open).
Deputy Kennedy, himself an avid golfer who plays off 12, was most interested in the power of the custom-fitting centre to pull in golfers from all over the County Dublin area (and further afield) to be measured up. Clearly, local retailers, restaurants, hotels and other businesses are set to benefit from the hoped-for influx of visitors to the region.
Following the event, the TD said, “Whilst I would love to play golf all day in my ongoing quest to a single-digit handicap, the work of a TD is very busy so I find myself playing less and less. That’s why I was delighted to hear about this new facility and I hope to use it myself in the future – anything allowing me to improve my game during the few hours I have to practise is very welcome, not least by my golf partners!
“As Vice Chair of the Dail’s Arts, Sports and Tourism Committee, I am fortunate to incorporate my love of sports into my life as a public representative and I take a special interest in all projects in the Dublin North area. I think it’s important to recognize the contribution that sporting facilities offer to the community, both socially and commercially. The Yes! Golf Putter Custom Centre will attract golfers from all over the county, who will be exposed to the wonderful beaches, public parks, restaurants, pubs and other attractions of North Dublin.”
Harold Swash commented, “There is an amazing ‘can-do’ energy about this country that I love, and it was a key part of the Ryder Cup success last year. Running off the creative energy of pros like Marcus Riley at The Island and our Ireland distribution partners PR Golf of Newtownards, we will launch Yes Custom Centres and Harold Swash Putting Schools the length and breadth of Ireland within the next 12 months.
“Somewhere in Ireland – I’m convinced – is the boy, or girl, or man, or woman with the makings to be the 2nd best putter in the world… the next Padraig Harrington, David Howell or Darren Clarke. Our commitment to Irish golf has to be to the hilt, and that’s what we’re looking forward to in 2008.”