Despite the challenging conditions the 3rd bi-annual Carr Mara was a huge success. Don’t think your coming to Ireland to play golf in parkland conditions, the wind only blew 30-50 MPH on Wednesday allowing scores to come down a bit from the torrid conditions on Tuesday. Despite my unsuccessful attempt at retaining the individual title in this prestigious event, I was thrilled for County Sligo’s own David Dunn who captured the individual title with rounds of 80-76=156.
Typically I’d be pretty unhappy to finish second after flying across the US and Atlantic for three days only to play poorly, but as I was sitting at the dinner last night I realized this was way more about the people, honoring the legacy of Wellington Mara and Joe Carr. The history behind this event is fascinating, and deserves golf to take a deeper look at what these two gentlemen represented in the world of golf, but more importantly as gentlemen and ambassadors of the game.
I had the distinct pleasure of getting to know Joe Carr’s son John as he volunteered to pick me up at the Dublin airport on Monday morning after a 18 hour travel day/night I was able to learn more about Joe Carr and the amazing accomplishments of his career and how he is revered by every important golf figure over the past 50 years. I was able to view his induction into the World Gold Hall Of Fame on John’s Ipad, which showed Jack Nicklaus giving his induction speech..pretty impressive.
SO what hit me was this competition is really about celebrating the game we all love, with passion and incredible integrity and just love for the game and our fellow competitor. This is sometime lost in professional and amateur golf. This event was all about the whole area of Rosses Point embracing this competition, and making you feel welcomed like never before!!
As an example, my caddy for the event owns and is the chef at the best restaurant in town called Coach Lane. Andy was a superb caddy and busted his ass for me keeping me dry with the umbrella, holding my jacket and doing everything he could to help me. He is now a friend and welcome to join me at the Olympic Club anytime he comes to town.
Additionally I sat next to two of the finest gentlemen you’d ever want to meet last night at the gala black tie dinner, on my left was Sam Guinness from Portrush, Sam gave me an open invitation to come back with friends and play his amazing course many consider the best in Ireland. On my right was Tom O’Keefe who played for the Pine Valley team, but lives and plays at Ballybunion and also gave me a blanket invitation to come back and look him up.
These guys are the reason I flew thousands of miles and am spending 40 hours of travel time to spend a precious 2+ days in Ireland to be with this fine group of individuals. I can only laugh at all my blunders on the golf course which started day one when I left my putter in my room, which probably cost me at least 2 shots. But the final result was incredible hospitality by the County Sligo Club, its employees, its members, the Carr Mara trust, Marty Carr for all the travel arrangements, and all the participants that make this a one of a kind event. I felt honored and privileged to be there representing my club, The Olympic Club. We ended up second in the team competition, and second individually.
To do this awesome club justice I have some pictures that I’ll be posting tomorrow once I get re-acclimated. I’ll be spending a total of 5 day home in September as my crazy golf schedule takes me to the US Mid Amateur next followed by the Metedeconk and Crump Cup at Pine Valley.
Stay tuned for more from County Sligo!!