Golf Society 16th Irish Tour.
Despite The Wild Atlantic Way certainly living up to its reputation this year, with showers blown off the ocean by some pretty serious gales at times, the 14 strong party battled on manfully, both on and off the courses.
Day one was Lahinch, County Clare. Never an easy course, as those playing in this year's Irish Open found out. Only a moderate breeze so no problem to winners Messrs Wallis, Mills, Smellie, and Maltby who collected The Shane Cotter Trophy.
Day two at Doonbeg clashed with a visit by US Vice-president Pence, accompanied by numerous Garda, CIA, a frigate in the bay, and stern looking guards with Secret Service emblazoned jackets!
Undistracted by it all, or by a strengthening wind, Messrs Wallis and Ward came home as the winning pair. Picking up the Coach Hope prizes.
Our visit to Galway Bay on Day 3 was when the Wild joined Atlantic Way. If you've never had to lay on the ground to put on waterproofs, had putts blown off greens, or lost 7 golf balls (no names), you've not played in Atlantic storm conditions.
To make matters worse, competition sponsor NJM had devised a more challenging 3 from 4 format!
All credit to winners messrs Hope, White, Dingley and Coles.
Day 4 was back to Doonbeg. No Vice-president nonsense this time. We brought our own! A most welcome surprise visit by Society President Dicky not only meant that we had the real deal but on his first attempt at links golf he joined the winners to collect the Josh White prizes alongside Dave Hope, Simon Smellie and Josh.
Hope to see you again next year, Dicky.
Finally, after lengthy calculations by the Tour Match Committee, Marcus Wallis was declared winner of the Tour Shield awarded for consistent excellence. Narrowly beating Jon Ward.
Well done both in some challenging conditions.
PHOTOS FROM THE TOUR CAN BE FOUND "HERE"