Sunday 10th July
Sunday 10th July and its Final Day at the Dawson Jewellers sponsored Castle Golf Club All Ireland Father & Son Foursomes Championship.

My, Oh my, What a wonderful day
Plenty of Sunshine heading Castle’s way
The “silent assassins”, Michael & Mark Bollard (Castle) line up against the “supremo’s” Michael & Stephen Finlan (Grange Castle/Castle) in today's sun blessed Castle Golf Club.

Michael & Mark Bollards pathway to the final:
  • The Bollards have played some majestic golf to the highest standard in reaching the final. In the first round they played Bart Moriarty (Castle) and his son Fionan(Edmonstown) winning 3/2.
  • This was followed up with a solid performance against former Irish internationals Des & Luke Fitzgerald (Castle) earning the bragging rights with a win on the 14th green.
  • On Thursday they continued their fine form with more top-drawer golf against Gareth & Keane Cooke (The Island), again winning on the 14th green.
  • Quarter finals on Friday with Fintan & Dylan O’Reilly (Milltown) the opposition and yet again Michael & Mark produced the goods, this time winning 4&3.
  • Saturday’s semi final match and the Bollards advanced to the final with a fine win over John & Paul O’Sullivan (Enniscorthy/Arklow).
Michael & Mark have not played the 16th hole in match play this week – what lies in store for them in the final today.

Michael & Stephen Finlan's pathway to the final:
  • The Finlans started their 2022 campaign against Gerard & Peter Kennedy (Newlands) with a winning birdie on the 17th green.
  • Next up was the first battle of past champions with Michael & Stephan dispatching Frank & Eoin Gleeson (Elm Park) in a very tight match ending on the 18th green.
  • Kevin and Matthew Commins (Clover Hill), the holders and past champions were the next pairing to fall to the Finlan’s sword, losing in a fabulous match that ended on the 19th green. The birdie putt held by Michael Finlan was followed by his now famous “circular jig” which is trending on twitter for all to enjoy.
  • The 1992 runners-up pairing of Maurice and Mark Redmond threw everything they had at the Finlans in the quarter finals only to come up short on the 18th green. Another tight match for Michael & Stephen.
  • They finally sealed their place in today’s final with an impressive performance against Castle’s Peter and Harry Scott with Michael Finlan producing a scintillating bunker shot on the 15th, followed by a little rendition of the “circular jig”
Will the Finlan’s continue to dance a merry jig today?

When the dust settles on another truly remarkable Dawson Jewellers Father & Son Championship, there will be memories and stories galore to cherish for all competitors.
For a father, it is such a special occasion to get this opportunity to stand proud alongside your son and pit your combined wits against the golf course, the elements and of course your opponents.
For sons, it is an equally special moment, and the stories and memories will get shared down the generations.
For many, they have now played with their Dads and now their sons.
The Arthur Haydon Hole-in-One was one of those special moments, that will live long in the memory, for many years to come.
Just remember, time is finite.
When this competition comes around again next year, make that special effort to play with your Dad, you will never regret it!

Under the watcful eye of the referee and Club Captain Declan Allen, Mark Bollard hit the first tee shot of the final splitting the first fairway. Stephen Finlan followed with his tee shot slightly down the left. The Bollards winning the first and starting to dream of what might be.
The Finlans fought back to win the second. The 3rd was halved.
The Finlans moved to the front after the fourth. The Bollards secured a half on the 6th, giving a shot - still one up to the Finlans. 
Stephan Finlan found the water on the 7th to allow the Bollards to restore the match to equal status after the 7th hole. The eight was halved.
Both pairings were pin high on the back of the 9th and all was to play for. The Finlans secured another hole to go one up at the turn, with a two putt.
Michael and Stephen Finlan came alive on the famous "loop" at Castle Golf Club, winning the 10th, 11th and 12th to stretch their lead to 4 up.  The Bollards secured a half on the 13th to remain 4 down.
The Finlans were getting a shot on the 14th, which only served to increase the size of the mountain for the Bollards to climb to get back into this match.
The Finlans were having none of it and secured the match winning putt on the 14th green. 

Michael ("Flately) Finlan treated the huge crowd to one final rendition of the "circular jig" as he and his son stood proud and victorious.

For Michael and Mark Bollard this was indeed a proud day for them and their family. They made it to the final of the All Ireland Father and Son Championship.
Who knows, maybe on another day, if the were not playing the Finlan "supremos" victory might have been theirs - but alas not today.
They will have great memories to cherish long into the future and after all, there is always next year.

What do you say about the Champions, Michael & Stephen Finlan - the "Supremos".
Michael Finlan won his first title in 1979 with his Dad, Ben.
Since this first win, Michael and Stephen have won the title in 2005, 2013, 2015 and 2018 and have now added the 2022 - 60th title to the winning side board.
Truly Remarkable - What an achievement! 
This is stuff that legends are made of and the Finlans deserve to be called legends - the 2022 All Ireland Father & Son Champions.

Congratulations go to Lee Healion and his Committee for a fantastic event, which would not be possible without the sponsorship of Ken McDonagh and Dawson Jewellers.
Look forward to seeing you all next year for the 2023 All Ireland Father and Son Golf Championship


Saturday 9th July
Saturday 9th July at the Dawson Jewellers sponsored All Ireland Father & Son Foursomes Championship at Castle Golf Club.

Ho! Ho! Ho! Ho! It’s off to Golf I Go…….
With a putter and ball in the Father & Son Ho! Ho! Ho! Ho! Ho!

It is semi-finals night and not only are we down to the last four pairings, but we are at the business side of the week with only two to go forward into the final.
In the first semi-final Castle President Michael Bollard & his son Mark lined up against John O’Sullivan (Enniscorthy) and his son Paul (Arklow) with the Bollards getting one shot.

An excellent crowd of spectators were on hand to watch them tee off, as they rambled down the first.

The Bollards got off to a quick start with winning pars on the 1st and 2nd to go two up.  The third was halved, with O’Sullivans clawing one back on the 4th with a solid par. The match was back on talking terms after the 5th with the O’Sullivan’s winning this with another par.

A very good drive down the 6th from Michael Bollard, followed by an equally good second from Mark set up a winning par on the 6th to restore a one-hole lead. Sadly, for Paul O’Sullivan, a tee shot into the water on the 7th left them two adrift again.

The Bollards increased their lead to 3 holes after the 8th. The 9th, through to the 12th were halved with John & Paul O’Sullivan throwing everything (bar the kitchen sink!) they could at the opposition, to no avail.

The 13th is unlucky for some and so it proved for the O’Sullivans with Mark Bollard left with a tap in par to move 4 up. The O’Sullivans regained some respite winning the 14th.
Mark Bollard hit a fine tee shot on 15 to 14 feet and Michael rolled the putt up to the hole to shake hands and advance into the final.

A great week for John & Paul O’Sullivan was brought to a cruel end, but their families and club mates in Enniscorthy and Arklow can be proud of their achievement in reaching the semi-finals. Well Done!

The second semi-final had Castle’s Peter & Harry Scott taking on the All Ireland Father & Son Supremos in Michael Finlan (Grange Castle) and his son Stephen (Castle). In case you have been asleep all week, Michael has won this competition 5 times and Stephen has won it 4 times – a notably achievement.

The first was halved in pars, with Harry Scott holing an excellent putt on the second to maintain the status quo. No loose change after the third! The Finlans stepped into a one-hole lead after holing a winning par on the 4th and doubled their lead on the sixth.

Alas! again the water on the 7th was to capture another victim when Harry Scott’s tee shot drifted left – 3 Down!

Stephen Finlan hit his approach shot on the 8th to 4 feet to set up another winning opportunity. The Finlans increased their lead to 5 holes on the 9th.

Peter Scott rolled in a superb putt on 10 to reduce the deficit, which was shot lived with the Finlans restoring the 5-hole cushion on the 11th. The Scott’s fought back again on the 12th as Harry Scott this time holed out. The 13th and 14th were halved allowing the Finlans to maintain their 5-hole lead.

It was hand shakes on the 15th as Michael Finlan played the most majestic bunker shot to a couple of inches from the hole. It was great to see him perform another little jig, this time in the bunker.

Peter & Harry Scott can be so proud of their performance this week – an excellent opportunity to play golf with your father and son and to create magic memories that will live with them and their families for many years. There is little doubt but that they have the game to come back next year and who knows – why not win!

And so, after a week of excitement – birdies and bogeys, the final is now upon us.

The Bollards, Michael & Mark (both Castle), otherwise known as the “silent assassins” will take on the “supremos” Michael and Stephen Finlan (Grange Castle/Castle) in tomorrow’s final.

It promises to be an epic encounter with the Finlans receiving two shots.

The 60th anniversary final promises to be a “diamond” display from two sparkling pairings.
So – why not get down to Castle Golf Club and watch some top dollar golf – you will not be sorry!

Friday 8th July

Friday night at the Castle Golf Club and the Dawson Jewellers sponsored All Ireland Father & Son Foursomes Championship.

Don’t cry for me…….. Castle Golf Club………
The truth is I never left you..........

The bitter sweet pill of quarter finals night, when the muscles start to ask serious questions of the golfer and concentration levels are tested to the limit, after this long week of matchplay. Can we make it just one more day or will our dreams get shattered tonight. That was the challenge set for the eight remaining pairs when the quarter finals got underway.

The sheer joy and exhileration of hitting a good shot, holing that putt, combined with the awkward silence of the duffed chip, or missed putt is something that you just cannot invent or create – you must be there – you must feel the emotion – you must live the experience. The dynamic of Father and Son playing foursomes together is simply awesome.

In the first match, the youth and experience of Michael & Mark Bollard (Castle) just proved a bridge too far for the popular Milltown pairing of Fintan & Dylan O’Reilly (Milltown). This match was played with plenty of smiles and good humour with the Bollards being the first pairing to advance to Saturday’s semi finals, with an impressive 4/3 scoreline.

For Castle’s Eamonn & Gary O’Doherty Friday night just proved to be one mountain too high to climb – they went down early in the match against John O’Sullivan (Enniscorthy) and his son Paul (Arklow) and try as hard as they could, they were never able to haul them back. Young Paul playing off a one handicap played some excellent approach play as the O’Sullivans will now meet the Bollards in the first semi final on Saturday afternoon.

The Finlans (Michael - Grange Castle and Stephen - Castle) which as you all know by now are the All Ireland Father & Son supreme champs, teed it up against Maurice and Mark Redmond (Castle/Wicklow) who were beaten finalists in 1992. An excellent match ensued when there was never any more than two shots between the teams. A superb approach shot from Mark Redmond on 17 set up a winning putt for his Dad Maurice. The match headed down 18 with the Finlans one up. Two great drives went down 18 from the two Dads and just as we all started to think this match might go up 19 Stephen Finlan hit a majestic three wood second shot to about eight feet and secured the par that was needed to win the match. The Finlans, after a mighty scare, will now play in the second semi final on Saturday.

In the final quarter final match of the evening, Peter & Harry Scott (Castle) lined up against Brian Whitaker (Elm Park) and his son Gavin (Milltown). By now a terrific crowd had gathered to follow this match and they were not disappointed as the two pairings dished up some magnificent golf. The Scott’s edged ahead early in the match while the Whitakers kept fighting back. As the match developed, the Scotts just kept closing the door and then the windows and made it very difficult for Brian and Gavin. Peter & Harry Scott went on to win the match on the 16th hole and will now face the Finlans in what should be a “not to miss” semi final.

So we head into Saturday’s Semis and it is now down to just four pairings. Castle Club President Michael & Mark Bollard will test their resolve against John & Paul O’Sullivan (Enniscorthy/Arklow) with just one shot being given in the match. This is set up to be an epic encounter.

Peter & Harry Scott (Castle) will need to draw on all resources in the second semi final as they are matched with the Finlans, whose record in this competition speaks for itself, with four titles to their credit and another for Michael. The Finlans are getting a massive eight shots! The “never say die” resolve of the Finlans and the grit and determination of the Scotts sets this up for a cracking match.

So, if you have enjoyed Ireland’s match with the All Blacks in the early morning – why not go out for some fresh air and come to Castle Golf Club – you will not be disappointed!
The Buzz around the clubhouse is just mighty!

Look forward to seeing you !!

Thursday 7th July
Thursday and its 7th July at the All Ireland Father & Son Foursomes Championship as sponsored by Dawson Jewellers.

Gosh! Gosh! And Golly Gosh!

What a night of golf – hope you made it down to Castle and had the opportunity to witness at first hand some cracking golf and top-class match play excitement.

Out of eight matches at the business end of the competition five matches – yes FIVE went down the 18th hole!

First up, and Fintan & Dylan O’Reilly (Milltown) held on their one up score, when they halved their match with John & Jamie Butler of Blessington Lakes and Killeen. Good luck to Jamie (+3) as we believe he is heading off on a golf scholarship to a top US college.

John O’Sullivan (Enniscorthy) and his son Paul (Arklow) etched out the Westmanstown pairing of Paul & James Kelly with the final drama ending on the 18th green in front an enthusiastic crowd. No doubt but this added to excitement and nervous tension for the players. 

Past Champions Martin & Michael Wilson (Castle) were the next match up on the 18th green, but they bowed out to Castle’s Eamonn & Gary O’Doherty. Eamonn played a canny chip over the greenside bunker to set up the winning putt.

Mark Redmond (Wicklow) holed a winning birdie from twenty feet on the 18th green to bring a wide smile to his Dad, Maurice (Castle) (nearly called him a veteran again) as the thought the match was destined to go up the 19th. Castle’s Philip & Eoghan Fitzpatrick’s great run in the 2022 championship was brought to cruel end – but that’s golf!

Castle’s Michael & Mark Bollard advanced, thanks to some excellent golf in their match with the Island’s Garreth & Keane Cooke. Similarly, Peter & Harry Scott march forward with an impressive performance against Castle’s Peter & David Cosgrove. Brian (Elm Park) and Gavin (Milltown) Whittaker left no doors or windows open for Castle’s Jim and James Pender in their match as they look forward to Friday’s quarter finals.

We billed it as the Battle of the Champions and the match between the Finlans (Michael & Stephen) Grange Castle/Castle and Clover Hill’s Kevin & Matthew Commins did not disappoint the fantastic crowd that stayed to watch.

Fine margins come to mind when the Commins missed a five putt on 18 that to the delight of the Finlans saw this as the only match on the night that went into extra tie holes.
A fine drive down the centre on 19 by Steve Finlan was followed by another good drive from Kevin Commins down the right finishing in the first cut. Matthew Commins was 220 from the green on the par five and launched a superb three wood, clearing the green, and bouncing off the back to the side of the second tee box. Michael Finlan hit a sensible rescue down the middle leaving his son about 80 yards from the pin and he duly obliged by landing the third about 25 feet from the hole. Kevin Commins hit an incredible shot through the trees and landed on the edge of the green and the following putt from Matthew finished two feet from the hole. Michael Finlan stepped forward taking on the responsibilities of being Dad, and watched his putt sailing up into the hole for a winning birdie that was followed by a little victory gig, that is worth watching on Twitter. The Finlans (with Michael having won 5 times and Stephen four times) had just knocked out the holders! What a great match from four top class golfers!

Quarter Finals night on Friday and more high quality matchplay and superb golf is on the menu.
We would love to see you there!

There are four excellent matches set up for thrills and excitement, The Scotts (Peter/Harry) will line up against the Whittakers (Brian/Gavin) while the 1992 beaten finalists Maurice & Mark Redmond hope to end the run of the Father & Son supremo’s Michael & Steve Finlan.

The O’Sullivans will try to nobble the local O’Dohertys, while at the top of the draw the silent assassinators Michael & Mark Bollard hope to reach the semi-finals at the expense of Milltown’s Fintan & Dylan O’Reilly.

Great Golf – Great Excitement – Great Fun – Fantastic Buzz – What more do you need? Where else would you go? – Castle Golf Club.

Wednesday July 6th
Wednesday night at Castle Golf Club and the Dawson Jewellers Sponsored All Ireland Father & Son Foursomes Championship.
Okay! Okay! Okay! Let’s get the big news out of the way.

Castle’s Hilary and his son Arthur Haydon did not have a hole in one at the 3rd – it was only Arthur that had the hole in one against Peter Scott (Castle) and his scratch handicap son Harry. Arthur followed it up with his approach to the 4th leaving it one foot from the hole. So, in 4 shots two holes were won by the Haydon’s. However, the last laugh rested with the Scott’s, after Harry chipped stone dead to win the match on the 18th green and they now advance to play Peter and David Cosgrove (Castle) in Thursday’s draw. Some excellent golf played throughout this match with plenty of good humour and stories.
Past Champions and All Ireland supremo’s Michael (Grange Castle) and Stephen (Castle) Finlan overcame other past champions, notably Frank & Eoin Gleeson (Elm Park) with the match also ending on 18th green. The Finlans are now set to play the current holders Kevin & Matthew Commins (Clover Hill) in the next round of the Battle of the Champions. They shut out Declan & Karl Schutte (Stackstown) on the 16th in their match.
On a night when the windy conditions tested most of the golfers, only three matches went to the 18th green, with no matches being extended beyond the regular distance.
The 1992 beaten finalists Maurice & Mark Redmond (Castle & Wicklow) will not have pleased Captain Lisa McDonnell and her family, as they marched on to victory over Castle’s Niall & Ben McDonnell, with the match finally concluding on the 18th green. The Redmonds will now play Philip & Eoghan Fitzpatrick (Castle) to see who will progress into Friday’s matches.
Gareth & Keane Cooke (The Island) spoiled the broth for David & Sam Sheppard (Castle) winning their match on the 17th. They will now face the Bollards in the next round.
We should also mention that bragging rights have been retained by President Michael Bollard and his son Mark in their victory over ex Lions and rugby internationals Des & Luke Fitzgerald. They all got a bird’s eye view of Arthur Haydon’s hole in one at the 3rd.
Thursday night and we are over the halfway mark in this marathon contest that will test the skill and resolve of each golfer.
Other key matches to watch include Jim & James Pender (Castle) teeing it up against Brian & Gavin Whitaker (Elam Park & Milltown). The O’Doherty’s (Eamonn & Gary) will also play another Castle pairing and past champions Martin & Michael Wilson.
So why not head over to Castle Golf Club – there was a terrific buzz around club house last night and no doubt tonight will be just as good.
Matchplay golf of the highest standard!

Tuesday July 5th
Tuesday 5th July and American Independence Day is behind us, with golf balls well in flight at Dawson Jewellers sponsored Castle Golf Club’s All Ireland Father & Son Championship.

In the first match out a nail-biting finish on the 20th hole saw Alan & Alan Holmes (Hermitage) overcome leading qualifiers Michael O’Neill (Castle) and his son John (Beech Park).

It was certainly a night of extra tie holes, with the Grogans (Elm Park), Robert and Daniel going to the 19th to advance from Tom & Daragh Smyth (Castle).

Gareth Bourke (Castle) sank a 35-foot putt on the 18th green, much to the delight of his dad John, to bring their match into tie holes with John & Zach O’Connor (Adare Manor) who are travelling back and forth from Limerick each day. Gareth followed this with another 30-foot putt on the 19th to bring the match down the 20th hole. The O’Connors winning out on the 20th to extend their journey through this wonderful competition.

Another pair travelling long distances to compete are Brian & Martin Scullion (Lurgan) who took on the mighty Des Leavy Snr (Castle) and his son Des Jnr and what a match it turned out to be. The Leavy’s played wonderful golf with 92 year old Des taking the Scullion’s to the 20th hole before being knocked out by a birdie. What might have been! The Scullions will now play Eamonn & Gary O’Doherty (Castle) in the next round. The O’Doherty’s beat another Castle pairing of David & Darragh Moran – this is the second time that they have met with Eamonn & Gary also winning in 2019.

The second round will get underway on Wednesday with play commencing at 15.30 pm.

There are still several low handicap golfers in action, including Killeens’ Jamie Butler (+3), Carton House Bernard Bermingham (0) and Castle’s Ross McKeever (+1) and Harry Scott (0) to highlight some, who will be trying to help their Dad secure a place in the round of 16, to be played on Thursday.

We also have four past champions remaining in the field including the holders the Commins, with the Finlans, the Wilsons and the Gleesons. Will one of these go and collect another All-Ireland title or will a new champion emerge from the rest of the field?

Why not join us on Wednesday to find out how the next chapter unfolds.

It promises to be another day full of thrills and tribulations, birdies, and bogeys, and with plenty of sunshine on the way, get down and support your favourite pairings.

Monday July 4th
Monday’s Match play ties at Castle Golf Club commenced with great excitement and hope at the Dawson Jewellers sponsored 60th All Ireland Father & Son.

In the first match out, Castle’s most recently past Captain Jim Pender and his son James emerged victorious over Portmarnock’s John Herlihy with his son Gavin (Castle) in a tight match.

The Holders, Kevin & Matthew Commins (Clover Hill) march onwards after defeating Sean & Graham O’Reilly from Beech Park and Edmonstown. Spare a thought for Sean & Graham who have been competing in this event for 27 consecutive years and when they finally get through the stroke play qualifying, get drawn against the champions. What’s another year!

Veteran Maurice Redmond (Castle) and his son Mark (Wicklow) advanced to the next round winning 2/1 against Castle’s Dermot & Marty Connor. The Redmonds are celebrating 30 years since they last competed in the final of this great event, when losing out to Eamonn & Edward Lynch in 1992.

Fintan & Dylan O’Reilly (Milltown) progressed into Wednesday’s matchplay after beating former semi finalists David & David Jnr McGrath (Portmarnock).

The Lions were certainly roaring at the end of the field yesterday when father & son former Irish rugby internationals and Lions Des & Luke Fitzgerald (Castle) pipped Gerrard Casey (Blessington Lakes) and Gerry Casey (Elm Park) in a very close encounter finishing on the 18th green, in front of the gathered crowd.

The Fitzgeralds will now face former Dublin Hurler and Club President Michael Bollard as he and his son Mark had a 3/2 result over Bart Moriarty & Fionan Moriarty (Edmonstown). Could be an arm wrestle!

There may be some good golf going down at Adare Manor but there is fantastic matchplay golf being played at Castle Golf Club with great scoring and excitement.

Why not drop down and support one of your favourites.

Tuesday’s matchplay ties should result in some superb golf, with joy and ecstasy for the winning pairs and there is always next year for the unlucky ones.

Weekend Qualifying
The 60th edition of Castle’s All Ireland Father & Son competition, sponsored by Dawson Jewellers, returned this weekend after a three year hiatus, owing to Covid-19. In excellent condition as always, the course provided a challenging test to the record entry of 400 players who enjoyed the warm sunshine (and occasional shower) across extended timesheets on Saturday and Sunday. Both new and familiar partnerships fostered a wonderful atmosphere on and off the course, and we look forward to watching the qualifying pairs’ as they progress throughout the week. To those who did not make it through, we will see you again next year!

The first ball on Saturday morning was struck by Elm Park’s pair of Michael Turley (former Laois footballer) and his son Jake, alongside Eamonn & Barry Cleary of Powerscourt, at the princely hour of 7.00 am.  

Well done to Castle’s Competition Secretary, Michael O’Neill, playing with his son John (Beech Park), who recorded the lowest score of the weekend – a truly fabulous 65 strokes! The Horgan’s (Dun Laoghaire/Stackstown) 67 was the best score on Saturday, and the best Castle pairing was Cathal and William O’Leary with a 66.

The lowest gross over the two days was delivered by Brian & Martin Scullion of Lurgan, long-time supporters and competitors in the All Ireland Father & Son. Their gross score of 70 was magnificent.

Five-time champion Michael Finlan of Grange Castle and his son, four time champion Stephen Finlan of Castle, are amongst the 64 pairs to qualify to the matchplay elimination rounds on Monday and Tuesday. Full detail of the draw is available on the club’s website. Our defending champions, Kevin and Matthew Commins of Ardee and Clover Hill, resumed where they had left off 3 years ago with a sound qualifying score of 68 net. Other former winners to reach the knock-out stage include Frank & Eoin Gleeson of Elm Park as well as the Castle pairs of John & Scott Williams and Martin & Michael Wilson.

The Williams are involved in an all-Castle contest in the first round as they take on Niall & Ben McDonnell, as are former club champion Jim Mulready and his son Dara who will do battle with Philip & Eoghan Fitzpatrick.

Castle Golf Club President Michael Bollard lines out with his son Mark on Monday, facing the Moriartys (Bart & Fionan) of Castle and Edmonstown. The Scullions will face Castle’s Des Leavy Snr and his son Des Jnr in the first round on Tuesday. Des Senior continues to play excellent golf, having recently scored 40 points in a club competition, and undoubtedly the elder statesman in the field at the bright and cheerful age of 92!

With plenty of great golf in store, why not take a rest from JP’s Pro Am and come to Castle! A great welcome is in store for you, and you are guaranteed to see fantastic match play golf as always. The first tee match tees off at 15.00 pm today, Tuesday and Wednesday.