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DCF Champions Weekend 2019
Article posted: 17 April 2020

DCF Champions Weekend 2019

The 2018 and 2019 Darren Clarke Foundation Champions Weekend was staged at La Reserva Golf Club Sotogrande Spain on 15th, 16th and 17th November.

Due to his Champions Tour commitments during 2018 the 2011 Open Champion was unable to host his annual Champions Weekend last year hence the decision to run the event taking in 2 sets of young Champion Golfers. With invitations automatically going to the annual winners of the Major Boys and Girls Championships 23 of Ireland’s best under age Golfers travelled to the South of Spain as guests of Darren. The 2016 European Ryder Cup Captain once again played a full schedule on the Champions Tour in the USA during 2019 where he finished 42nd on the end of year Order of Merit guaranteeing him a reasonably full Schedule for 2020.

The weather in the South of Spain was kind although a strong breeze made conditions very tough.

The participants were treated to a Master Class as Darren talked them through a variety of topics including course management, practice drills, ball flight and short game techniques and showed the young Champions why he is still one of the greatest ball strikers that the Country has ever produced.

After a fun Team event on the Friday won by Kate Lanigan, Mel Deasy, Paul Conroy and Sam Murphy the competitors got down to the serious business on Saturday afternoon. The morning was spent working with Darren and culminated in a Short Game Shootout refereed by the Host which was won by Josh Mackin who narrowly edged out Anna Foster.

Conditions were tough with lightening fast greens and a swirling wind making scoring difficult. Joshua Hill 71 and Beth Coulter 76 led the way and took the first day prizes.

Day two was not as windy and Darren decided that our young Boy Champions were ready for the Back Tees. The Course played it’s full yardage of 7400 yards while the Girls played the Men’s Forward Tees. Again a formidable challenge at more than 6000 yards.

Beth Coulter scored a very impressive 75 with Aine Donegan only one shot back. In the boys Luke O'Neill shot an excellent round of even Par 72 on a course that Darren confirmed was set up in the same manner as would be typical for a European Tour Event.

The 23 Participants all agreed it was a weekend to remember and all of them were generous in their thanks for Darren who spent the entire 3 days with them and answered all of their many questions on all aspects of the game and life on Tour. Thanks also is due to the ILGU and GUI who sent their Junior Convenors to supervise matters with the DCF team.

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