My parents told me I started playing golf at the age of 2, and growing up, I played or practiced virtually every day. The photo at the top of the page is the 2nd hole in Ballybunion, a hole I first played during the Munster Boys’ Championship in July 1976, the famous “Long Hot Summer”. I remember trying to thread my drive between the bunkers to set up a long approach to the green nestled up in a bowl at the top of the dunes. I was 14 years old, handicap 11, and shot 81 that day, and was feeling pretty good about myself until I got my first sight of another young lad of about the same age, Philip Walton. Philip was already playing off 3 and could hit the ball 20-30 yards further than the rest of us; he was a phenomenal natural talent and when he struck down on his irons you could feel the earth move! Later that evening we all gathered in the clubhouse to watch the highlights of the British Open from Royal Birkdale and discovered that leading the tournament after the 1st round (alongside Christy O’Connor Jr. and Norio Suzuki of Japan) was another young lad by the name of Severiano Ballesteros. None of us had ever heard of him before but there he was, driving the ball colossal distances and scrambling his way around from the most impossible positions. He captivated the entire golf world and by the end of the week, when he got up-and-down on 18 with a fantastic chip shot to tie for 2nd spot with Jack Nicklaus behind Johnny Miller, I realised I still had a long way to go before I could ever be called a golfer! I persisted though, and even got to represent Ireland at under-18 level alongside Philip Walton and Ronan Rafferty, something I am still very proud of, but that was as good as it got for me because after that I had to cut back on competitive golf due to study and work commitments. But as you know, once bitten, the golf bug never goes away, so I’ve always kept practicing and have stayed in touch with what’s going on in the game.
This site is a golf directory. It came about because I was doing research on the golf industry for a project I was working on and needed to find a way to keep track of all the sites I had visited. With so many sites to track, saving them to the Favourites folder wasn’t an option so I decided to compile a golf directory. Old habits die hard, I guess, because “back in the day” every website had a links page or mini-directory of useful sites for people to explore. It was how we discovered new sites, before the search engines that now dominate the internet came into being, and before peoples’ preoccupation with not wanting to give away “link juice” took over. The most famous directory was the DMOZ-Open Directory, a huge, human-edited directory that was the Holy Grail for any business to be listed in.
Directories allow people who are interested in a particular niche to drill down and discover real sites and businesses that will never have the clout to rise to the top of the search engines but that still provide important products, services, employment, and a sense of community. Directories are also a form of “clean search”, whereas the first page of the search engine results nowadays, it seems to me, consists of nothing more than multiple links to the same small group of mega-corporations plus a dog’s breakfast of ads, videos, tweets, social media posts, forum posts and random articles from the broadcast and print media. The web is much more useful than that and while algorithms are all well and good for doing the heavy lifting, we humans can still play a role in organising things within our own particular niche, as I’ve tried to do here with this golf directory. By doing so, I hope I’ve helped you discover new and interesting sites that will enhance your pleasure and knowledge about this wonderful game we play.
All the best,