Though a relatively small club, Cloghogue has had more than its share of success at both regional and national level. Our Roll of honour include the following:-
Marina O’Rourke - Irish National Ladies Stroke Play Champion 1997 and 2000, National Stroke Play Runner-up 1996.
Marina undoubtedly is the most successful player yet to hail from Cloghogue. Even her national championship debut – the Intercounty in 1978 - saw a victory, as a teenage Marina took the overall nett in the ladies event. Marina has been a regular winner of regional board championships and has contested two Leinster Matchplay finals as well as often being among the medals in the Leinster Stroke Play.
In 1996 it looked as if Marina might win her first Irish crown in Ashgrove (Co Waterford) when her 8 under total was pipped by a single shot by Kildare’s Rose Kelly. The following year Marina travelled to DCBS (Dublin) in a winning frame of mind and went one better scoring 7 under on a difficult course, to win the title eventually. Her 36 hole total was two shots clear of the former All Ireland Match Play Champion Ann Hall.
Over the next two years she made gallant efforts to defend or regain her title, never finishing outside the top four. So with a sense of inevitability, she travelled to Ballinlough, (Cork) in 2000, where she showed her resilience again to lift the national title with a score of 11 under par, this time her victory was by an emphatic 7 shots from nearest rival, the late Peggy Campbell of Glenville, and a quality field of players. In winning this title, Marina became the first woman to win the All Ireland Strokeplay over both 36 holes and the new 54 hole championship. In the period of 1997 – 2001 Marina’s strokeplay record was surpassed by no one. She was also No 1 ladies player in 2000.
With her regular playing partner Paul O’Hagan, Marina has also won several gross prizes at both the Leinster and National Mixed Foursomes. In 1999 they were unfortunate not to win the National title at Cloghogue when they fell one hole short of Noel Joyce and Brid Ryan (Hillview Tipperary).
Marina has also represented Ireland abroad, travelling with Gents Strokeplay champion Ray Murphy, to play an exhibition match at the invitation of the Dutch in 2001.
She was recognised for her great achievements by the sports people of Newry when she was voted Sports Person of the Year in the annual Newry and Mourne Sports awards.
Down Ladies Inter-County Winners 1982
The first taste of National success came at home in 1982 when the Cloghogue quintet of Marina O’Rourke, Bernie O’Rourke, Mary Campbell, Alice Rice and Bridie McKeown, outlasted Westmeath to win the Inter County at a single shot. A solid performance by all was typified by Bernie O’Rourke’s great up and down from Cloghogue’s infamous 18th bunker. That par saving bunker shot was the difference in the winners and runners up spot and remains a highlight among the members in Cloghogue lore.
L-R Bridie McKeown, Alice Rice, Marina O'Rourke, Mary Campbell, Bernie O'Rourke
Maura Conyard & Mark Flynn National Mixed Foursomes winners 1992.
Tullamore, a course quite akin to Cloghogue, has always been kind to the Cloghogue player. In late September 1992 Maura and Mark were in unbeatable form in the finals of the National Mixed Foursomes and lead from start to finish. Their score of +15 well ahead of the field.
Conor O’Hare Leinster Senior Matchplay Champion 1999
Currently the course record holder in Cloghogue with an amazing 39 gross, Conor was always recognised as a potential provincial or national champion. Played over two courses with the first two rounds in Castletown and the finals in Kells Co Meath, Conor was in excellent form. Reaching the final for someone so young was an achievement in itself but in the final the eminent Sean Downes could only stand and watch as Conor’s excellent display of chipping and putting won him the title.
Down Gents Leinster Inter County Winners 1999
1999 was a very successful year for the club. Backboned by the newly crowned Leinster Matchplay champion, Conor O’Hare, the Down gents surprised the bookies by a strong all round team performance to take the Leinster title in Royal Meath. The victory had its foundation in a superb fourball performance by young debutantes Mickey Green and Collie Maguire who give the Down lads the required start. The team are pictured below receiving the trophy from Leinster President Billy Lynch. They are :- Pete McGivern, Paul O'Hagan (capt) Micky McKeown, front:- Collie Maguire, Micky Green and Conor O'Hare.
Bernie O’Rourke & Mickey Concannon Leinster Mixed Foursomes Champions 1994
Bernie has the distinction of winning the Leinster Mixed Foursomes with two different partners! The first of her victories came in 1994 when, with Inter County player and top Cloghogue senior Mickey Concannon, they used local knowledge to excellent advantage, to win the title on their home course
Bernie O’Rourke and Conor O’Hare Leinster Mixed Foursomes Champions 1996
Despite a change of partner, Bernie again showed what an excellent team player she is, by pairing up with Conor O’Hare who had just joined the senior ranks. With Conor’s attacking play and Bernie’s expertise and experience, Conor and Bernie worked their way through a quality field in IGB, Co Dublin to win by 2 holes.
Paul Haughey Leinster Intermediate Matchplay Champion 1994
In 1992 Paul was starting to make his presence felt in the adult ranks when he went to Seapoint for the Leinster Matchplay Championships. An unknown at the start of the two day event, Paul was really at home on the links course and with an excellent display of Pitch and Putt in the Intermediate semi-final and final, he was well recognised by the end of weekend.
Peter McGivern Leinster Intermediate Matchplay Champion 1997
Now a well regarded senior, Peter’s first forage into serious competition was as an inter at Tullamore in 1997. Not being identified as a contender suited Peter as one by one he comprehensively beat all opponents. The final saw Peter on the verge of winning the title that Paul Haughey had taken to the club in 1994. In that final there was only going to be one outcome, as the focussed McGivern saved his best to last and won the final by a comfortable 7&5.
Adrian Barry Leinster Juvenile Champion 2006
One of a great crop of juveniles who emerged in Cloghogue in 2004-6, Adie’s quiet manner belied a well hidden self confidence. As part of the Down Inter County juvenile team the previous day, he had equipped himself well as the Down lads were unlucky not to win and finished as runners up. However there was no stopping Adie that Sunday in Cement, Co. Louth, when quietly but competently, he worked his way round the course to card an excellent score to come out on top, despite a great finish by his friend and club team mate Niall Quigley. Adrian's mild and easy going manner is well suited to a game where keeping your head is essential. Hopefully this win is only the start for Adrian and that group of good juveniles.
Bernie Somers - Ladies National Intermediate Champion 2010
After a lengthy lay off from the game, Bernie Somers celebrated her return by winning the 2010 All Ireland Ladies Inter Strokeplay at a rain soaked Cunnigar in Dungarvan, Co Waterford in July. Leading the field after a difficult first 36 holes, Bernie had to call on all her reserves of strength and energy to sustain her lead throughout the final 18 holes which were played in horrendous conditions. This was Bernie's second national title following success at Inter County and establishes her further as one of the most consistent and successful players ever from Cloghogue.
In addition to above champions, Cloghogue have also had two players represent Ireland at International level.
Paul O’Hagan was selected on the Irish team to play in Spain in 1997 in recognition of his expertise and outstanding contribution to the game. The first person form north of the border to represent Ireland at the game, Paul was one of only two in the ten man team to secure maximum points from all his tour matches. He also had the honour of sinking the putt which ensured Ireland had sufficient points to guarantee a victory over Catalonia in the Challenge Cup.
Conor O’Hare has also represented Ireland on the international stage. In 1999, he was chosen to play for Ireland against Catalonia in IGB, Dublin. Ironically Conor teamed up with Paul’s partner from the previous International match, Sean Harkins, in the fourballs. Conor and Sean gelled well and Conor lived up to his selection with a good personal victory in the singles. Ireland won comfortably, retained the International Challenge Cup.
Our course records provide a tough target for players at the start of every round. Here are the current best scorecards ever returned in competition by a senior man and woman.