Martin inspires next generation of Kanturk

​​​The 2017 Irish Girls' Close Champion, Mairead Martin has taken the time to give back to her old primary school in Kanturk

  • 26 February 2018

​Caption: Mairead with some of the students at her old primary school in Kanturk, Co. Cork

Irish International Golfers from Kanturk are few and far between, so when Mairead Martin returned to her local primary school to show off her green blazer and shiny golf clubs – it was a big deal!

“I loved being able to go back and show the kids what I have achieved since I was in their place 10 years ago,” explained the Irish Girls’ Close Champion. “The first day I went in we found some plastic golf clubs that the school had gotten from Junior Golf Ireland but hadn’t being using much, so we did a couple of chipping and putting games and I showed the teachers how they might use them in their PE classes.”

The last couple of years have been busy for Mairead. From travelling throughout the summer months representing Ireland to keeping up her studies which will allow her to begin at University of Louisville on a Golf Scholarship in September 2018. However, none of this has stopped her from making time to give back to the game and inspire the next generation to follow in her footsteps. 

“Since the first visit, I have gone back to the primary school twice for some work experience, firstly in Transition Year then again in 5th year. I took a few PE classes, for 1st to 6th classes and was able to give the kids a small introduction to golf through games based activities.” 

It was current Kanturk Lady Captain and school vice-principal Mary Fitzpatrick who suggested the idea to Mairead, and she gave her all to the opportunity.

“I set up hoola hoops and had the kids chipping and putting into them, and would make it into a competition, PE classes were usually just running or playing dodgeball so getting to try something new was different for them!”

Following Mairead’s PE classes, a number of girls from the school came down to Kanturk Golf Club to try some more. 

“The club has a Junior Day every Thursday during the summer in which about 100 kids play. As many Thursday’s as I could I went and played a few holes, maybe in a scramble, with the boys and girls and then would play a few games after. I think it’s great that so many are picking up the game so young because they learn the rules early and they’re being thought the right things from the start by PGA Professionals.”

When asked if other clubs and schools should include golf in their classes, the Golf4Girls4Life Ambassador suggested that they should give it a go.

“If a club or school has someone who plays golf, or is linked to a golf club in some way, I think it is something they could definitely try! The person doesn’t have to be an overly good golfer themselves play some of the games with the kids. 

“Some of the young kids don’t even know what golf is, especially if their parents don’t play, so I think this was exciting for them, it was all about making it fun! I also think having someone new and closer to their own age was a big influence on them it made them more interested!”

We’ll be watching out for the next Mairead Martin inspired golfer to come from Kanturk in the next few years!

If your club is interested in linking up with a local school or in learning about how to deliver engaging sessions in a school or club environment through games based activity, get in touch with the Confederation of Golf in Ireland: info@cgigolf.org