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My Golf Story: Annie Piotrowski

​Annie Piotrowski took up golf aged 61 and has never looked back.

  • 26 November 2019

​Caption: Annie Piotrowski (Macroom) during the Challenge Cup Final at the AIG Ladies Cups and Shields All Ireland Finals at Knightsbrook. Image by Jenny Matthews, Cashman Photography

Annie Piotrowski’s wasn't sure what to do with her extra time upon retirement. On recommendation from a friend she gave golf a go, here's her story:

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In September 2018 I represented Macroom Golf Club in the AIG Challenge Cup All-Ireland Final.  What’s so great about that you might ask? Lots of people have done similar things and never felt the need to go on and write about it!  

Well, I took up golf aged 61 and I had never played any kind of individual or team sport in the past.  Following retirement in 2010, I experienced what many people do, I found myself at a bit of a loss, not sure what new challenge to take up.  So why did I opt to join a golf club?

A friend suggested it and my immediate reaction was, why? I didn’t know how to play, but my friend said I could learn. So, I took the plunge and signed up. I was immediately faced with being a novice in a world where even the terminology being used was alien to me. ‘Stableford’, ‘par’, ‘pitch and a putt’ were another language. It’s not easy to go from being expert and confident in your working life to being a ‘newbie’ where others seem to know everything.

I need not have worried however as everyone in the club was extremely supportive and encouraged me along the way. I learned very quickly the benefit of the handicap system, which allows all skill levels to play together and so with the help of a few golf lessons I set out on my journey.

My goodness, there were peaks and troughs along the way. I vowed to myself that the day I don’t enjoy it, I would give up. This never happened. Even days when I played really badly, I could always say tomorrow will be better. Surprisingly, it usually was.  

I made some amazing friends and despite being a very mediocre golfer, in 2018 I was selected as a member of the Challenge Cup Team to compete initially for a Munster title and subsequently for an All-Ireland.
Macroom Challenge Cup.jpg
Caption: The Macroom AIG Challenge Cup team, 2018 Munster District Champions, Image by Cashman Photography

Those fears and anxieties I had experienced when I first took up the game suddenly re-emerged in force! But I thought, heck you’ve been chosen, so someone believes you can do it and that initiated a feeling of pride. The entire Challenge Cup journey was a tremendous experience, one I shall treasure forever. We got through each round, won the Munster District title and finished as runners-up in the All-Ireland. What a feeling of pride! Pride in the club, pride in the team, but mainly, pride in myself.  

My rationale for writing this piece is really to give an answer to the question of why should someone take up golf. I believe it can transform your life at any age. Just when you think you have achieved everything in your professional life and it’s now time to sit back, you suddenly realise that taking up a new activity can lead to a different but equally fulfilling life.

Regardless of the medals won, golf taught me how to accept failure, find joy in small improvements in my game and accept that challenges can enhance and enrich your life.  I haven’t even mentioned the health and social benefits to be gained, that’s another story!

#LEVELPAR