HILLVIEW SPORTS CLUB, Clonmel, will this weekend host the National Ladies and Gents Inter-Counties Pitch and Putt finals.
The picturesque course, located on the Mountain Road, under the shadow of the Comeragh foothills, is all set to stage the largest event in the Irish Pitch and Putt calendar - the Inter-Counties finals.
While the national singles title held earlier in the P&P season might be slightly more prestigious to win, there is no doubt that the team event is the biggest in numbers and organisational terms.
Almost 150 of the very best pitch and putt players in the country will pit their undoubted skills against the immaculate course over two days of intense competition.
23 teams of six will compete in a mixture of Scotch Foursomes, Foursomes and Singles events to determine who will hold aloft the coveted prizes on Sunday evening.
In the gents category 15 counties are entered - Longford, Cork, Clare, Offaly, Wexford, Kildare, Waterford, Meath, Westmeath, Kerry, Louth, Dublin, Down, Limerick and Tipperary.
The ladies category has eight entries - Cork, Offaly, Kildare, Waterford, Meath, Louth, Dublin and Tipperary.
No stone has been left unturned, in preparation for this event- the first time in 32 years (1981) that Hillview has staged the Inter-County finals.
Pitch and Putt secretary at Hillview, Paddy O’Hanrahan, is very proud of the fact that the club has been honoured with the staging of the event.
“Hillview is perhaps one of the finest, most revered pitch and putt courses in Ireland,” he said.
“It is in the top 10, certainly top 12 courses in the country and this is why we get the big competitions.”
Paddy outlined the tremendous behind-the-scenes work that has been put in over months by so many at Hillview to ensure that the club will do justice to the event at the weekend.
Two who came in for special mention were Noel Byrne, Grounds Captain, and Richie Blanche, full-time Groundsman. Both have been leading the preparations on the course and around the grounds - and the 18 holes are in pristine condition for the arrival of the cream of Irish pitch and putt next weekend.
From a management point of view the pitch and putt captains at Hillview this year - Tim Shanley (gents) and Teresa Johnson (ladies) are to the fore as is treasurer, Con Lucey, in ensuring everthing will run like clockwork.
“But there are many more behind the scenes who have done tremendouse work and will continue to do so up to and during the weekend,” added Paddy.
An exciting development in promoting the weekend event will be the provision of a giant 30-ftlive screen at the Marks and Spencer Shopping Complex, where shoppers will be able to see what is happening live up the road and who knows they might even pop up to see it in person and they will be more than welcome
There will also be a live screen in the bar where followers can have a break and still keep one eye on what’s happening outside. Another screen at the kiosk will carry up-to-date scoring to add to the enjoyment of followers.
Two large tents will be strategically placed on the course where spectators can watch safely and without undue distractions to the competitors.