Twenty years ago this week, four Longford town men – John Duignan, the late ‘Butch’ Noel Tracey, the late Billy Ryan and Rory Brady - decided to set up a golf society after a natter in the Tally Ho Bar.
Little did they envisage at that stage, that not only would their idea – The Tally Ho Golf Society - come to fruition, but that 20 years on, it would still be going strong and providing camaraderie and friendships to generations.
But from little seeds do acorns grow and the Tally Ho Golf Society is indeed a fine example of just that. Major celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary are in the pipeline for this weekend, all of which begin on Saturday morning next (August 18), starting at Longford Golf Club.
Proceedings kick off with the 18-hole Tom Redmond Memorial Trophy competition and this will be followed by a 9 hole competition for those wishing to take things a bit more easy on the day.
Following a meal in Longford town later that evening, a night of musical entertainment is lined up for the Tally Ho Bar, the place where it all began 20 years ago.
All past and present members of the Society are invited to come along and join in what is guaranteed to be a great day and night’s entertainment. Presentations to the winners of the day’s competitions will also be made back at the Tally Ho on Saturday night.
Speaking to the Leader, John Duignan, former president paid tribute to the committee. “It is most unusual to see a golf society such as this lasting this length of time,” he said. “The first year, we went to Westport and we are going back there in September to mark the occasion. There is no doubt that it will be a nostalgic trip for some. “We have travelled from Donegal to Wexford and from Dublin to Galway, the length and breadth of Ireland with the society and during that time we have become ambassadors for Longford, you might say, promoting both the town and county everywhere we went.”
Duignan, who has been part of the society since the very beginning, believes that it is the commitment by the members and of those on the committee that has contributed to its success. He is also convinced that the rotation of officers within the committee over the years brought with it new ideas and plenty of enthusiasm.
“You know, we have had some great golfers and some very average ones too. I’d say that over the years we have easily had 200 members and at the moment there is about 60,” he smiled. “We want all those who have been involved with the Society to come along and join in the celebrations this weekend. I also want to take the opportunity to thank the committee for working so hard over the years and a special thanks to all our sponsors too.”
Current captain, Michéal Duggan said that it was the “bed rock” of members who had brought the Society to what it is today. “It has been the members that kept it going; at any given time we would have at least 40, and past members tend to be coming in and out all the time,” he explained. “At the moment our oldest member is Geoff Shannon (79). Both his sons play as well, so we will have three generations of the same family involved in this weekend’s celebrations and that is just great to see.”