HomeGolfJimmy Kinsella’s golfing love affair beautifully captured in new book - News...

Jimmy Kinsella’s golfing love affair beautifully captured in new book – News – Irish Golf Desk


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It not only portrays the closeness of the Kinsella family, Jimmy’s ‘divilment’, and his love of bikes and motorbikes, but it also captures the great pride the PGA professionals have in their craft.

“It seems that for Bill Senior, who died on 11th September 1989, Jimmy’s win in the Moran Cup at the Curragh in 1968 capped them all,” Gilleece writes.

“It meant a lot to the Da,” Jimmy said of a win that meant more to his father than his win in Madrid, his World Cup appearances, his two Irish Professional Championship victories or his third place (alongside Greg Norman) to winner Hubert Green and runner up Ben Crenshaw in the 1977 Irish Open at Portmarnock.

“He’d lost in the final when the Moran Cup was a matchplay event, so my mother said I had to come down to the club with the Cup. He was pleased as punch about it. I loved him altogether. He was a great man and spent all his time giving lessons in Skerries in the summertime and trying to earn a few shillings to rear us. He never drank or smoked because he couldn’t afford to.”

The book is teeming with anecdotes, such as the genesis of Kinsella’s foray into professional golf at the age of 15, when he took the boat to England and joined Bill Cox at Fulwell Golf Club near Twickenham.
The pay was £2 a week — not enough to cover his digs and have money left over for the plate at Mass on Sunday — but it was better than school.

“Guided by Joe Carr, he left home and headed for Dublin’s North Wall and the boat to Liverpool. Accompanied to the boat by his mother, he remembers her seeing his tear-stained face and telling him, ‘You don’t have to go.’ To which Jimmy responded: ‘But if I stay, do I have to go to school?’ And when she insisted: ‘You do.’ He said: ‘OK. I’m going.’“

His win in Madrid in 1972 was remarkable for the fact that in order to save money, he carried his own clubs for the early rounds and went home with £1,500.  

He’d holed an eight-footer for the title and remembered the moment clearly and the delight of Christy O’Connor Snr at his achievement.

“I said a silent prayer. ‘Dear God. You didn’t bring me all this way to lose. Then I remember thinking as I stood over the ball – ‘Keep your head still’ And when I looked up, the ball had disappeared. In that instant, Christy was on the green. Then, with typical intensity, he hugged me, whispering, ‘How did you do it? How did you do it? It went in like a rabbit.’ To which I replied: ‘I don’t know, Christy. I never saw it.'”

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