AIG Cups and Shield fever takes hold
It doesn't matter if you've won Sam Maguire, an Epsom Derby or the Irish Amateur Close - thousands of golfers of all shapes and sizes are gearing up to chase All-Ireland glory in the 2017 AIG Cup and Shield competitions.
Qualifiers are already underway as clubs across the four provinces bid to qualify for a unique festival of inter-club golf at Carton House from 20-23 September when the provincial winners of the five big inter-club championships seek one of those coveted, green All Ireland pennants.
Dublin footballer Paul Flynn, who is a member of Roganstown and Hollystown, will have too much on his plate this summer chasing his own All Ireland dreams to put his 14 handicap to the test.
But like most club golfers, he'll be keen to see who comes through to capture the AIG-sponsored Senior Cup, Junior Cup, Barton Shield, Pierce Purcell Shield and Jimmy Bruen Shield before the event leaves Carton House after four years and returns to a provincial rotation in 2018
Jockey Christy Roche won at Epsom in 1984 but he was just as thrilled to hole the winning putt for Cill Dara in the AIG Jimmy Bruen Shield final on the O'Meara Course at Carton House.
"With the racing, it's your livelihood, it's your business," Roche said at yesterday's official launch.
"This was a sporting thing, and it's probably more pressure because you're doing it for our members. It means so much."