Wicklow golfer offered scholarship to the US
IT IS often said that when God closes a door, he opens a window, and David Lally can be considered an example of such an adage,
While playing for Wicklow Rovers when he was 13, Lally went in for a 50-50 and hurt himself with an injury that ended up being diagnosed as a torn pelvis.
He wouldn’t have known it, but this injury instigated what would go on to be a prodigious interest in golf, mainly spawning from the interest of his dad, Ciaran.
“My dad is an avid golfer and, unfortunately, quite a good golfer, so he kind of brought me out and after a while I got hooked on it and never looked back,” he said.
“I think it was a different experience because I had played pretty much every team sport. I played GAA, rugby, tennis, everything, and there is kind of a big difference going from having mates around you to being on your own on a range for hours and hours.”
While he had been a member of Blainroe Golf Club since he was 13, David admitted that it took him a while to really take to golf, such is how different a sport it was, compared to those he had been used to playing.
After a while, he started to get a sense that he had the knack for the course, and he grew more and more attached to it and his competitive instincts kicked into gear.
“My dad probably is more confident about that than I am. I didn’t like it initially. He used to have to bribe me to go to the driving range but as soon as I saw myself become somewhat okay at it, I got hooked to getting better.
“I always wanted to be better than my dad so that is the main reason I started really giving it a go.
“I had a good group of mates who are out in Blainroe, as well, and I am a very competitive person, so I suppose I always wanted to be better than them and then, after a while, I kind of moved onto other stuff and playing in tournaments abroad and this kind of came out of nowhere.”
His dad was an early teacher of his, while he got lessons from Karl Holmes in Greystones, who is a coach of Paul Dunne, while the likes of Donna Connolly, Olga Stones, Noelle Ryan, DJ Kenna, and Barry Davis in Blainroe have also been credited for his progress.
He won his very first adult competition, while last August, he got to the matchplay stage of the British Boys Championship.
This latter achievement brought him to the attention of college recruiters and, after the Blainroe club pro, Barry Davis, got him into touch with an alumnus of Seton Hall University, and after said alumnus got David into contact with the school’s golf team’s head coach, Clay White, he was offered a scholarship to play golf in the New Jersey college.
“I am going to visit in it two-and-a-half weeks to have a look at it for the first time, but I am very much looking forward to it.
“It has got a competitive golf team that is actually playing quite well at the moment and looks to be going somewhere. I am interested in going down the business route and it has got a very well-regarded business school, so it was the perfect balance for me.
David expects to start school in the States next August. Until then, having recently turned 18, he has the Leaving Cert next summer; earlier on the day on which he spoke to this paper, he had done Maths grinds to that end.
While golf and other facets of his everyday life sometimes threatened to come into conflict, he credits his dad with helping to bring them into harmony.
“I suppose there is a bit of a balance to it, and it is hard, I suppose, to focus on Irish school when you know what is coming down the line, but as soon as I started taking golf seriously and putting in the hours, it had always been hard to balance everything. I think I have a good grasp on it now.
“I suppose that is down to my dad, as well. He is always giving me tips and making plans to stay on track and always having a routine every day, every week, every month to keep my head focused and working towards goals.”