Castletown Golf Links Team grows mos for their bros

Castletown Golf Links Team grows mos for their bros

Dear Members,

Having been a part of our great Golf Club now for some 8 years, I’ve had the good fortune to come to know many of you quite well and forge strong relationships that extend way beyond just golf.

The current landscape of golf, certainly in the UK at least, means that the bulk of our membership are males and unfortunately a large percentage of such are the wrong side of 50! Age brings many benefits but rarely with our bodies and in the past two or three years especially, I have been acutely aware of an escalation of male members being diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer. Whilst the journey through treatment & convalescence must have been difficult, thankfully in the majority of cases, those affected have made a full recovery. Steve Keegan however was not so fortunate and very sadly he was taken from us much too early at the beginning of this year. 

Bringing it even closer to home, one of our team here at the Club, Colin Townsend has also had to overcome adversity in recent years. Colin tells his own story below:

In June 2013 I visited the Isle of Man for the first time in order to take part in the annual Parish Walk.  After a gruelling 21 and half hours on the road I was thrilled to cross the finish line at the War memorial on the Douglas promenade. In my mid-fifties I felt an incredible sense of achievement and satisfaction.

Back in South Africa a few months later I underwent my annual executive medical and was given a clean bill of health.  Unfortunately, or fortunately, our family doctor had received my report from the other doctor and noticed something that she was not happy with.

By Christmas that year I had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.  At the end of January 2014, I underwent a radical prostatectomy (pre-Robotic surgery) which left me with a couple of serious challenges and changed my life forever.

But there is good news.  There is a lot you can do.  Just by knowing some important facts about the risk and knowing when to take action.  Just remember – early detection is key.  That means understanding your risk of prostate cancer and when to start the conversation with your doctor – take action and do not hesitate.  A personal challenge from me to you is have yourself tested regularly.  This is usually in the form of a simple PSA blood test.

Some useful facts:

  • Prostate cancer is not limited to the older generation, so if you are 50 or older, start talking to your doctor about your risk
  • The genes from our parents and other relatives play a part in prostate cancer risk.  Your risk is higher if there is a father, brother or uncle who had prostate cancer.  It is also higher if there is a mother or sister who had breast or ovarian cancer. So, if there is a family history like this, it is worth talking to your doctor from an earlier age
  • Often, early prostate cancer causes no issues or symptoms – so it is important to check with your doctor even if you are feeling well.  In many cases, prostate cancer grows slowly, and many men don’t notice any signs at all.  This was my experience as well – the first weekend in December 2013 I partook in a 100km walking race and had a great race and good finish and felt incredibly well and alive.  I saw the urologist and underwent a biopsy early the next week and my world was then about to be turned upside down when I received my diagnosis
  • Approximately 1.4 million men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year.

I have no doubt that at our Golf Club there are many of you who can relate to my story.

You may be aware of the annual Movember campaign and we, as a Club, would like to encourage you to take part in it, join us and grow a moustache (regular or even one of the more exotic shapes and sizes). If you are taking part, we would also love it if you could share a photo or two with us.

You can take a look at our fundraising page and consider sponsoring our facial hair efforts by clicking on the link here –

Castletown Movember Team CLICK HERE

We will also place a collection point in the Pro Shop should you wish to make a cash donation to the Movember campaign.

In conclusion, there is life after prostate cancer.  17-months after my operation I went on to compete in the 2015 Parish Walk and recorded my best time for the race to date and also summited Kilimanjaro in 2016 and again in 2019.  Unfortunately, even though I have enjoyed some success with the aforementioned, my golf overall has not improved but at least I have time on my side to work on my game .

Join us in growing a moustache this Movember and please, please do consider getting yourself checked regularly Men.

Kind regards,
Colin, PJ & Andi.

Club champion Andrew Challenor also wins the Steve Keegan trophy

Club champion Andrew Challenor also wins the Steve Keegan trophy

It was perhaps fitting that the inaugural running of the Steve Keegan Trophy was won by our newly crowned club champion at Castletown Golf Club on Saturday. Andrew Challenor (+4) carefully crafted a two under par 70 and then attended the lunchtime prize presentation to receive the TISE sponsored club championship trophy from club member and TISE chairman Anderson Whamond.

Challenor’s glorious gross score on Saturday netted down, or up in his case, to 74 which placed him 21st on that basis. However, the club, with the agreement of Steve’s widow Linda, had wished to reflect Steve’s affection for traditional Strokeplay golf. Hence, Challenor’s three birdies and just one bogey put him three clear of the field. Poignantly, Challenor’s name will be the first to be placed on his former playing partner’s memorial trophy.

Second on the day, with a gross score of 73, was the immediate past club champion Steve Boyd (+1) who had bagged back-to-back birdies on a sub-par front nine. Out of the prizes, but worthy of a mention, were Gez Bradley and Ben Smaller who grossed 74 and 76 respectively.

However, there was another gross 76 which deserved more than a mention. William Laughlin (16) may have finished fifth overall, but on a nett basis he won by a mile! Two bogeys and birdies saw him turn at level par and, with just four more bogeys, he finished on a fantastic nett 60. Consequently, Laughlin’s WHS has been slashed by 3.5 shots.

There was a two-way tie for the remaining nett prizes. Both Frankie Doherty (7) and former captain Mike Horsthuis (10) carded nett 70s, but Doherty didn’t dally on the run-in. His tidy three over par back nine was twice as good as Horsthuis who, unfortunately, dropped three strokes over the final two holes.

At the lunchtime presentation Andrew Gerrard took the opportunity to thank all those who had helped him during his year of office. There had been much praise for the club, the course and staff following the Northern Counties Senior’s event. It was noted that over £3,700 had been raised for the captains’ chosen charity following the recent golf day and Peter Robertson had generated a further £370+ for ‘The Friends of Noble’s Hospital’ as a result of completing the MFX Limited End-to-End Walk.

Simcocks CEO Phil Games was on hand to congratulate Mike Travers who won the Simcocks Stableford with 46 points back in June. Although his playing partner Adam Mackay was absent, Dan Williams collected the Alan Christian Cup from the captain, who, in the absence of club president Steve McGowan, also presented the President’s Cup to Damion Harrison. 

Sam Skelton received the TISE senior club championship trophy, then praised our new PGA professional Martin Chalcraft who he suggested had, ‘succeeded in teaching an old dog some new tricks’.

At the culmination of the presentation the captain gave a fulsome account of the winner’s ability and potential, when handing the W. Kirkpatrick Singles Matchplay Trophy to the worthy winner, young Guy McGuinness.    

This coming Saturday sees the fifth and final round of this season’s series of Suntera month medals. Finally, lady golfers from across the island should note that at 10:30am on Wednesday 4th October the Bessie Cain Rose Bowl shotgun start competition takes place at the Links. So far, 35 competitors have signed up. Contact the pro-shop on 822211 if you wish to join them.


Trip Reporter Review

Trip Reporter Review

by Andi Mossack

The Castletown Golf Links course is not for the fainthearted. To my mind, you couldn’t find a more natural place for a golf course, out on a spit of dry land with the Irish Sea on both sides. Any chance of some respite from the wind? Not on your Nellie. Any chance of a few dramatic holes over the sea? Absolutely.

Here then is the Castletown Golf Links, a course not short of a slice or two of golf history. It was first laid out back in 1892 by none other than the master, Old Tom Morris, architect of St. Andrew’s Old Course, the home of golf.  But there is more golfing royalty to follow. In 1910 Alister Mackenzie, the genius behind Augusta National began work on updating the course, followed 30 years later by Philip Mackenzie-Ross creator of Turnberry’s Ailsa course.

You might be baffled as to why a spit of land on a remote island in the Irish Sea would be so attractive to this holy trinity of golfing designers. But during the Victorian and Edwardian eras, the Isle of Man was Britain’s equivalent to the French Riviera. Thousands flocked here to holiday and party and Castletown Golf Links was renovated and ready to welcome them all with open arms.