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Philomena Garvey: Queen of the Irish Fairways

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Philomena Garvey: Queen of the Irish Fairways

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An entertaining and overdue biography of Ireland's greatest woman golfer.


Philomena ("Phil") Garvey, the slim, fair-haired girl from the small village of Baltray sadly passed away this year on the doorstep of her beloved County Louth Golf Club. Phil dominated ladies' golf in Ireland from 1946 to 1970, achieving celebrity status at a time when golf was mainly a male preserve. Phil's golfing odyssey saw her compete against legendary golfers in some of the most dramatic matches ever witnessed in ladies' golf.

Her greatest achievement was winning the British Ladies' Amateur Championship at Gleneagles against the legendary Jessie Valentine in 1957. The following year, as reigning champion, Phil controversially refused to wear the Union Jack as the sole emblem of the Great Britain and Ireland Curtis Cup team. The intransigence of the Ladies' Golfing Union executive council to accommodate an Irish sportswoman deprived her of a chance to compete on the world stage.

Henry Cotton described her as "the finest woman golfer I've ever seen" and aspects of her game were compared to Ben Hogan, Walter Hagen and Joyce Wethered. Renowned abilities of concentration and determination took her to fifteen national titles, five British Ladies' Amateur Championship finals and representation on the Curtis Cup team - the ultimate accolade for ladies amateur golf - on six occasions. This was all achieved while working in Clerys department store in Dublin.

This is her story.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Author Garvey, Paul
Editor No
Print Format Paperback
ISBN-10 1905785712
ISBN-13 978-1-905785-71-1
Illustrations No
Date of Publication October 2009
Number of Pages 250