Clarke lays foundations

By Brian Keogh

Darren Clarke will put 16 starlets through their paces when he host his annual Darren Clarke Foundation Champions’ Weekend at Moyvalley today.

And they include a surprised Graham Donohoe, 15, who won the Leinster Boys title at Beaverstown in July.

Enniscorthy ace Donohoe was delighted to win his first big title, but he was amazed to discover that it also earned the chance to get lessons and tips from Clarke today and tomorrow.

Graham said: "When I won that title I just thought, 'Great, I've got the championship.' I didn’t expect this chance to come with it.

"It is a fantastic opportunity, as I should get a better idea of what I need to be doing in order to become a professional, while learning some better techniques too."

Clarke set up his foundation in 2002 to help boost the game in Ireland.

He said: "The annual Champions Weekend which might be described as a master class for the best junior golfers in Ireland. All of the participants are champions.

"They have won a provincial or national boys or girls tournament at their appropriate age level and over the past five years or so I have invited them for a weekend of coaching and tuition.

"I believe the Champions Weekend is very popular among the junior golf fraternity. I always enjoy the weekend immensely and it’s great to see the level of talent that is emerging in Irish junior golf."