Many reading this blog might never have heard of Walter Hagen because that great golfer died in 1969.Hagen was a very successful professional golfer who won 45 PGA events and with 11 Majors to his credit is currently 3rd on the all-time major winners list behind Jack Nicholas and Tiger Woods. He played in 5 Ryder Cup matches for the USA.

He was a professional golfer in an era when professional golfers were looked down on by club members and when he was told that he wasn’t allowed change his clothes in the clubhouse before a tournament he arrived in a splendid Rolls Royce sipping champagne and changed his clothes in the back of the Rolls Royce. It was probably because of Hagen that from that time on professional golfers were given the full freedom of golf clubs.

Hagen was a man who played wonderful golf and lived life to the full and his favourite saying was “take time to smell the flowers”.

It is often said that when we get towards the end of our lives and look back that we will never say “we should have spent more time in the office”! Rather we will probably regret that we didn’t spend more time doing the other important things in life. Whatever they might be!

We had a very pleasant lunch yesterday with Greg and Alison of Fuzion who do some PR work for our company and they asked Eamon and I what were the highlights of the year for us.

For me certainly most of my good memories of the year took place outside of the office. Having said that for our office party this evening we have the biggest number of staff attending that we have had in over 40 years including three from City Life Galway and that is immensely satisfying.

Outside the office the highlights have been wonderful walks during the year on Garryvoe Beach in East Cork and on the wonderful beaches of Derrynane in Kerry. Also in Kerry I love to remember drives around Ballinskelligs Bay and over the mountain into Portmagee and across the bridge onto Valentia Island a most beautiful relaxing place to visit.

And then there was a trip to France to visit my brother Martin and his wife Sile who run probably the best Chambre D’hote in the whole of France in a village called Thezan Les Beziers.

One day we cycled along the banks of The Canal De Midi from Beziers to the sea and back. That was a gentle introduction to the outdoor life! The following day they had me in a canoe 15 kilometres up river from the beautiful village of Roquebrun shooting the rapids and being tossed unceremoniously 3 times into the River Orb before finally arriving back exhausted but immensely satisfied at Roquebrun where I enjoyed perhaps the nicest glass of beer I ever had.

The highlight for me was probably some family golf. Over the years we have always played in a fund raiser for the Children’s Hospital in Crumlin run by Michael O Flynn and others and probably have entered a team for the last 10 years or more without success. This year’s renewal at Cork Golf Club included our team of sons Eamon and Owen and a good friend PJ Murphy. We won that day and so qualified to play in the Irish finals held at the wonderful Royal Dublin Golf Club. We didn’t win the final but we agreed that just getting to play together at Royal Dublin on a beautiful sunny September afternoon was as good as it gets.

Photo of the three of us checking the out of bounds on the right before playing our drives on the 18th at Royal Dublin. Thanks for the photo PJ

So that’s it for 2014. I have really enjoyed the blogging for the last year or so and thank you for your kind comments during the year. A sad note was the death of one of my sporting heroes Jack Kyle. I was so glad that I made contact with him through his daughter Justine before he died. And indeed a thank you and a well done to Justine who did a splendid bit of work to get Jack to agree to have a book written about his life and his rugby. It’s a great read about a special man and a sporting legend!

Finally can I suggest that you take out your diaries now and block out some time in your calendars for next year to take some time out to smell the roses and to do the important things that you have always wanted to do and have always thought about doing. This life we live is not a dress rehearsal. We only have the one…don’t waste any of it!

Happy Christmas to all !!

Ted Dwyer Family Business

December 2014