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Galway broadcaster looks forward to her golfing renaissance


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Galway broadcaster looks forward to her golfing renaissance Galway broadcaster looks forward to her golfing renaissance

By Daragh Small

Galway-born broadcaster Pamela Joyce was one of those sporting all-rounders – primarily hockey, but Gaelic football, soccer and swimming too – and while she dabbled in golf as junior, it’s only now that she is embracing the joys of life from tee to green.

Because the Today FM presenter is taking part in The First Tee, Journey to Dromoland, a new six-part series courtesy of Golf Ireland. The objective is to get more women and girls playing the game, something the national governing body for golf have championed in recent years.

She has been joined by IFTA-nominated broadcaster and journalist, Lorraine Keane, and Spin South West breakfast presenter, Valerie Wheeler.

The trio are preparing for the chance of a lifetime – to tee it up at the KMPG Women’s Irish Open Pro-Am at Dromoland Castle on August 30. And for Joyce, she is delighted to be getting back into the game.

“I did Get into Golf last summer and I really really enjoyed it,” said Joyce.

“It is a fabulous way to get into the game because everybody was of the same standard. Most people have played with their partners or parents or had been to the driving range a few times but just wanted to give it a proper go.

“When the First Tee campaign came up, I was like absolutely, this is it. I have barely hit a golf ball since I finished my Get into Golf. Just because, I would be quite a confident person, but I would feel intimidated going out, I would be worried I am holding everybody up or that I am doing it wrong.

“This campaign is a brilliant way to get my confidence up, get me back into it, and then hopefully by the end of it you won’t be able to get me off the golf course.”

Joyce hails from Rahoon and she joined Galway Golf Club when she was a junior but never fell in love with the game.

She was always into sport but hockey was her biggest focus, with her school Salerno and Galway Hockey Club, along with Knocknacarra in Community Games.

She had always enjoyed performing arts too and although she missed out on the chance to go to Trinity for a dedicated drama course she pursued her dream of becoming an actress, studying Arts at University of Galway, where her subjects were Theatre, Irish and Spanish.

She finished in Galway in 2014 and went to Spain before a chance opportunity in iRadio gave her hope of a new career. And it was radio that became her calling, she achieved her four-year plan in just one, and moved to Today FM to take on the role of hosting their midday slot on weekdays.

“It’s just one of those jobs where it doesn’t feel like a job. I go in, I get to play music, I get to talk about stuff going on in the world that I’m interested in. I get to have the craic with listeners,” she said.

However, Joyce has had her own battles over the years, she talked previously about her episodes of depression and anxiety and they never stray too far from her consciousness.

“Sport is incredibly important to your mental health and giving yourself some time. Because we live in such a fast paced life. You are on the phone 24-7 and you are running from pillar to post getting this job done,” she said.

“Whereas if you are out on the golf course for two or three hours, it is time to decompress, leave the world aside and have a bit of you-time.”

Joyce is on the verge of her biggest challenge of all now and becoming a confident golfer is her next goal.

She may have had short stints playing in Galway Golf Club when she was younger and more recently in Rathfarnham and Connemara Golf Club but soon she will take on the First Tee at Dromoland Castle.

“I am very excited to be involved in the campaign. It’s wonderful and I am really happy that I have a female coach,” said Joyce.

“I have only spent a couple of hours with Mary Doyle, my coach, but she is absolutely fabulous. We got on so well straight away, we have the exact same sense of humour. It’s that visibility and representation.

“I don’t know that many girls my age that play. For girls, they tend to get into it a little later in life. When they retire they spend their time on the golf course.

“But to see someone so young and as full of life as Mary, it’s great and it’s great to have such strong female representation.”


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