Damien McGrane has sounded a note of alarm about the depth of talent within Irish golf at present in the wake of last week's chastening results for the home challengers at Galgorm Castle.
This year's Dubai Duty Free Irish Open saw the Irish challenge fall by the wayside and Kells native McGrane who was among the field in Antrim last weekend feels the outcome highlighted pressing issues of depth when it comes to golf on these shores.
"The golden question must be how come the Irish Open last week was a miserable affair for Irish golfers. Miserable," he told Greg Allen on RTÉ Radio One's Saturday Sport.
"And it's disappointing. Our flagship event. I know we've all had our challenges with Covid but the Irish Open is meant to be a celebration of Irish golf.
"I probably shouldn't have been there myself. I was feeling guilty about taking a spot. When I went up there and realised how weak the field was, I quickly got over the fact that I wasn't robbing anybody of a spot because the field was weak anyway. So I wasn't doing any tour member an injustice because it probably slid into the Challenge Tour rankings."
He added that "the company was good but unfortunately the depth is not there anymore" and pointed towards the pathway between the amateur ranks and the professional tour level.
"The new men are struggling still to find their feet and struggling to establish themselves on the tour and then the vacuum falls in behind them," he continued.
"But for three amateurs to be brought into the field because we don't have three pros really of good enough quality to make up those three spots I found to be a sad day for Irish golf.
"It was a lonely experience last week with so few Irish players about. Like, an Irish Open is about Irish players featuring and possibly bettering themselves and maybe making a future. But last week there was hardly any fat on the bones. There's a kink in the system somewhere from leading amateur to leading tour pro.
"The few guys who have made it have made it and made it big but there are too many guys falling by the wayside. I believe that our leading players need to embrace them more, need to help them and nurture them and nurse them along. There are a lot of guys getting caught in the quicksand and disappear. And these are good players."