THIS IS BALLYBUNION GOLF CLUB
… thankful for the priceless gift of dunesland that nature has bestowed on it. Proud of its origins and past. Humble in realising that it must ever advance hand-in-hand with Father Time in outlook and development and ever a cordial host to visitors from near and far.
The Limerick Chronicle of August 19th 1893 and the Kerry Sentinel in its Gossip Column (of all places,) of August 26th 1893 carried the same news item.
“The opening meeting of the Ballybunion Golf Club in Ireland was held on the 18th inst., at the Castle Hotel, when it was decided to request Lord Listowel to allow himself to be nominated President, while Mr Carling of Newcastlewest and Mr Creagh of Listowel were elected Vice-Presidents. Mr Morden of Ennismore and Mr D’Arcy of Ballybunion were chosen Hon. Secretary and Hon. Treasurer respectively. A vote of thanks was then passed to Mr Hewson, who very generously permits the use of the links to the club free. Twelve greens have been laid out upon the links – a number which might be easily increased to the standard eighteen, should the members so wish. The greens all lie along the sandhills. The turf is of the springiest and the course offers every variety of golfing interest”.
In early 1897 an article in the Irish Times, headed The Golf Links of Kerry, dismissed Ballybunion Course with some contempt as “a rabbit warren below the village, where a golfer requires limitless patience and an inexhaustible supply of golf balls.” This provoked a tart rejoinder in the same paper in March 1897 from P McCarthy, General Manager, Listowel and Ballybunion Railway. The course, he claimed, was “quite first class and a sporting course, laid out by the professional who had laid out the links at Lahinch and Dollymount.” The Irish golfers guide of 1897 names this course designer as James McKenna, who did this work “at the instance of the Lartigue Railway Company.” It is interesting to note the connection with present day Ballybunion as he was the grandfather of the Ballybunion Golf Club Secretary – Manager until 2008, Jim McKenna.
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In recent years, one of our members, Patsy A. Costelloe (R.I.P.) undertook some research into the Club’s history and course design:
From local information, I believe that the first layout of golf holes in Ballybunnion took place in 1893. The men involved were officers of The Black Watch Regiment – Capt. M. Westropp, Limerick City Artillery and Capt. E. W. Willington, The Prince of Wales Regiment (Royal Canadians) stationed at Maryboro’ (now known as Portlaoise) who were holidaying in Ballybunnion at the time and were staying at the Castle Hotel where the first meeting of the first club took place on the 18th August 1893.
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Through the decades:
* 1892 A professional – thought to be James McKenna, laid out original ballybunion Course
* 1893 Ballybunion Golf Club committee meet for first time and First Clubhouse opened
* 1897 P. McCarthy, General Manager of the Listowel – Ballybunion Lartigue railway line, became secretary of Golf Club.
* 1911 Tom Allen appointed Club Steward. He held the post for 56 years
* 1924 Lartigue railway line ceases operation.
* 1927 Course restored to original 18 holes. Work undertaken by Messrs. Carter & Sons, Raynes Park, London.
See the full Timeline
Pat Mulcare RIP (1945-1996)
Pat earned his pocket money and learned his golf as a caddy. In 1965 at the age of 20, the club gave him his first handicap of 10 and won the captains prize that year and retained it the following year off a handicap of 6. In 1968 he won the first of his 72 International caps for Ireland. Pat won the East of Ireland Championship on 3 consecutive years (1971-73) Won the South of Ireland in 1971 Reached the Quarter Finals of the British Amateur Championship Set an amateur course record of 67 winning the local scratch cup in 1969. In May 1975 he he represented Britain and Ireland in the Walker Cup against the US at St. Andrews.
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An Illustrated Centenary History 1893 – 1993
Ballybunion, the Town of the Saplings, derives it’s name from an individual, some steward or land agent named Buinnean or Bunyan.
It is a lively holiday town by the Atlantic sea shore, whose population ad 1200 increases many fold in the summer season. It has many amenities, notably a golden beach, towering cliffs, intriguing caves – and a world renowned golf club.
Ballybunion is rich in history with associations to Mesolithic times. Early iron age pins and Roman coins have been found, as well as stone lined long cists with skeletons. It is also steeped in a Norman tradition and was the scene of the faction fighting phenomenon in the early 19th century.Read the full article
APRIL, MAY & OCTOBER:
Open until 7.30pm daily
JUNE – SEPTEMBER:
Open until 8.00pm daily
NOVEMBER – MARCH:
The Ball Dispenser at the Practice Facility is closed.Members may use the facility using their own golf balls.
Ballybunion Golf Club
Sandhill Road, Ballybunion, Co. Kerry, Ireland.
Phone +353 (0) 68 27146
Fax +353 (0) 68 27387