ATHENRY GOLF CLUB (1911-1962)
Sources: FAS Teamwork Scheme 1989-1992
Leader; Mrs. Marie Fahy
Scheme Sponsors: Athenry Project Society
The following appeared in the 1911 edition of Golfers Guide. The Athenry Golf Club was founded in 1902. It was A nine hole inland course, within half a mile of Athenry Station of the Midland Great Western Railway.
Committee and Fees
The Hon. Secretary at this time was W. S.B. Leatham, D.I,, R.I.C., Athenry. The Captain was H.J. Concannon and the committee consisted of Major Hall, W. Lambert, W.G.W. Moore, Rev. R.P. Roe, J.M. Meldon. It also consisted of A. Woodward who was a professional at that time.
The membership fees of that time varied between men and women and the annual subscription for men was £1 1s; Ladies 10s 6d. At that time the number of members where as follows: Men 55, and Ladies 22. No playing was allowed on Sunday. Visitors who came to the Athenry Golf Glub had to pay fees of 1s per day.
Unaffiliated and the Raheen Course
Athenry Golf Club was not affiliated to the Golfing Union of Ireland and remained this way until 1924. Between the years 1902 to 1952, golf was played over a hilly 9 hole course situated down in Raheen, until its lease expired in 1952. The course was laid out on dry limestone soil. The hazards were natural. Two ranges of low hills intersected the course and this permitted the laying out of a very enjoyable links. The length of the course was 2,353 yards. Open fixtures were held in the Spring.
Move to Moanbaun
Its next move was down to Moonbaun in 1958. The first trophy played for on the Moonbaun course was a match-play competition started in 1958 and known as the Club Trophy. The final was between Mr. Eddie Somers, North Gate Street, Athenry, and Mr. Phil McGuinness of the Ulster Bank staff. The final was level after 18 holes and Mr. Somers won on the 24th hole.
An expired lease again saw Athenry’s small band of enthusiastic golfers play out the season as guests of Mountbellow Golf Club and thus gained the name of the “Nomads”, a club who won a Connaught Shield Pendant in that year but did not have a course.
Course on Dobbyn’s Land
Following the Connaught Shield victory efforts were renewed to obtain land for a new course. The lease of 55 acres from the Dobbyn’s was negotiated. The land was rocky and barren, however, and a committee decision was taken and all agreed on it. The Clubhouse was an old galvanised hut with a small annex which was used as a locker room. There was no running water and on big days or nights the water had to be brought from town. The tractor for cutting the fairways and the drums of oil where curtained off on nights of entertainment. In a relatively short period of time Athenry had produced a course of which they could be proud off.
Permanent Home at Palmerstown
In 1978 the site of the Athenry Golf Club was once again changed to the present day location of Palmerstown. From its beginning in Raheen in 1902 as a 9 hole course it has developed to become an 18 hole course in 1991 in Palmerstown.
From research of past papers the following information was obtained:
Saturday 24th July 1926
The new golf course at Athenry will be formally opened next Sunday at 5.00 p.m. and admission is free. A Large attendance of the public is anticipated.
February 4th. 1928
CLUB WHIST DRIVE
There will be much general interest in the undertaking and a promising foursome match has been arranged between Messrs. Oswald Browne and MeGabe of the Tuam Club and Messrs. Sweeney and Quinlan of the Galway Club.
February 4th 1928
The Athenry Golf Club had a very successful and enjoyable whist drive in the Town Hall on Tuesday evening. There were 54 tables engaged. The first prize for ladies was won by Miss Doherty, Athenry and second prize by Miss Doherty, Athenry. A dance followed. The President this year of the Athenry Golf Club is Mr. W.J. Higgins, the Captain is Mr. Hallihan, the secretary is Mr. Hallihan and the treasurer is Mr. Gibson of the Ulster Bank. On Tuesday night next there will be a whist drive by the Athenry Billiard Club.
March 16, 1955
At a recent meeting of the Athenry Golf Club (Ladies Branch), Miss Jo Jo Higgins was elected secretary in place of Mrs. Mary Curran, who resigned on her marriage.
April 6, 1955
ATHENRY GOLF CLUB
At Athenry Links on Sunday, the match for the final of the captain’s prize (men’s) resulted in a tie between Mr. J. Twohig and Mr. L. Mahon.
April 15, 1955
At the Athenry Golf Links on Sunday, with ideal weather, the tie for the mens’ captain’s prize between Mr. Leo Mahon and Mr. Joe Towhig was replayed. Mr. Mahon won by 12 holes. At a competition on Saturday evening, Mr. Joe Twohig holed out in 1 at the 9th hole (155 yards). At a meeting of the ladies branch arrangements were made to play the ladies captain’s prize on May 26. A vote of sympathy was passed with Miss Scully, Athenry, on the death of her mother.
July 7th 1962
At a recent meeting of Athenry Golf Club, the following officers were elected: President: Very Rev. Canon Heaney, P.P.; Captain, F. O’Neill; Treasures: H. Griffin and M. MeGrath; Secretaries: B. Melley and T. Coppinger. Competition for Sunday, July 8th: 18 hole stroke, mixed foursome.
Draw in Clubhouse at 5 p.m..
An 18 hole stroke competition played on Sunday for the captains
(Mrs. T. Atkinson) prize, resulted as follows: 1st was Mrs. J. O’Flynn,
Runner – up was Miss K. Corely.
Winner of monthly competition, 9 hole stroke: Mrs. T. Coppinger.
Both the Dobbyn cup and captain’s prize were presented at an enjoyable function, held in the clubhouse on Sunday evening.