Timesheet opens at 6pm on Tuesday and is for qualifiers only
If you are unable to attend please let the Competition Secretary firstname.lastname@example.org know. We have identified a standby list of members who are next in line and we will need a little time to inform them that a space is available.
The Player of the Year was won by Stephen O’Donnell from Enda Ryan and Paudi Lyons. The result was in the balance until the final event.
Paul Coughlan wins the Castleknock Senior Scratch Cup
Senior Scratch Cup
The Castleknock Senior Scratch Cup (Maximum handicap 2) takes place next Saturday the 25th September. It promises to be a top class competition and at time of writing has 51 players taking part in this 36 holes comp. So if you want to see top notch golf, Castleknock is the place to be next Saturday.
A big thank you to Jim Curley of Jones Engineering for a very generous sponsorship. Thank you also to Paul Coughlan who has used his considerable influence in attracting Ireland’s champion amateur golfers to attend.
Big names in attendance will be: Rob Moran ( current Irish international / 2021 Ulster Strokeplay Champion)
Rob Brazil ( Irish International / 2018 West of Ireland Champion)
Colm Campbell (Irish international , Former Irish Amateur & East of Ireland winner
This is a great opportunity for all members and Especially Juniors and their parents to enjoy an exhibition of Ireland’s great amateur golfers.
Captain’s Prize 4th September
Photo’s from the course and the prize presentation
Field for Captain’s Prize 2021
President’s Prize Winners All
President’s Weekend 17th July
President Prize for Men: Paul Myler in a 3 way tie and winning on countback with 41 points.
President Prize for Ladies: Kay Murray had a comfortable win with 41 points.
President’s Prize for 5 Day: Stephen Lynch had a round of a lifetime bringing in 44 points.
Below is the planned schedule for the President’s Prize but of course there may be disruption to our planned programme due to current covid-19 restrictions.
Please note that to win the President’s prize you must have entered 4 qualifying club competitions (i.e. weekend competitions) in the previous 12 months.
Timesheet for President’s Prize will be populated by the Competition Secretary .
There is no planned dinner but casual dining will be available after your round of golf. Burgers will be available as usual at the 9th.
Looking forward to meeting up with you all on the 17th.
SENIOR CUP (Area Quarter Final) 9th July
Another big win yesterday for our Senior cup team of -Paul, Ruairi, Alan, Dara and Ian- over a strong Baltray side.
Coming down the 17th fairway at 2-2, the game was very much in the balance with both golfers giving as good as they got. From very good drives both the combatants struck excellent irons into about 9 feet and 4 feet (shown in photo). Paul putted first and from where we stood it looked like it was missing on the high side until close to the hole it caught the slope and found its way home. A great cheer went up from the large crowd as Coughlan raised his fist in triumph.
So the bandwagon rolls on, next up is Laytown and Bettystown in the Area Semi finals and if I were you, I wouldn’t miss it.
Well done to Michael McNiffe who won the July medal after countback with a great net score of 68 playing off a handicap of 15. Losing out on the countback were Declan Murray and Michael Kenny also with 68s.
David Coughlan had the lowest gross score with a 70.
Interclub Week ending 11th July
More good Inter-club results again this week with the Metropolitian Cup team together with the Pierce Purcell and the Mixed Foursomes teams all winning handsomely.
The Vice Captains’ Prizes (Jim Reynolds & Margo O’Donoghue) which took place last Saturday was a great success. A big thank you to the 160+ members who played in the competition to make it the successful day that it was.
Many congratulations to all the winners, in particular to both Freddie Smith and Patricia McCormack, who won the VCs prizes with magnificent scores of 42 points and 44 points respectively. Well done Freddie and Patricia.
We will be in touch with all the prize winners shortly to make arrangements for them to receive their prizes.
Again congratulation to all the prize winners and thanks to all who played on the day.
Jim & Margo
JIMMY BRUEN Sunday 27th June
Interclub success continued on Sunday when the Jimmy Bruen team overcame Royal Dublin by 3 matches to two on a gloriously sunny and warm afternoon. There were a good group of fans at both venues and those at Royal Dublin were treated to a superb fairway bunker shot by Marty Cahill to a couple of feet on the 17th for the match
BARTON CUP on Saturday 26th June
Another great display by our lads against Luttrellstown -who must be sick at the sight of us. Winning the 3 matches at home was enough to secure the tie and it was great to see Karl and Mick introduce some young blood into the team which bodes well for the future. Round 2 is away to Royal Dublin who got a Bye in the 1st round.
A new look Senior Cup team (Paul, Dara, Alan, Ruairi and Sam) won a very tight game in Dunshaughlin tonight with Dara sinking a 3 foot putt on the 19th for a well deserved 3/2 victory over the Black Bush side. Dara having come back from 3 down with 5 to play for his memorable win. The Quarter Final of the Leinster North Section will be against Co. Louth. Date to be decided shortly.
Round 2 on Thursday 24th at 5.30pm with The Black Bush, 3 matches away and 2 at home.
The Senior Cup team of Paul and David Coughlan, Ian O’Connell, Alan Geraghty and Jamie Kiely won their 1st round match 4-1 against Balcarrick last Wednesday.
This week’s Inter Club Menu
Winning our 2 matches at home, we clinched victory when Karl won the 17th away by 3/1 to drive us into the next round against the winners of Royal Dublin and Sutton….bring it on!!
The Junior Cup Team of Jason Marks, Stewart Banks, Karl Craven, Brian Fitzpatrick and Martin Cahill won a trilling encounter against a strong Hollywood Lakes team on Saturday with Martin sinking the winning putt on the 19th at Ballyboughill.
Junior Cup 2nd Round versus Luttrellstown Confirmed for next Tuesday 22nd.
2 games in Castleknock starting at 5.20 and 3 games in Luttrellstown starting at 5.50
Result: Some excellent golf played in both venues with Forrest Little coming out on top in the later stages.
Thursday 17th June: If you want to see real good golf then the place to be is in either Castleknock or Forrest Little where our best golfers will play in the Barton Shield. The format is Foursomes and kick off in both venues is 5pm. Try to be there.
Our men at home are Paul Coughlan and Ruairi Kennelly and Ian O’Connell and Alan Geraghty take the away leg.
ALL IRELAND 4 BALL
Wednesday 16th June: The All Ireland 4 ball team take on our near neighbours Luttrellstown in the local derby. Word from the camp is suggesting that Damien and Keith have put together a strong and relatively young squad to avenge the drubbing we received the last time we met some years ago. The lads are hoping for a strong turnout of fans to drive the team on. There are 3 matches away and 2 at home and the first group tee off at 4pm.
Castleknock won 3/2
Well done to Keith Delaney who won the June medal with a brilliant net score of 62 playing off a handicap of 22. I believe that 62 is the lowest winning score for a medal in Castleknock since it opened in 1995.
Derek O’Neill with a great 65 and his son Jack (a Junior) with 69 filled 2nd and 3rd positions while the in-form Mike Gorman was 4th.
CLUB MATCH PLAY
The Club Match play Championships are in full swing at the moment. For those involved, please remember that the 28th June is the final day to complete round 1. There can be no extensions.
Club Match play 2020
The long delayed finals of the 2020 match play were finally decided a while ago.
In the singles, Mike Gorman beat Danny Cole and in the doubles Joe Craven and Francis Hughes beat Brian Smyth and David Kealy
Suffragette Emily Davison was struck by the King’s horse, Anmer, during the 1913 Epsom Derby.
The connection with Castleknock Golf Club is that Aboyeur, the winner of the race, was bred by Tom Laidlaw at Somerton.
It was British racing’s most infamous incident, the moment suffragette Emily Davison stepped in front of the King’s horse as the field galloped round Tattenham Corner. Yet, even if that hadn’t happened, the 1913 Epsom Derby would still rank as one of the most sensational races in the sport’s history, as Sean Magee reports.
It was, according to the Daily Telegraph on the day after the race, “the most unsatisfactory, sensational, and lamentable Derby in the history of the sport” – and a year after its centenary, the 1913 renewal of “The Blue Riband of the Turf” at Epsom is still considered most extraordinary racing event of all.
The race was won by 100-1 outsider Aboyeur, but will always be always be known as “The Suffragette Derby” in recognition of the moment when Emily Wilding Davison, a fanatical activist for the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), ducked under the rails near Tattenham Corner and was flattened by King George V’s horse Anmer.
She sustained injuries that would prove fatal, and that would immortalise her – justifiably or not, according to your point of view – as a martyr to the cause.
But, Emily Davison was only one character in a drama that had more sub-plots than a Shakespeare play, and a dramatis personae that included royalty, feuding members of the English racing establishment, dyspeptic jockeys, and a myopic racecourse judge – plus, for good measure, the sinking of the Titanic.
On the run-up to that Derby, the bare bones of the story so far went as follows:
The red-hot favourite for the 134th running of the world’s most famous race was Craganour, owned by Charles Bower Ismay. Despite his exquisite racing colours – officially “Neapolitan violet, primrose hoops, violet cap” – Ismay came with a considerable amount of baggage. His shipping magnate father Thomas Henry Ismay had founded the White Star Line, whose “unsinkable” liner RMS Titanic had made its catastrophic maiden voyage some 14 months before the 1913 Derby.
The loss of more than 1,500 lives had not endeared the Ismay family to the public, and yet more opprobrium was to follow when it came out that Bower’s brother Bruce, chairman of the White Star Line, had been on board the ill-fated vessel, but had survived after taking a place in a lifeboat, leaving others to perish in the icy waters.
Even before the Titanic sinking, Bower Ismay had made himself highly unpopular with certain Jockey Club members – notably Eustace Loder, a pillar of the racing establishment whose dislike for Ismay embraced more than disapproval of his racing practice.
In the scene-setting Prologue of his 2013 book The Suffragette Derby, the definitive account of the whole story, Michael Tanner writes: “Loder’s distaste for Ismay cuts far deeper than suspicions of foul play on the Turf. It’s acutely personal. Quite possibly, in another era, they’d have settled their differences with pistols at dawn. Ismay has been brazenly conducting an affair with Loder’s sister-in-law, an affront to his own moral code and a slight on his family honour.”
And unfortunately for Bower Ismay, Eustace Loder was a steward at Epsom on Derby Day.
Craganour himself came with baggage of a sort, since he had been at the centre of a controversy in the 2,000 Guineas, when the great majority of spectators were convinced that he had beaten Louvois – even though the judge declared that Louvois had won.
This led Ismay to change Craganour’s riding arrangements for the Derby, replacing jockey Billy Saxby with Johnny Reiff, one of many American jockeys making a big impact on European racing at a time when the standard of home jockeyship was considered generally poor.
Reiff would ride 6-to-4 favourite Craganour in the Derby, with Saxby now booked for Louvois, a 10-to-1 chance. It can be imagined how Saxby felt about that.
On Wednesday, June 4, 1913, all these plot lines came together to produce a sensational denouement, but an event far more astounding was waiting in the wings.
That morning Emily Davison – whose previous episodes of direct action had included attacking a Baptist minister on a train, under the mistaken impression that he was Prime Minister David Lloyd George – bought two suffragette flags at the WSPU office in London. She then took the train to Epsom.
Although the long tradition of Parliament suspending business for Derby Day had by then ceased, the occasion was still England’s unofficial holiday, attracting hundreds of thousands of spectators to Epsom Downs.
Davison joined the throng on Tattenham Hill, in the infield just short of the straight, and waited – and shortly after 3 pm the cry went up: “They’re off!”
There are several eye-witness accounts of what happened at Tattenham Corner, none more dramatic than that quoted by Michael Tanner, from one “Mr Turner of Clapham Common,” who was standing on the outside rail at Tattenham Corner – that is, on the opposite side of the track from Emily Davison:
“I noticed a figure bob under the rails. The horses were thundering down the course at a great pace, bunched up close to the rails. From the position in which the woman was standing, it would have been impossible to pick out any special horse. Misjudging the pace of the horses, she missed the first four or five. They dashed by just as she was emerging from the rails.
“With great calmness, she walked in front of the next group of horses. The first missed her but the second came right into her, and catching her with his shoulder, knocked her with terrific force to the ground while the crowd stood spellbound.
“The woman rolled over two or three times and lay unconscious. She was thrown almost on her face. The horse fell after striking the woman, pitching the jockey clear over its head.”
The unfortunate Anmer galloped off into his unlikely entry in the history books, leaving jockey Herbert Jones and Emily Davison prostrate – the former not seriously injured, the latter never to regain consciousness. She died four days later, by which time the debate on exactly what she had been intending by her action had already started to rage – and it continues to this day.
Even as spectators were rushing onto the course to help the stricken, the race itself was producing an all-action climax, with hotpot Craganour and the blinkered rank outsider Aboyeur engaging in a brutal barging match all the way to the winning post, where five horses crossed the line with little more than a length covering them.
Craganour was declared to have beaten Aboyeur by a head, with Louvois and Billy Saxby a neck behind in third, and Great Sport a length further back in fourth – except that Day Comet had finished third on the inside but had not been noticed by the judge and so was not officially placed.
Bower Ismay proudly led in his Derby winner, and shortly afterwards the winner-all-right announcement was made, and the result was official.
For Eustace Loder, there was no time to seethe with resentment that his bête noir had won the greatest race of them all. Having learned that Aboyeur’s connections were not proposing to object, despite their standing to win a great deal of money had their horse been upgraded, Loder consulted his fellow stewards, and they lodged an objection on the grounds that Craganour had caused Aboyeur interference.
Given Loder’s view of Ismay, and given that the witnesses before the stewards’ panel included the aggrieved Bill Saxby, it cannot have come as a complete shock that Craganour was disqualified and placed last.
Such an outcome was highly contentious, with many observers considering that Aboyeur had been as much to blame as Craganour, but it was Aboyeur’s name that was inscribed onto the most historic roll of honour in racing.
Four days after the Derby, Ismay lodged an appeal – but the rules of racing required that any challenge is made within 48 hours of the race, and subsequent attempts via legal channels took Ismay no farther. He was never to own a Derby winner.
As for the horses at the centre of the story, Aboyeur was beaten in his next two races and then sold for 13,000 guineas to the Imperial Racing Club of St. Petersburg, where he disappeared during the Russian Revolution. Craganour was sold to Argentina, where he became an influential stallion.
And in 1918, five years after Emily Davison ducked under the rail, the first women got the vote in the U.K.
After losing a son, Feherty relies on his support team to live a complex life of his own.
By John Feinstein
June 26, 2018
It’s a rainy night in Georgia, and David Feherty is on fire.
He has been on stage at Atlanta Symphony Hall for almost two hours, and those in the audience of about 1,200 have only stopped laughing when one of his stories brings them to tears of hysteria.
“Tiger Woods is funnier than people know,” Feherty says at one point. “When I was walking with him for CBS, he used to pull the brim of his hat down low so the cameras couldn’t pick up what he was saying—he was convinced everyone watching could read lips.
“One day he says to me, ‘Hey, Farty,’—that’s what he called me—’do you know what you call a black guy flying an airplane?’
“I said, ‘No, what?’
“And he said, ‘A pilot, you f—— racist.’ ”
People can’t stay in their seats, they are laughing so hard. One woman, who has been letting out loud whoops at the punch line of every story, doubles over, unable to stop laughing.
Twenty-four nights a year, Feherty does his act—three nights a week on eight occasions. He does an hour and 40 minutes of straight stand-up, pausing only occasionally for brief sips of iced tea. The stand-up is his life story—told as only he can tell it. It includes a good deal of bathroom humour, plenty of profanity and some poignant moments, especially when he talks about his parents and his wife, Anita.
After the stand-up, he pulls a chair out from behind the desk that is designed to look like the set of his TV show, “Feherty,” and does 20 minutes of Q&A with his audience.
On this night, the Saturday of Masters Week, he is asked—predictably—why he isn’t in Augusta.
“I’d rather be here with you,” he says. Then he points out that he’s no longer with CBS, which has the broadcast rights. What he doesn’t mention is that Golf Channel, which is part of NBC, his current employer, would love to have him there during the week to add some much-needed humour to the shows it does before and after live coverage.
Except that Feherty has an agreement that he doesn’t have to work Masters Week.
“I never felt comfortable there,” he says. “Never had a problem with anyone or anything. I just didn’t feel I could be myself. I was in the clubhouse once in 19 years when I went up to have lunch. That was it.”
Which means he’s telling the truth when he tells his Atlanta audience, he’d rather be with them. That doesn’t mean he isn’t terrified every minute of the evening.
‘THE SWEETEST BOY YOU WOULD EVER MEET’
Very few subjects are out-of-bounds in Feherty’s routine. He talks about his parents, about his first wife, about Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus and Ken Venturi and Tiger Woods. The only person he doesn’t joke about is Anita.
And there is one subject he won’t go near, if only because he knows if he did, he wouldn’t get to the end of the act.
“He was the sweetest boy you would ever meet,” he says very softly—his voice is rarely louder than a whisper when he talks about him. “He liked people, and people liked him. He had that kind of personality. He was working in a restaurant for a while and doing very well because he had a way with people. He was moving up the ladder there.
“But he got it in his head that he wanted to start a ticket-reselling business. He was going to compete with StubHub. He was a naïve kid in many ways. Lost, really, just lost.”
Feherty shakes his head. “Can you imagine that career move? He was lost in so many ways. Reminded me a lot of me. Which is just one of the reasons I can’t help but feel devastated and guilty about what happened to him.”
On July 29 of last year—Shay’s 29th birthday—the phone rang early at the Feherty home in Dallas. Anita answered. It was Rory, David’s younger son. Shey, his older brother by four years with Feherty’s first wife, Caroline, had died that morning of an apparent overdose at their mother’s home. The coroner would later determine that a mixture of cocaine and alcohol had killed him.
Anita walked the phone into the bedroom where David was still sleeping.
“You need to take this phone call,” she said softly, handing him the phone as he slowly came awake. “It’s Rory.”
It was Rory who then told his father the news. It was stunning, but not completely shocking. On July 4, Anita had gotten a text from Shey saying he needed to go back to rehab. He had never gotten there.
For a year, Feherty had been told by professionals that he needed to stay away from Shey, that he was enabling his drug habit by giving him money. He and Anita had agreed the night before that they would call him the next day—Saturday—to wish him a happy birthday.
“The truth is, I’d broken down on several occasions and given him money again,” Feherty says. “He was so sweet, and I couldn’t say no to him. Plus, like all of us addicts, he was a very good liar. He convinced me the money wasn’t for drugs. I’m sure I knew deep down he was lying, but I wanted to believe he was really on the way to coming out on the other side.
“Not talking to him regularly, not seeing him, was painful. But this …”
He stops, unable to go on.
Feherty’s memory of the rest of the day is blurred. Anita’s is not. “David, Rory and I went to the funeral home,” she says. “Rory did the best he could to take charge. David couldn’t speak—literally. He couldn’t move his mouth. His face was frozen. He was completely paralyzed emotionally. He zoned out completely. I think he had to.”
Somehow, the family has moved on—as best is possible—through the tragedy. Feherty was diagnosed with clinical depression and bipolar disorder several years ago. Not surprisingly, the depression has worsened since Shay’s death.
“It doesn’t get better,” he says. “It just gets farther away.”
Fortunately, Anita instantly recognizes when he is, as she puts it, “heading to a dark place,” and will force him to leave the house—go to lunch with her—anything to change his mind-set.
“He never wants to go,” she says. “And then when we get home, he thanks me for making him do it.”
Rory McIlroy, who has become close to Feherty in recent years, puts it another way: “David does best,” he says, “when he’s thinking about anything but David. It’s why he’s so good with helping others but struggles at times to help himself.”
SUPPORT FROM PRESIDENTS, SOLDIERS AND THE GOLF WORLD
Feherty got through the tragedy, he says, because of the overwhelming outpouring of support he received from his family, from friends like McIlroy and from people around the world whose lives he has touched—often at times without knowing it. Wounded soldiers he’d visited or joined for golf or pheasant hunting (an annual trip Tom Watson helps put together in North Dakota), not to mention the golf world.
Three former presidents reached out to him. “President Bush  and President Obama both sent me beautiful notes,” he says. “President Clinton called. He was unbelievable. Kept telling me what a good dad he knew I was and that if there was anything he could do to help … ”
That was the recurring theme: Anything I can do to help. Watson spent hours with him on the phone and in person. “I just let him talk,” Watson says. “There’s really nothing you can say in that situation. You can’t bring back life. So, you just listen and let him know you’re there—always there.”
McIlroy remembers feeling helpless. “I had no idea what to say or do,” he says. “I finally fell back on just, ‘Whatever you need.’ ”
It all kept Feherty going and keeps him going now.
The pain, he knows, will never completely go away. He has four other children: Rory, who is now 26; Anita’s two sons, Fred, 35, and Karl, 33; and Erin, their 19-year-old daughter who is finishing her freshman year at Oklahoma.
Rory is a member of the Texas National Guard and deployed to Djibouti in May. “I couldn’t be more proud of him,” Feherty says, “and I couldn’t possibly be more frightened.” His eyes cloud. “I can’t even think about the possibility of losing another son. Just can’t think about it.”
Shey ‘was lost in so many ways. Reminded me a lot of me.’ —David Feherty
‘SHE SAVED MY LIFE’
It’s an hour before Feherty has to become Feherty for an audience. He has not paid any attention to the third round of the Masters that afternoon because he knows nothing will be decided until the next day.
He is stretched out on a couch in a tiny room in the basement of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra building. There’s no Internet service, and only by walking down the hall is there cell phone coverage. Feherty knows he’ll hear what’s happening in Augusta soon enough.
There’s a piano against the wall on the far side of the room that Feherty could no doubt play quite well if he were so inclined.
He’s not. He’s tired and eager to get home to Dallas later that night. He’s already been in Little Rock on Thursday and Biloxi, Miss., on Friday.
He eats a few bites of a greasy hamburger and swigs from a bottle of water.
“Right now, I’m almost frozen with terror thinking about what I have to do tonight,” he says. “It’s that way every time I do this. I’m very aware of my ADD, and I worry about losing my place in the middle of a story and standing there with a blank look on my face. I’m absolutely convinced it can happen.”
He has been doing the show for four years. Has that ever happened?
“Lose my place? All the time,” he says. “Totally frozen and unable to go on? Close, but no. Not yet.”
The show was conceived by Brad Jones, a young promoter who, five years ago, convinced Feherty to come to his hometown of London, Ontario, to speak at a corporate event. When Feherty was finished with his talk, Jones asked him: “Have you ever considered doing a stand-up act?”
“Isn’t that what I just did?” Feherty answered.
“What blew me away,” Jones says, “is that nobody had ever approached him with the idea before.”
Jones put together a proposal, and Feherty unveiled the Feherty Off-Tour act in November 2014. Each year, the number of performances has increased and the venues have gotten bigger.
‘I think that his genuine kindness has given him a few more mulligans in life than most people get.’ —Anita Feherty
Feherty, who will be 60 in August, has Anita and Andrew Elkin, his agent at Creative Artists Agency, handle all his finances. He and Anita have been married for 22 years after meeting on a blind date in Dallas in the summer of 1995. Each had been through a failed marriage that had produced two children.
“She saved my life,” Feherty says. “I mean, literally. My life was an absolute mess when we met. I was trying to raise two little boys [Shey and Rory] alone in a two-bedroom apartment. I was addicted to alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, painkillers and just about anything else you could name. I was running like Forrest Gump and weighed about 150 pounds. When Anita and I went on our first date, I was so thin she thought I was HIV-positive. The first date lasted about half an hour before she walked out after I had reached over, put my straw in her drink and drank from it. Fortunately for me, for some reason, she agreed to go on a second date—to a baseball game.
“I didn’t know the rules of baseball. Neither did she, but I kept asking her questions, and she tried to answer them. Finally, she stood up and said, ‘Would you like something to eat or drink? A hot dog or a beer?’ It was the nicest thing anybody had said to me for years. Honestly. I sat there and thought, I think I’m in love with this woman.”
Anita Schneider had to be convinced to go on that second date. She was a successful interior designer who ran her business from home so she had flexibility to take care of her boys, who were 12 and 10 at the time. She wasn’t looking to remarry. But she was talked into meeting Feherty by a mutual friend, Gary Knott. They were the same age, they were both divorced, and they both had two boys. Worth a try, she figured.
The first night they met, she wasn’t impressed.
“It did cross my mind that he might be HIV-positive,” she says. “Remember, this is when people were terrified by the epidemic. He was much too skinny. Plus, he showed up drunk. When he put his straw in my drink, that was it—I had to leave.”
Through Knott, Feherty asked for one more chance. Knott told Anita that David had promised he’d show up sober. He did—30 minutes early. Anita thought it was charming that he was trying so hard. In the end, though, it wasn’t his humour, which was apparent, or even his charm.
“It was his kindness,” she says. “His kindness outshines everything else. I think that his genuine kindness has given him a few more mulligans in life than most people get.”
Feherty moved in with Anita before the end of the year, and when Shey and Rory were with him—he had split-custody with his first wife—they stayed there, too. He went to South Africa early in 1996 to play the Sun City Tour, one of the few places he still had playing privileges. When he came back a month later, he walked into Anita’s garage, and when she came out to greet him, he said, “Please marry me.”
She said yes, and they were married May 31, 1996. Life got better for Feherty—slowly.
“I haven’t had to write a check for 22 years,” he says. “I have no idea what I’m worth or what anyone is paying me. Anita has allowed me to just do the things I can do without worrying about any of the other stuff. Much more important, though, when the boys and I moved in with her and her two kids, we became a family. That was life-changing.”
So was his career change, from good golfer to unique TV presence. To hear Feherty talk now, you might think he never made a cut as a professional golfer and that he can barely remember which end of a golf club to hold.
“Actually,” he says, “I’m not always certain about that nowadays. I’ve forgotten a lot of things.”
What he does remember is turning pro at 17 after deciding he wasn’t meant to be an opera singer, which is what he aspired to do for most of his childhood.
“I had a good voice,” he says. “I trained and worked at it. But I knew I wasn’t going to be good enough. Of course, I wasn’t good enough at golf, either. I was like a 5-handicap at the time, but I figured I’d try it. I went to work at a club north of London [Mid Herts, where he was paid $10 a week] but came home after a few months because I missed my mom [Vi]. That’s when I went to work at Holywood.”
Holywood Golf Club is most famous as the place where Rory McIlroy learned to play and where his father, Gerry, tended bar and taught his son the game. In his stand-up, Feherty points out that he got to Holywood in 1976, “years before the little bastard was born.”
Feherty adores McIlroy, who adores him. “He is absolutely a product of his parents,” says Feherty, who got to know Gerry and Rose McIlroy while at Holywood. “He hasn’t been changed by fame or fortune. He’s just one of the most thoroughly decent people I’ve ever met. I had nothing to do with him becoming who he is, but I’m just so damn proud of him.”
McIlroy says there’s nothing he wouldn’t do for Feherty because he knows there’s nothing Feherty wouldn’t do for him. He often tells the story about Feherty coming to find him after his Sunday meltdown at the Masters in 2011. As soon as Feherty got off the air, he drove to where Rory was staying. In Feherty’s version of the story, he was blown away by McIlroy’s ability to keep the loss in perspective. In McIlroy’s version, he couldn’t believe how quickly Feherty helped him forget what had happened.
“Once he decided I was really OK, he just sat down with me and my friends and basically did a ‘Feherty’ show for us right there,” McIlroy says. “An hour after he got there, we were all literally falling off our chairs, we were laughing so hard.
“He’s a complex and wonderful individual,” McIlroy says. “Anita calls it kindness; she’s right. I’d add compassionate. Kind, compassionate, brilliant—and very, very hard on himself at times.”
‘Tom [Watson] looked at me and said, “You’re not well.” He was right, of course—I wasn’t. I asked him later what it was he saw, and he said, “I was looking at myself a few years earlier.” ’ —David Feherty
A MARRIAGE AND A CAREER CRUMBLE
From Holywood, Feherty moved on to Balmoral Golf Club, where he worked for Fred Daly, the 1947 Open champion and the only Northern Irishman to win it until Darren Clarke in 2011 and McIlroy three years later.
“I was playing with Fred one day, and he hit a ball into a bunker, blasted out and hobbled onto the green,” Feherty says in the act. “He said, ‘I’m really having trouble getting out of bunkers as I get older.’ I said, ‘Fred, you just hit a fine shot there.’ He shook his head and said, ‘I don’t have any trouble getting the ball out of the bunker, I have trouble getting my body out.’ ”
Balmoral was a largely Catholic club, but there were also Protestant members because it was set between a Catholic neighbourhood and a Protestant neighbourhood. “There were never really any problems,” says Feherty, who grew up in Bangor going to a Protestant church three times a week with his family but now describes himself as an agnostic. “People just came there to play golf. But the clubhouse did get blown up twice while I was there.”
Phone calls warning people to leave a building were taken very seriously during The Troubles. Feherty was on the golf course once when a bomb went off. “Very loud pop is all I remember,” he says.
Feherty won five times on the European Tour after getting his card in 1980 and was on the European Ryder Cup team for the famous/infamous War by the Shore at Kiawah in 1991. There, he beat Payne Stewart, 2 and 1, and fondly remembers thinking that he and Seve Ballesteros had truly bonded through the week as teammates—”until I saw him in the locker room a week later in Stuttgart and he called me Donald,” Feherty says. “I was crushed.”
What was truly crushing Feherty during that period was his first marriage, to Caroline DeWit, a beauty queen he had met while playing in South Africa. Shey was born in 1988 and Rory in 1992. In 1993, Caroline decided she wanted to relocate to Dallas; Feherty believed it was because of another man.
Even so, he followed, if only because he didn’t want to be apart from his sons. He had to go to PGA Tour qualifying school to earn playing privileges. He succeeded but never really adapted to playing in America. He did, however, play well enough at Turnberry in 1994 to have a real chance to win the Open Championship. He trailed co-leaders Fuzzy Zoeller and Brad Faxon by two shots after three rounds and shot 70 on the final day, which left him tied for fourth behind Nick Price, who shot 66 to win.
“Looking back now, I don’t think I wanted to win,” Feherty says. “I had a few very makable putts around the turn that if I’d made, I’d have had a very real chance. But I missed them. I’m not saying I tried to miss, I’m just saying subconsciously I just didn’t believe I was good enough to win the Open. I didn’t want the responsibility. I’d had a chance in ’89 [T-6 at Troon], too, and the same thing had happened.”
GETTING A LIFELINE
By 1995, Caroline had left Feherty, and he was about to lose his playing privileges on the PGA Tour. He was drunk or high more often than not and had no idea what he was going to do.
Then, Anita and CBS came into his life—specifically, in the case of CBS, Gary McCord. The two men had never met, but McCord was in the locker room during an opening-round rain delay at The International in 1995. He was there to find players who would come on-camera and kill time for USA, which had the Thursday-Friday cable rights.
“I was there for a while,” says McCord, now one of Feherty’s closest friends. “David was in there telling stories. I knew who he was but didn’t know him. People were falling over laughing while he talked. When we went off-air, I said to him, ‘You ever do any TV?’ He said no. I said, ‘Would you like to?’ He said, “I don’t know.’ I said, ‘Well, if you want to, I’ll be in the tower at 15 tomorrow from 2-5, and if you want to, come on up there.’ I did it as much to keep myself from getting bored because I figured if I had someone to listen to, I’d have to pay attention.”
The next day, when he got to the tower, McCord told long-time CBS golf producer Frank Chirkinian that he’d invited Feherty.
“What?” Chirkinian screamed into McCord’s headset. “No way. No way you two f—— guys are going to be together on-air.”
Chirkinian knew Feherty’s reputation for blunt humour.
McCord didn’t blink. “First, it was cable, not the network,” he says. “It was Friday afternoon, small audience. Frank liked to yell and grumble; that’s what he did. Plus, I didn’t even know if David would show.”
Feherty showed. And he blew McCord away. “He just went to places with his answers to questions I never imagined anyone could go,” McCord says. “As we walked down the steps from the tower, I said to him, ‘This is what you’re going to be doing next.’ I knew he wasn’t playing well and was going to need something soon. So, I said, ‘When the time comes, please call us.’ As in CBS, not me.”
Months later, CBS was forced to fire Ben Wright after his politically incorrect comments about why women—in his opinion—struggled to play golf well.
Feherty was sitting in a hotel bar, drinking vodka and Gatorade—”because I was still an athlete,” he says—when he saw CBS producers Lance Barrow and Rick Gentile approaching.
“When they said, ‘CBS,’ I thought they were from ’60 Minutes’ and they were doing a story on golfers and drugs,” he says. “Who better than me to talk to? I was terrified.”
Barrow and Gentile offered Feherty a three-tournament contract to take Wright’s spot for the rest of the year. Feherty was hired full time in 1997.
Getty Images (2) Feherty with his contemporaries on the European Tour (left) during his playing days, which included competing for Europe in the 1991 Ryder Cup.
Having a job he was very good at and a happy marriage didn’t mean that Feherty got sober overnight. When Erin was a pre-kindergartner, Anita came home after dropping her from school one morning and told David if he didn’t get sober, she was leaving him.
He did. For a while. But never for good. He drank so much on a trip to Barbados early in 2006 that he got alcohol poisoning. After that, he and Anita went to an addiction therapist.
Still, he was fighting a losing battle. Then, that summer, he was doing the play-by-play for an exhibition match on Prince Edward Island between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus.
Feherty has told the story often about that being a turning point in his life.
“Tom looked at me and said, ‘You’re not well,’ ” Feherty says. “He was right, of course—I wasn’t. I asked him later what it was he saw, and he said, ‘I was looking at myself a few years earlier.’ ”
It wasn’t as if Watson sprinkled magic dust on Feherty and he was cured. Anything but. Feherty wasn’t willing or able—in Anita’s opinion—to handle rehab. Watson found him an AA group in Dallas, and even though it was difficult for Feherty, he went to a meeting every day. Until one day, he didn’t.
“I’d been riding my bike to the meetings every morning,” he says. “That day, I just kept going.”
He was north of McKinney—about 35 miles from Dallas—when he finally called Anita to come and get him.
“I don’t do well in groups,” he says. “I like being alone. When I’m home, I don’t answer the door and I don’t answer the phone.”
“David is OK in a group if it’s on his terms,” Anita says.
“Fortunately, the bike became his addiction. That’s when he got sober.”
Feherty would be up before dawn, ride the bike for several hours, stop for coffee with friends and come home too exhausted to go to any dark places or to think about drinking. “When he wasn’t riding the bike,” Anita says, “he was working on it.”
Unfortunately, he was hit by cars on three occasions on the bicycle. The first accident crushed his left arm so badly he had to give up playing golf. The third one forced him to give up the bike.
But, with a lot of therapy and support, he came out on the other end—sober. If Anita ever thinks things might go bad again, she’d call Watson.
“He was clearly struggling, physically and emotionally,” Watson says of the Prince Edward Island weekend. “I said, ‘I see you. I’ve been where you are. Let me help.’ He was very receptive. It wasn’t an easy process, but he got through it.”
Watson says their friendship really took off when they went to Iraq together in 2007 as part of a trip to entertain the troops, put together by Rick Kell, co-founder of Troops First Foundation, a group Feherty has been extremely involved with for years. When Feherty became an American citizen in 2010, one of the people who flew to Dallas for the ceremony was Watson. In 2016, after Watson played his final round at the Masters, his family threw a party with about 60 friends invited. The star of the evening was Feherty, who was funny and poignant.
“When I was in the abyss, at the bottom of a well I thought I’d never climb out of,” Feherty said that night, “I looked up for help, and the face looking down at me and the hand reaching for me was Tom Watson.”
The first person to tell you that Feherty still struggles with his addictions every day is Feherty. He takes 14 pills a day—seven of them psyche meds—to help him deal with his depression, bipolar disorder and various physical maladies that will never go away.
“There isn’t a day that goes by when I’m not sad for at least part of the day,” he says. “And some days, I’m just sad all day. It’s gotten worse since Shey died. Sometimes I just start to cry and can’t stop.”
He stops there and smiles. “And yet, I love my life. I don’t see how I could possibly be any happier than I am right now.”
He left CBS at the end of his contract in 2015 and signed a deal that calls for him to do 16 of his “Feherty” shows each year for Golf Channel, NBC’s golf tournaments and various other events, like the Olympics.
NBC offered more money than CBS—a good deal more—but it wasn’t so much the money as the chance to do some things that were different—including spending some of his time in a tower rather than walking with the final group—that made the deal attractive. Add the 24 Off-Tour dates, speaking gigs, the occasional outing and events for Troops First, and he’s on the road almost nonstop.
“I need it that way,” he says. “I need to be busy. If I’m home for more than a week or so, I start to lose my mind. Most of the time, I like the work. I might be terrified on stage, but I do enjoy it. Once I stop shaking with fear.”
He isn’t exaggerating. “I can see it on stage,” Anita says. “But I also know when he’s really frightened, that’s when he’s at his best. If he’s not, he might lose focus and then, even though he’s still terrific, he’s not as good as he can be—or wants to be. He always knows, even if the audience doesn’t. He’ll come off stage and say, ‘I didn’t have it tonight.’ The crowd is out there screaming, but he knows. He always knows.”
‘There isn’t a day that goes by when I’m not sad for at least part of the day. And some days, I’m just sad all day. … Sometimes I just start to cry and can’t stop.’ —David Feherty
A SON LONGS FOR HIS DAD: ‘I MISS HIM’
The evening in Atlanta is winding down. There’s time for one more question. It’s the one everyone who has ever played golf is often asked: “What’s your dream foursome?”
“Jack Nicklaus,” Feherty says quickly. “He’s the one great player of my time I never got to play with.” He pauses a split second for applause. He’s done this before. “Annika Sorenstam,” he continues. “Never played with her, either, and I’ll never forget her first tee shot at Colonial [in a 2003 PGA Tour event], when she hit it perfectly and staggered off the tee because the pressure on her that week was so overwhelming.”
He pauses again. Not for effect or because he’s thinking, but to gather himself. “And my dad,” he finally says. “I’d like to play one last round with him.”
His voice catches. The emotion is quite real. “Happens to me every time,” he says later. Billy Feherty died in November 2016 of Alzheimer’s at the age of 91.
“I miss him,” his son says.
He’s thinking back to his childhood now, and he smiles at the memory of his parents. “They say that humour is a sixth sense if you’re Irish,” he says. “When I was a kid, humour was my defence. I was clearly ADD and wasn’t any good in school except in math and music. Humour was what kept people from making fun of me, from calling me dumb. I’m not sure where I’d be or what I’d have become without it.”
The humour is matchless. But those who know him best will tell you it is the remarkable kindness and the compassion that his wife and friends speak of that makes Feherty Feherty.
The Wild Atlantic Way is the world’s longest defined coastal touring route. It stretches over 2,500km, from Co. Donegal to Co. Cork, and takes in the unspoiled, rugged west coast of Ireland. Officially launched by Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland in 2014, the Wild Atlantic Way has gained a great deal of interest overseas and also here in Ireland.
It has been an incredible tourism marketing achievement and the coastal communities all along the west coast of Ireland are revelling in its success. he attention has also been a little bit strange for those living on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. We have always been here. Our ancestors lived here – they lived off the land and off the seas. We’ve always appreciated the beauty of where we live. We love it here.
Sometimes it seems like the Wild Atlantic Way was invented by the national tourism authorities! But the west coast of Ireland has been here for millions of years. The landscape and the seascape here in Belmullet and around the Erris region have existed for quite some time! The oldest rocks on mainland Ireland (1,753 million years old) can be found here in Erris – at Ceann an Eanaigh [Annagh Head]. The nearby Céide Fields is an archaeological site with the world’s oldest field-systems – older than the pyramids of Egypt. There is evidence on the islands off the coast of Erris to suggest that there was a Bronze Age settlement (2,500 BC to approx 500 BC) and during the Early Christian Period (325 AD – 800 AD approx) there was a settlement of monks. The largest of the Spanish Armada galleons, ‘La Rata’, foundered in 1588 in the waters of Blacksod Bay. All around Erris there are remains of forts and castles that were built in the 1600s. There is a Napoleonic Tower in Glosh, near Blacksod, which was built around 1806. The entire area is rich history and heritage – it is, literally, all around us.
Eddie Hackett, the architect who designed the original 18 holes at Carne Golf Links, was well aware of the area’s authentic beauty and heritage, and he pleaded with the course staff to acknowledge this: “It took nature thousands of years to create this and I don’t want bulldozers to destroy it. Don’t change anything after I’ve gone or I will turn in my grave.” Thankfully, his words have been heeded. Carne Golf Links has gained a reputation as one of the most beautiful and rugged courses ever constructed, with wild undulating fairways, towering dunes and cathedral greens. Indeed, the appreciation of the landscape’s natural splendour and its history is reflected in the naming of the holes. The second hole is called ‘Tochair Easpag’ (Bishop’s Path), referring to an ancient pilgrimage path that cuts across the second fairway. The third hole, ‘An Traonach’ (The Corncrake) pays homage to the endangered species of bird that nests here every summer, after travelling from Africa. ‘Log ‘a Sí’ is the name of the eighth hole, which means that this area is a fairy hollow – now you know why the putts don’t drop! And Hole 18 is called ‘Log ‘a Fola’ (The Bloody Hallow), in deference to an ancient burial ground near the tee, where the slain of Ár Iorrais (an ancient battle) are buried.
The history and the heritage of the local area is very much appreciated by the locals, and visitors can learn more in places such as Ionad Deirbhile Heritage Centre in Eachléim, the Visitor Centre at Ballycroy National Park, and in Áras Inis Gluaire arts centre. You will also learn a lot about our history just from chatting with locals in the pub!
Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland have (much to their credit) recognised that it is the people and the places that make the Wild Atlantic Way what it is. Of course, each of the 150 discovery points along the route are beautiful and awe-inspiring in themselves (Erris has no less than 11 discovery points, with a further two on our doorstep), but it is the people who live here that have helped to create such a wonderful experience for visitors.
Here in Belmullet and in Erris, one of the most westerly points of Europe, our location has meant that our area’s beauty has been one Ireland’s best-kept secrets. But that is changing now. Thanks to the Wild Atlantic Way. And also thanks to ‘The Irish Times’ voting Erris as the best place in Ireland to go wild! So you could say that Erris is the wildest place on the Wild Atlantic Way! As for Carne Golf Links, visiting golfers frequently use the word ‘wild’ to describe the course. “A beautiful wild beast!” “It’s a great big monster carved out of the wilderness by God.” “This is links golf as I’ve always imagined it should be played. Wild, rugged and without concessions.” “Wild, untamed links golf … fabulous, but not for the faint of heart!”
The Wild Atlantic Way has been here for thousands of years. Erris has been here for thousands of years. The land at Carne Golf Links has been here for thousands of years. These are not new places. They are very old – teeming with history and heritage. But they are relatively new destinations. Don’t be the last one to discover them. Start exploring and go wild now!
Lucan Golf Club was set up in 1897 and was initially located in the Moor of Meath which is between Dunboyne and Leixlip. This course did not last long and the club moved to its present location in 1900. The new course was contained within 3 fields leased from M. Barr and also the area of the present 7th fairway and green.
In 1906 the club leased additional land and invited a Mr. McKenna of Carrickmines Golf Club to lay out a new course incorporating the new land and the existing 3 fields. At a committee meeting on January 5th, 1907 all the recommendations for the new layout were accepted. There was however, concern as to whether the quarry hole would be retained. The quarry hole (the present 7th) was played from a tee box approximately 30 yards left of the bell at the 6th green. The tee box was at the same level as the present clubhouse; the tee shot had to be played over the quarry which contained gorse bushes and trees. In front of the green were two streams and a lane (Tubber Lane).
Further designs to the course took place under Mr. Cecil Barcroft of Royal Dublin Golf Club in 1907. The tee for the 4th (the current 7th) was moved to its present location, and the green was elevated. These designs remained unchanged up to 1980.
At the A.G.M. held in January 1905 the members were informed that the Club had become affiliated to the Irish Golfing Union, and that the membership of the Club was 78 members. At the April meeting, two proposals were put forward:
(1) That the Club should be extended to 18 holes; and
(2) that a new Clubhouse should be built.
This paved the way for very important negotiations, with a number of parties involved.
At a Special General Meeting on 14th September 1905, Mr. Jas. Walsh (who was to become the first Captain of Hermitage Golf Club) proposed the requisition convening the meeting and the following motions were discussed. “That the time has arrived when the club should cease to be proprietary but should be vested in the members”. Agreed unanimously. Following these decisions the members investigated the possibility of purchasing land for a new course. Having negotiated an agreement with a local landowner, a further meeting was arranged with the members. However, at the same time the owner of the course (the Hotel owner Mr.Scallon) submitted new terms to the committee. There was a clear fork in the road for the members.
(Picture:- Evening Press, March 26, 1970)
The Lucan Golf Club’s Vice Captain Michael Gannon and former Captain Joe McDonald look on as the Captain Thomas Martin putts out on the first hole this morning. The Club’s lease expired at midnight.
The following are details of the scheme proposed by the Hotel proprietor as amended by the meeting.
The Club to lease the three fields from Mr. Barr for five years with a clause for surrender at the end of every year on six months notice at £120 per annum. The hotel Co. to expend on additional improvements, extensions of the Club House and retaining wall, totaling a sum not exceeding £100. The Committee to have a voice in this expenditure. The Hotel to lease the Club House and Stable for five years to the Club at one shilling a year. The Hotel to receive all payments from visitors. Mr. Scallon to pay during the continuance of lease the difference between Barr’s rent and £100.00. When the transfer is arranged the Club to take over the links free from debt. The outstanding and any further subscription and entrance fees in the meantime to be handed to Mr. Scallon.
This was adopted and those who supported the other option left to form the Hermitage Golf Club. One of the affects of this was that at future A.G.M.s the members elected a committee of ten members of which five were the nominations of the proprietor (this procedure ceased after 1930).
(Picture:- Our First Barton Cup Winning Team 1971)
L-R front: Joe McGloughlin; Barry Keely; Michael Gannon (Club Captain); Christy Fitzgerald; Eamon Tully. L-R back: Jim Downes; Tony Rogers; Joe Kelly; Rev. J.S.C. Strong; Seamus Malone; C. Burden; Paddy Culligan; Don O’Reilly; Dick Dynan (Hon. Sec).
The First Interclub Competition
Friday April the 19th, 1907. Lucan enters its first interclub competition – the Barton Cup – on 19th April 1907, their opponents appropriately being Hermitage Golf Club. Lucan Golf Club would have to wait until 1971 to win its first Barton Cup, with further successes in 1975 and 1988.
The Long-Running Land Saga
In 1960 the hotel and golf course were sold. At the time the hotel paid the rent for the 4th, 5th and 6th holes to the Department of Agriculture, and in addition, the hotel allowed the club, free of rent, the use of the entire nine holes. However, in 1964/65 the hotel management advised the club with a notice to quit.
Negotiations followed and the club was left with the following ultimatum in order to obtain a further lease of five years:
(a) The rents paid by the hotel to the Dept. for the previous five years to be refunded over a twelve month period;
(b) Make our own arrangements with the Dept. for the leasing of their land;
(c) Pay the hotel £250 per annum plus rates and taxes for the lands comprising the remaining six holes;
(d) Grant the new owners grazing rights on the course.
The lease was signed on October 17th 1966 and the expiry date was 24th March 1970. The signing of this lease gave the club time to see what could be done about its future.
About this time a body was set up by the Government to review the Landlord & Tenant Act of 1931. It became known as the Landlord and Tenant Commission and was chaired by Judge Conroy. It was hoped that when the findings of the commission became law, the future of the club would be ensured. With all this in mind the committee made preparations for how they would approach the whole matter of the club securing a new lease.
Two courses of action were taken:
To influence the findings of the government commission by approaching political representatives at all levels;
To see what could be done at county council level.
As the draft plan for Dublin County was being prepared at this time, a proposal that the nine holes be zoned as a golf course was submitted to the county council. The proposal was that no other type of development could take place on the course during the life time of the Development Plan. This proposal was passed and this was to prove very important in the club’s submission to members of the Dáil and to the commission.
In 1969, the club made a number of verbal approaches to the landlord to draft a new lease but to no avail. On the 18th June 1969 a formal application for the renewal of the lease was made. A reply was not received until 17th September stating that the lease would not be renewed. On the 20th November 1969 a Special Meeting of Members was called in the Four Courts Hotel and the position of the club was outlined to them. The members were advised that the main hope for the club’s future lay in the findings of the commission, whose report was going to be presented to the Government in the New Year. It was more than likely that the report would not become law until later in the year. As the club lease was going to expire on March 24th, 1970, it was imperative that the report went to the Government before then. When the findings became law, they would be retrospective to the date of presentation of the report.
The following is a report in the Irish Independent 4th March:
“Important changes in the leasehold renewal rights and the purchase rights of certain classes of tenant were passed at yesterday’s meeting of the Government, 3rd March 1970. The Minister for Justice Mr. O’Morain, was given the green light to draw up a Bill implementing the changes, and this Bill is expected to come before the Dáil in the next few months.The changes are regarded as so important by the Government, however, that they decided to back date the Bill (no matter how long it takes to pass it) to yesterday. This means that any benefits extended in the new legislation will apply to anyone who was a tenant yesterday, even though his tenancy might have expired last night or today.
The Bill will deal with the question of extending leasehold renewal rights and the right to purchase the fee simple to new classes of tentants. The new classes would include, for instance, sporting bodies of various kinds.
As from yesterday, a sports organisation which holds land for recreational purposes, will have a statutory right to renew its tenancy, provided it has held the land under lease for at least 25 years, or has occupied the land for 25 out of the last 40 years, and provided it has spent 15 times the rent or minimum of £1,000 on the lands.”
March 24th came and went but the club’s future was assured. The recommendations of the Dáil Commission were passed in the Dáil in 1971 and became law and this assured the Club’s future. The securing of the new lease dragged on for a period of years.
In 1975 a further notice was served on the club to quit the lower part of the course. By now the club were prepared to go to court, and after exhausting every avenue open to them to come to an amicable arrangement, the club took the only other option left to them, and went to court. On the 24th of June 1979 the Court ruled in favour of Lucan Golf Club and granted the club a 99 year lease. This was the end of a saga that had commenced on October 17th, 1965.
An 18 Hole Golf Course At Last
As the 1980s approached, at the same time that the building of a new clubhouse was under consideration, the possibility of extending the course to 18 holes began to enter the minds of the members. Both these aspirations were originally considered in 1905.
By 1989 the club had an 18 hole golf course and their own Clubhouse. The first competition played in Lucan as an 18 holes golf course took place in November 1988. The winner of the first competition as an 18 hole golf course was Christy Fitzgerald, and the first winner of a gross prize as an 18 hole golf course was Micko Rankin. The course was opened officially in 1989.
In the 10 years from 1979 to 1989, the club had achieved what the members in 1905 had aspired to. They built and owned their clubhouse and constructed their own 18 hole golf course.
Lucan Golf Club celebrated its Centenary year in 1997. Over the many years of playing competitive golf the winning of a green pennant became an elusive object for the club, but, as faith would have it, the Junior Foursome’s team achieved that feat in Centenary year in the final held in the City of Derry Golf Club.
While the club has a varied history, it is interesting that it was the Junior golfers who achieved this honour and, tellingly, many home-grown players played an integral role in Lucan’s second green Pennant – the Junior Cup – in 2004.
The club continues to go from strength to strength and one can guarantee that there are many more chapters to write on the history of Lucan Golf Club.