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CO. KILDARE GOLF CLUB; HISTORICAL RESTROSPECT PART 2

Kildare Observer 1st October 1932
 
 
CO. KILDARE GOLF CLUB    
           
HISTORICAL RESTROSPECT
 
(Continued from last week)
 
In 1911 the hon. secretary, Mr. P. J. McCann, reported that negotiations for a new links at the Knocks, Naas, as the lease at the Decoy was expiring, had resulted in terms being arrived at, subject to the approval thereof by the meeting.  Mr. McCann then read the proposed new terms to the meeting, and on the motion of Mr. T. R. Gibson, seconded by the late Mr. Hendric Alymer, the terms were accepted, and the president, the late Mr. Mansfield, and the hon. secretary were authorised to sign the lease as trustees for and on behalf of the club.  The question of raising the funds required to construct the new links and to remove and enlarge the club house was then considered, and a number of the members present agreed to guarantee the amount required.  It was decided also that subscriptions which had been fixed when the annual expenditure did not exceed £45, be raised to 30s and that ladies, hitherto free from any impost, be now invited to contribute 10s per annum.  This historic motion which was soon to lead to the emancipation of our lady members was proposed by Mr. P. J. Brophy, and seconded by Mr. T. R. Gibson.
The new links were situated at Old-town, Naas, and were laid out by Mr. Pickeman, founder and hon. secretary of Portmarnock Golf Club.  It was a fine sporting course.  The nine holes measured 2,700 yards and varied from 140 to 450 yards. The bogey was 38 and the scratch score on par of the course was 36.  The services of Holley who had been assistant professional at Portmarnock were secured.  He played a strong game and was a good coach and club maker.  He is at present professional at the Castle Club.  The captain for the year was Mr. A. B. Morrogh.
The club now launched forth in a career of great activity.  Notices of competitions entertainments dramatic, and musical, and dances came so thick and fast that one is compelled to conclude that this was the golden age of the County Kildare Golf Club.  For 1912 the late Dr. W. P. Murphy was elected captain and a new hon. official, a green steward, Col. Wogan Brown, was appointed to superintend the work of the professional and groundsmen.  Mr. P. J. Brophy kindly undertook the management of the farm, so long as the club retained the grazing rights on their own hands.
In 1912 lady members were conceded the rights to have a branch of their own and the late Mrs. Harry Farrell was unanimously elected hon. secretary.  A committee was then elected by ballot, and the meeting then considered what assistance they could give in organising a golf club dance.  This was held subsequently with brilliant success in the Town Hall, and the club whose resources had been severely taxed by their new enterprise, were greatly benefited.  The golf club dance was resuscitated on this occasion, has latterly been allowed to lapse, but there is no reason why it should not be revived once more.
The year was also notable for presentation of a handsome silver challenge cup by the late Mrs. Harry Farrell as a memorial to her husband who died in the year of his captaincy of the club.  The club was also fortunate in being presented by Mr. S. G. Williams, with a prize limited to members whose handicap was 25.  This is the well known Williams’ jug, now limited to players 18 and over, and it is competed for twice each season.  The “Mugs’ Jug,” is the best event of the season; it encourages the shy beginner and kindles hope afresh in the beast of the despairing “goof.”
 
For 1913 Mr. P. J. Brophy took the helm, Mr. E. J. Doyle being elected to act as farm steward in his place.  Mr. Brophy, to whom the club owes much, was the donor of the Brophy Challenge Cup, and one of the pioneers of the open competition which is now so common and popular.  Prior to the opening of the annual golf club dance the members of the County Kildare Golf Club met in the Urban Council Chamber, Naas, for the purpose of making a presentation to their hon. secretary, Mr. McCann, as a token of esteem and recognition of his valuable services on behalf of the club.  In the absence of the president (Mr. Mansfield), the chair was occupied by Mr. Brophy, and the address read by the late Dr. W. P. Murphy.  The presentations took the form of a solid silver salver bearing a suitable inscription.
This was a most successful year for the club.  More than fifty competitions of various types were held.  Mr. J. Gorry, whose handicap had been gradually diminishing, was now reduced to scratch stand, and when at the September open meeting at Lahinch he broke all previous records for the course with 10 up on Bogey and won the Matheson Challenge Cup.  In July of this year the club lost the services of Holley, who obtained an appointment as professional at Stillorgan Park.  Previous to his departure he had lowered the record of the course to 70, in a match with Mr. H. J. Fleming.  He was  succeeded by M. O’Neill, who came from Killiney Club, and who is at present the professional at Ballybunion Golf Club.  O’Neill had an excellent knowledge in the art of green-keeping, and was (and is) a first-class golfer and an excellent coach.
(To be Continued.)

This is the second of four articles taken from the Kildare Observer of September/October 1932, on the history of the County Kildare Golf Club.  The rest of the articles will appear on our E-History site over the coming weeks.


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