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COUNTY KILDARE GOLF CLUB; HISTORICAL RETROSPECT PART 3

 
 
Kildare Observer, October 15th 1932
 
 
Co. Kildare Golf Club, Historical Retrospect
(Continued from last Week.)
 
 
Mr. Gorry was succeeded by Mr. J.E. Hollingsworth a captain for 1921, the latter by Mr. J Barry-Browne for 1922, when the Knocks was relinquished and the present course, part of the farm now owned by Mr. J. Kennedy, Monread, taken over. During these years the Co. Kildare Golf Club found a place in the golfing notes of every sports journal in both islands. In the Irish Amateur Close Championship J. Gorry reached the 4th round, when Major C.L. Crawford by the extraordinary return of 12 and 11. In the Irish Amateur Open Championship of the same year at Portmarnock he had the bad luck to lose all his favourite clubs in the burning of the Skerries Pavilion, and was defeated in the 1st round by the Delgany player, Mr. J.L. Morgan. In May, 1921, we find the C.K.C. representative, Captain E. C. Carter, and two others the only amateurs to win their matches against the professionals at Portmarnock. In the same year also he figures prominently at Portmarnock (Irish Amateur Close Championship), at Hoylake (Amateur Championship of Great Britain), and at Newcastle (Irish Amateur Open Championship). Here he reached the final to be beaten 2 up by D. Wilson Smyth, the local skipper. Although the club was denied the pleasure and pride of seeing its representative proclaimed the national champion, it can be stated without fear of contradiction that no other inland nine hole course in the two islands has produced a player with such a fine record. In the course of the competition he had accounted for the following players:- E. Munn (North-West), Captain J.C. McClean (Hollywood), A.J. Marriott (Athlone), N. Manly (Royal Dublin), and A. Lowe (Malone). With Captain Carter of Royal Portrush, holder of the Amateur Welsh Championship for 1922, he has the distinction of driving a ball into Harlech Castle from the Royal St. David’s golf course. The Castle stands on a rock overlooking the course and is nearly 200 yards away from the nearest point on the links. Its battlement are 200 feet above the level of the course. While Carter’s feat was at the time entered in a historic book and was signed by witnesses, the writer has in his possession a signed statement by the late E.I. Gray that the feat was also accomplished by J. Gorry in his seventh attempt, and that seven other scratch men, one of whom was John Ball, failed on the same occasion.
                                        We now enter the last phase of the history of the County Kildare Golf Club. As the lease of the Knocks was due to expire on May 21st, 1992, a new links was acquired on February 1st, on a 21 years’ lease, all arrangements for their construction being delegated to an executive committee (Mr. Mansfield, D.L. president: Mr. Barry Browne, captain; Mr. McCann, hon. Secretary; Messrs. Gorry, Gibson and E. Kennedy). The lands on which it was proposed to construct the links were then owned by the late Mr. Valentine, Monread a very accommodating landlord. The links were laid out by Mr. Cecil Bancroft, and by December, 1922, the bunkering of the course, which on his suggestion had been postponed, was completed. The club house was removed, newly timbered and given a solid concrete foundation. The first captain of the new links was Mr. D.J. Lambe, of the Hibernian Bank, Naas, who at present acts as honourary auditor to the club. In the “Irish Times” (30/11/1922) J. P. Rooney (“Traveller”) describes the bunkers of the new course as “an improvement on anything I have seen attempted on an inland course in this country, being capitally constructed in every detail, while their artistic and solid appearance adds considerably to the attractions of what are sure to become in due course attractive holes.” “What appealed to me most”, he continues, “was the dryness and firmness of the turf; indeed the sandy nature of the soil-sand was found at almost every site for a bunker at a low depth-makes for dryness even in the worst of weather. Mr. Bancroft, in laying out the course, did his work after the fashion of an accomplished golfer; he seems to have excelled himself at a few holes. In fact it would be difficult to find on any inland course a better short hole than the 4th-a dead pitch of 110 yards on to a green almost encircled with substantial bunkers. Only a perfectly pitched-up shot will suffice at this very excellent hole. Another good short hole is the second (190 yards), which against the wind calls for a fine cleek shot-most novices would have to go all out with the driver-on to a small green, heavily bunkered at the sides and in front.” It may be added that Mr. Bancroft considered this hole the finest of its type and range in his experience. It has since been reduced in length by about 30 yards.
       Electric Competition: R.J. Coonan 28, M. Clarson and J. Fanning 29 ½ each.
       Tom Langan’s Sweepstake on the Williams’ Jug. The following are the starters, the names of those who drew them being given in paranthesis:-
         W. O’Brien (Miss L. McGuirke), R. Coonan (M. Clarson), S. Curry (H. Farrell), A. Fletcher (W. Martin), D. MacGiobuin (M. Wheeler), L. Malone (Mrs. Crowley), T.J. Gibson (W. Coffey), T.R. Gibson (Miss D. Langan), D. O’Connor (W. Browne), P. Doran (Miss O’Donnell), J. MacSparron (J. Burke), R. Morrison (R. Morrison), J. Barnwall (D. MacAodha), J. Lawlor (Miss M. Quinn), J. Dowling (Mrs. O’Hara), E. Trefolium (T. Kerrigan)
(To be continued.)

This is the third of four articles taken from the Kildare Observer of September/October 1932, on the history of the County Kildare Golf Club.  The fourth and last article will appear in the coming weeks. Our thanks to Roy O'Brien


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