It’s almost six years since Cobh Golf Club moved into their new course in Marino Point and while it wasn’t all plain sailing, the club has over 550 full members and a wonderful championship course. Despite a huge fall off in the number of golfers over the past five years, Cobh has survived and is set to thrive as golf is beginning to grow again. The 6,600 yard Hawtree designed course opened sits proudly over Cork Harbour with spectacular views of Monkstown and the City to the south and east, and Little Island and Fota to the north.
Cobh’s PGA Professional David O’Sullivan has witnessed the development of the club and course over the past four years. A Cork native, O’Sullivan served his time in Lee Valley and since he qualified be has worked in St Margarets in Dublin and Blarney Golf Resort during the construction and opening of the new course in Tower. He’s understandably proud to be part of the success story and has seen the course grow and mature over the past four years: “The course has matured into one of the most popular and welcoming golf courses in the Cork area. The golf course has settled down very well from the early days when the rough was US Open style and not exactly the challenge golfers were really looking for. The course staff are headed up by superintendent Ger O’Neill. Ger who plays off a handicap of 4 in the testing Waterville Links, has worked well with his staff and previous course managers at the club to implement the correct works to present Cobh Golf Club to suit all levels of golfers. Every measure was taken to eliminate the punishing rough and make the course more playable. The well-built USGA specification greens are now becoming a lot more receptive and the overall proof is in our increasing membership numbers. Along with the stunning scenery the course offers five par 5’s and five well renowned par 3’s with the peoples favourite being the island green 10th hole.”
As several stages over the past five years, many people in the sport would have empathised with the challenge faced by the various club committees, having invested heavily in the new course. Prior to the opening in 2009, membership in Cobh was commanding a €4,000 joining fee with an increasing demand from societies and green fees. Like all other clubs across Cork and across the country, Cobh saw the demand for membership drop and as a result the ability to charge joining fees also disappeared. The past have years has seen a dramatic change in the golf business but Cobh has survived and their course in Marion Point remains the newest members owned 18 hole course in the country. David O’Sullivan has worked with the club through the tough times and sees a very positive future for the club at Marino “Through the challenging years of the recession we have managed to hold our membership numbers and in the last two years we have grown the overall number to over 550 full adult members.” O’Sullivan added: “The attractive aspects of the membership are joining a members’ owned club with an annual subscription of just €790 or an attractive €70 per month option. The location of the new course at Marino Point is proving to be very convenient for golfers from the city and greater Cork area.”
As well as membership, Cobh has an active following for green fees and open competitions. Open singles series will recommence at the beginning of March and are held every monday and Friday played off the white tees with a set standard scratch of 36 points O’Sullivan’s assistant in Cobh is Shane Carey from Charleville. The secretary is Caroline Dennehy who brings a great deal of experience from her days at Harbour Point. The latest addition to the team is Head Chef James Plummer who after many years of very high standards with the Naval services is now doing a wonderful job as caterer at the club.
Cobh Golf Club Committee 2015: Gents Captain: Nigel Britton; Lady Captain: Margo Hurley; Club President: Pat Feen; Hon Secretary: Stuart Meredith; Course Officer: Stephen McCormack; Juvenile Officer: Tony Hughes; Competition Secretary: Denis Ryan; Handicap Secretary: Tom Cronin.
Pics courtesy http://www.cobhgolfclub.ie