It’s almost nine years since the course at Castlemartyr Resort opened, and the East Cork venue is set for an exciting 2016. Hard work from the resort staff and the club committee since 2007 has kept the course and the club ticking along. Now that new owners are in place, it seems like the club and course will grow and develop over the coming years. Last month the club held their AGM, with representatives from the new owners attending to give an update on the plans that the new owners have. Greg Shaw is the GM of the owners original property in Hampshire, Old Thorns Manor Hotel, and Henry Alliss is Head of Golf Operations and son of famous golfing personality Peter Alliss. The Shaw family took over in Castlemartyr in November and have been very involved in the running of the hotel and course, casting a probing eye over all aspects of the operation.
The “voice of golf” Peter Alliss was elected as honorary President of the club, a role that he already holds in Old Thorns and Alliss’ association with the club and the resort will be a huge boost to both. Henry Alliss said that his father was delighted to be the incoming president of the club. He said that the Alliss family were steeped in golf and have been involved in game for over 100 years. He told the members that areas of the club were being identified to be improved with some showing priority. He said that he was very impressed with the course and exciting times were ahead. Greg Shaw also addressed the meeting, stating that that his family were delighted with the acquisition of Castlemartyr Resort. He outlined that this was their third golf property in the now growing family group. He informed the meeting that his family also have Old Thorns in Hampshire since 2007 & also recently purchased Tracy Park Golf & Country Hotel in Bath which has two 18 hole courses. He claimed members in both the UK clubs were looking forward to traveling to Ireland to play Castlemartyr Links Golf Course. He claimed that his family were active golfing people and loved the game, he also said that the Shaw family would be investing in Castlemartyr and improvements would be seen in the Resort. Incoming Captain Tony Loughnane said he was honoured to represent the members as Club Captain. A native of Birr Co Offaly, Loughnane informed the meeting that he “was honoured to represent the members club as Captain.” He added that the first time he played the course in 2008 that he wanted to join as a member straight away which he did. He welcomed the new ownership and wished them well in the future development of the resort.
The committee have made great strides in the past three years, membership has grown to around 200 members, that’s against a backdrop of falling numbers on a provincial and national basis. Membership is open in all categories, the mens section and the juveniles section continues to grow and the newly established ladies club gaining traction. The club has also attracted support in the form of sponsorship with around 35 club competitions now being sponsored by local and national businesses. Vice President JP Twomey said “The main open weekends in 2016 will see two sponsored weekends in May & June. The Junior, Intermediate & Minor Scratch Cups will take place over the August Bank Holiday Weekend having been sponsored by McCarthy Insurance Group for the past three years and the 36 hole Senior Scratch Cup will take place in September.” In addition to the club open competitions, the resort will continue with the successful Tuesday Blues and Wednesday Whites opens. Twomey along with Castlemartyr’s Director of Golf Brady Sherwood will also head up the clubs new juvenile section and will drive the membership and coaching programmes to support the new section.
Castlemartyr Links Golf Club, Committee 2016: Captain: Tony Loughnane, Vice-Captain: Michael Lee, President: Peter Alliss, Vice-President: John Paul Twomey, Hon Secretary: Ray Coughlan, Hon Treasurer: Joe Wall, Handicap Secretary: Willie Fitzgibbon, Juvenile Officer: John Paul Twomey, Ex Officio: Tommy Hartnett, Committee: Dick Maher, Bobby Lee, Aidan McKenna, Ger Barry.