After the official launch of the ladies club in Castlemartyr earlier this year, the five star resort has launched a very attractive membership offer for the year ahead. The normal membership fee has been slashed to just €599 as the new club makes a play to attract ladies to the club. Castlemartyrs’ PGA Professional Brady Sherwood has worked hard for the past two years to build and develop the ladies side of their membership packages. “There has always been a demand for a ladies club in Castlemartyr Golf Club.” Said Sherwood. “Due to our golf course originally being so busy with green fee players in the opening years, there was never really a clear focus on the ladies membership until now. This inland Links style golf course is easy to walk and not too long or over challenging. It’s also a resort style set up, so it’s always prepared and set up beautifully for enjoyable golf. The feedback we get from lady golfers is extremely positive and they love the fact being sand based you can twelve months of the year in great condition, the majority of the new lady members that have joined Castlemartyr for the simple fact of accessing the seven-day full membership playing rights.”
The inaugural Lady Captain is Kate Heffernan and she has enjoyed the first few months for the new club. “The Castlemartyr Ladies Golf Club was formed on the 29th June 2016, and since then the ladies golf club has had a very busy few months” said Kate. “We held the first showcase day in July and this was a great success. In September Ladies Golf Club held its first Lady Captains day which was a resounding success.” Another showcase day was held near the end of September and this attracted over 80 golfers who came to sample the course and atmosphere.
As well as the showcase days, the course also held a weekly ladies open competition which attracted a large following. The Ron Kirby designed course was opened in 2007, and immediately it was acknowledged as a Kirby signature course. The timing was the biggest issue for the golf club and despite some great reviews the course struggled to attract new members, much like all other courses across Munster and Ireland. After five tough years, the golf membership market has shown signs that it has stabilised and 2016 looks like the first year since 2007 that there will be an increase in membership nationally. Castlemartyr were slightly ahead of the curve as over the past two years the mens club has grown steadily. This year junior membership was launched under Vice President John Paul Twomey and supported by Brady Sherwood. Castlemartyr’s Ladies Club and ILGU affiliation was the last piece in the jigsaw to be put in place.
Having been on the market for much of 2015, the resort was purchased last November by the UK based Shaw family who own the Old Thorns Estate near Guilford. The new owners provided substantial investment in the course over their first eight months in charge and the results were readily visible for members and visitors. The Shaw family have close links with Peter Alliss who is President of Old Thorns Golf Club and this year the renowned golf commentator was announced as the honorary President of Castlemartyr Golf Club.