The Cork Vintners GS celebrated their 50th anniversary in style recently with a great day out in Douglas and Carrigaline. Douglas Golf Club was the first stop for the society and they had a packed timesheet for a bumper society outing. With past captains and officers joining the large current playing membership, it was a day to enjoy the golf and the stories that spanned the last 50 years. After the golf it was off to Carrigaline Court Hotel where Peter Collins hosted 150 people for a gala celebration dinner. Chairman of the organising committee Michael O’Donovan was delighted with the day and night. “A great night was had by all in The Carrigaline Court Hotel where almost 150 people told stories and sang and danced the night away. I must thank John McHenry and all the team at Douglas Golf Club, the course was in fantastic condition and the greens were fast.” The winner on the day was Leo West from Douglas GC who came in with 42 points. Second place went to Fergal Murray from Lee Valley with 37, and Don Ellis from Mallow was third with 36 points. Jack Quirke from Mitchelstown GC won the sponsors prize with 33 points and Charlie Blythe won the guests prize.
While it’s not the oldest society, the Cork Licensed Vintners GS is still one of the most poplar and active, boasting over 60 members and an average of over forty golfers attending each of the outings. And with 14 events each year, the Vintners is definitely one of the most active with 14 outings planned each year from March through to November. While golf club membership is now very accessible, back in the 60’s there were fewer golf clubs and very limited membership opportunities. That led to huge growth in societies as a way for both casual and serious golfers to play regularly. As more courses opened around the fringes of the city, especially in the nineties, club membership expanded hugely and this had a negative effect on several societies. Many societies disbanded but the Vintners retained a large playing membership through the 90’s and all the way through to the present day.
The first AGM of the Cork Licenced Vintners Golf Society took place on 10th October 1969 in Douglas Golf Club, but the first round of golf took place on June 19th in Douglas Golf Club with a group of Publicans playing in their first event. Such was the interest, this lead to them forming the golf society later that year in October. The first committee and founders were Captain George Moxley (Muskerry Golf Club), President Liam Mackessy (Muskerry GC), Treasurer John O’Sullivan (Douglas GC), Secretary Jim Clancy (Killarney GC). Interestingly there’s still a link back to the original founders as Donal O’Sullivan is a son of the original treasurer John O’Sullivan. This year’s anniversary committee is comprised of Michael O’Donovan (Chairperson), David Fitzgibbon, Donncha O’Leary, Joe Kearney, Don Ellis, Con Cronin and Paul O’Neill.