Cobh’s golfing year got off to a great start recently with the annual drive in taking place. The incoming officers are Seamus Barry, President; Ciaran Harkins, Captain; Liz Ryan, Lady Captain; and Lee Prince, Youth Captain for 2023, and the traditional ceremony marked the start of the new season. This will be their 15th season at Marion Point, which remains one of Ireland’s newest 18 hole developments.
Teresa Delius head’s up the club’s marketing committee and she is excited about the coming year. “Cobh Golf Club is looking forward to a very exciting golfing season 2023. The course, which was opened in 2010, is maturing very nicely and the Greens are in superb condition. We are currently upgrading our green-keeping machinery (brand-new mower arriving at the end of February) to have the course in pristine condition.”
“The club is still offering membership with no joining fee for one more year” explained Teresa. There is a full member offer for €77 (incl. all fees, levies and insurance) and we offer several introductory rates for Students, Intermediates and Young Adults. The Cub also offers reduced rates for Seniors and couples (legal partners). With population in the local area growing quickly, Cobh GC are confident to reach membership capacity very soon.”
There are plenty of opportunities for visitors to play Cobh as Teresa continued. “Green fees are great value, at €30 on weekdays and €38 on weekends (Fri-Sun) and there is a discount if three green fees are booked together. Open competitions will be advertised on the club’s website and on social media. The Ladies Section of Cobh GC are currently looking forward to welcoming Ladies teams from the Munster area for their ‘Neighbour’s Cup’ competition, which is held on Sunday 26th of March.” As well as club and open competitions, Cobh will also host the Munster East finals of the AIG Jimmy Bruen Shield.
Golf on the island of Cobh can be traced back to the early 1900’s but the current clubs date to the 80’s. Cobh Golf Club was founded in Ballywilliam in 1987 as a nine hole course, but ambitions were strong and just over twenty years later they celebrated the opening of their new course in Marino. The new course, perched high over Cork harbour attracted a large membership from the surrounding areas, and in addition to the course the club has developed a new clubhouse, proshop and practice facilities since the opening of the course. As well as the course and infrastructure, Cobh also benefits from the Club PGA Professional David O’Sullivan. The experienced teaching professional has been in Cobh for over a decade and now synonymous with the venue.
One recent trend that O’Sullivan has spotted is the number of cruise liner guests who play the course. With it’s views over the upper harbour stretching across to Glenbrook, the course offers the liner guests a great opportunity to stretch the legs on championship course in a great setting. “I have always remarked on the strength of our location for attracting members and visitors and of course the staggering views are a real plus” said David. “Our many returning visitors continue to be impressed by the ever-maturing golf course and expanding facilities.” The club restaurant, The Food Club is also popular with golfers and non-golfing visitors and is open for breakfast, lunches and afternoon tea.
The new course development was a huge undertaking by the hardworking committees, and was funded by existing and new members. The club engaged Martin Hawtree to design a championship course and the famous designer delivered a superb layout. It remains one of the newest courses in Ireland given the downturn in course development of past fifteen years. The foresight of the development committees and the members have resulted in a great test of golf at Marino. The club was one of the first to have USGA specification putting surfaces, and the large greens were designed to force golfers to think about approach shots. Changes in elevation are a key feature of the course, but the clever routing of the holes means that there are very few steep hills to navigate. The fact that almost no changes took place to the course since the opening in 2009 underline the strength of the original course design.
Cobh was one of the many clubs to benefit from the surge in interest in golf in 2020 as many other sports were restricted due to covid. Many clubs have retained those new members and there are limited memberships available in many of the clubs close to the city. Getting into Cobh in 2023 means there is no joining fee, and that’s a big plus when you consider that it remains a member’s owned course. With a range of membership options, Cobh has something for every golfer.