After 54 years, Anthony Gillis is finally handing over the keys at Cork Golf Club. The Head Greenkeeper is retiring this month after a lifetime on the famous Alister MacKenzie course in Little Island. After starting in a temporary role in 1965, Gillis became a full time green keeper soon after and in 1968 he became assistant greenkeeper. That started the labour of love for the Little Island native who lives no more than 300 yards from the Club. Having grown up on the other side of Island, not far from the eastern side of the course, he has memories of coming in over the quarry and chipping and playing “four-quarters” on the sixth green. Working under Francis Devane, Anthony quickly learned his trade and he went on to take over the head greenkeeper in the early 1970’s. After working with famous agronomist James Arthur in the 1970’s, Gillis went on to study in Bingley, Elmwood College and the National Botanic Gardens, giving him a formal background in greenkeeping which complimented his own passion and knowledge for the job. A lot has changed in six decades and Anthony doesn’t miss the hard physical work that was involved back in his early days. “The work isn’t as hard Continue reading
One of the keys behind the success of Cork Golf Club has been the staff. Cork has had a tradition of being a great place to work with many staff members holding long service at the Little Island club. General Manager Matt Sands came from Dublin close to 30 years ago to take up the role in Cork. Matt isn’t the only employee with long service. Anthony Gillis has worked in Cork for the past 52 years, moving through various roles to become the Course Superintendent, Matt himself has been in Cork for 28 years while Gerry Kenneally has run the restaurant and kitchen for 27 years. PGA Professional Peter Hickey has also worked in the famous course for over 20 years.
“I enjoy my role as General Manager in Cork Golf Club” said Matt. “I have worked here for nearly 29 years and can honestly say I have enjoyed every minute of my time here. The esteem in which the club is held is evident when you travel away and also when you hear comments from the many guests who visit the club. The course has had major renovations carried out over the last number of years, it is always presented in good condition and very enjoyable to play. It is often called a hidden gem and having been designed by Alister MacKenzie the layout deserves the many accolades it receives.” According to Matt, the award capped off a great year for Cork that also saw them claim a coveted Munster Pennant. “Being named Club of the Year for 2016 at the recent meeting of Munster Golf has given everyone in the club a great boost. We have a team of 20 employed in the club, many with long service. 2017 will again see us hosting the Munster Stroke Play Championship, Our Pro Am and will also welcome many local, overseas visitors and Corporate events.”
Cork Golf Club celebrated over the weekend, but this time it was in the clubhouse as they honoured their head greenkeeper Anthony Gillis as he celebrated 50 years working at the famous Little Island course. The club celebrated 125 years in 2015 has a rich history. Although the club’s first home was in near Glanmire, the current location has served the club for over 110 years. The current configuration was designed by the revered Dr Alister McKenzie in 1924, around the same time as he worked on Muskerry, Galway and the Old Course at Lahinch. Continue reading