The changing face of Cork Golf Club

As well as clearing vegetation, natural wetlands are also being promoted like this area under the 8th tee at Cork Golf Club.
Picture: Niall O’Shea

The work at Cork Golf Club continues as Simon O’Hara and the course staff continue to peel back the layers to reveal some of the original features of the famous cork course.  Well over 120 years after the club moved to Little Island, and 95 years after Sir Alister MacKenzie laid out the current course, it’s almost a case of back to the future for Cork as the limestone walls and original views are revealed.  The projects are being led by Cork’s Superintendent Simon O’Hara and the team of skilled greenkeepers.  O’Hara moved from Fota Island to Cork two years ago, and soon after he arrived he started to make a few changes.  He reinstated the practice chipping green which is adjacent to the 18th fairway and last spring he oversaw the removal of the Continue reading

O’Keeffe Blitzes the field to claim Munster Stroke Play

Peter O’Keeffe celebrates with his wife Mary Claire and daughter Alice following his Munster Strokeplay win

Peter O’Keeffe won the biggest prize in Cork golf on Sunday.  After 72 holes he won the Munster Stroke Play and added his name to the famous Cork Scratch Cup.  O’Keeffe had a blistering performance on Sunday, he entered the final 36 holes 4 off the lead but ended up winning by seven strokes.  Two rounds of 70 put on Saturday put him in contention going into the second day.  Saturday’s performance included 11 birdies and one eagle, and that gave the Douglas golfer the confidence to know his game was good enough to win.  O’Keeffe reached Continue reading

O’Regan Shoots the Stars

Golfer and photographer Cian O’Regan combined his interests recently when he captured some pretty unique shots of Cork Golf Club.  Unusually the shots were taken in the middle of the night, something that doesn’t happen too often.

“The idea of taking pictures of golf courses at night first popped into my head a year ago when taking pictures one evening down in Cork Golf Club.  It was nothing more than an after-thought, I wondered what the place would look like at night.  I never took it any further until I went down during lockdown after the travel radius was increased to 5km and captured the images of the 5th, 6th and 7th.”

The quarry holes in Cork are the oldest part of the course, reclaiming the limestone quarry that dates back well over 200 years.  The 6th and 7th in Cork closely align with two of the original holes that date back to 1899.  Planning and timing were essential to a successful shoot, and the results were exceptional with five great shots.  The International Space Station features in one picture of the 5th green, while the stars are the focal point in a shot of the 6th green.

“My biggest concern about this shot was the composition of the photo.  Even though I was shooting using a really wide-angle lens, I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to be able to get the North Star and the 6th green in the same shot.  I knew that the hole is pointed roughly South to North when walking from teebox to green, but I did look up the course on Google Maps before heading down to figure out what my heading would be, to figure out where the North Star would be positioned over the green and house that overlooks the quarry.”

The response from Cork golfers has been very positive with many ordering prints from Cian.  It’s certainly a unique view of well known areas of the golf club.

Check out Cian’s website

“I really like how these photos are making both myself and other people who might be lifelong members of Cork – who have probably played the course a thousand times over – see the place in a new light.  Combined with some beautiful drone imagery that’s been shot at the club recently to show off changes that have been made to the course over the winter months, it’s always nice to be able to show off the course from a different perspective – whether it’s taken 300 feet above the course during the day or from the ground at 1am!”

And Cian is planning for more night-time golf shoots, combining his passions.  As soon as the current travel restrictions are lifted he plans to contact a few courses with a view to capturing some more unique shots.

“I have some pretty cool ideas about capturing some cool Milky Way shots this summer to include some of Ireland’s most famous golfing landmarks under the stars.  I’ll be posting them all on my new website which I’m just about to launch where people can be mounted and framed prints of these photos and many more.”

Jimmy Bruen – Cork’s Greatest

It’s likely that 2020 will produce few enough golf headlines, but 2020 is the 100th anniversary of the birth of the great Jimmy Bruen Jnr.  Born in Belfast, the Bruen family moved to Cork when Bruen was 5, his father took up a job with Dwyer & Co, another family closely associated with golf in Cork.  Bruen is associated with both Cork and Muskerry.  Although he had played in Cork Golf Club as a teenager, Cork’s rule of not allocating handicaps to those under 18 made Bruen look to Muskerry.  He wrote to the club when he was 15, seeking a handicap in line with the Muskerry club rules.  According to golf historian Tim O’Brien, Bruen submitted his three cards but was asked to play a round with the club captain before a handicap was approved.  Bruen must have impressed in that round as his starting handicap was six.  That handicap was god enough to gain entry into the 1935 British Boys in Royal Aberdeen, and with experiences like that, it didn’t take Bruen long to get down Continue reading