East Cork’s Golfing History

While Fota Island can be regarded as Cork’s top championship golf location, not many people will know that the Fota was the site of the first record organised golf in Cork.  Back in 1883, over 135 years ago the first course in Cork was laid out on the Smith Barry Estate.  The course in Fota was the second recorded course in Ireland, and it lasted around 30 years until the game spread by way of the large increase in the number of courses and clubs.  It’s not known where exactly on the island that the course was located but it’s unlikely that it was on the site of the current course.

Owned by Lady Barrymore who lived in Fota House, the course was a short nine hole layout and was mainly used in the early days by the Officers of the British Army stationed in Cork.  Although it boasts the earliest records of the sport in Cork, it seems that there was no golf in Fota until 1993 when a new course was established by an international property investment fund.  A fore runner to the current championship layout, the course was popular among local golfers and hosted the Irish Amateur Open and the Irish Club Professional tournaments in the early years.  All changed at the turn of the century when Dr Tim O’Mahony’s Killen Investments commenced a multi-million pound investment and redeveloped the course into a European Tour level course.  That course hosted the Murphy’s Irish Open in 2001 and 2002.  In 2004 there was another change of ownership when the course was bought by John Fleming who set about a substantial development that saw a hotel and housing development.  The property play was combined with a new nine hole course in addition to the development Continue reading

East Cork’s Golfing History

While Fota Island can be regarded as Cork’s top championship golf location, not many people will know that the Fota was the site of the first record organised golf in Cork.  Back in 1883, over 135 years ago the first course in Cork was laid out on the Smith Barry Estate.  The course in Fota was the second recorded course in Ireland, and it lasted around 30 years until the game spread by way of the large increase in the number of courses and clubs.  It’s not known where exactly on the island that the course was located but it’s unlikely that it was on the site of the current course.  Owned by Lady Barrymore who lived in Fota House, the course was a short nine hole layout and was mainly used in the early days by the Officers of the British Army stationed in Cork.  Although it boasts the earliest records of the sport in Cork, it seems that there was no golf in Fota until 1993 when a ne Continue reading

Howard wins Again

Ford Muskerry Junior Scratch Trophy 2019Muskerry Golf Club
Sunday 21st April 2019

David Howard (Fota Island) in action at the Ford Muskerry Junior Scratch Trophy recently. Picture: Niall O’Shea

David Howard racked up his second win of the year recently when he captured the Fota Island Junior Scratch Cup.  Having won the Muskerry Junior Scratch Trophy at the start of the season, Howard was runner up at Fota Island Senior Scratch Cup soon after.  The Fota Island member kept up the run of good form this month with a win at his home course.  While Fota was in great condition, heavy showers tried to dampen spirits and it certainly made scoring more difficult for everyone.   Howard was the best on the day, shooting a three over par 74, one ahead of the field.  Despite claiming to have a cold putter he had a few birdies, including a crucial one on the 18th which proved to be the difference.  Now playing off a new handicap of 3, it might be the last Junior Scratch Cup for Howard for a while, and the impressive 20 year old has his mind set on lowering his handicap.  He featured on the Fota Island Mixed and Senior Cup teams, and this week he’ll be in Junior Cup action in Castlemartyr.

It’s been a Continue reading