For most golfers in Cork, Jerry Keohane is the driving force behind Lee Valley. But Jerry says he owes a lot to the original course designer. “There was one man who inspired me to and I learned a huge amount from him in two and a half years. He was the most amazing man I ever met, Christy O’Connor Jnr.” In a time before google maps or 3D modelling, Christy was a traditionalist, walking the land to judge the layout as Jerry explained: “He just had a simple drawing, a layout of the course and nothing else. He walked each fairway when he came down every week, sometimes twice a week. I’d be watching him and you’d ask yourself what’s he’s doing. He had some paint and he’d go around and mark out the greens and the bunkers and I was amazed by the man. He had no drawings or detailed plans, his Continue reading
Lee Valley commenced their 25th anniversary celebrations last weekend when the 2018 Officers drove in to mark the start of the new golfing year. A special celebration also took place to launch a new book detailing the Lee Valley story which has been evolving over the past quarter of a century. Lee Valley Captain led the festivities and he was delighted to detail what Lee Valley meant to him. The Skibbereen native, who won an All Ireland Club title with O’Donovan Rossa the same year that the couse opened, has been a proud member in Lee Valley for over 15 years. “What a tremendous golf course we have here. Back in 1993 you could stand on the balcony and see as far down as the 14th fairway” said the Captain. “Today you won’t see past the first fairway with the trees and how it has developed and matured. It’s a hidden jewel and we’re delighted to have it. It doesn’t just happen and it doesn’t come naturally, the work that has been done by Jerry, James Mulcahy and Continue reading
Pictures from Lee Valley’s 25th Anniversary Launch: Continue reading
Lee Valley is planning for a bumper 2018 as the friendly club on the western edge of the city celebrates 25 years of golf. Built in the 90’s the early phase of the first boom for golf, the course quickly developed a name as a championship level venue, known for it’s superior greens and friendly welcome. The Christy O’Connor designed course was started in 1990, and over the next three years the 150 acres of fields and woodlands were transformed into a championship golf course. O’Connor was a regular feature during the build phase, and instead of relying on maps and drawings he mainly worked from sight and the plan that he kept in his head. O’Connor died earlier this year, but Lee Valley remains a legacy to the Christy Jnr brand.
Jerry Keohane has been around for most of that journey, having been an investor in the original development. After the course opened in 1993, Jerry Keohane had sold of his share of the business, but in 1999 Jerry bought the course after it went on the market, and Lee Valley quickly became a family business with Peg, Paul and David all playing an active role in the business over the past two decades. Like all courses, it was by no means a finished product and Jerry started on a development that’s lasted the best part of 20 years. Over 18,000 trees were planted, vast areas Continue reading
Kinsale Golf Club booked their place in the Pierce Purcell Munster finals last week with a dramatic play-off win over Cobh. The area final took place at Lee Valley which was in great condition for the South Munster decider. Kinsale had qualified from the qualifier that they hosted and Cobh came through in the Fermoy venue qualifier. Kinsale’s Bernard O’Keeffe and Diarmuid O’Brien put an early point on the board when they won their match 7/5, beating Cobh’s Donal Feen and Adam Geaney who obviously had an off day. The only other match of the day to finish in regulation was the final match. Cobh were dormie four but didn’t close out the match until the 18th, and the match was level a one point each. Continue reading