Christy’s Legacy in Lee Valley

AIG Pierce Purcell Shield, Lee Valley Golf Club, Wednesday 7th June 2017For 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 25th Anniversary Launch

Lee Valley Golf Club 25th Anniversary Book Launch, Saturday 13th Jan 2018

Jim Long, Chairman Munster Golf pictured with Lord Mayor Tony Fitzgerald and Lee Valley Captain Brian O’Donovan. Picture: Niall O’Shea

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

Lee Valley set to celebrate in 2018

EMC Lee Valley Senior Scratch Cup 2016Lee 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

Lee Valley Capture National Pennant

Lee Valley Minor Cup Team2There was delight in Belfast and Cork yesterday as Lee Valley Ladies won another All-Ireland title.  The Cork club captured the AIG Minor Cup in Belfast, their first time winning at Minor level.  After several close calls this year, the final ended up being a clean sweep for Lee Valley as they beat Mountbellew.  Rosemary Driscoll won the first point for Lee Valley on the 17th green when she won 2&1, while Deirdre Lee saw her match go to sudden death before she won and added a second point for Lee Valley.  The winning point was secured by Breda O’Callaghan, she had a 2&1 win on the 17th to win the third match and secured another national pennant for Lee Valley.  Both Jane O’Neill and Helen Gough were called in, their matches were considered as halves meaning the final score was 4-1 to Lee Valley.  On Thursday, Helen Gough was the hero for Lee Valley, securing the winning point in the final match on the final green.  Jane O’Neill and Breda O’Callaghan had secured the earlier points and their way to the final in a tough match against Donaghadee.  Lee Valley Team Captain Angela Corcoran summed up the feelings of the Lee Valley members: “We’re absolutely thrilled, it could have gone either way right up until the end, it was an amazing contest,” said Angela. “This is our third All-Ireland, we have won two Intermediate Cups and now a Minor Cup in the last 5 years, it’s a huge honour for our 25-year-old club!”  The Cork club last won a national title in 2015 when they won the AIG Intermediate Cup in Knightsbrook.  The team along with a large number of members and supporters made the long trip from Belfast last night.  And the winners were treated to a great reception back in Lee Valley when they arrived home to Ovens.


Lee Valley Launch Old Head Cup

Dell EMC Lee Valley Senior Scratch Cup, Lee Valley Golf Club, Saturday 22nd April 2017Fancy a trip to the Old Head? Are you playing off 9 or lower?  Are you free any of the next four Thursdays?  If so a new Lee Valley competition might be of interest. Jack Boyd and Paul Keohane have come up with a new weekly competition in Lee Valley that’s aimed at single figure golfers.  Four weekly qualifiers will take place in August, starting on Thursday 3rd August and three golfers will qualify each week for the series final.  The top four golfers from the final will book their place for round of golf in the Old Head in September with the winner on the day claiming the inaugural Old Head Cup.  The best golfer each day, along with the runner-up and best gross will all qualify for the final, and there will also be daily prizes on offer.

The entry fee is a very favourable €25 per person with an attractive reduced rate of €15 for full time students.  The events will be played from the championships tees in Lee Valley and the blue course should be a tough test for even the most accomplished golfers.  The competition came about as Paul and Jack identified Continue reading

Mahon March On in Pierce Purcell Shield

AIG Pierce Purcell Shield, Lee Valley Golf Club, Wednesday 7th June 2017Mahon won the South Munster area final last night in very competitive and sporting game in Lee Valley.  Mahon and Macroom were the last two teams standing after winning three matches each at their respective venue qualifiers.  Despite the heavy rain, the course in Lee Valley was in great condition and the course provided a solid test for all of the golfers.  Mahon as usual had a huge number of supporters while Macroom members were also well represented.  Both clubs seemed evenly matched overall and after the front nine it was very close.

Gallery: Mahon v Macroom, AIG Pierce Purcell Shield Area Final

Mahon secured the first point on the 13th green when Declan Power and Michael Sexton beat Ed Neville and John Donvovan.  Macroom balanced the scorecard soon after with another early win.  Martin Kavanagh and William Buttimer beat Continue reading

Work Continues in Lee Valley

Dell EMC Lee Valley Senior Scratch Cup, Lee Valley Golf Club, Saturday 22nd April 2017Although the scratch cup weekend is now over, Lee Valley will continue to be a busy place for both golfers and staff.  Lee Valley’s Director of golf David Keohane was delighted with the feedback from golfers over the weekend and he was quick to point out that they are continuing to develop the course which celebrates 25 years next year.  “We have some great plans for the course in 2017” said Keohane.  “Four new tee boxes are currently being constructed.  The 1st, 6th, 12th and 16th will be completely redesigned with each of them being widened and lengthened.  The pick of these tee boxes is our new par three sixteenth where we have raised the tee box by over five feet and created a surface 25 by 30 meters.  The base for the new tee box was so large that many Continue reading