Ballyliffin Golf Club
Golden Jubilee Commerative Booklet 1947 - 1997
The Faldo Connectionclick on all images to view larger versions
In 1990 Mr Nick Edmund of 'Global Golf Links', London arrived at Ballyliffin Golf Club to research an article he was writing about the Club for his "Follow the Fairways" magazine. Charmed by the mystique and beauty of the area he was soon 'Ballyliffined', to use his own expression. Thus began his association with the Club that would eventually lead to him being employed as the Clubs Marketing Consultant.
Through his friendship with Faldo's manager, John Simpson, Nick relayed the message of Ballyliffin and soon Faldo was enticed to pay a visit. The rest is history. On that spectacular Sunday, on 27th June, 1993, Faldo descended from the sky in his helicopter into the annals of Ballyliffin Golf Club. Months of protracted secret negotiations were finally brought to fruition as Faldo along with some friends strode his purposeful stride onto the first tee of the 'Old' Course. Originally he intended to play only 9 holes but he too would succumb to the ubiquitous charm of Ballyliffin. After playing 18 holes, despite a heavy schedule, Faldo made the following observation. "... the most natural golf links I have ever played..." Could there be a more fitting tribute? ... the following week, Faldo the supreme professional golfer, won the Irish Open at Mount Juliet!
When one considers the thousands of courses that Faldo has played and the offers he has received over the duration of his illustrious career, it certainly says something that after a mere three or four hour visit to Ballyliffin he should wish to be associated with the Club. Sometime, following on his 1993 visit the idea was mooted from whatever quarter that Nick Faldo would advise on the upgrading of the 'Old' Course (The Glashedy Links were already under construction during his original visit). Faldo was quite prepared to lend his expertise, free of charge for this almost, unique opportunity, of working on perfect golfing terrain. (Certainly an extremely magnanimous offer!)
As the concept of a possible association gathered momentum, excitement from both within and without the Club swelled - undoubtedly this possible merger would overshadow the Tom Watson/Ballybunnion association! Over the next year or so the Club would wrestle with the implications of what turned out to be a very emotive issue.
In the present context it would be wholly inappropriate for this writer to relate the saga in detail. Accordingly in a brief appraisal suffice it to say that, at some point, albeit regrettably, business considerations/advisers clouded the benevolence of the original intention and when, finally, in November; 1996 a document outlining a possible association between the Club and Faldo, was presented by Faldo's financial team it was deemed unacceptable by both Council and Members at an Extra Ordinary General Meeting convened to discuss the issue.
The Members of Ballyliffin Golf Club had spoken and effectively this ended all speculation of what might have been. In any event who knows what the future holds. ..perhaps Tiger Woods, driving the 'New' 13th downwind a week before he wIns the Irish Open! In the final analysis, Faldo the professional golfer and absolute gentleman. through his genuine love for Ballyliffln has paid the greatest tribute possible to the dedication and foresight shown over the previous 46 Years.