Ballyliffin Golf Club

Golden Jubilee Commerative Booklet 1947 - 1997

Land Speculation

In 1968 it was obvious that there was not going to be a renewal of the lease over the 9 Hole Course so the then committee felt they had to look at some other option. On the proposal of Martin Hopkins, who was an agricultural advisor in the area and had a vast knowledge of the terrain involved, it was decided that the committee would look at leasing a very large area of links territory outside the then 9 Hole Course.

There was much negotiation over 1967/'78 and in this respect great credit is due to Eddie Grant, who as spokesperson for the landowners concerned was mainly responsible for getting the agreement to sell the portions of land in this commonage - for this was a commonage, a very big commonage of 400 or more acres. The people involved in this particular commonage were Ellen Grant who had 2 shares, Eddie Grant who had 2 shares, Denis Doherty (Ardagh) 1 share, George Conaghan (Tullynabratilly) 1 share, Charlie McLaughlin (Peter Sheila) 1 share, Willie Toland 1 share, Packie Grant 1 share and John Doherty (Heuddles) 1 share.

There was much negotiation and many meetings between representatives of the committee and the landowners. James McLaughlin and the secretary Clement Sweeney represented the Club in the negotiations. and due to their local knowledge interviewed all the landowners in turn and got their approval to sell their portions to the Golf Club. There were other landlords involved in this commonage who chose not to sell their portions to the Golf Club. They would, have been Charlie Coyle, Philip Craigabhaine and another portion that was jointly held by one of the Phillips and somebody Toland. They, as was their right decided to keep their portions. The Land commission agreed to divide the commonage and leave them their portions. and the others agreed to sell their shares at 500 per share.

Work on the 'new' Course began in 1970, that is what we now know as the 'old' links and two people who did a tremendous lot of work in laying tees and greens. at the agreed price of 2/6 per square yard. were Charlie Coyle and John Doherty (Ardagh). Conal Doogan was Captain and Clement Sweeney was Secretary. At first 9 ho!es were prepared for play and eventually by 1973 eighteen holes were in plav. Eddie Hackett who was the golfing architect attached to Bord Failte. visited the course on several occasions and helped to layout the playing holes, although it is true to say that two English architects visited the course as well and gave their views on how it should be laid out. They were Lawrie and Pennick. In the finat analysis, the course which emerged, perhaps tock something from each of them, and quite a few suggestions from Martin Hopkins were incorporated in the final pattern.


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