Rosslare Golf Links History
In 2005 Rosslare Golf Links celebrated its centenary year. As part of those centenary celebrations Tom Williams researched and documented that history in the book ‘Fairways of the Sea’.
The following significant dates and facts are documented in detail in that wonderful book.
1905 Rosslare Golf Links founded by James J Farrall as a proprietary 18 hole golf club on 58 acres at Rosslare. ‘However the decision to squeeze eighteen holes into the small amount of land available seems to be an error of judgement and resulted in a course more akin to a pitch and putt course’ even taking into account the ball and equipment available at that time.
1908 Rosslare Golf Links was re-established as a members club after the bankruptcy of James J Farrall in 1906. At this time the course was redesigned as a nine hole layout. The first tee was located to the south of the current 18th teebox close to the ‘Iona Hotel’ and ran north wards. The northern boundary of the course was the laneway between the current 14th and 4th tee boxes.
1909 The first greenkeeper in 1908 was a Mr McMahon. He was replaced in 1909 by Mr James J Ennis, Ford of Lyng beginning a very long association of the Ennis name with golf at Rosslare.
1911 Committee decided to spend the considerable sum of £50 to remodel and improve the course. Mr W.C. Pickman , founder member of Portmarnock, was asked to advise.
1913 It was decided to extend the course to 18 holes but this work was delayed for a variety of reasons including the start of WW1 followed by the War of Independence.
1925 The fledgling club was successful in acquiring the house ‘Rosslare House’ and lands needed for the course extension. The old clubhouse close to the Iona Hotel was sold and Rosslare House became the new clubhouse.
1926-1928 The famous firm of Hawtree and Taylor, Golf Course Architects, was commissioned to design the ‘new’ 18 hole course. The ‘new’ layout was 5800 yards long with the longest par 5 measuring 450 yards.
1934 Rosslare hosted three prestigious national golf competitions, The Irish Close Championship, The Irish Golf Cup Finals and the Barton Shield final. The course had been further developed and lengthened for these events and the card of the course then measured 6141 yards. The club was captained that year by Richard G. (Dick) Walsh a 28 year old Taghmon born solicitor. The Walsh Cup was presented by Dick in 1935 for Gents Foursomes Matchplay competition is still played for today.
1940 Rosslare win All Ireland Junior Cup
1948 Irish Ladies Close Championship held at Rosslare- winner Miss Philomena Garvey Baltray who again won in 1953 when the competition returned to Rosslare.
1949 New watering system installed on the course following a visit to Portmarnock links to view their watering system
1950’s Erosion – course continues to suffer from effects of erosion with
1967 Clubhouse renovation –badly needed renovation to the aging clubhouse
1968 Automatic watering system installed at a cost of £8000
1971 – The Seniors Open Championship of Ireland held at Rosslare –winner J O’Sullivan Athlone
1973– Clubhouse extension work at a cost of £51976.44
1982/83 Coast Erosion threat looms large
1990 The club invested a further £140000 in coast protection works bringing the total invested in coastal protection works since 1978 to over £1M
1992 New ‘Burrow’ 9hole course opened
199? Additional 3 holes added to the Burrow course 9 hole layout.
1999 New Clubhouse opened. Members debated moving clubhouse to a new location or remaining in existing site and refurbishing before decision was taken to completely refurbish the existing clubhouse. Work was completed in 1999