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Short Outline on the History of Galway Golf Club

BY JOHN CUNNINGHAM & MICHEAL MacSWEENEY

The history of the course which overlooks Galway Bay and has quite the most spectacular views of the stretch of Atlantic made famous by Bing Crosby, by the way, while accepting Walter Hagen's advice about taking time to smell the flowers and look at the unrivalled scenery, there is also a very good par 70 test of golf awaiting you on your visit.

Galway's most famous golfing ambassadors are multiple Ryder Cup players, Christy O'Connor Snr. and Christy O'Connor Jnr. Both of whom learned their golf around these parts.

In so far as can be established, the first recorded game of golf was played in Galway in 1895. Colonel H.F.N. Jourdain, a British Officer then stationed in Galway (for Ireland was then part of the British Empire) laid out what he termed a short nine hole course on the eastern side of the city. After some moves, Galway Golf Club found its present permanent home at Salthill and it should be mentioned then no less a hand than that of the world-famous golf architect; Dr. Alistair McKenzie, outlined the positions of tees and greens in the early twenties of the last century.

In recent years it has undergone extensive re-design of a number of the greens to keep pace with technology, but it still has the charm and challenge of a course which has an abundance of trees, and particularly handsome gorse which sports a yellow bloom for months of the year. However, you won't want to see too much of that!

In the dim distant past, one member of the club, who was recorded as a bit of a bore disagreed with some others, bought the land and put them off the course! However, you can be assured of a traditional Irish welcome at Galway Golf Club. a Céad Mile Failte (a hundred thousand welcomes).


The History of The Galway Golf Club is divided into chapters for ease of use. Click on your preferred chapter to view.

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The chapters listed below delve in more depth into the following areas:

Chapter 1 Renmore
Dealing with the foundation of the club in 1895 at it's initial location on the grounds of Renmore barracks and it's move to a new site on Gentian Hill shortly afterwards.

Chapter 2 Barna 1905-1925
In 1905 Galway Golf Club moved from a small site at Gentian Hill to a more substantial site a couple of miles away in Barna. The club remained here until 1925.

Chapter 3 The O’Hara Estate
In the post war years, the strong influence of the military and ascendancy class diminished considerably and the club was now governed by business people, bankers, government officials and members of the professional bodies.

Chapter 4 Ladies Golf and Galway 1895-1995 By Kitty O'Riordan
This chapter deals with the valued contribution that the ladies of Galway Golf Club have made to the Club and to the national golf scene.

Chapter 5 Bob Wallace
Bob Wallace, uncle of our Pro until 2011; Don Wallace, was a legend in Irish golf circles. Here John Cunningham paints a colourful portrait of the affable character who was the Club Professional in Galway Golf Club from 1946-1973

Chapter 6 The O'Connor Clan
Two of Irish golf's most successful and well-known Pros must be the 'Two Christys'; Christy O'Connor Snr. and his nephew Christy O'Connor Jnr. who grew up within a wedge of the seventh tee. Go here to read about their remarkable achievements.

Chapter 7 Modern Times: 1950-1995
A synopsis of the Club's development from 1950 1995 (the year of our centenary).

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Galway Golf Club: Blackrock, Salthill, Galway
Office: 091 522033 | Catering: 091 521827 | Professional: 091 526040 | Fax: 091 529783 | Email: info@galwaygolf.com