History of the Club
Kenmare Golf Club was founded in 1903. The main driving force behind the club being Mr Percy Joy, secretary at that time. Joy, who was also a member of the Irish constabluary had to resign a year later due to a transfer of position.
“On 6th January 1904 the “Irish Golfer” publication reported that ” a new golf club had been established at Kenmare, Co. Kerry. The course of 9 hole, 1.25 miles in length, situated on Kenmare Bay and laid out by David Browne of Cork Club is a most sporting and picturesque one. The Marquis of Lansdowne is President and Sir John Colomb P.C. M.P. Vice President.
With The first teeing ground within 200 yards of the Southern Hotel (now known as the international famous Park Hotel) and the ninth green the same distance, these links when officially opened will attract many visitors. Mr. Percy Joy, Kenmare is the Honorary Secretary. J.Buckley Greenkeeper.” The founding fathers were Rupert Colomb, Henry Percival Maxwell, Stephen O’ Brien Corkery, J. Minhear, Tom Taylor, Michael D.O’Sullivan and the Hon. Sec. Percy Joy. The original entry fee was ten shillings with an annual subscription of £1.00.
At a committee meeting on 23/9/1925 Mr. W.H. Mansfield reported that “the plans of the proposed new clubhouse had been approved and that permission had been given to cut some trees which would interfere with the new building.” In June 1926, the secretary reported that a pavilion was for sale in Rossdohan, near Sneem. Having purchased the pavilion which had formerly been used as a tennis or cricket clubhouse in India, Mr. P. Arthur got the contract to transport and erect the pavilion to Kenmare. The bill for materials and labour came to £165.
A yearly tenancy was drawn up with the Lansdowne Estate regarding the golf pavilion at a yearly rent of 1/s. This clubhouse was used from 1926 to 1988. The initial lease on the land for the original golf course was from the Marquis of Lansdowne K.G. was for the sum of one penny per month payable on the last day of each month.
In 1993 a develpment plan was undertaken which involved the purchase of lands on the northern side of the Killowen road. To faciltate the extension of the course to a full 18 holes, the new course being designed by Eddie Hackett.Kenmare Golf Club possesses a unique set of cartoon displayed on the walls of the clubhouse. These wonderful portraits of previous characters associated with the club were drawn by Denis Santry an English born architect who holidayed in Kenmare during the 1920’s. Denis Santry married Madeline Hegarty who was a sister of Mrs. May O’ Brien Corkery. The couple lived in Singapore for a period and returned to England before the outbreak of World War 2. They later emigrated to South Africa.