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History of Castle Golf Club

Having celebrated our centenary in 2013, Castle Golf Club is one of the oldest clubs in the greater Dublin area.  

Nestled at the foot of the Dublin Mountains, the club was originally established in part of the estate of Rathfarnham Castle, which dates back to Norman days. A firm of builders, Bailey & Gibson acquired the Castle and lands in 1912 with a view to developing a housing scheme with the golf club at its centre. The Castle was sold to the Jesuit Order, and the Club was established on 7th February 1913. Although Bailey & Gibson never fully developed their housing plans, and sold the club to the members in 1918, the Club is now completely surrounded by houses! Cecil Barcroft, W.C. Pickeman and Tom Hood (Professional at Royal Dublin Golf Club) designed the original layout of the Golf Course.

In 1918/1919, Harry S. Colt, one of the foremost golf course designers of t20110721093359 00002he time, updated the original design. His brief was to reconstruct the course ‘on the best modern lines’. Apart from minor changes over the years, the layout of the course remained largely unchanged until the latest programme to upgrade and redesign all our greens to USGA standard, commenced in 2000. The Course was originally a Par 74 layout, with a length (after Colt’s work) of 6,300 yards. Over the years, some of our Par 5’s became Par 4’s and the 10th hole was reduced from a Par 4 to a Par 3 in the mid ‘60s, reducing the course to its current Par of 70 for men and 72 for ladies. The length of the course is largely unchanged to this day. Standard scratch for the course is 71 and 73 respectively.

The course was used by some of the most notable names in golf throughout its existence. Henry Cotton and Jack Smith played a match against Willy Holley (Club Professional 1921-1965) and Willy Nolan in 1928. The Club hosted the Irish Close Championship in 1938, an event won by one James Bruen. How appropriate, then, that the first senior GUI All Ireland pennant won by the Club (in 2003) was the ‘Jimmy Bruen’. In 1954 the North v South professional match was played at Castle, a highlight being the drawn match between Fred Daly and Harry Bradshaw. Joe Carr played in an amateur tournament here in 1956.


In 1999 a major upgrade to the facilities at the Club, both on and off the course, was begun. Working with Jeff Howes, the Course Development committee oversaw reconstruction of all eighteen greens to USGA sand-based standard. The project included a major upgrade to the practice putting area and realignment of some fairways to fit in with the new greens.
 
The clubhouse was extended and completely refurbished in 2001/2002, raising the standard of the facilities to match those on the golf course.

We hope you enjoy your visit to Castle Golf Club.