Delgany Golf Club was established in 1908 and is situated in the heart of County Wicklow, the Garden of Ireland. The ethos of Delgany Golf Club goes back to its foundation by members of Greystones G.C. who were then not allowed to play golf on Sundays on their own golf course. Interestingly, the first competition was played over nine holes on Good Friday that year and on St. Stephen’s Day of the same year the first 18 holes competition was played. This was also the first Captain’s Prize won by Clem Robertson who was subsequently killed in the First World War.
Delgany Golf Club is located in the heart of County Wicklow. Surrounded by beautiful countryside and breathtaking scenery, with hill and sea views from Bray Head and the Sugar Loaf to Wicklow Head,
Delgany Golf Club became affiliated with the Golfing Union of Ireland in 1908.
The club is ideally situated within 30 minutes of Dublin City centre, only 1 hour from Dublin International Airport via the M50 motorway, just 25 minutes from Dun Laoghaire Harbour and 1.5hrs from Rosslare Europort.
The fine golfing tradition of Delgany Golf Club can be traced back to Saturday, 18th September 1909 when Harry Vardon, one of the great names in the history of golf, played an exhibition match against the Irish champion, Michael Moran. Vardon, who won over 36 holes by 3 and 2, playing with only 7 or 8 clubs in his bag, said after the match that “he drove like a lion but putted like a lamb”. Apparently during the match several defects in the original layout of the course became evident and Vardon was subsequently engaged by the Club to make recommendations about the future layout of the course. He advised how the greens and bunkers could be improved and he made many other suggestions which were accepted by the Club.
Following an investment of almost €1.5 million by the members, Delgany Golf Club reopened its remodelled golf course with sand based greens and tees to USGA specifications on the 26th June 2004. As part of this investment a state-of-the-art Course Maintenance facility was also completed earlier in the year.
The remodelled course was designed by the well-known Irish golf course architect, Patrick Merrigan. In his design, Merrigan was anxious to blend the newly constructed areas into the existing and natural contours of the course in order to make the new and old features indistinguishable while improving its year round playability and the overall enjoyment of the Delgany golfing experience.
In April 2007 Delgany held the historic reopening of the newly redeveloped Clubhouse.
The official opening ceremony and reception involved the cutting of the ribbon by that year’s Captains’ Tom Mason and Susan O’Loughlin with the 2006 Captain, Michael Scannell. Prayers and blessing of the building was performed by Fr Liam Belton of Kilquade Parish and Rev Nigel Waugh of the Delgany Church of Ireland. The Lady Captain Susan O’Loughlin welcomed over 200 members and guests and Captain Tom Mason as Chairperson of the Management Committee highlighted the great work achieved by previous Captains and Committees since 2000 in relation to the course and clubhouse development projects which are now completed and represent an investment of over €5 ½ million by the Club. In attendance representing the GUI and ILGU were Fintan Buckley and Frances Wogan, Chairpersons of the Leinster Branch and Eastern District respectively.
The newly redeveloped Clubhouse on the existing footprint of the old Clubhouse offers first class bar, restaurant, function and meeting rooms all on the first floor with unique panoramic views of the surrounding hills, sea and village which can also be viewed from the balconies which surround the Clubhouse and overlook the golf course. At ground floor level there are large locker and changing facilities as well as a the Delgany Pro Shop operated by the club’s golf Professional Gavin Kavanagh and his assistant Mark Staunton.
Delgany Golf Club & The Ryder Cup: A Unique History
The Ryder Cup came to Ireland for the first time in 2006 and it is interesting to note the strong connections that Delgany Golf Club has with this famous event. It is one of only two golf clubs in the world to have produced four Ryder Cup players in Harry Bradshaw, Jimmy Martin, John O’Leary and Eamonn Darcy. The strong Bradshaw family connection continues to the present day. Furthermore, Eamonn Darcy is a grand-nephew of Patrick J. Doyle, the first golf professional in Delgany Golf Club who subsequently became a well-known tournament and teaching professional in America. These strong links with the Ryder Cup were maintained when in the 2006 event, Darren Reynolds, a member of Delgany Golf Club caddied for Paul McGinley.
Harry Bradshaw is one of the legends of golf. He played in the Ryder Cup in 1953, 1955, and 1957. He also tied for the 1949 British Open but lost on a play off, won the Dunlop Masters in 1953 and 1955, won the Irish Professional Title 10 times and was on the Irish team which won the World (then the Canada) Cup in 1958.
Jimmy Martin who played in the Ryder Cup at Birkdale in 1965, was born in the Delgany area. Among his many achievements, he represented his country on 5 occasions in the Canada/ World Cups and won the Carrolls International.
John O’Leary was a member of Delgany Golf Club and played in the Ryder Cup in 1975. His tournament victories include the Greater Manchester Open in 1976 and the Carrolls Irish Open in 1982.
Eamonn Darcy was born and raised beside Delgany Golf Club and played in the Ryder Cup in 1975, 1977, 1981 and 1987. He has also enjoyed many other victories such as the World U-25 title, and the Dubai Desert Classic.
The clubhouse has a Ryder Cup bar with memorabilia from the 4 Ryder Cup players.