From the foundation of the club in the early 1920’s to our move to Knocknagranagh in 1993.
A home at last! Dungarvan Golf Club is wedged between Cruachán Hill and Dungarvan Harbour and is situated a few driver-lengths from Abbeyside village. The club was set up in the early 1920s when a nine-hole links was laid out on the Cunnigar (a three-mile snd spit which is only a 9-iron distance south of Dungarvan town). Members usually visited the Cunnigar in the boat of John ‘The Lord’ Duggan, who infamously declared during a stormy crossing, “fear not, for The Lord is with you!” The widespread appeal of the game and the growing membership led to affiliation to the Golfing Union of Ireland in 1924. Alas, coastal erosion and Cunnigar inaccessibility led the club to seek an alternative venue.
In 1929 the club moved to Clonea, playing on farm land beside the Ocean View Hotel (now The Clonea Strand Hotel). A small pavilion was erected to house golf equipment, and the members used the hotel for refreshment and social functions. Golf had taken off in the Déise county; however, a mere seven years later the landowner decided not to renew the lease, so the search for suitable lands began again. Sites in Garranbane, Killosera and Lisfennell were considered, but the members opted for a scenic part of the Stephenson estate in Ballinacourty beside the sea.
The new nine-hole course was opened in 1939. Soon, however, travel from the town became a problem with the outbreak of World War II; the members were undaunted and resorted to the humble bicycle, horseback and pony and trap – some even walked with a bag of clubs on their back while the war lasted. The ruins of a Coastguard Station were developed into a fine clubhouse which included bar, dressing rooms and living quarters, and work on the course proceeded over the fifty happy years spent at Ballinacourty. The club’s 1970 purchase of the land was followed by the acquisition of the former Ballinacourty National School – adjacent to the course – to serve as a machinery store.
The success of Dungarvan Golf Club and the growing population in the town led to calls from the members to expand to eighteen holes. When the various options regarding expansion and ‘moving house’ were considered during the late 1980s we decided to purchase some farm land nearer to the town and develop today’s challenging course, club house and professional’s shop. A local entrepreneur purchased the course at Ballinacourty (the club house had been razed by fire in the 80s), and later developed it to today’s Gold Coast G.C. Around the same time a local golfing family decided to cease farming to develop West Waterford G.C. Within a few years the area had three quality eighteen-hole courses, all very different in nature. Members of each club are wont to biased opinions on the merits of their own course, and a friendly rivalry exists. The three clubs combine their attractive features in the annual ‘Three Course Classic’; they also offer the ‘Dungarvan Golf Triangle’ to perceptive visitors who wish to play all three courses for a reasonable tariff.
We moved to our new home in July 1993 and the progress has been remarkable. Our top quality championship course, practice areas and clubhouse are owned and run by the members, and we were delighted in 2007 to be included in Golf Digest’s ‘Top 100 Irish Courses’. Competitions are organised regularly throughout the year, and holiday times see the arrival of many welcome visitors; for a list of the Open Events visitors should look elsewhere on this website, in our Fixtures Booklet, or on the Golfing Union of Ireland site at www.gui.ie . In line with international trends GUI policy we have a thriving juvenile section with its own Captain and committee. In addition to hosting GUI competitions and major fund-raising classics, our club attracts golf societies from near and far. The club’s congenial atmosphere makes everybody heartily welcome, whether for golf, snooker, card games, or just to while away the time in pleasant surroundings; the club house has full bar and catering facilities, along with ample parking area. We have a fully stocked Professional’s Shop run by PGA Professional David Hayes; apart from purchase and repair of golf clubs and equipment, lessons may be arranged for both beginners and improvers.
Yes, the Sunny South-East has a golfer’s paradise. It is called Dungarvan!
A list of the past presidents and captains of the Mens and Ladies sections of the Dungarvan Golf Club can be found elsewhere on this website. The list runs from our foundation in 1924 at the Cunnigar to our stays in Clonea, Ballinacourty and now Knocknagranagh.
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