Strandhill Golf Club was founded in 1931 as a nine-hole golf course. Shortly after the links was opened, a green tin shed was acquired as a clubhouse, which was situated near the present seventh green along the Strandhill beach front.
In 1939, John McAlister from Dublin was engaged to design a new nine-hole course over the existing land and this was opened in May 1940, a year which also saw the first Winter League played on the links. This was the first of its kind in Irish golf. Today most other clubs have followed suit. As the second world war had broken out, no cars were on the road due to petrol rationing and approximately forty golfers could be seen cycling from town to the golf club, some five miles away, with their clubs strung over the shoulders. History, unfortunately, does not record how they got home.
In 1945, there was a rare conflict between the club and the GUI over a competition played for in Strandhill called ‘The Blue Label Cup’. The club stated that the cup was named after a famous racehorse, but the GUI suspected that it was named after an even more famous brand of whiskey. The GUI’s view prevailed, and the competition was renamed ‘The Nally Cup’.
In 1946, a new competition called the North West Inter-Club Shield was started up. This was a forerunner for what is now called The Connacht Shield. Strandhill have a proud record in this competition and have won it on several occasions. They were also the first to retain the trophy, having won it back-to-back in 1982 and 1983.
Also in 1946, the club acquired Bustard’s Lodge, the site on which our award-winning clubhouse was built. This was opened in 1948 when a drinks license was obtained.
The present 18-hole course was opened in 1973 (subsequently redesigned with the input of several members) as was the new modern clubhouse, most of which was incorporated into the new building which was unveiled in 1997.
However, following the accidental destruction of the clubhouse in 2005, a new chapter has been embarked upon with the development of a new clubhouse in 2006, the year in which Strandhill celebrated its 75th anniversary. The older version of the clubhouse had won the AIB Connacht Clubhouse of the Year award in 2004.
The club can be particularly proud of its achievements on the inter-club stage, where it has garnered 21 GUI provincial pennants during its involvement in the Cups and Shields. In 2006, our ladies branch, after years of tireless effort, were deserved winners of the AA Ireland Junior Foursomes title, securing their first ILGU Western District pennant in the process. Our Jimmy Bruen team also won the Connacht Shield in 2014.
In addition, the club had much to celebrate in 2007 when 17-year-old Tommy McGowan was selected for the Irish Youths team which participated in the annual representative match with Wales. Tommy earned his first Irish cap on the back of an incredible performance in the West of Ireland championship that Easter, when he reached the semi-finals.
The club are to begin phase one of multi phase plan to develop the course. The work will get underway in February 2016 with the restructuring of the bunkers which will aesthetically and strategically enhance the course while also reducing course costs. This will involve the re-shaping of some of the bunkers and the re-positioning of others. It will also involve the filling in of bunkers that are superflous. The work is being financed from funds raised through the 50/50 draw and from course fundraisers held in 2015.
The work will be carried out by golf course architect, Ally McIntosh. Phase two of the plan and will include the lengthening of existing holes, the addition of new holes and the re-sequencing of the current holes. This phase is subject to the approval of the plans by the local authority and we are working very closely with the Parks & Wildlife and the County Council to ensure that the work will have no impact on the indigenous flora and fauna.
Full details are available here.