Dromoland Castle golf club is ready to welcome members and visitors back to their course once golf clubs can re-open at the end of this month.
“Everything is in place to ensure members and visitors will be in a safe environment to enjoy a round of golf,” club captain John Casey said this week.
“It is difficult to quantify the loss the most recent lockdown has cost the club with no foreign visitors, no green fees and no societies able to visit. It was a lonely place during the lockdown”, according to John.
The lockdown, however, had an advantage as it allowed the course staff to work on the course. “The course had been extremely busy pre this lockdown and this break has helped the course to recover from the heavy traffic of last season. The grounds staff have done fantastic work with included the re-setting of bunkers, the cutting and manicuring of greens and fairways and the cleaning out of water hazards particularly at the 7th, 11th and 13th holes which resulted in the finding of thousands of golf balls. A lot of work was done on a daily basis. The course needed time to recover and this work was carried out under the watchful eye of the club’s director of golf, Eamonn O’Donnell with support from the general manager of Dromoland, Mark Nolan”, according to the captain.
“Dromoland is ready for a return to golf next week”, the captain added.
During the lockdown this year members were allowed use of the walkways which surround the course while complying with the Covid protocols. “There are excellent tarmacadam pathways throughout the course and the members appreciated the use of this facility. In addition to allowing them take exercise it gave them the opportunity to enjoy the wildlife in the estate”, John explained.
The course which was designed by Ron Kirby and J.B. Carr was originally a 9 hole course which moved to 18 holes in 2003. It currently has a membership of approximately 550 made up of 450 men and 100 ladies. Teams compete regularly in GUI and ILGU competitions. The lady captain this year is Tina Devitt while the club president is Con Woods
Dromoland will comply with all protocols when the course re-opens. “We will be abiding by the regulations which specify that play will be in two balls. Our Academy will also re-open next week but use of this facility must be pre booked and social distancing will apply. The use of this facility will help players to get back into the swing of things after the break while its availability will alleviate some of the pressure on the course”, according to club captain John.
“When the club re-opened after the previous lockdown, competitors were limited to 9 hole outings to facilitate all the members. More people were available to play golf as they had more times on their hands and they wanted to take exercise. It was tricky enough to get everyone on the timesheet”, explained the captain who is satisfied that “everything will be ready for the return to play next week”.