Mourne Golf Club News


Mourne Golf Club enjoyed 75th Anniversary celebrations last Friday as members and guests took to both the Championship Course and Annesley Links at the famous Royal County Down venue to mark the occasion.

In a real celebration of golf all three clubs, Royal County Down, Royal County Down Ladies’ Golf Club and Mourne Golf Club, had a wonderful day on both courses. Members from the three clubs that make up the golfing campus in Newcastle also invited their guests from across the province with players from local clubs such as Ardglass, Downpatrick (St Patrick’s) and Rockmount all featuring on the day.

Mourne Golf Club dates to 1946, the year it became affiliated to the game’s governing body Golf Ireland (formerly the Golfing Union of Ireland) after being fully endorsed by Royal County Down, founded in 1889. (Planned 75th Anniversary celebrations for 2021 were postponed due to the pandemic).

Royal County Down’s centenary book The First Century by Harry McCaw and Brum Henderson elaborate on those early years for Mourne Golf Club just after the Second World War.

“Gerald Annesley, grandson of the first president (Royal County Down) took a positive step forward on behalf of the townspeople of Newcastle. He wrote to the Council of Royal County Down… and proposed the establishment of a club for the residents of the Newcastle area, under the auspices of Royal County Down, and with separate premises.”

Two years later in 1946 details were finalised and Mourne as the new club had been named, was seeking accommodation “and the huts which had been used by the Civil Defence Authorities between the Royal County Down clubhouse and Slieve Donard Hotel were found suitable.”

Since those early years, Mourne Golf Club has become an established club, while remaining very much part of the golfing story at Newcastle alongside Royal County Down and Royal County Down Ladies’ Golf Club. Mourne has enjoyed club success at provincial and national level, most recently the Ulster Cup win in 2019, while Mourne’s Senior Cup team also reached the Ulster final in 2020.

Last Friday was very much a social occasion where everyone gathered at the Mourne clubhouse after their golf. Denis Orr and his team provided the excellent catering through the day and Paul O’Kane was on hand for the evening’s music and entertainment.

In a fitting moment, newly appointed Mourne Golf Club Captain John Heaney was joined by Ann Walker, Captain Royal County Down Ladies’ Golf Club, Kathleen Calvert, Honorary Secretary Royal County Down Ladies’ Golf Club and Liz Nixon from Royal County Down Ladies’ Golf Club for a photograph on the first tee on the Championship Course.

“This is very proud moment for me personally, especially as I have just taken up office in recent days,” said Heaney. “It is a great honour to be Captain of Mourne Golf Club and for the chance to mark our 75th Anniversary with members, guests and friends.

“On behalf of all our members, I would like to thank everyone at Royal County Down and Royal County Down Ladies’ Golf Club for their ongoing support and we look forward to continuing that strong golfing bond between the clubs in the years ahead.”

Royal County Down Head PGA Professional Kevan Whitson kindly sponsored all the prizes for last Friday’s golf. He and his Assistant PGA Professional John Murray presented the prizes.

Mourne’s Jack Keenan won the men’s first prize with a sensational 45 points with Gillian Hool securing the Ladies top prize. There were many other prizes on the day and Mourne’s Mark Feenan won the best gross after a wonderful three-under-par 68.

There was also some fine scoring in the juvenile competition where Matthew Murphy won with 41 points. Daniel Gribben (40) was second with Conor Toner (40) third. Toner carded a gross three-under 64 on the Annesely Links.

(Pics courtesy of Danny Hillen)