Athy captains 2018: Scott Brady, Junior Captain; Grace Kelly Lady Captain and Freddie Darling Captain
“A course for all seasons” is how Athy Golf Club PRO, Joyce Chambers, describes the beautifully manicured golf course at Athy; adding “it is very fair, yet very challenging.”
Founded in 1906, originally as a 9 hole course, it was extended to the full 18 in 1993, while the present clubhouse was officially opened in 2003.
And it is great to confirm that rumours of its demise are greatly exaggerated.
The course remains on the original land at Geraldine, Athy, land that was leased back then by Mrs Kate O'Neill and lands that were once part of the great Earls of Kildare estate.
Browsing through the club's excellent Centenary Book it is noted that Paragraph 5 of the Lease with Kate O'Neill back in 1906 said: "she covenants not to put out or permit any horses, mares, ponies or foals, mules, jennets or donkeys to be put out or grazed on the said lands.”
No doubt all those rules and regulations have been full complied with since 1906.
Like practically every other golf course/club in the country of late, Athy has gone through a lean period but last week when we paid a visit to the picturesque course and a very busy clubhouse there was a great buzz both in it's recently re-designed restaurant (work carried out entirely by members) and on a very busy course.
Athy is a real 'hands-on' club with various committees, from course to social, to lotto and its most recent addition, men's shed, which is proving very popular.
Athy also boast of a very active 'Golden Girls' section along with a similar grouping for the males that goes under the name of 'Goms' both cater for older members and are exceptionally busy on a weekly basis throughout the entire year.
The course, under the guidance of Head Greenkeeper Roy Butler, and his team is extremely well maintained and it is something that Roy and his crew are very proud of, and rightly so it has to be said.
Athy is one of those fortunate courses that is rarely closed, apart from heavy frost and snow; it is exceptionally dry; one of the driest courses in these parts, and beyond.
Down the years, the club has been very fortunate to have had some great and loyal sponsors and even when the downturn was at its most severe, the sponsors never wavered; they are very much appreciated by all the officers and members alike.
Known as an extremely friendly and welcoming club Athy caters for societies and green fees and offers excellent value for money.
It's captain for 2018 is Fred Darling while Grace Kelly is Lady Captain. Well know golfer Richie Kelly is President while Frances Mullen is Lady President.
All catering needs are catered for in Fenners Restaurant, let it be casual dining, private parties or whatever and is open 7 days a week. The club has a full bar and golf shop with members' discounts.
Athy is open for new members and offers great value with a €500 introductory membership (Ladies and Gents) with special rates for Under 35s.
On the playing front weekend and mid-week competitions are very well supported as are Open competitions every Tuesday as well as Senior competitions.
All in all a real gem; a wonderful course; extremely friendly and welcoming clubhouse for members, visitors and societies.
Check it out, you won't be disappointed!