THE HISTORY OF MOYOLA PARK GOLF CLUB.
In the 1960's, Mr. Thomas M. Glass, Ph.C.,M.P.S.,a well known Pharmacist and Businessman in the South Derry area had the excellent idea that a Golf Course would be a great- asset to the town of Maghera and surrounding areas.
Mr. Glass formed a Committee of those with similar interests, - they researched ground in the scenic area of the Glenshane Pass, - they approached the Dept. of the Environment with a view to the setting up of their ambitious project, many Meetings took place, and in those early days everyone involved was hopeful of a successful outcome. However, it was not to be. The Dept. of the Environment, after much deliberation finally decided that the enterprising venture was toogreat a risk financially.
However, hope springs eternal: and in 1975 Mr. Glass had more cheerful news. He was approached by Lord Moyola to gauge the local interest towards a Golf Course on his estate in Castledawson, - only a, very short distance from Maghera. Mr. Glass lost no time in contacting as many as possible of his original Committee, and on 27th. November 1975, he called a Meeting in Walsh's Hotel, Maghera. He reported to the Meeting that Lord Moyola was, contemplating building a Golf Course at Shanemullagh, Castledawson. Those present were enthusiastic about the project and a Committee was formed, consisting of:
CHAIRMAN: Mr. T.M. Glass. VICE-CHAIRMAN: Mr. J.C.McCrone.
SECRETARY: Mr. T. McCormick. ASST. SECT. & P.R.O., Mr. D.Crawford
TREASURER: Mr. B. Gilbert. COMMITTEE: Mr. T. McIlwaine. Mr. C.Mulholland Mr. D. Davidson.
From this unusual beginning, one could say Moyola Park Golf Club was born.
Moyola Park Golf Club Council was formed and held their first meeting in the Clubhouse on 17th. January 1977. There were only eleven Ladies at that Meeting but we managed to form the first Ladies' Committee, consisting of:
CAPTAIN: Mrs. Anne Speedie. HON. SECRETARY Mrs. Anne Glass.
TREASURER: Mrs. Margaret Evans. COMMITTEE Mrs. Nora Love, Mrs. S.Quigley. Mrs. Betty Davidson. Mrs. Alma McCrone.
Mr. Don Patterson was engaged as Golf Course architect, ably assisted by colleague Mr. Sam Allen as consultant. Great credit is due to Lord Moyola for constructing the Course and providing such an excellent amenity in this area. Credit is also due to the Contractor, Mr. Colm Mulholland and the ground staff.
The first nine holes were completed in the Spring of 1977 and the first Competition played over those nine holes on 7th. June 1977. At this stage work was well under way on the 2nd. Nine.
On the 9th September, 1977 Moyola Park Golf Club was officially opened by Mr. Don Moncrieff and was followed by an exhibition match featuring Christy 0'Connor Sen., Paul Leonard, Barry Brennan and Norman Drew. At that time Moyola Park had 266 Members and the full 18 holes were open for play.
On the 9th August 1979 Moyola Park held its first Pro-Am, and although 54 of Ireland's leading golfers took part, no one came in under par for the Course. The winner was Phil Posnett with a level par 72.
The next major development occurred on the 7th. November 1979, when the Council Members were advised that Lord Moyola would consider selling the Clubhouse and giving the Club a 90-year lease of the Course. After lengthy discussion the Council bought the Clubhouse, secured a 90-year lease and undertook the maintenance, organization and upkeep of the Clubhouse and Course.
Moyola Park, as Ireland's youngest Golf Course has grown and matured during its short life of 17 years. Each year improvements have taken place. The Clubhouse, known, as Shane Mullagh is a superb Georgian House set in beautiful gardens. It required the minimum of renovation to become a first class Clubhouse and focal point of the complex. The lovely old house has all the beauty and charm of a by-gone age, and while a large function room has been added towards the back, it does not spoil the character or beauty of the house.
The Golf Club took control on 3rd. March 1980.
Monday, 11th August 1980 was an historic day at Moyola Park Golf Club when Severano Ballesteros arrived to play an exhibition match and hold a coaching clinic. A huge crowd from all over the North packed the beautiful Moyola Course long before Seve Ballesteros arrived to commence his Golf Clinic. In the afternoon the 1979 British Open Champion played an 18 hole exhibition match with Royal Portrush's David Young against Des Smyth and Peter McEvoy. The entire day was a great success and was recorded by Ulster Television and screened later in the year.
It is impossible to name all the people who worked with such zeal in those early years in the formation of Moyola Park Golf Club. The work of all the Captains past and present is immeasurable and cannot be catalogued in detail. We are also indebted to past and present Council Members for their industry and commitment towards the success of Moyola Park Golf Club.
We are indebted to Mr. T.M. Glass, for his foresight, enthusiasm and dedication. As Trustee 1st. Captain, and 1st. President to succeed Lord Moyola he worked tirelessly for the success of Moyola Park Golf Club until his death on 7th. March 1988. Mr. Glass will always be remembered and sadly missed both on and off the course.
We look forward with anticipation to an exciting future for Moyola Park Golf Club it is now one of the leading parkland courses in this country.
PRESIDENT. (LADIES BRANCH).
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