History of Deerpark Golf Club
In the year of 1973 in an idyllic setting at Howth Demense, Captain Christopher Gaisford St Lawerence created a nine-hole Deer Park Golf course to an excellent design by Fred Hawtree. History was made in Ireland, as the course was the first privately owned golf course, which would be open to the public. History was made again when a group of regular golfers who enjoyed playing the course met to discuss the possibility of forming a Golf Club at the Deer Park Course. The seed was sown and thus a long sequence of events.
The first meeting was held in June 1974 and the founder members present were :
Cormac O’ Sullivan
It was agreed to proceed with the formation of a Club subject to agreement with the course owner Captain Gaisford St Lawerence. This meeting was held in July 1974 and it was agreed to make enquires to the Golfing Union of Ireland about the formation of the Club an affiliation to the Golfing Union of Ireland. Mr Jim McIntyre was nominated as secretary of the provisional committee and would undertake to enquires. During the period July-August 1974 the provisional committe achived the following
1). Drafted a constitution, with the assistance of Pat Ruddy, golf j journalist with the Evening Herald and also received help from the Leinster branch of the G.U.I
2). Passed the necessary resolution seeking membership of the Golfing Union of Ireland.
3). Completed the application papers and submission to the Golfing Union of Ireland.
On the 9th of September 1974 Mr Jim McIntyre recieved a letter from Mr Ivan Dickson informing him that agreement in principle was reached on Deer Park’s application subject to our constitution being agreed by senior counsel.
On the 7th October 1974 the following letter was recieved from the lenister branch of the G.U.I
Re: Deer Park Golf Club
Dear Mr McIntyre,
I have pleasure in informing you that the Lenister Branch of the Golfing Union has affilated the Deer Park Golf Club to the Golfing Union of Ireland.
There followed great celebrations at Deer Park and the congratulations flowed in from neighbouring clubs and the greater golfing community. Deer Park was hailed as the answer to fustrated golfers unable to join other clubs which were full to capacity. The membership of the club stood at fifty but could now rise to two hundread.
The inaugural General meeting was held in October 1974. The first committe of Deer Park Golf Club was elected as follows
Captain – Mr Frank Maloney
Hon Sec – Mr Jim McIntyre
Hon Treasurer : Mr Cormac O’Sullivan
Committee Memember, Mr Joe Doran, Mr Louis Caffrey
In October 1974 the first offical competition was held. It was a strokes competition with twenty entries. The winner was Mr Joe Brennan. This was followed by weekly turkey competitions through to the end of the year.
The official opening of the club was held on the 25th of October 1974.
The inagural round of golf took place which included visiting guests from local clubs and representatives from the G.U.I. Mr Pat Bowen then captain of Button was the winner on the day. This was followed by dinner and a social evening.
In november 1974 a new handicap system was introduced by the Golfing Union. This was convenient for Deer Park as they set about handicapping the membership.
On January 1st 1975 Captain Frank Maloney held his drive-in, thus establishing the tradition which is still held – The new year’s day captains drive-in.
Frank had a great year. His captains prize was held in August and was won by Mr George Bell. In 1975 Deer Park also became involved in Inter-Club competitions. We made a very acceptable debut in the Uden Cup competition for North Dublin clubs when we reached the semi final to be beaten by our near neighbour Howth. In the Best Cup event we went out in the first round to Foxrock Golf Club.
The club developed well as did the plans of Captain Gaisford St Lawrence when he announced the start of work on a second nine holes. Deer Park Golf club would soon be playing 18 holes.
The first Captains Dinner was held in the iclubhouse Deer Park Hotel in September. This was also historic, as it was a mixed dinner with 104 in attendance.
In 1976 the club continued to develop and increase membership. The golf improved also as we entered a team in the Irish Junior Cup. This was hailed by the golfing press as an eventful start and a promising debut for a young club as Deer Park was narrowly defeated by Donabate 3-2
A promised 1977 saw the opening of a challanging new nine holes providing Deer Park with an excellent 18 hole layout. The club celebrated this in fine style.
The club and the golf course continued to develop and grow together and in 1984 a new nine holes were added to the back nine providing Deer Park with a superb 18 hole layout and a total of 27 holes. At the offical opening our Captain Joe Doran drove off in a competition attended by guests from North Dublin clubs and the Golfing Union Of Ireland. It was a magnificent day and the competition was won by Mr Fran Foley of Malahide. In his year Mr Joe Doran introduced the monthly Medal Competition which gave the winner a silver medal embossed with the club emblem.
In 1985 Captain William Magill congratulated team manager Mr Jack Reid when he welcomed the clubs first victory in an inter-club competition when Deer Park won the Uden Cup competition. Success continued in 1986 for Captain Paddy O’Reilly and team manager Andy Doherty when we won the Metropolition Cup.
The year 1990 was a sad year for Deer Park with the death of our Captain Pat McGrath. Pat was an exceptional person whose commitment to the club was total. The Pat McGrath trophy played in his honour remains a very popular competition in the club.
In 1991 our Captain Mr Jim Brady was honoured by the attendance at his Captains Dinner of Mr Joe Carr who was then President of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews. Also attending was Mr Desmond Rea O’Kelly, Centenary President of the Golfing Union of Ireland. This was a unique occasion in Irish golf and in the history of Deer Park. In 1992, Jims great friend and father figure of Deer Park – Mr Jack Reid became Captain and is remembered for the famous speech he delivered at his Captains dinner.
In 1993 Deer Park Golf Club was well established and almost 20 years old. However the course continued to be developed when a further nine holes was added to the St. Fintans side providing us with the Deer Park Course of 18 holes, which is now one to the best parkland courses in Ireland.
In 1993 Captain Aidan Sheilds was delighted that the course was ready for his Captains Prize especially as it was the final phase of course development and to this day is the course that is used for all 18 hole competitions.
History records the invaluable contributions of Mr John Hunt our president for 10 years, past Presidents Paddy Reilly, Andy Doherty. and all past captains. Deer Park currently holds a membership of 350 and contines to grows from strenght to strenght.