Golf was first played in Carrick- On- Shannon in 1910: Ballinamoney a townland outside Carrick was the first site for a golf course.
In 1936 the club moved to Lisnagot-a site nearer the town, which is now part of St. Patrick’s Park, a housing estate in Carrick- On- Shannon. This 6 hole course which had approx 12 members remained at Lisnagot until 1944 when it moved to its present location here in Woodbrook.
The club enjoyed free tenure from Major Kirkwood who owned the land and resided in Woodbrook House. Award winning author David Thomson made this house famous in his book Woodbrook.
The Gate Lodge which can still be be seen at the entrance to Woodbrook House just 300m from the present entrance served as a Club House.
In 1944 the club engaged the services of the renowned Golf Architect Mr. John McAllister to design a new 9 hole course. To help raise the finance to pay for the new course the club farmed sheep.
In 1947 Major Kirkwood decided to sell his estate. The club formed a company Carrick-on-Shannon Estate Ltd which sold shares to both members and many townspeople in order to raise the £1500 necessary for the purchase.
In 1949 a Members Pavillion was erected with the purchase of two Nissan Huts. Nissan Huts were used during World War 2 to billet US Servicemen based in Enniskillen. The huts served the club well through the 1950’s and 1960’s, right up to 1971 when a new Clubhouse was erected.
In the mid 1990’s the quest for extra acreage began, to extend to an 18 hole course when the club identified the need to grow. 65 acres of land was purchased in 1995 from a landowner involved in mixed farming of dry stock and sheep. Martin Hawtree, a well –respected British architect who has been responsible for the radical and highly successive alterations carried out on the Old Course at Lahinch, undertook the task of constructing the additional holes.
In February 2002 S.O.L Golf Construction Ltd commenced work on the new course.
In August 2003 the new holes were open for play and Carrick-On-Shannon had now expanded from a 9 Hole course to an 18 Hole Course – 5728 Metre constructed to the highest USGA specifications.
From the highest point, the view is close to breathtaking. The Boyle River and Drumharlow Lake – integral parts of the Shannon water system – touch the land of the new golf holes, and there are also views of the Arigna mountains.
The old holes are built on land rich in history. The fourth hole is called “Grainne” because it is the reputed burial ground of the Irish mythical figure (Diarmuid agus Grainne of Irish folklore). The fifth, know as “Usna”, the name given to the townland, has a green that is actually built on an old fairy ring fort. Another fairy ring is located on the new land (close to what will be the ninth green) but conservation changes dictate that it cannot be touched in the current situation. Apart from the historical connections, there is a strong equine influence on the names of some existing holes, which is not surprising considering that the Kirkwood family were noted horse people. The first hole is named “Woodbrook”, after the horse of that name which was trained on this land. It won the Grand National in 1881, a victory that apparently sustained the family throughout a decade of agricultural depression and saved the tenants from eviction.
The 16th is called “White Knight”, again after a champion racehorse. In the book “Woodbrook” by the award-winning author David Thomson, “White Knight” is described as a “ rather ugly foal”. However, the horse developed into one of some renown, and went on to win the Ascot Gold Vase, the Ascot Gold Cup, the Goodwood Cup, the Epsom Coronation Cup and the Newmarket March Stakes.
complete history (pdf)