Letterkenny Golf Club
Aerial view of the golf course at Barnhill (Lough Swilly can be seen to the left)
|Tournaments hosted||Ladies Irish Open|
|Designed by||Eddie Hackett
Declan Brannigan (redeveloper)
|Length||6,274 yards (5,737 m) +|
Golf began in the town many years before 1913 on rough ground near the Ramelton Road. Golfing facilities later moved to a 47-acre (190,000 m2) 9-hole course at Crievesmith, in Oldtown, in 1913 where the club was formed. Crievesmith was sold in 1965 for £3000 and the club moved to Barnhill and remain there to this day. The ground at Crievesmith is currently used for housing.
When the club moved to Barnhill an old farmhouse located on the land was used as the clubhouse. This farmhouse was extended in 1967 before a state-of-the-art 10,000 sq ft (930 m2). clubhouse was opened in 1999 with a restaurant and conference facilities. The current course has 18 holes and has elegant views of Lough Swilly.
€2 million redevelopment
On Saturday 28 July 2007 a new look course was officially opened. The new course was designed by one of golfs leading architects Declan Brannigan and finally addresses the drainage problem which the course has had for many years.
On closer inspection, it was noticed that iron ore blocked excess water from running off of the course into the nearby Lough Swilly. In 2001 a drainage program was drawn up which included ten mam-made lakes to hold the water. The development was funded by the then Minister for Sport, Jim McDaid who secured £200000 with a further £70000 raised by the club itself. In 2005, an extra €1.5 million was borrowed for the completion of the drainage and redevelopment plan. Golf course developers, Green Shapers, excavated and constructed new greens and fairways. Phase two was completed in 2006. Prior to the redevelopment only five months of golf could be played annually but now golf will be playable all year round.