History of Lurgan Golf Club 

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Formation of Lurgan Golf Club 1893

Belfast News letter 16 November 1893

‘….. a club has been formed in Lurgan for the practice of the Royal and Ancient game, under exceedingly favourable circumstances.  The number of players almost reads one hundred, and sixty acres of excellent ground with numerous hazards has been secured in the demesne for links.  The ground has been laid out under the personal supervision of the Captain, Mr H G MacGeagh, who has taken much interest in the foundation of the club   the links were formally opened on Saturday last by Mr James Malcolm D.L., President of the club.’

The meeting at which the club was formed was held on 8 September in the rooms of Mr N G Leeper at 44 Market St., currently a vacant space

Those present were:

Joseph Hay Vint  -  Ulster Bank Manager

Nathaniel Greer Leeper  -  Ulster Bank employee

Thomas George Menary  -  Solicitor

Harry G MacGeagh  -  Linen manufacturer

Courtney Johnston  -  Solicitor

Francis Megarry  -  Linen factory manager

Thomas Faloon  -  HKP manufacturer

William Thomas Kirkpatrick – Headmaster, Lurgan College

H Lee  -  (Details unknown)

‘Not all of them knew golf as a game and it was natural, therefore, that Mr MacGeagh, one of the pioneers of golf in Ireland, should be elected Captain.’

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Founder & First Captain

Mr MacGeagh

Mr MacGeagh was the most prominent founder of the club and was Captain in 1893, ‘94’, ’95 and ‘1899. 

 

The first course was 9 holes and it was laid out by him in roughly the same place it is today. 

 

‘Mr H G MacGeagh, Deputy Lieutenant of Co Armagh, died yesterday at his residence, High St, Lurgan.  Mr MacGeagh had been managing director of the Lurgan Weaving Company.  For many years he was a member of the Lurgan Urban Council, and during his chairmanship he was instrumental in procuring the handsome public park which was opened by Lord Aberdeen as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1904.  Mr MacGeagh was a keen yachtsman, and it was he who introduced the game of golf to Lurgan.’

Irish Times, 21 August, 1921

The first Competition was held on 11 November 1893

30 members played in a stroke handicap event, which was won by Mr Thomas Dickson (who had won the first Irish Close Championship the same year in Portrush)

The Club flourished, at the first AGM in November 1894 a membership of 147 gentlemen and 40 lady members was reported

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Gracehall and Woodville

Reports in 1898 stated, the links on the Demesne grounds are no longer available and the Golf Club moved to Gracehall in 1898 which became the home of

Lurgan Golf Club for more than 20 years

In the newspaper report of the AGM of Lurgan Golf Club (Gracehall) in November 1918, there is a revealing reference from which it can be adduced that a hiatus occurred in that year

In his Secretary's report Mr TG Menary reported that the adverse vote of the Club on the question of changing links to Woodville had not induced the minority to abandon the scheme

The Lurgan Mail on 30 November 1918 reported the formal opening of Woodville Golf Club

The 1922/1923 minutes reveal that relations with the

landlord at Gracehall were becoming strained 

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Negotiations were entered into with Mr TB Johnston and Mr George Bell which enabled the Club to secure 74 acres in the Brownlow Demense. In 1923 the new course was laid out.

The photograph to the left shows the opening of the Club in May 1925

The Council embarked on the erection of a Clubhouse, Mr Reside, the architect submitted plans, which were altered to provide separate entrances for Ladies and Gentlemen. The job was contracted to Messers Callaghan for the sum of £1750. The clubhouse remained largely unaltered until 1954/1955

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Coat of Arms

The arms are based on those of the old Lurgan Town Commissioners, with crossed iron and wood

and the words Lurgan Golf Club added

The greyhound, cornet and the arms where granted to Charles Brownlow in 1839

The first and fourth quarters represent Brownlow family

The 2nd quarter the O'Dogherty family

The 3rd quarter the Chamberlain family