The first course built, Mahony’s Point became Lord Castlerosse’s most abiding brainchild. Having seen Augusta in all its glory he wanted to create something similar in Killarney. He boasted “The Killarney Golf Course will be one of the wonders of the world.” The Castlerosse vision became reality in 1939 when the course opened, due also to the collective efforts of people like Henry Downing, Dr. J.O’Sullivan, Dr. Eamon O’Sullivan and other businessmen and hoteliers in Killarney. Sadly, Lord Castlerosse died unexpectedly in 1943, but the course he left behind will forever remain a worthy monument to him. This vibrant man realised this dream and thankfully his other ideas of floating casinos on the lake and piped music on the golf course never materialised.
Dr. Billy O’Sullivan
The war years were quiet times in general for Golf, but in Killarney coming up through the ranks was a talented young Golfer, Dr Billy O’Sullivan. In 1936 Dr Billy was runner up in the Irish Amateur Open and established himself on the international platform. Then in 1949 at his own club, Dr Billy became the first Kerryman to win the title. It was the first time the leading event was hosted in Killarney and established Killarney as a venue capable of hosting major tournaments. It also put Killarney on the golfing map and helped attract increasing numbers of visitors who felt compelled to play the spectacular lakeside course.
Christy O’Connor Snr
Christy O’Connor Snr, then aged 33, was appointed as the club professional in 1957 the same year that he was a member of the winning Ryder Cup team. The following year he brought further honours to the club by winning the Canada Cup in Mexico with Harry Bradshaw beating some of the biggest names in golf at the time.
Many high profile golf events have been held in Killarney down through the years.
In 1975 the European Amateur Team Championship was held on Mahony’s Point. Thousands of spectators watched the competition under fabulous sunshine as the Scottish ran out as eventual winners.
In 2005 The Ryder Cup Challenge Tour Event in 2005 won by Mark Warren of Scotland was held on Mahony’s Point.