Tullamore, Co. Offaly, Ireland
Tullamore Pitch and Putt Club was founded in 1963 on land just up the road from the present course of today. The initial course was only 9 holes. The club sought a larger area to develop an 18 hole course and found it at their present location in Arden on the Tullamore/Kilbeggan road, just over two miles outside of the town that they found their new home. The course was set on part of the rugged esker, Eiscir Riada, which stretches for miles across the midlands. The course was rented from Jimmy Mathews, the present club's President, and his late wife Dorie. The first club meeting was held in Bolger's Hotel on July 2nd 1962.
The new course at Arden was opened as a 9 hole course but it wasn't long, within 12 months in fact, that the course was extended to 18 holes. Construction of the clubhouse commenced shortly afterwards with the help of local businesses guaranteeing a bank loan to get the job done swiftly. The course has undergone a number of modified architectural changes through the years. During those intervening years successive and progressive committees have worked hard to put the course among the very best courses in Ireland.
Tullamore today is still a thriving club with a dedicated committee, grounds staff and members behind it. They continue to play the sport at a social and competitive level on a course that is still hailed and acknowledged as being one of the finest and most enjoyable courses in the country.
The Tullamore course is quite hilly and the player is firing from the top of a hill into valleys quite a lot, which makes life interesting. Course Record is held by the legendary Vincent Murphy with a 39, shot away back in 1986. Tullamore gets off to a somewhat gentle opening. It's a relatively short start. The downhill 7th is played over a tricky water hazard at the front of the green. The beautiful downhill 18th with the clubhouse on the left has seen much major championship drama over the years. The long 15th along the boundary fence has been a card wrecker for many! Those who prefer to spectate are well served by the natural viewing area high above the 8th green.
Club members have tasted success not only at county but also at provincial and national level. The most successful member of the club is undoubtedly Margaret Hogan. Her victories span nearly four decades, winning the Ladies National Strokeplay and Matchplay many times. The club has produced a number of champions through the years, particularly in ladies.
There have been many driving forces behind the ambitious committees through the years, the most influential without a doubt was the late Dick Abraham. Dick joined the club as a playing member in 1963 and he was drafted onto the club committee as Gents Captain in 1965. This was the start of a long dedicated administrative career at club, county and national levels for almost 40 years. Another prominent Tullamore officer who served a long administrative career is Annie Galvin. Annie has been Lady Captain, Secretary, Registrar and also as Chairperson. Her Leinster Council term spanned more than ten seasons. She now dedicates her time to the club administration and playing side, where she still competitively competes for her place on the Offaly Ladies Inter-County Team.