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Craddockstown Golf Club has thrived at its home on the Blessington Road since 1991, but its proud origin history goes back several years further. In 1986, a group of society golfers calling themselves ‘The Nomads’, played golf every weekend at Edmondstown GC. But just like their namesake, they eventually began searching for new pastures, which led them to move to a course situated at Killeen Beg near Sallins, Co. Kildare. The Nomads, along with another group of golfers who played there on a regular basis, were invited to form a golf club by the land owner and to seek affiliation with the Golfing Union of Ireland (GUI). This led to the establishment of the Four Lakes Golf Club in 1986.
The partnership between the owners and tenants of the course prospered until it was sold in 1990. The new landlords wanted to develop the course which led to an increase in the rental price, additional member levies, and a reduction in tee times to facilitate golf societies and green fees. With ownership and control of the club in the hands of the new landlords, the committee of the day decided to establish a members-owned club in a new home of its very own.
While searching for a new home, our neighbouring clubs, Beechpark and Castlewarden, showed great hospitality by allowing use of their courses and clubhouses. This not only enabled the club to maintain its relationship with the GUI during the transition period, but also set the foundation for a strong relationship between the clubs which continues to this day.
Sites were assessed at Newcastle, Leixlip, Maynooth and Wicklow, but nothing compared to a piece of land measuring some 140 acres on the Blessington Road, named Craddockstown Lodge & Stud Farm. After lengthy negotiations, a deal was struck on the 4th of June 1991, and the land was purchased for a total price of £580,000 punts.
Still known as the Four Lakes Golf Club, we were now our own landlords. Over the following weeks a large number of volunteers began dismantling the paddocks and painting the lodge, which became our clubhouse and bar. Members arrived armed with lawnmowers, rakes and truck loads of enthusiasm to cut fairways. A tractor and grass cutter were purchased which made short shrift of cutting out fairways, building nine temporary greens and bunkers in and around what had effectively become a building site.
By July 1991, the club had engaged Dr Arthur Spring and James Hickey to design and develop the course, at an estimated construction cost of £300,000 punts. In order to finance the ambitious project, the goal was set to recruit 375 full members at £1,500 punts each and 150 Lady Associates at £375 punts each. Having 135 full members and 75 Lady Associate members initially, this was a massive undertaking, but yet again the members were up to the task.
Leaflets were printed, volunteers were assembled, a strategy was drawn up and the recruitment work began in Naas, Celbridge, Clondalkin, Lucan, Tallaght, Templeogue, and Blessington, followed by meetings in local hotels.
The name Four Lakes Golf Club was synonymous with its previous location at Killeen Beg near Sallins Co. Kildare. After much discussion it was decided by a large majority to adopt Craddockstown Golf Club as our official name. And after having allowed the greens and fairways to mature with our ambitious tree-planting program, it was exciting when the day finally arrived to officially open the course in July 1994.
The belief that our members had in themselves was the winning factor in bringing Craddockstown Golf Club into existence and it will also be instrumental in building for the future.
T.A. Kenny, Past President
I am only too aware of the massive input required, in terms of finance and time, to produce a club of the calibre of Craddockstown. I welcome the club to the GUI.
John O Reilly, President GUI 1994
As a lover of Golf, a Kildare man and as Minister for Tourism & Trade, it gives me great pleasure to welcome this wonderful development and to extend my very best wishes to all who are associated with it.
Charlie McCreevy T.D
By any standard this was a brave venture….a dream borne out of ambitious conversation. I share a sense of pride that all our members feel. My thanks to that fine band of people who serve on the club's committees and who unselfishly commit so much of their time and effort on behalf of us all.
Jack O`Connor, Captain 1994
Overseen by Captain Donal O’Keefe and Lady Captain Rita Burke the new clubhouse was opened by Minister Charley McCreevy T.D, who cut the ribbon in 1999. Conway Crowe and Kelly architects produced the drawings with head-architect Danny Kelly overseeing the construction process. The weather vane that had long been a landmark in the area was saved when the stables were demolished, and is now a much-loved feature of the Clubhouse.
In 1999 the committee of the day reviewed all aspects of the club to see if any improvements could be made to compliment the clubhouse development. It was decided that the golf course itself would benefit from an upgrade. Robert Jones was engaged, who had designed many fine golf courses both in Ireland and abroad. The fine tuning included changing the 1st to a Par 5, a new 2nd green, relocation of the 13th green, and both enlarging and introducing new bunkers with additional lakes.
On 19th June 2004 the full course was officially opened to members and visitors. Today, the fruits of labour from past and existing members can be enjoyed by all. The vision of Craddockstown is held in trust for future generations to enjoy. Our history is a tale of courage and achievement, created by pioneers.