My Club Crest

HERMITAGE GOLF CLUB

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  • The Monday Golfers’ Society

    The period after the Second World War was a trying time for many golf clubs throughout the
    country but fortunately Hermitage was not too badly affected by resignations. For example in July
    ’45 there were 231 ordinary members on the books, 165 lady associates and 64 other associate
    categories, making an overall total of 460. By July ’46 the number of ordinary members had
    increased by 62, the lady associates by 17 and other associates by 10, and that despite the fact that
    members’ subs had increased to 6 guineas and lady associates’ subs to 4 pounds at the beginning
    of that year. A new entrance fee of five guineas was also established in June ’46. It was a setback
    for the executive of the time then that seventy-five members’ names had to be erased from the
    books in November ’46 for non payment of annual subs, and that 7 more
    members resigned from the club in January ’47. 

    Founding of the Society

    It was against this volatile financial background in the club’s affairs that the
    Monday Golfers’ Society was founded within the club.
    Hermitage at the time was a noted club for the number of sporting
    personalities who were members. The racing fraternity, owners, bookmakers,
    jockeys and others enjoyed friendly competition with other sportsmen and
    friends from the business world on Mondays at the club. One day a chance
    remark about establishing a Monday golfers’ society cropped up in a
    conversation between Noel Cregan and Joe Cunningham Sen. The idea was to
    form a society to cater for those members who regularly played golf on Mondays
    in Hermitage and some weeks later a formal meeting took place between
    interested members. The idea of forming an actual Monday Golfers’ Society met
    with instant approval and with very little ado Joe Cunningham Sen. was elected
    captain. Joe was a very influential figure at the time, a major bookmaker and also
    the owner of Shamrock Rovers football club. He was a prominent member of
    Hermitage along with his son, Arthur, who was appointed as the Society’s Hon.
    Secretary. Later on a committee was formed and a rule book drawn up. 

    Some Rules
    According to the rule book, the objectives of the society were “to arrange golf fixtures and social
    functions for its members and for special charitable and deserving causes.” The officers of the
    society “shall be full members of Hermitage Golf Club.” The members of Hermitage Golf Club
    forming the society “shall not be less than 60% of the total membership.”
    Permission was quickly forthcoming from the club granting the “Mondays” permission to
    stage their outings on Mondays, subject to the usual arrangements for Society outings. At that
    time, club competitions were confined to Saturdays and Sundays with Lady Associates‘
    competitions on Tuesdays. With the advent of the “Mondays” a welcome uplift to club finances in
    bar and restaurant takings became obvious. 

    Charities

    The genial Joe Cunningham did a three year stint as Monday’s Captain 1948-’50, and it proved a
    very rewarding time not alone for the Monday society but also for the club itself. A number of
    “charity outings” were staged for very worthy causes and that set a precedent that was to be
    followed in subsequent years by other office holders. The society grew in popularity under the Cunninghams, and Arthur ran the competitions in
    a very businesslike fashion. The Simon Community was one of the main beneficiaries from the
    proceeds of the first major fund-raising fourball competition, which attracted a large entry.
    Regular members of the Society often contributed individually to such funds. The practice of
    helping worthy causes was continued by subsequent Captains of the society. At the end of his term
    of office, Joe Cunningham handed over the reins to M.J. Byrne, who had been Club Captain in
    1946-’47. Arthur Cunningham was elected the third Monday’s captain for two years, 1952-’53 and
    at the end of his term, he resumed as honorary secretary until well into the 60’s. 

    Success in the DUGSA

    Christy Cooke was another member who did Trojan work for the Mondays and was the very
    popular choice when Arthur stood down as secretary. The Mondays enjoyed a unique success
    when they carried off the coveted DUGSA Trophy in 1950. This is a marvellous matchplay event
    open to all Dublin Golfing Societies. Success in this competition followed again on five other
    occasions. It spoke volumes for the golfing ability of the membership of the Mondays. It was only
    natural that Christy Cooke’s labours as honorary secretary would gain their just reward and such
    was the case when he took over the captaincy in 1969, following the sudden death of the
    incumbent captain, Dr. Charles Murphy,who sadly died on the course during a round of golf.
    Christy Cooke completed his second year at the helm and then resumed his former honorary
    secretary position. There was great jubilation on Mick Connolly’s Captain’s day in 1971 when the
    long serving Frank Cullen, captain in 1957, teamed up with Wexford’s Paddy Nolan to carry off
    the Captain’s prize by a nose. Paddy Nolan cruelly claimed that he played all the golf but that
    Frank was better at the talking, so he allowed him to make the speech at the presentation of
    prizes. Paddy Nolan became a staunch member of the Mondays taking the captaincy in 1985 to
    1987 and was President for the three years 1978 to 1980. 

    Great Scores

    He remembers a day in 1969 on the occasion of Christy Cooke’s Captain’s prize, when Paddy
    Meade and Peadar Casey brought in the amazing score of 57 pts to win Christy’s prize. Paddy still
    claims this was a world record at the time for an 18 holes stableford competition. But then the
    Mondays standard of golf was always very high. Paddy Gunning and a Royal Dublin visitor
    Malcolm Campbell, brought in 14 up in the Monday fourball. That beat the previous best of 10
    up by Paddy Nolan and Terry Gormley in 1970, but the latter pair had the remarkable distinction
    of winning every hole on the front nine. 

    Excellent Officers

    Since its foundation the “Monday Golfers” have become a household name in Society golf. Many
    well known names have been linked to the Monday’s, outside of those who were involved in the
    formative years. They range from Hermitage club members to a number of individuals from
    outside clubs. The Society has been blessed by the quality of those individuals who have filled the
    post of Hon. Sec. Christy Cooke handed over the office to Stephen Conroy. Liam O’Reilly followed
    the line to Edward Byrne before it has finally fallen on the shoulders of the cool and efficient Peter
    Casey, son of the long serving Peadar.
    Over half a century is a long time in the life of any golfing society, and the fact that in the
    Club’s centenary year the society is as vibrant as ever is a tribute to the captains and honorary
    officers who have nurtured and guided it for that length of time. May it continue to be successful
    in providing competitive golf for its members and visitors and in the various charitable ventures
    which it takes on board from time to time.