From its foundation in 1894 Mullingar Golf Club has had a long and proud tradition of promoting the game of golf in north Westmeath.
Five times winner of the British Open Championship, James Braid designed our present course which was opened in 1937, and the original design remains largely intact today. The course, with some necessary upgrading and development, still presents a major test of golf to players at every level.
It is no surprise that in 1963 the Club Officers and members decided to initiate a Premier Scratch Trophy as an open tournament for the best amateur golfers in Ireland.
The success of the Mullingar Scratch Trophy, as evidenced by the last 50 years, is testament to foresight, organisation and energy of the club officers then and since. Similarly, the constant support of the top amateur golfers, from Ireland and further afield, has enabled the tournament to grow from strength to strength. The 72 holes stroke play format provides a special opportunity to these golfers, who predominantly compete in match play format, and the quality of the players competing annually has been excellent of which the roll of honour is a perfect reflection.
Many many people have contributed to this success over the years – the players who have continued to support the tournament, the sponsors who have, through their generosity, supported the club over the years, and the past and present Captains, Presidents and Committees who have worked tirelessly to make it the success it is. I could not conclude my thanks without mentioning Albert Lee, past Captain and President of Mullingar, Past President and current Hon. Secretary of the GUI. He is synonymous with the Mullingar Scratch Trophy. No one has worked harder to make this the success it is today. His unstinting support and efforts in organising and promoting the tournament over the years have been exceptional.
From my own perspective, one of the great honours of any golfer’s life is to be asked by his peers to be Captain of his Golf Club. This honour was accorded to me by the Committee and members of the Men’s Club of Mullingar Golf Club in 2012. This coincided with the 50th anniversary of the initial staging of the annual Scratch Trophy. Hence I had the good fortune to be
involved in the 50th anniversary celebrations, which were so magnificently supported by so many of the past winners – and what great fun we had on the day. I hope these few words of introduction will set the scene for your enjoyment of this brochure. It will revive memories of the highlights of that day and records a précised history of the players and events of those 50 years.
I would like to record my gratitude to everyone who made this publication possible.