Eddie Hackett

Full Name
Edward James Hackett
Year of Birth
1910
Year of Death
1996, aged 86
Place Born
Dublin, Ireland
Place Died
Dublin, Ireland

Writing in The Architects of Golf, the authors commented as follows: “Eddie Hackett worked as a golf professional for nearly fifty years, beginning as an assistant at Royal Dublin… he designed his first golf course in 1964 and over the next twenty years designed and remodeled scores of Irish layouts.”

Born in 1910, the son of a publican, Eddie Hackett is widely regarded as “the father of golf course design” in Ireland, though he never formally trained as an architect and only really became involved in laying out courses when he reached his late fifties.

His influence on the game cannot be underestimated. As Pat Ruddy has said, “Eddie is the unsung hero of Irish golf. At a time when there was no money, he travelled the highways and byways of Ireland. Half the people playing golf in Ireland are doing so because of Eddie Hackett.”

Eddie had spells in hospital with tuberculosis as a youngster – he also spent nine months in bed with meningitis during the 1950s – but he took up golf as an amateur at Hermitage Golf Club on the advice of his doctor, who thought the game would be good for his health.

Starting out as an apprentice professional at Royal Dublin, he worked under legendary clubmaker Fred Smyth then ventured abroad twice in his early professional career.

He spent five months with Henry Cotton at Royal Waterloo in Belgium then a year with Sid Brews at Houghton in South Africa, before returning to Ireland to become the professional at Elm Park then the Head Pro at Portmarnock in 1939.

During the war, Eddie wrote a newspaper column in both the Irish Press and the Irish Independent and he helped to arrange exhibition matches which raised hundreds of pounds for good causes. He was an expert clubmaker but it was his skill as an instructor that was most in demand during the 1940s.

He was made honorary secretary of the Irish Professional Golfers’ Association in 1948 then retired from professional golf a couple of years later to “take part in an ill-advised business...

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Featured courses designed, remodelled and added to by Eddie Hackett

Ardee

5th Louth - Best in Area

Founded in 1911 as a 9-holer, Ardee Golf Club was extended to 18 holes in the mid 1980s and Declan Branigan remodelled the parkland course in the 1990s when additional land was acquired.

Arklow

10th Wicklow - Best in Area 73rd Ireland Ranking

Arklow Golf Club’s 6,387 yards are laid out over classic links land with plenty of humps and hollows, sand hills, gorse, marram grass and bunkers to be negotiated throughout the eighteen holes.

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Ashford Castle

Gem Ireland - Best in Area

Ireland has many golf courses set in mature wooded estates but Ashford Castle Golf Club’s lovely little 9-hole layout in County Mayo is among the best...

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Athenry

5th Galway - Best in Area

Athenry Golf Club was founded in 1902 but the club moved site so often it became known as the “Nomads”. Today’s parkland course opened in 1991 with an exhibition match featuring Christy O'Connor (Snr & Jnr), Eamon Darcy and Paddy McGuirk.

Ballinrobe

3rd Mayo - Best in Area 77th Ireland Ranking

Founded in 1895, Ballinrobe Golf Club moved to its current location within the 300-acre Cloonacastle Estate in 1995. Designed by Eddie Hackett, the parkland course can be stretched to more than 7,300 yards from the tips.

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Bantry Bay

5th Cork - Best in Area 85th Ireland Ranking

Bantry Bay golf course lies along the coast from the town and although it is located beside the sea, it’s a parkland layout, sitting on cliff-tops overlooking the water.

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Beaverstown

15th Dublin - Best in Area

Originally designed by Eddie Hackett in 1985 and refashioned by Peter McEvoy in 1999, Beaverstown Golf Club uses the natural features of Rogerstown Estuary, six lakes, an apple orchard and a meandering stream to great effect.

Beech Park

19th Dublin - Best in Area

The late Eddie Hackett designed the 18-hole course at Beech Park Golf Club and it’s a strategic rather than lengthy test that winds its way through the pretty parkland of the Johnstown Estate.