Limerick County was constructed in 1993 on part of the Croker Estate, just outside Limerick. It is a 6,463-yard, champion-standard, parkland course, designed by Des Smyth, with sand-based greens built to USGA specification. Albert Reynolds, the then Irish Taoiseach, opened the course in 1994.
Apart from a large, modern, circular-shaped clubhouse, there are some wonderful practice facilities including a twenty bay driving range, six grass tees and a large putting green.
To mark the 10th anniversary of the club, Declan Brannigan was invited to improve the course layout with the redesign of five holes and the construction of six new tees.
The course is routed over undulating terrain in two loops of nine holes. There are three par fives, three par threes – all over 170 yards – and half the remaining holes are long par fours in excess of four hundred yards in length. Water features at six of the holes on the back nine, making for a very interesting, stiff challenge on the inward half.
Unfortunately, the once proud Limerick County Golf and Country Club members saw their facility go into liquidation in 2011. The club, part owned by the chairman of the Shannon Airport Authority, had run up debts of over €2.5m. In 2010, the golf club lost its affiliation with the Golfing Union of Ireland (GUI) because of unpaid subscriptions.
In September 2013 Limerick County Golf and Country Club, after being neglected for more than two years, rose like a phoenix from the ashes as Ballyneety Golf Club. It will take some time for the course to fully return to its former glory, but early signs are encouraging. Congratulations and good luck to Ballyneety Golf Club. In the words of the club captains, “may the wind be always at your back”.