The Barry family can be traced back to the Norman Knight, Odo de Barri, who established a stronghold in Wales during the 11th century. In subsequent years, members of his family moved to Ireland – County Cork, in particular – to assist extended family in various battles and the small County Mayo town of Castlebar is named after the 13th century fortress built by one of the Barry clan.
The town’s association with the game of golf does not go back that far, of course, and it was 1910 before a 9-hole golf course was laid out for members of Castlebar Golf Club to play on. This was extended to a full 18-hole layout some time later then Peter McEvoy stepped in to completely revamp the course and equip it for the modern day game.
Over a two year period, McEvoy’s company rebuilt the greens to USGA specification, created an additional forty sand bunkers and installed a number of new water features so that Castlebar, when reopened in 2001, was more than fit for purpose in the new golfing millennium.
Measuring 5,900 yards and with a par of 71, it is not a long course by any standard. Its parkland setting, with tree-lined fairways and occasional ponds, suits golfers who employ a strategic game plan, as opposed to those in the “grip-it-and-rip-it” brigade who may have to rethink their game plan when playing here.
July 23, 2009