The “Wednesdays” is the first golf society formed in the Men’s Club. It has it’s own Captain and Committee and runs competitions all year round. In winter the competitions are 9-hole and this changes to 18-hole when the spring/summer season opens. With the longer days the WGS also runs a 12-hole competition each week for those who can’t make the longer 18-hole format. The 12-hole competition starts around 5.00pm.
This year’s WGS committee is:
Captain: Michael Tolan
Secretary: Shay Brennan
Treasurers: Michael Brennan & Liam Brannigan
Ex Officio: John White
Committee: Barry Murphy
Committee: Mick O’Toole
Committee: Paul Murray
Committee: Kieran Perry
Committee: Jim (James A.) Fitzgerald
The Wednesday’s Captain’s Drive-In is traditionally held one week following the Men’s & Ladies’ Club Captain’s Drive-In. The format is Fourball and the Wednesday’s Captain and Secretary invited the Men’s Club Captain and Hon. Secretary to play opposite. Rumour has it that a small wager is often introduced to add spice to this fourball and the Wednesday’s are proud that their bank account is positive over the years!
Throughout the season the most popular format is singles stableford but the WGS also hosts five fourball invitation days as well as the Michael Forest matchplay tournament and the Michael Dagg tournament. Both competitions are in memory of former WGS stalwart members. The Wednesday Captain’s Prize is the highlight of the year and is held each June. The presentation of prizes takes place on the night and it is part of a very enjoyable social evening.
The WGS places a high emphasis on sociability and fun and hosts a WGS Christmas Party each year.
On the more formal side the WGS AGM is held every January where the new Captain and Committee are nominated and elected.
The WGS also runs a Golfer of the Year competition over 10 competitions
The Wednesday Golfing Society was founded in the early 50’s and was run by a committee. The man in charge on most Wednesdays was a resident of Dolphin’s Barn, namely Jimmy Addie. Another stalwart in keeping it going during the 50’s was Kevin McNabola’s father John. The society had some non Newlands members at this time. These society members were invited to play by club members and this continued up until the mid 1960’s. ln 1962 the Wednesday committee invited the late Paddy Finnegan to become the first Captain of the Society. Paddy was followed as captain by Cecil Whelan (1963), Gerry Kiernan (1964), Paddy Power (1965) and so on right up to the present Captain.
In the 60’s the W.G.S. got to the final of the Dublin United Golfing Society Association (D.U.G.S.A.) no fewer than five times. They were outright winners in’61 ‘63 ‘65. Teams included Sean Coffey, Leo McCurtin, Dick Burden, Shamie Kelly, Hugh Boyle, Cecil Whelan, Joe O’Reilly, Fr. Brady, Paddy Sharpe, Tim O’Brien and Bill Hewitt.
The 60’s also saw invitation matches between the Wednesdays and U.C.D. Golfing Society, which included the then recently capped Walker Cup player David Sheehan. David went on to win the Jeyes Professional Tournament at Royal Dublin G.C. incidentally, David is President of Grange G.C. this year their Centenary Year.
The late Nicky Lyons was treasurer of the society at this time and was not very much in favour of collecting 7s6d a man to entertain the U.C.D. team. Also, in a match against U.C.D. a member, the late
Jim Murphy, affectionately known as ‘OUT OF SIGHT’ was caddying for Dick Burden. On the fifteenth fairway a member of the U.C.D. team thinking ‘OUT OF S|GHT’ was a hired caddy asked him what he would use for his second. Jim told him he would use a seven iron, which promptly put the U.C.D. player’s ball on to the eleventh green. Poor Jim had very poor eye sight, and played off a handicap of 24.
ln 1963 The Wednesdays held their first dress dance in The Downshire Hotel in Blessington. The occasion was booked out. The Captain of the society that year was Cecil Whelan. The social calendar of the year always included a Captains Dinner and a Christmas Party. There were also at least two away outings to clubs such as Curragh, Carlow and Baltray, which included golf and dinner. Dinner was usually followed by a sing song led by the late Tony Richardson and the late Hugh Boyle. Incidentally, they were both great guitar players. These outings went on to the late hours of the morning.
A memory of an outing to Carlow one year, the late Gerry Kiernan won a beautiful box of lead crystal as first prize. He came out of the club house put his gear into his car and drove off. It was only at Castledermot that he remembered that he left the box of glass on the roof of the car. One other thing … for years all competitions were run using draws. In Fourballs a draw would be made when there was a minimum of eight entries, in singles when there was a minimum of six. The society has grown from strength over the years and how boasts a membership of 320