A man of dimunitive stature
stood five feet three and half inches but an accomplished golfer
nonetheless. Ben Sayers is synonymous with North Berwick Golf
Club and in the 1890s he likely met with Lord Dunraven on one
of his trips to Scotland and Sayers would now have taken his
hand to course design. Dunraven engaged the services of Sayers
to design his course at Adare Manor in the the late eighteen
1895 - Professional Golf Tournament
- Royal Portrush Golf Club. Sayers was knocked out in the third
round by David Brown, from the Malvern Golf Club, the 1886 Open
Champion who ended up losing his shirt in the 1929 Wall Street
Crash. The match seemed all but lost and the end of the first
nine as Brown went out in 37 to lead by five holes. However
Sayers, brimming with confidence or false bravado, took four
holes on the trot but by the seventeenth Brown was back to dormy
two only to fall foul of the crater and picked up but neverthless
sealed the match on the final hole.
1898 - Adare Manor Golf Club
has a foundation year of 1900 but John Hanna, the renowned Irish
golf historian, places Sayers at Adare in 1898 when Lord Dunraven
had a private course built on the site of the present course.
Hanna in his article, Golf at Adare, refers to a quote from
Golf Illustrated on 21 October 1902 as follows:
Although the Adare Manor Golf Club
centenary book refers to a quote from the Limerick Chronicle which
states: "the links were laid out by Mr Ballingall."
the general consensus is that Sayers is the architect.
"the Club was instituted
in September 1900, but the course had been open two years
previously as a private one.
the membership is now
close on sixty and the management is vested in a committee
appointed by Lord Dunraven."
1903 - played at Portmarnock
Golf Club at Lord Lieutenant's Party and likely resided in the
viceregal lodge (Áras an Uachtaráin) for the duration
together with Vardon, Herd, Taylor, Aucterlonie, Massey and
1908 - Ben Sayers expanded the
original layout of the Castlerock Golf Club to 18-holes.
1910 - Irish Open Professional
Championship at Portmarnock saw Ben return to our shores. After
qualifying he reached the third round (quarter-finals) before
being defeated by James Sherlock of Stoke Poges, the eventual
winner of the Championship, by 2 and 1.
1920 - At La Scala Restaurant
on 20 November Ben Sayers made a presentation to the Robin Hood
committee that he had inspected the site and was recommending
a new nine-hole layout.
Famous North Berwick Golfers:
John Hanna - Golf at Adare -
article in December 2008 for "Through the Green",
the magazine for the British Golf Collectors Society. Click
for more details.
Adare Manor Golf Club 1900 -
2000 - A Centurial Record, edited by Milo Spillane