Spawell Golf Academy is set to be demolished after Dublin GAA announced its intention to apply for a ten year permission for the development of a new GAA Cluster Facility on site.
Clause (n) listed on the site notice includes the demolition of the driving range bays at Spawell which is leased by former European Tour winner Peter Lawrie who admits he is envious that Dublin GAA had the foresight to develop a new state of the art facility at grassroots level although he is also frustrated that golf in Ireland will lose out on a much needed facility.
“It’s their land and they can do what they want. Dublin GAA had the foresight to buy a section of land from NAMA sometime ago and this was their masterplan. It’s great that an organisation can look forward like that,” said Lawrie who opened the Spawell Golf Academy in 2019.
“It’s a pity Golf Ireland can’t do something similar and build practice facilities for young guys coming up. We had bad news today with the young lads not qualifying in Tour school so that’s how I look at it.
“I run the driving range there, yes and it is successful and I would have loved to have developed it further and given the opportunity in a prime location but unfortunately Dublin GAA had a much greater foresight than we do in the golfing circle.”
Spawell Golf Academy boasts a two-storey top tracer bay facility, open seven days a week with a fully stocked pro shop and a same day club repair service.
The driving range proved to be immensely popular for people in the area but its convenient location just off the M50 at junction 11 made it easily accessible for road users passing by and it will be sorely missed when demolition eventually begins.
Lawrie, a 2008 Spanish Open winner feels the timing of the announcement could come as a lesson to Golf Ireland after only one Irish player made the cut at the Final Stage of DP World Tour Q-School and points to a wider issue of where the money in Irish golf is going.
“I’ve worked hard on the driving range and it will be sadly missed for the area. Something might pop up in some shape or form that we can continue it in a venue somewhere else. I can’t be bitter but I can be envious of an organisation to go and build something and golf doesn’t which really bothers me more than anything. Golf Ireland and Sport Ireland can learn from an organisation willing to pump money into grassroots, where are the fees being pumped into Golf Ireland being shown?
“The planning permission has gone in but it won’t happen anytime soon with objections on noise factors and more cars in the area etc. I’d say they will cross many bridges before they turn a sod but when they do I will be envious coming from a golfing background.”
The new Dublin GAA facility when built will include three floodlit GAA pitches, a single storey pavilion building, an indoor training facility, a maintenance garage, public toilets, a hurling wall, running track, and a plaza area.
Below is a copy of the planning notice placed up this week