John Cusack’s name has become synonymous with the development of Trim into a thriving town. His vision for this development is epitomised by the “jewel in the crown,” Knightsbrook Hotel, Spa and Golf Club Resort. His relationship with Christy O’Connor Jnr ensured that the golf course would be one of the finest in the country.
This has been borne out by the consistent ratings in the top fifty golf courses of Knightsbrook Golf Club. Christy O’Connor credited John Cusack’s trust in him as a course designer, as the single most important factor in ensuring that the final product would be a top-class course. “He gave me free rein to develop the course to the highest standards,” O’Connor told a large gathering at the first John Cusack Memorial Pro-Am in 2008.
Former President of Knightsbrook, Oliver Perkins, was closely associated with the project from conception to completion and recalls how in March 2006 he accepted the invitation of John Cusack to become the first Captain on Knightsbrook Men’s Golf Club. “John felt that my experience of being Captain in the Heath Golf Club would bring needed experience to the new club with members who were new to the running of the game. Mrs Fionnuala O’Byrne was chosen to be Captain of the Ladies Golf Club. Mr. Gerald Reilly was appointed first President of the Club”.
One of the first tasks was, to become affiliated to the G.U.I. with a new Constitution. This was achieved with the expertise of Gavin Hunt, Director of Golf. The next task was the setting up of a Men’s Golf Club Committee to run the Men’s Club for 2006 and 2007. The new committee consisted of Gerald Reilly, (President) Oliver Perkins,( Captain)Thomas Renehan, Rory Dowling, (Treasurer) Des Keegan(Vice-captain), Steve Scully, Brian Heffernan, (Secretary) Jonathan Cusack, Eddie Canty and James Canty.
This championship course was designed by Christy O’Connor and was officially opened on the 6th May 2006 with the cooperation Meath County Council was also very cooperative.
Former President, Oliver Perkins remembers that the “the location of the third and fourth holes was occupied by the proposed Trim Outer Relief Road and needed a material revision of the County Plan to move the road.
Oliver Perkins was succeeded as captain by Des Keegan in 2008. The first elected men's committee took office in 2009 under the captaincy of Steve Scully. In 2010 Liam Mc Menamin took the helm as captain and nominated Jonathan Cusack to be the captain in 2011 when Knightsbrook hosted the Junior Solheim Cup. That was a historic year and fittingly, the son of the club's founder, John Cusack represented the club with distinction that year. In 2012, Sean Ó Diomasaigh, former secretary became captain, followed in 2013 by Frank Leonard, who previously served as competitions' and handicap secretary. Majella (Gerry Ryan) succeeded Frank in 2014 and the then competitions' and handicap secretary Colin McAllister assumed the mantle of captaincy in 2015. Former secretary, Thomas Renehan was captain in 2016 and succeeded by the club secretary, Seamus Lanney in 2017. The following year, 2018, former treasurer, John Tobin took office and in 2019 Damian Mc Donnell became captain. Richard Wheeler assumed responsibilities as captain in 2020. Captain for 2021 is Gerald Reilly.
The first Lady Captain in 2007 was Fionnuala o Byrne, followed in 2008 by Dorothy Scully. Lynda O Brien took office in 2009 and was followed in 2010 by Pauline Rayfus. Our present Lady Captain Angela Reilly then held the position during 2011, Junior Solheim Cup year with Marie Cusack as vice-captain. Angela Reilly remained as Lady Captain for 2012. Mary Higgins succeeded Angela in 2013. Marian Buckley led the Ladies' Club in 2014 and was succeeded by Elva Leavy who was Lady Captain for two year, 2015 and 2016. Jodie Coughlan took on the role in 2017. Once again in 2018 and 2019 Angela Reilly served as Lady Captain, a testament to her dedication to the club. Lady Captain for 2020 was Marie Gordon and she is succeeded by Anne Geraghty for 2021.
Since its inception, Knightsbrook Golf Club’s membership has grown exponentially to its present level, with new members joining every year. Regular club competitions are played and major club competition days attract a large number of members. The club also takes part in a number of inter-club competitions each year. A significant number of new members joined Knightsbrook Golf Club in 2012 and membership figures have continued at around 250 each year since. Oliver Perkins served as President from 2009 to 2012. Liam Mc Menamin was president from 2012 to 2013. Jonathan Cusack, proprietor and former Captain served as President from 2013 to 2017. Seán Ó Díomasaigh, former Captain (2012) was appointed President in 2018 and is the current holder of the office.
Knightsbrook Golf Club changed ownership in late 2017 when Mr. Peter Igoe, a member of the club became the new proprietor.
Gavin Hunt served as Director of Golf from 2005 to 2014 and was succeed by Audrey Rooney and subsequently by Dominic Murray. Kate Jones is now Golf Operations manager ably assisted by Amanda Golden.
The land on which Knightsbrook Golf Course is built consists substantially of the farm of the Reilly family, which also has a strong tradition in the Trim area over many years.
Indeed the magnificent family home stands a proud landmark on the course and serves as a reminder of the vibrant farm which was cultivated over the years by the Reilly family. Gerald Reilly, a local councillor for many years and a member of the original family still lives in the beautifully restored period house. Gerald served as the first President of Knightsbrook Golf Club and Captain in 2021.
Christy O’Connor Jnr