The 4th Earl of Leitrim invites Tom Morris to Rosapenna
The 4th Earl of Leitrim invited Tom Morris of St. Andrews to layout a private 9 hole course at his nearby estate in Carrigart, upon seeing to the lands at Rosapenna, Old Tom suggested this as the site for Lord Leitrim's golf course
Rosapenna Golf Resort Opens May 1893
An article is published in the Belfast News-Letter detailing the opening of Rosapenna as the worlds first golf resort. The article states 'the new wooden hotel has just been built and finished in such fashion as should attract tourists, golfers and fishermen from all parts of the country'. The article goes on to mention 'that the Links were practically discovered by Old Tom Morris of St. Andrews' It concludes with summary ' Under these circumstances, it is plainly only a matter of time when tourists archiologists, fishermen and golfers will find their way to Carrigart.'
The Finest Golfers play at Rosapenna
Lord Leitrim, keen to expose Rosapenna to the games finest golfers arranged challenge matches. In a brief article entitled 'interesting Foursome being arranged' published in the Dundee Evening Telegraph on Tuesday 8th February 1910, one such match is mentioned. ' Lord Leitrim is making strong effort to arrange a foursome match, in which James Braid - Walton Heath and Harry Vardon - South Herts will oppose Tom Ball - West Lancashire and George Duncan - Hangerhill. The match is expected to take place at Rosapenna in July'. It is said that Vardon & Braid advised Lord Leitrim to add length and bunkering but were keen to leave Morris's greens intact.
Colt at Rosapenna
In a 1911 article which appeared in the Irish Times entitled 'Colt at Rosapenna' the article describes how Harry Colt layed out what are now known as the Valley holesThe article describes the work 'the alterations will not be completed this season but an army of workmen are engaged on them and even a light railway track is being laid down for the transporting of turf etc'.
Rosapenna sold to HMS Catherwood
In 1939 Lord Leitrim's association with Rosapenna came to an end as the hotel and golf course was sold to HMS Catherwood of Northern Ireland
Fire devastates Rosapenna Hotel
On May 2nd 1962 Rosapenna experienced the darkest day in its storied history as an electrical fire burned the famed wooden structure to the ground. Hotel operations were moved to the Sheephaven Roadhouse in 1964 which is the site of the current hotel.
Irish Times Article, January 9, 1964
The Rosapenna Hotel re-opens on April 23rd 1964, two years after it had been destroyed by a fire
Rosapenna is bought by current owners, Frank & Hilary Casey
Having gone through a number of owners since the fire in 1962, Rosapenna was bought by its current owners in 1981, Frank & Hilary Casey. Frank's father also called Frank was headhunted to manage the Dining Room in Rosapenna in the 1930's from the Gresham Hotel in Dublin where he held the position of banqueting manager, Frank began working in Rosapenna in the early 1950's as a caddie on the golf course.
Sandy Hills is opens for play
In 2003, Rosapenna opened a second golf course, 110 years after Lord Leitrim and Old Tom Morris opened the original course at Rosapenna, Frank Casey and architect Pat Ruddy opened Sandy Hills Links on June 25th 2003.
Rory McIlroy wins inaugural Scratch Cup
In September 2005, the greatest golfer of the current day Rory McIlroy won Rosapenna's inaugural Scratch Cup, played over both courses, Rory managed the difficult weather conditions to win the tournament by 2 strokes.
Renovations to the Old Tom Morris
In 2009 Rosapenna's original course seen some major renovations as we began playing the strand 9, originally layed out by Pat Ruddy with some revisions by Eric Iverson and Tom Doak of Renaissance Golf Design, these changes seen the original course at Rosapenna shoot up Golf Digest Ireland's Top 100 rankings.
US Open Champion plays Sandy Hills Links
Almost a century to the day later Rosapenna was once again visited by current US Open Champion when Graeme McDowell visited Rosapenna for a casual game on the Sandy Hills Links.
Rosapenna acquires St. Patrick's Golf Links
The story continues.....In late 2012 Rosapenna acquired the adjacent St.Patricks golf links a dormant golf course set amongst spectacular duneland running along Sheephaven Bay.