Little Island Golf Club, on the banks of the River Lee in Cork is a unique, wonderful place. The land at Little Island, on which most of the golf club is located was once a very productive limestone quarry site and provided important employment to the people who lived in Little Island and surrounding areas. When the quarrying of the limestone was coming to an end the site was spotted by a few Cork businessman who were were sailing their yacht close to Little Island down the River Lee on their way from Cork to Crosshaven.

Below is a Limestone Kiln which is at the 5th Hole.

Below is the view from the 6th Tee towards Cobh and Monkstown.

They subsequently approached the Cantillon family who had been quarrying the land and obtained a lease from them that allowed them to construct a golf course on the well-draining land on limestone soil. The land they leased at that time was from the quarry at the second hole down to the river and around the quarries back to the quarry at the 13th hole. The original clubhouse was based in the now disused building at the back of the present 8th tee.

The golf course at that time was I think just 12 holes. Some years later a further parcel of adjacent land became available which was a small farm owned by the Lane family which the golf club were able to buy. This enabled the club to become an 18 hole golf course. That piece of land, known as the park, houses holes 14 to 18 and includes the clubhouse and carpark.

Photo above shows the 6th green with beautiful cotoneaster growing on the old Limestone Cliff. Michael Bruen son of the famous Jimmy putting.

Little Island has hosted some wonderful amateur and professional tournaments over the years and in 1983 Sevy Ballesteros and Liam Higgins the Waterville professional, played a splendid exhibition match. Liam was born and reared in Little Island so this made the day very special for the Little Island people.


The playing of golf around the old and disused limestone quarries is a unique and memorable golfing experience and one that visiting golfers find fascinating. The course runs over a quarry at the second down to the river and there are three holes the 3rd 4th and 5th perched on the river’s edge. It then meanders back around the quarries to the quarry that must be carried at the short 13th and then into the park area to finish. David Bruen another son of Jimmy Bruen did some great work a few years ago in clearing some of foliage from the quarries so that we could all see and enjoy the unusual features of those limestone quarries.

Below is the quarry between the 8th and 11th holes.

My advice is that if you haven’t already played golf at Little Island in pencil it in your diary for next year. I think that you will enjoy the experience.

Ted Dwyer Family Business

Dec 2017