PGA golf academy in Limerick gets go-ahead

Anne Sheridan


Anne Sheridan

PGA golf academy in Limerick gets go-ahead

The next Rory McIlroy could well emerge from the University of Limerick, as its €2.5m plans for a PGA accredited golf academy got the greenlight

IRELAND’S next Rory McIlroy, Padraig Harrington or Darren Clarke could well emerge from the University of Limerick, as its €2.5m plans for a PGA accredited golf academy have been granted planning permission.

The secrets to mastering a swing to get golfers to Augusta could also be uncovered at the academy, which will combine teaching, research and recreation into golf.

The development –  which has been granted by Limerick City and County Council subject to 15 conditions - is an initiative of the Biomechanics Research Unit, Department of Physical Education and Sports Science, and the Professional Golfers' Association.

The purpose of the facility is to provide a venue for teaching, research and recreation and there will be a new Masters of Science in Sports Performance with a golf specialisation.

In terms of research, it is proposed that golf, biomechanics, golf psychology, and golf coaching will be facilitated. In terms of recreation, golf coaching and golf practice will be facilitated for both the public and the university.  

The plans include a single storey, PGA- accredited golf academy building, incorporating 19 covered driving range bays, two teaching bays, two manufactured bays, and other associated works. 

The associated site works include an outfield area 150m wide and 300m long, a putting green, a pitching area, a chipping green and a chipping area, with perimeter call catch nets and associated landscaping. 

Dave Mahedy, director of sports at the University of Limerick, told the Limerick Leader that it would be a great facility not just for the university and Limerick, but the wider Mid-West region. 

”The Limerick area has a great history with golf, and this is another facility which will add to that. There will be qualified coaches on hand to help people improve their game, and they can also become part of a study.

"We have received a licence from the PGA to run the academy, and it will be about both theory and practice,” said Mr Mahedy.

As part of research into the development of this building, the Belfry Golf Academy in Birmingham was visited, and this research helped to inform the design of the academy. The academy will be located on the south-side of the campus, close to the existing Boathouse, and a 54-page environmental impact assessment report was submitted as part of its application.

Golf performance is identified as an ‘emerging interdisciplinary research area’ within UL’s strategic plan. 

“Golf Performance at UL seeks to provide research understanding and evidence in golf science in the areas of biomechanics, psychology, and physiology of the player, materials science of the equipment, as well as development of the game for social and physical activity benefits,” they state.