Engadine Golf Club,
[James] Peter [Pedro]
(1874-c.1940), Roman Catholic priest and golf course
architect, was born in Buenos
Aires, the ninth child of Patrick Gannon (c.1820-1895) of
Clara, Co. Offaly, and Elizabeth Walsh (d.1913). Patrick
Gannon left Ireland in 1848 and settled in San Andrés de Giles,
where he worked as sheep-farmer and acquired land. In 1877 the family returned to Ireland
and purchased a property at Belmont, Kilbeggan (Co.
Westmeath). Peter Gannon's brother Eugenio Gannon (1875-1942)
worked with Tomás Mullally, the founder of Realicó in the
province of La Pampa, and then settled as a wine grower in Cañada Seca, Mendoza. The eldest brother, Diego Gannon
(1859-1930), physician, studied in Dublin and practised in the
Jarvis hospital, and in 1887 settled in Buenos Aires.
1901 Peter Gannon was ordained a priest in London,
and was appointed secretary to Dr. Graham, bishop of Plymouth.
In Plymouth he played golf at United Services club.
In 1908 Gannon was runner-up at the South of Ireland
championship at Lahinch, and the next year he was asked to
redesign the Old Course at Karlovy Vary, Carlsbad, after winning
the championship of Austria. In 1910 left-handed Fr. Gannon won
the French and the Italian amateur championships. He abandoned the religious life and in 1912-1913 settled
in St. Moritz, Switzerland, and got married. Peter Gannon won the amateur championships of Switzerland
in 1911 and 1923, and the
amateur golf championship of Italy. In 1923 Gannon was
responsible for the golf course of the Engandine Golf Club,
where the members used to call him "Peter the Great".
But his long-lasting contribution
has been the design of first-class golf courses in Europe, South Africa and
probably in Argentina, among them, Milano (1928), San Remo,
Villa d'Este, and Florence in Italy, Baden-Baden in
Germany (1927), as well as others in Switzerland, France, and
South Africa. Peter Gannon was also a good cricket and football
player. He later moved to South Africa and died in or about
Coghlan, Eduardo A.,
Los Irlandeses en la Argentina:
Su Actuación y Descendencia (Buenos Aires, 1987),
- Meister, Christoph, James Peter
Gannon - 'Peter the Great' in Daley, Paul (ed.) "Golf
Architecture: A Worldwide Perspective" Vol. 3 (Melbourne:
Fullswing, 2005). Communications with the author, 7 July 2004.