The K Club became a household name following the 2006 Ryder Cup. The course selection was controversial with many Europeans because American Arnold Palmer designed the K Club and the course plays much more like a PGA Tour venue than a typical Irish course.
The concerns were irrelevant as the Europeans destroyed the Americans 18 ½ vs 9 ½. And many will remember the bravery of Darren Clarke who went undefeated in an emotional performance when only six weeks earlier he had lost his wife.
The incredible performance of the Saturday Mornings fourball of Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood was an epic. The two Europeans hammered the then world number 1 Tiger Woods and veteran Jim Furyk 4 & 3.
It was Swedish legend Henrik Stenson who drained the winning putt, just moments after Luke Donald holed out to ensure Europe retained the trophy.
The K Club is located in Kildare just outside of Dublin and has two tremendous Arnold Palmer golf courses and a top of the range 5-star hotel.
While The K Club doesn't offer an Irish links test, it offers one of the very best golf and accommodation packages and is very convenient to get to for those staying in Dublin.
The Ryder Cup Course
The Ryder Cup course opened for play in 1991 and is a whopping 7,300 yards from the championship tees. It is essential to select your tee position wisely. The course can be advantageous when played with respect and with a decent striking of the ball. If the course catches you on a bad day though it will seriously beat you up. The tee shots are intimidating and set to challenge your nerves as well as your skill set. The 16th is a prime example of this.
The 16th is a double dogleg Par 5 measuring just over 600 yards from the blue tees. You will need to navigate your ball over multiple bunkers, Water hazards and tight treelines before attempting to hit the green which is protected on both sides by the River Liffey. Stroke Index 2 is certainly correct for this hole.
Our Signature Hole is the 8th Hole a 173 Yard Par 3 stunner.
The River Liffey runs the right side of this scenic one-shotter while a bunker protects the front left side of the green.
Make sure you find the middle and the back of the green is safer than the front as the front right of the putting surface slopes down towards the river. With a grove of trees creating the backdrop, the attractive 8th hole is a great parkland offering.
The Smurfit Course
The Smurfit Course is a fantastic Arnold Palmer design and plays more like an inland Links than a parkland with startling landscapes and high dune style mounding. The Smurfit course has in its own right held some very prestigious tournaments.
The Smurfit was designed as a stadium golf course with amazing spectator views from the dunes all over the course. Spectators saw Retief Goosen win the Smurfit Open in 2004 just 12 months after the course had opened.
If you are looking for traditional golf and are more of a purest, then the Smurfit may not be your cup of tea. If you are someone looking for dramatic views and high excitement, this is definitely the course.
Our Signature Hole is the 7th Hole a 606 Yard Par 5 brute.
An intimidating tee shot awaits you with the river running in play down the entire right-hand side of the fairway. Play safe and favour the left-hand side but be wary of the large bunker in reach on the left. The second shot needs to avoid trouble whilst ensuring yardage that you will be comfortable with as the green approach is again a challenge. Walk away with a Par here, and you will have done yourself proud.