The little market town of Kells is well known for its association with the religious Book of Kells and its collection of Celtic Crosses and other artifacts from the monastic era in Ireland. Not so well known is that the name Kells comes from Kenlis, the anglicized version of the Irish “Ceann Lios,” meaning headfort – which just happens to be the name of the 36-hole golf club outside the town.
Formed in 1928, Headfort Golf Club opened its first 9-hole layout two years later, the same time as it affiliated to the Golf Union of Ireland, in 1930. Members played on this course quite contentedly for twenty-six years before it was expanded to eighteen holes in 1956. So, although named the Old course, it has, in reality, only been in play for just over half a century.
The Old course at Headfort is routed over relatively flat, open land with stands of mature trees in many locations around the property. Tee boxes are immaculately maintained and fairways are wide and handsome, leading to large, lightly bunkered greens. It may now live in the shadow of the New course but the Old is still a fine parkland track that will delight even the most hard-to-please golfer.