The K Club, or to give it its full title, the Kildare Country Club, is located in 550 acres of rolling County Kildare countryside. It’s the most renowned golf resort in Ireland.
The North course, or rather the Palmer Ryder Cup course, as it is now called, was deigned by Arnold Palmer, opening for play in 1991. The River Liffey meanders through the course and becomes hazardous on a number of holes, especially the 8th, where it runs all the way down the left hand side of the fairway.
There are four teeing areas to choose from and we recommend that you select the right one carefully because the Palmer course measures a whopping 7,337 yards from the blues, a par of 72. The SSS of 76 tells the story. The blues should really be left for the very best golfers, the likes of Phillip Price, Michael Campbell, Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood. The aforementioned gentlemen are the most recent winners of the European Open, held at the K Club in recent years.
In October 2006, the K Club played host to the biggest golfing event in Irish history, the 36th Ryder Cup. The Palmer course proved to be a worthy venue and millions of people witnessed an emotionally charged European Team romp to a record equalling victory – 18½ points to 9½.
You will either love the Palmer course or hate it; you might hate it if you are off your game because it will beat you up viciously, and you’ll love it if your game is on song. Either way, no one could dispute that it’s a challenging test of golf and it certainly provided plenty of entertainment during the Ryder Cup.
The holes are designed to shock and in some cases, they are intimidating. The 16th is a monster par five, measuring nearly 600 yards from the blue tees; the hole double doglegs past all types of hazards, including trees, water, bunkers and punishing rough, and then you have to have to find the green, fiercely protected on both sides by the River Liffey. Even more difficult than the 16th is the stroke index one par four 7th measuring 430 yards from the tips. It’s a potential card wrecker that requires an accurate approach shot to another green guarded by water. These are just two examples of what to expect during your adventure round the Palmer course.
In many ways, the K Club is reminiscent of the Belfry. Firstly it’s a tournament course. Secondly, it’s a resort course. Thirdly it’s dominated by water. Fourth and finally, it is tough. If you can afford it, you’ll never forget it.
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