Christy O’Connor Jnr has won over a dozen titles and represented Ireland many times in various tournaments (including the World Cup, Dunhill Cup and Ryder Cup) during a professional career that began in 1970. He now largely concentrates his golfing talents on golf course architecture and, with more than 30 courses throughout Ireland and Europe to his name, Christy has built a reputation as one of the best designers in the country.
Knightsbrook in County Meath is one of the latest courses to be added to an impressive O’Connor portfolio that includes the likes of Headfort, Rathsallagh and the PGA National. Opened in 2006. Knightsbrook has been compared in terms of quality and layout to many of the better-known Irish parkland courses in and around the Dublin area.
The course is part of a 186-acre complex that includes a hotel, holiday homes, health club and spa – all of these apparently requisite facilities when constructing a championship golf course in Ireland these days! Greens have been constructed to USGA specification and nine ponds have been built to add visual appeal (and an element of danger) at half the holes on the card.
The par three holes are played near the start and end of the round. Holes 3 and 5 measure 180 yards and 193 yards from the back tees and water must be carried all the way at the latter. Ten par four or fives are then played before the next short hole is encountered at the 182-yard 16th hole. The round ends with a par three hole at the 18th where water must be carried all the way to a stone fronted putting surface protected by a couple of bunkers to the front of the green.