Royal Tara Golf Club was founded back in 1906, affiliating to the Golf Union of Ireland in 1920. Their original 9-hole golf course was doubled in size to an 18-hole layout in 1969 by John Harris then this configuration was redesigned by Des Smyth in the mid 1990s. He kept the old (Blue) front nine and added a new (Red) back nine, retaining the inward half of the old course as an additional (Yellow) nine holes.
Located in the Bellinter valley, a short distance from the historically important Hill of Tara site, Royal Tara is one of a handful of local clubs – including Headfort, Rathcore, Knightsbrook and County Meath – that offer top notch parkland golf within a very short driving distance of Navan.
A round on the Red/Blue course starts and ends with par fives and in between, there are a good number of holes that get the pulse racing. No more so than at the 414-yard, par four, 2nd with its defending oak tree situated 100 yards in front of the green, to the right of the fairway. The next hole, a 491-yard, par five, 3rd is another cracker where the River Skane bounds the fairway to the right and three large bunkers protect the green. For those who don’t stay focused until the very end of the round, the two-tiered green of the par four 17th hole may catch them out and ruin and a good score.
The course at Royal Tara is usually kept in great condition and the main features on all 27 holes are the avenues of trees within the Cluide Woods that have to be negotiated and the fast, USGA-standard greens that require concentration and skill to putt well.
“While the (Royal) Curragh Golf Club has the distinction of having the title but not using it, the Royal Tara Golf Club awarded itself the title by virtue of its proximity to the Hill of Tara where the ancient Kings of Ireland used to dwell. It has no Royal Charter” Wrote Sir Peter Allen in The Sunley Book Of Royal Golf. In November 2013 members of the Curragh Golf Club voted to revive its royal status.