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The K Club – a short name with a worldwide reputation

K Club

A total of 13 European Opens, the Irish Open 2016 and the Ryder Cup in 2006 established The K Club as a premiere golf destination around the world.

Ireland’s First AA 5 Red Star Hotel is nestled where the River Liffey flows at its most restful ebb. The K Club has pioneered 5 star service in Ireland from the very moment it opened its doors in 1991 under the original name The Kildare Hotel and Golf Club.

Over the past 30 years its reputation has been firmly established by hosting international professional golf tournaments, located only 30 minutes from downtown Dublin. Which in turn made the abbreviated name official: The K Club.

The Hotel was built as a country manor be celebrated winemaker Hugh Barton in the early 1800s. The magnificent family home he had built was inspired by the classic architecture of a French Chateau and was completed in 1831. Today it’s boasting 134 rooms and suites. surrounded by two golf courses, the Ryder Cup Course and the Smurfit Course.

Both courses are designed by legendary American golfer Arnold Palmer, and are the beating heart of The K Club. Since German two time Masters champion Bernhard Langer holed out from 60 feet to win the 1995 Smurfit Kappa European Open The K Club staged one of the flagship tournaments of the European Open until 2007.

Till 2003 Europe’s top professional golfers gathered on the North Course, now called the Ryder Cup Course. From 2004 onward the European Open was played on the South Course, now called the Smurfit Course named after the owner of The K Club, Dr. Michael Smurfit.

If ever a golf course reflected the personality of its architect, it is surely the Arnold Palmer designed course, where the European Team led by Welshman Ian Woosnam defeated Team U.S.A. 18 ½ : 9 ½ in the 2006 Ryder Cup.

The course is widely acknowledged as the country’s most challenging inland layout, with most unprepared for the ensuing drama.

The K Club watery grave

The Smurfit Course (tee 16 pictured above), opened in 2003, and has been described as the greatest inland Golf Course in Ireland. The philosophy in developing the course was to ensure that a comparison with the existing Ryder Cup Course would be difficult, and that the golfers experience would be completely different.

When this brief was given to Palmer Course Design Company, they came up with a concept for the Smurfit Course as an inland links. The course has dune type mounding throughout, which assists in making the course into a true Championship Golf Course with many vantage points for spectators.

Also 14 acres (6 ha) of water have been worked into the design making the final six holes a watery grave for many a golfer. The Course is entirely different from the Ryder Cup Course located just across the River Liffey.

Even though golf is the main attraction of the K Club but offers many other activities and country sports like horseback riding, fishing, archery, clay target shooting, falconry and kayaking. Close to the Smurfit Clubhouse tennis courts are available for guests.

Read more: The K Club

K Club
The 570 yard par 5, 7th hole on the Palmer Course at the K Club, (this hole was played as the 16th hole in the 2006 Ryder Cup) Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images
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