By Charlene Mixa
Thrill in the Lure of these Fabled Links
A traveler’s dream and a golfer’s paradise! Imagine a unique place where world class golf blends with a magical resort. Ireland! The K Club! Located on a 550-acre estate on the idyllic Kildare countryside is an outstanding resort that elegantly incorporates a 69 bedroom hotel, two Championship golf courses, a Resort Spa, and fabulous dining with a wide range of activities. The Kildare Hotel, Spa & Country Club is a luxurious five star Irish owned resort renowned for its superb golf and consistently recognized as one of Europe’s greatest golf destinations. Offering two Arnold Palmer designed courses, The Palmer Ryder Cup Course and The Palmer Smurfit Course promise to challenge and excite golfers with treacherous rough, water hazards in abundance, large greens and undulating fairways.
Just a 40 minute drive from the Dublin Airport, we arrive at The K Club. Entering the Main Gate the road winds around magnificent well groomed grounds to The Hotel. The opulent lobby with its classical décor reflects the stringent attention to detail that consistently earns the hotel its 5-star rating. Graciously welcomed, we are escorted to our oversized luxurious King Suite. Each suite is unique as The K Club proudly boasts that no two rooms are alike. The wonderful plush linens, comfy sitting area, the whirlpool tub, and the exquisite hand-painted spacious bathroom with double sinks and a bidet, all exude luxury. The Hotel rooms overlook the beautifully manicured gardens, the river, or the golf course.
Exploring this enchanting resort definitely requires a map. A light rain is falling as we pop into the Palmer Ryder Club House. Host of the Ryder Cup for Ireland in 2006, we take a peak at the renowned course and the large Pro Shop. Driving across the property, literally over The River Liffey and through the woods, we reach The Palmer Smurfit Course that hosted the Smurfit Kappa European Open for many years. After verifying our morning tee time, we relish the warmth of Irish coffee in the Club House’s upstairs lounge while listening to golfers’ tales of the challenges of the Smurfit Course.
The K Club offers several options for dining from the River Room to the Club House restaurants. Dining in the River Room, we have a choice of four course or ala carte dining offering innovative and exemplary menus. Our meals are delicious from the fresh smoked salmon appetizer, the tasty sautéed Sea Asparagus, the savory filet of black sole to the warm scrumptious Rice Pudding. Service is prompt, courteous and gracious.
After a delicious and plentiful Irish breakfast, we are ready to tackle The Palmer Smurfit Course. Hurrah! No rain! Just a cool fall day! The course is an inland link-style course with each hole presenting a new drama and a multitude of challenges. Arnold’s personality and golf excitement readily abound with design features of dune-like mounding throughout, few trees, an abundance of water, and lots of bunkers. It is in excellent condition! The second a par-3 welcomes us with its massive bunkers protecting the green. A true test of our golf mettle is a most dramatic water hole, the par-5 seventh. Featuring a vast man made rock, called the ‘Swallow Quarry,’ which rises 60 feet out of a lake that definitely comes into play. Seven holes on the back nine are protected by water and the 18th, Swan Island, brings in the finale of an island green. Each hole brings new thrills making for a phenomenal day of golf. Be ready with plenty of balls! Balls not lost in the thick rough are quickly snatched by the “water magnet.” Exceeding it’s accolades’ as a true Championship Course, The Palmer Smurfit is magnificent.
What more can we desire – playing phenomenal golf course on a beautiful fall day at an elegant five-star Irish resort. Truly a traveler’s dream and golfer’s paradise!
If you go:
The K Club (The Kildare Hotel, Spa & Country Club) Straffan Kildare, Co. Kildare, Ireland
+353 1 601 7200