Built in 2003 and venue to three European Opens (2004, 2006 and 2007) the Arnold Palmer designed, Smurfit Course at the world famous K Club is one of Europe’s premier courses and a jewel in the crown of the Irish golfing world. This inland links inspired course has set the stage for some of golf’s most dramatic moments. Indeed, who could forget the excitement of the 2004 Smurfit European Open when Retief Goosen went on to win just two weeks after taking his second US Open title? Or the closing stages of the 2007 Smurfit European Open, when Colin Montgomerie finally ended his 18 month drought without a trophy and somehow stayed out of the water on the 18th to win the 2007 European Open by just one shot?
Some of the world’s top golfers have played on this superb championship course and so too can you as membership to the exhilarating Smurfit Course is now open. This is the first time that membership has been open exclusively for this superb championship course and offers players a wonderful opportunity to become a member of one of Europe’s most prestigious courses.
Membership costs €1,900 per year with an initial joining fee of €500. The membership fee allows players to enjoy golf on The Smurfit Course, access to the Member’s Locker Room, complete with private sauna and steam rooms while the first 100 members will also be allocated their own locker. All memberships will include full GUI affiliation and members can enjoy full use of the extensive practice facility including a chipping and putting green and a driving range. Despite being located just 30 minutes from Dublin, the course enjoys a peaceful, rural setting and has particular maritime influences which can be noted by the dramatic dune type mounding and wide fairways. Honey coloured grasses, bracken and gorse frame the fairways, rustling in the wind as it sweeps across steep bunkers and meticulously contoured putting surfaces.
There are several lakes and streams throughout the course offering challenging and interesting play. A combination of doglegs leads you to the breathtaking signature hole, the almighty 7th, also known as ‘The Swallow Quarry. This golf hole is one of the most spectacular in Europe and comprises of a vast, man made rock face that rises some 60 feet out of a glorious lake. From its elevated tee box golfers can admire the rolling fairway, bordered by a crystal blue lake. However, its beauty belies its treachery and players are well advised to admire the view from the centre of the fairway! The 18th is a Par 5 and often tempts the player to make a go for the green in two. The hole sweeps down and curves from right to left but beware, a cluster of bunkers guard the right edge of the fairway, a mistake here could be fatal as the approach to the finish must be performed on an island green!
Several islands have been created on the course to encourage wild life and waterfowl and of course to make it all that bit more challenging for players. Some 14 acres of water have been worked into the design especially through the final phase of holes 13 -18 and a watery grave awaits many a golfer on the home stretch. All in all, a round on The Smurfit Course is challenging but as many golfers will testify, “very playable”. With wide fairways, inviting greens and plenty of bunkers to catch you out, this course will not just meet your expectations it will truly exceed them. Stand on the first tee box and listen to the background music of birds singing and the gentle rustle of the wind through the grasses...and wait for that ‘oh so glorious sound’...the ball dropping into the hole!
The resort is also home to The Palmer Ryder Cup Course (venue for the Ryder Cup 2006), The Kildare Hotel (AA Hotel of the Year 2011), an award winning spa and several restaurants and bars. The Smurfit Clubhouse is truly impressive and features a spacious lobby area and a magnificent atrium above. There is a dedicated check in area and reception, a pro shop and two dining outlets including The Riverside Café and Kwam Suk Royal Thai and Orient Restaurant. This Thai restaurant offers a delectable menu of Asian inspired dishes while The Smurfit Bar next door is a great place to enjoy a refreshing drink or bite to eat after a round of golf. Light snacks and lunches are also served daily in the Riverside Café which is located on the ground floor of the Smurfit Clubhouse and provides welcome sustenance for hungry golfers while the pro shop is well stocked with golf clothing and equipment.
Family, spouse and junior memberships are also available. For further details or to enquire about membership of The Smurfit Course call (01) 6017200 email email@example.com or log on to www.kclub.ie