The K Club Palmer Ryder Cup golf club Kildare
The K Club Palmer Ryder Cup Golf Course
Designed by the legendary Arnold Palmer, who has transferred his talent as a great golfer into a great course architect. Officially opened in July 1991 The K Club has been selected as the venue for the Ryder Cup in 2006. The services of Palmers’ design team have been called on again to design the second eighteen-holes at Straffan Co. Kildare. This course is presently under construction and is primarily being built so as the original course can be rested before the great event. It is also necessary as the demand for tee times far out reach the availability. Such is the reputation the K has achieved in the short period it has been open, both at home and internationally. This was Arnie’s third course design in Ireland, the other being Tralee, his first in Europe.
The Kildare Hotel and Country Club, part of the Jefferson Smurfit Group plc. Is Ireland’s first grade AA 5 Red Star Hotel offering every creature comfort imaginable. Other recreational facilities include tennis, swimming, archery, croquet, and off course salmon and trout fishing. All are available on the 330-acre site, once the ancestral home of the Dukes of Leinster that can trace its roots back to 550 A.D. The Hotel is presently undergoing massive redevelopment and extension, in preparation for the arrival of the greatest golfers from the US and Europe. The clubhouse has already been extended and houses the biggest collection of Jack Yates paintings to be found anywhere.
Developed by Dr. Michael Smurfit, Chairman and Chief Executive of the Jefferson Smurfit Group plc. Arnie is reported as saying "What I have done is offer the option of an extremely testing course of the back tees or the playing of a more modest length from the middle to forward tees. Either way I feel that I have guaranteed that the player will get enjoyment from his efforts and that is the design concept that myself and Michael Smurfit set out to provide" Standing on the terrace of the magnificent elevated clubhouse behind the 18th green, Palmer mused "We could draw for a 100 years and still not have come up with as good a vision". True testimony indeed, to this magnificent course.
The course itself is undergoing constant upgrading and improvements and is the venue for the European Open Championship, the second richest PGA event, each July. Measuring 7,178 yd‘s from the Championship tees, 6,829 yd‘s from the w hites, 6,244 yd‘s from the greens and 5,479 yd‘s from the ladies tees. The men’s course is a par 72 and the ladies, is par 72. Darren Clarke shot a course record of 12 under in his third round of the Smurfit European Championship in 1999, a record that will never be beaten.
Water comes into play on then of the holes, with the majestic river Liffey coming directly on the 7th, 8th, and 17th. The course is littered with man made lakes, which brings water into play from the 15th to 18th often refereed to as the "Hooker’s Graveyard".
Having played The K Club you will remember it for the rest of your life, and I assure you, you will look forward to your next visit.
Societies are welcome and group rates are available.
The K Club Palmer Course was voted the No. 19-ranked golf course in Ireland, by "Golf Digest Ireland" in 2020 (Up-1);
The K Club Palmer Course was voted the No. 20-ranked golf course in Ireland, by "Golf Digest Ireland" in 2019 (Down-1);
The K Club Palmer Course was voted the No. 19-ranked golf course in Ireland, by "Golf Digest Ireland" in 2018 (Same);
The K Club Palmer Course was voted the No. 19-ranked golf course in Ireland, by "Golf Digest Ireland" in 2017 (Up-1);
The K Club Palmer Course was voted the No. 20-ranked golf course in Ireland, by "Golf Digest Ireland" in 2016 (Up-1);
The K Club Palmer Course was voted the No. 21-ranked golf course in Ireland, by "Golf Digest Ireland" in 2015 (Up-2);
The K Club Palmer Course was voted the No. 23-ranked golf course in Ireland, by "Golf Digest Ireland" in 2014 (Down-4);
The K Club Palmer Course was voted the No. 19-ranked golf course in Ireland, by "Golf Digest Ireland" in 2013 (Up-1);
The K Club Palmer Course was voted the No. 4-ranked parkland golf course in Ireland, by "Golf Digest Ireland" in 2012;
The K Club Palmer Course was voted the No. 2-Parkland/Inland Course in Ireland by "Backspin" Irelands leading Golf magazine in 2012, the panel comprised of a selection of 52 Professional and amateur golfers throughout Ireland.
The K Club Palmer Course was voted the No. 15-ranked golf course in Ireland, by "Golf Digest Ireland" in 2010;
The K Club Palmer Course was voted the No. 2-Parkland/Inland Course in Ireland by "Backspin" Irelands leading Golf magazine in 2010, the panel comprised of a selection of 52 Professional and amateur golfers throughout Ireland.
The K Club Palmer Course was voted the No. 10-ranked golf course in Ireland, by "Golf Digest Ireland" in 2009;
The K Club Palmer Course was voted the No. 2-Parkland/Inland Course in Ireland by "Backspin" Irelands leading Golf magazine in 2009, the panel comprised of a selection of 52 Professional and amateur golfers throughout Ireland;
The K Club Palmer Course was voted the No. 10-ranked golf course in Ireland, by "Golf Digest Ireland" in 2008;
The K Club Palmer Course was voted the No. 2-Parkland/Inland Course in Ireland by "Backspin" Irelands leading Golf magazine in 2008, the panel comprised of a selection of 52 Professional and amateur golfers throughout Ireland;
Golf Deals » The K Club Palmer Ryder Cup
Stay & Play @ The K Club Hotel €310.00Offer valid from 01 Apr 2021 to 31 Oct 2021 Detail:
One, Two or Three Night’s Luxury Accommodation
Full Irish Breakfast in the River Room Restaurant
A Four Course Dining Experience in the Byerley Turk Restaurant
A Round of Golf on each of our Arnold Palmer designed championship courses
|Green Fees Jan. to March:||€120|
|Green Fees April & October:||€150|
|Green Fees May to September:||€175|
|Green Fees November & December:||€120|
|Green Fees April & October:||€180|
|Green Fees for Opens Smurfit Course:||€45/55|
|Green Fees for Opens Palmer Course:||€60/100|
|Full Membership Available:||Yes|
|Full Membership Fee:||on application
|The Smurfit Club|
|Full Membership Available:||Yes|
|Full Membership Fee:||€1,550|
|Designer||Palmer Ryder Cup Smurfit: Harrison Minchew|
|Website||The K Club Palmer Ryder Cup golf club website|
|Director of Golf:||Sharon Smurfit|
|Lady Captain:||Beryl Bowden
|Vice-Captains':||Emilio Cirillo & Mandy Smith
|Hon. Secretary:||Domnick Ward & Mary Burnell|
|Club Pro:||Michael Dixon 01-6017321|
|Hon. Treasurer:||Miceal Sammon
|Comp. Secretary:||Anthony Murray & Phyllis Kelly|
General Facts & Information
|Course opening hours: Daylight hours||Clubhouse opening 7.00am to 12.00pm|
|Mobile phones: Not on course
||Dress Code: Tailored shorts only no sports, 3/4 length or cargo shorts allowed on the golf course.|
|Catering: Full catering, facilities||Days to Avoid: Wednesdays|
|Green Fees and Societies Welcome: Other Days||Pre-booking for open Tournaments: 14 days in advance|
The K Club Palmer Ryder Cup Golf Club Fixtures 2021 provisional*
|Open & Major Fixtures 2021 (to be Confirmed)|
|Captain's Prize||Saturday 10 July||Closed||1|
|Lady Captain's Prize||Saturday 10 July||Closed||1|
|President's Prize to the Ladies||Wednesday 6 October
|President's Prize||Saturday 9 October
|Singles Stableford (Smurfit)||Friday 4 June||Open||1|
|Singles Stableford (Smurfit)||Friday 11 June||Open||1|
|Singles Stableford (Palmer)||Sunday 13 June||Open||1|
Card of the Course
|White||Par 72 SSS 74 6,815 yd's|
|Yellow||Par 72 SSS 72 6,240 yd's|
|Red||Par 73 SSS 73 5,131 yd's|
|Blue||Par 72 SSS 76 7,350 yd's|
The Palmer Ryder Cup Course
|The Island Beach||3||170||157||120||3||13||109||3||17|
|The Liffey Stream||6||478||412||376||4||3||316||4||7|
|The Eye of the Needle||9||461||427||402||4||5||384||5||13|
|Stream Pheasant Run||15||446||407||382||4||4||362||4||4|
Men's Course Record Pro: 60 Darren Clarke 31/07/1999
Ladies Course Record:
The Ladies of the K Club won East-Leinster Final of the AA Insurance Intermediate Cup and made their way to Royal Tara Golf Club to participate in the National deciders in 2009, where they lost out to Ulster Champions Edenmore Golf Club in the All-Ireland Quarter-Final by 3 matches to 2 matches the eventual green pennant winners. First on the tee was Beryl Bowden (16)who beat Colleen Hanna (18) by 3 and 2, she was followed by Miriam O'Callaghan (16) who lost her match against Zoe Allen (18) by 5 and 4, next up was Alice Doyle (17) who went all the way to the 22nd-hole before losing her match against Cherry Logan (19), in the penultimate match Lou Soden (19) lost to Stephanie Watson (21) by 5 and 3, in the bottom match Mary Burrell (19) won her match against Louise Gaw (21) by 2 and 1.
Congratulations to The K Club on winning their first All-Ireland green pennant and indeed their first Leinster pennant, when they beat Castle Golf Club in the final at Enniscorthy Golf Club on Saturday 11th August 2007 and went on to win the Irish Mixed Foursomes. It was on to Athlone Golf Club on Thursday 6th September where they met Ulster Champions Balmoral Golf Club by 3 matches to 2 matches.
The team was Vincent Coyle, Michael Lavelle, Peaches Kemp (Lady Captain 2007), Mary Burnell, Tom Freeman, Emmet Savage, Alice Doyle, Jody Gilhooley, Pat Desmond, Patricia Lacey, Michael Morrissey, Kerena O'Connor, Lou Soden, and Beryl Bowden.
The Ladies of The K Club won the All-Ireland Challenge Cup at Athlone Golf Club on the 30th September 2007 they beat Boystown Golf Club by 3 matches to 2 matches in the Semi-Final and met Galway Bay Golf Club in the All-Ireland decider.
First up was Sarah Newman who beat Helen Fitzgerald by 2 and 1, she was followed by Marianne Fitzgerald who lost to Nano Gough by 4 and 2. Next on the tee was Terry Somers who lost to Clare Noonan by 2 and 1. Things were not looking too good the ladies from Straffan until Phyllis Kelly delivered a 3 and 2 win over Jacinta Quinn and Margaret Canavan had the same result against Marie Kelly, to clinch the title. For a club with little or no track record in inter-club competition The K Club had a memorable year making this the 2nd All-Ireland green pennant having already won the All-Ireland Mixed Foursomes.
2005 Lady Captain Pamela Furlong and her Captain’s Prize winner Liz Burke qualified in the Volkswagen/Irish Independent Lady Captain’s Classic in this scotch foursomes format. It was off to the National Finals at The Heritage Golf Club on Monday 3rd October where they were paired with the Castletroy pair of Anne Hackett and Yvonne Cassidy.
The K Club won the Eastern District Final of the Ulster Bank All-Ireland Fourball Championship at St. Margaret's in 2002, when the team was Kerena O'Connor, Sharon O'Brien, Anna Freyne, Lou Soden, Miriam Callaghan and they were, captained by Ann Lynch. They went on to be crowned All-Ireland Champions when they beat Ulster Champions Massereene in the Final by 2.5 matches to 0.5
The K Club had its third win in the McDonnell Cup on August 2nd 2002 when they beat Rush by 8 matches to 6 matches. The team included three members of the previous two winning teams in 1994 and 1996. They were Martin Fitzgerald, Frank Ward and Tony Moran. The remainder of the, squad were Maurice O'Connor, Declan O'Reilly, Frank McCarthy, Jimmy Boucher, Seamus Tully, Brendan Barrett, Tony Kelly, Joe Higgins, John Clohessy, Tony Kerr and Brian Grassick.
Lady Captain Mary Merrins, Captain Liam Lacy and Honorary Secretary, Joseph O'Grady qualified for the National Final of the Mercedes-Benz Irish Independent Executive Golf Classic at their home club on August 12th 2002.
The K Club trio of Lady Captain Melanie Lawlor, Captain Michael Kenny and Hon. Secretary Joe O'Grady got off to a flying start in the Mercedes Benz-Irish Independent Executive Golf Trophy. In April 2001 they played Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links in a swirling breeze that came at them from all sides. With two scores to count on each hole they were the leading qualifiers. Melanie playing off 20, Michael playing off 11 and Joe off 6 returned 80 points which gave them two points to spare over Grange. They booked their place in the National Finals at their home club on August 13th. The three made history when they delivered, by winning the National Final with a score of 75 points. The trophy, a replica of the Ryder Cup was very fitting. As we all know the Ryder Cup matches are to be played here in September 2006.
Prior to 2001:
Congratulations to past Captain Arthur and Bosco French on winning the World Invitational Father and Son Tournament, organized by Marty Carr, each year at Waterville G. C. There was a record entry in the Millennium year. They had a score of 126 points.
The Ladies of The K Club won the fourth-team crown, in the Clarins-sponsored Autumn Team finals, when they beat Newlands, at Lucan Golf Club in November 2000.
Members who played representative golf for their Province;
D. Houlihan represented Leinster at Senior Interprovincial level in 2005 playing 4-times won 4-matches and lost 0-matches accumulating 8-points;
Michael Lavelle represented Connacht at Senior Interprovincial level from 2006 to 2007 playing 12-times won 4-matches halved one and lost 7-matches accumulating 9-points;
History of The K Club Palmer Ryder Cup
The 2006 Ryder Cup was played here in September 2006, this was won by the European Golfers 18½ to 9½ a great win and an overall success for the K Club and Irish Golf.
The inaugural European Open was held at Walton Heath in 1978, won by Lenny Wadkins. It was not until 1995 that it became a special date on the Irish Golf Calendar. When Dr. Michael Smurfit agreed to sponsor it and make it the second richest PGA event in Europe.
Although a relatively new course designed by Arnold Palmer and opened in July 1991, the K Club was in a fit state to host a major championship. Bernhard Langer won it in 1995 with a score of 280.
After that the Swedish invaders made it, there own for the next three years. Per-Ulrik Johansson won it in 1996 and 1997, it is interesting to note that there were 10 shots in the difference in his winning scores. He was, followed by his fellow countryman Marthias Gronberg in 1998 with an identical score as Langers’.
1999 saw the first of Lee Westwood back-to-back victories. That same year he put together a fantastic final round, when I’m sure he thought he was playing for second place.
As on the Saturday Darren Clarke shot the lights out when he went around in 60 shots braking, the course record by 4 shots, this was his second 60 in his professional carrier, which included a Hole-in-one. I would consider it, the best round I have ever had the privilege to witness. Darren was six shots clear of the rest of the field, going into the final round.
I bumped into Chubby Chandler as Clarke was teeing off and I commented to him "This is only a stroll in the park for Darren" the wise manager replayed, "Every Championship has to be won". How right he was and his other charge step in, and stood on the podium on the fine Sunday afternoon. Lee became the only player to successfully defend the title in the Millennium with a score of 276.
The Smurfit European will continue to be played on the course until 2003, when it will find a new home, on the new 18 under construction at the K Club. The "old" course is to be rested before the arrival of The Ryder Cup in 2006.
The new 18 opened in July 2003 at an estimated cost of £7.5 million. The first sod was turned in February 2001 and was designed by Harrison Minchew of the Arnold Palmer Company and the project co-ordinator is Jesse Wilson.
The new layout is on 220 acres on the other side of the River Liffey. Minchew is quoted as saying "It is going to have a distinctive, links feel about it as an interesting contrast to the existing course. We have also designed it essentially as a Tournament venue and with an awareness of how good the modern professional can be. So we have made it bigger, covering 170 acres, though it will be easier to walk than the existing one".
Harrison Minchew has been greatly influenced in his design concept by Royal Co. Down. By excavating areas for water hazards, about one million, cubic m in total, they have enough soil to create what he had in mind. He said, "My objective is to get a sort of Royal Co. Down feel about some of the holes, where you play down into the dunes.
We’ll also introduce links characteristics in the fescue grasses we plant, along with some gorse and shrubs. We’re going to plant spinneys, but nothing like the extensive tree planting on the existing course. The greens were completed by the end of summer 2001 and "they have a different grass on them.
In terms of agronomy, things have improved since we did the existing course, though it will become a subjective thing as to which layout is better" Michael has said. A very interesting concept, a links in the Co. Kildare! Couldn't wait to play it after what the professionals said about in having played the 2004 Smurfit European Open over it.
Roll of Honour
|Michael Smurfit Jnr.||1991||Men's Captain|
|Dr. Michael Smurfit||1991||President|
|Michael Smurfit Jnr.||1992||Men's Captain|
|Dr. Michael Smurfit||1992||President|
|M. J. O'Brien||1993||Men's Captain|
|Dr. Michael Smurfit||1993||President|
|J. F. Hogan||1994||Men's Captain|
|Dr. Michael Smurfit||1994||President|
|J. F. Hogan||1995||Men's Captain|
|Dr. Michael Smurfit||1995||President|
|Mary Ward||1996||Ladies Captain|
|M. F. Holly||1996||Men's Captain|
|Dr. Michael Smurfit||1996||President|
|Anna Freyne||1997||Ladies Captain|
|T. M. Murray||1997||Men's Captain|
|Dr. Michael Smurfit||1997||President|
|Patrice Lacey||1998||Ladies Captain|
|Pat Mangan||1998||Men's Captain|
|Dr. Michael Smurfit||1998||President|
|Karena O'Connor||1999||Ladies Captain|
|Arthur French||1999||Men's Captain|
|Dr. Michael Smurfit||1999||President|
|Mary Burnell||2000||Ladies Captain|
|Tony Lynch||2000||Men's Captain|
|Dr. Michael Smurfit||2000||President|
|Mrs. Melanie Lawlor||2001||Ladies Captain|
|Mr. Michael Kenny||2001||Men's Captain|
|Dr. Michael Smurfit||2001||President|
|Mary Merrine||2002||Ladies Captain|
|Liam Lacey||2002||Men's Captain|
|Dr. Michael Smurfit||2002||President|
|Ann Lynch||2003||Ladies Captain|
|Frank Ward||2003||Men's Captain|
|Dr. Michael Smurfit||2003||President|
|Sharon O'Brien||2004||Ladies Captain|
|Frank Ward||2004||Men's Captain|
|Dr. Michael Smurfit||2004||President|
|Elizabeth Burke||2005||Ladies Captain|
|Sean Hehir||2005||Men's Captain|
|Dr. Michael Smurfit||2005||President|
|Pat Desmond||2006||Ladies Captain|
|Michael Smurfit Jnr.||2006||Men's Captain|
|Dr. Michael Smurfit||2006||President|
|Peaches Kemp||2007||Ladies Captain|
|Martin Fitzgerald||2007||Men's Captain|
|Dr. Michael Smurfit||2007||President|
|Grainne Blake||2008||Ladies Captain|
|John P. Treacy||2008||Men's Captain|
|Dr. Michael Smurfit||2008||President|
|Ruth Duggan||2009||Ladies Captain|
|Michael Keating||2009||Men's Captain|
|Dr. Michael Smurfit||2009||President|
|Sarah Newman||2010||Ladies Captain|
|Ray Finn||2010||Men's Captain|
|Dr. Michael Smurfit||2010||President|
|Sally Ann O'Connor||2011||Ladies Captain|
|Tom Taaffe||2011||Men's Captain|
|Dr. Michael Smurfit||2011||President|
|Marianne Fitzgerald||2012||Ladies Captain|
|Jim Kirwan||2012||Men's Captain|
|Dr. Michael Smurfit||2012||President|
|Noreen O'Grady||2013||Ladies Captain|
|Allan Crinion||2013||Men's Captain|
|Dr. Michael Smurfit||2013||President|
|Geraldine Delamere||2014||Ladies Captain|
|Greg Brady||2014||Men's Captain|
|Dr. Michael Smurfit||2014||President|
|Liz Brady||2015||Ladies Captain|
|David Coyle||2015||Men's Captain|
|Dr. Michael Smurfit||2015||President|
|Angela Cirillo||2016||Ladies Captain|
|Tony Kelly||2016||Men's Captain|
|Dr. Michael Smurfit||2016||President|
|Dr. Michael Smurfit
|Karen Palmer||2018||Ladies Captain|
|Gary Owens||2018||Men's Captain|
|Dr. Michael Smurfit||2018||President|
|Josephine Murray||2019||Ladies Captain|
|Austin McCabe||2019||Men's Captain|
|Dr. Michael Smurfit||2019||President|
|Beryl Bowden||2020||Ladies Captain|
|Niall Quinn||2020||Men's Captain|
||Lowest Lady Handicap|
|J. A. Hayes||2021
||Lowest Men's Handicap|
|Michael Lavelle (+1)||2021
||Lowest Men's Handicap|
Holes in One at The K Club Palmer Ryder Cup
|Member||Date||Hole No.||Club Used||Distance|
|Darren Clarke||1 August 1999||5th||6 iron||213 yd‘s|
|Noel O'Fearraigh||24 March 2002||8th||137 yd‘s|
|Colm Maher||28 March 2004||8th||122 yd’s|
|Paul Casey||Ryder Cup 2006
|Scott Verplank||Ryder Cup 2006||14th||213 yd's|
|Vincent McDonagh||30 September 2009||14th||200 yd’s|