Killeen Castle Course Review. The SpinDoctor’s Fourball Experience at Killeen Castle Golf Course- Venue for the 2011 Solheim Cup

  Killeen Castle As I was watched the Bahrain Grand Prix last week, I marvelled at how they can just build a state of the art gran...

 

Killeen Castle

As I was watched the Bahrain Grand Prix last week, I marvelled at how they can just build a state of the art grand prix facility nowadays from scratch and have it instantly regarded as one of the best in the world. Little wonder then that the equivalent in the Irish golfing DSC_0568world has just arrived in the form of the new Killeen Castle complex in Dunsany, Co. Meath. I use the word “complex” because it’s not fair to describe it as just a course or as a resort, it’s so much more than that. Killeen Castle is probably best described as an Olympic Village for

The SpinDoctor’s second to the stunning 18th. I’m Michelle Wie in The Solheim Cup!

golfers. From the superb practise facilities to the showpiece Jack Nicklaus signature golf course and with the added bonus of the only Dave Pelz short game school outside the USA, to say it is “state of the art” wouldn’t even begin to cover it.

Since I couldn’t possibly cover all the bases on one visit, my mission for the day was to tame the signature 18 hole ‘Bear’ that Jack himself designed. I was joined on the crusade by Alan Maher, a 12 h’cap out of West Waterford GC and former Cork minor hurler (sure weren’t they all!), by alan shot to castleColum Gleeson, a seven h’cap from Rathfarnham with an arc like Tiger on stilts and John Lydon, a three h’cap from Ballinrobe, who, on his day, can play to three! We were directed to the blue tees, not quite the distance of the Monster ‘black’ tees but at over 7200 yards for a par 72, quite a test. Or so we thought.

 

Alan Maher giving it plenty of right hand as he stitches another pitch on the short third. 

They say to lay a course out successfully, the crucial stage of design is when the diggers are actually pushing the Earth. That box is well and truly ticked at Killeen Castle, with trademark Nicklaus hole layouts, bunkering and greens in exactly the right positions. Jack gives you oceans of space off the tee but you need to make the most of it, because if you’re if not long with your drive, donal with bagsthere hasn’t yet been a club invented to get you onto the green. Our hurler Alan, and IT guru Colum regularly pucked their drives 300 yards, but still found themselves with four irons and hybrids while shorter hitters Johnny and myself floundered around with 3-wood approach shots and relied on our short games to bale us out. And you know what? Time and again, they did! The hand cut greens are enormous and so true that a ten footer started on the right line will invariably oblige and drop in.

By tackling the 2011 Solheim Cup venue off the blue tees, we were, in truth, a little out of our depth to score well. At times it was like trying to slay a Bear armed only with a baguette. Of course, we chose our own fate but you should be comforted in the knowledge that like a ski slope there are easier ways to come down this particular Castle and 18th Landscapejpgmountain with a choice of shorter tee boxes available.

Killeen Castle will go straight into my top five parkland courses in the country. When  you then add in the “entry to exit” personal service, the magnificent clubhouse, the food and the practise facilities, the whole package is simply unique in Ireland. When you take into account that the whole experience is available for €100, it defies logic. Resort boss Barry O’Connor is delighted with the take-up of 250 new members and is confident that another 150 will join in the next year or so. He should be, they will. Be sure to log on to www.killeencastle.com for further details on this remarkable course that Jack built and check out the blog www.golfspindoctor.blogspot.com for loads more pics and reaction.

Killeen Castle Reviewer Quotes

alan m

Alan Maher, 12 h’cap: “An awesome challenge in an incredible setting.”

colum gleeson

Colum Gleeson, 7 h’cap: “The line of sight from the tee to the green, on every fairway, is broken by the placement of hills, trees and fairway bunkers and crafty jack uses all these impediments to add to the challenge. The setting is both serene and dramatic in places and definitely contributes to an absorbing round of golf.”

DSC_0562

John Lydon, 3 h’cap: “This place is incredible. You won’t find 40 points winning a Sunday competition here. A 3 handicap off the blues in Killeen Castle is probably equivalent to a 1 handicap anywhere in the country.”

Who’s In Charge at Killeen Castle? Barry O’Connor

barry o connell

El Bosso Grando (Big Boss) Barry O’Connor

Note the phone, the journal and the pen. A sure sign that Barry means business. It’s a little trick he picked up in his time in Doonbeg. With over 250 members already in Killeen Castle, things are ticking over nicely. And his car doesn’t get flipped over on a daily basis by the wind anymore, which is a bonus.

Soundness Factor 10/10!

The Facilities and The Service

locker rooms Presidential probably sums it up best. The lockers are spacious and sparkling. The sauna is cranked up and bathrobes etc are all laid on. You’ll find sun-block, deep heat and every kind of soothing balm imaginable at the sinks and the showers are probably the best I’ve ever seen. Four nozzles and all the pressure you wish your powerhose had!- You need to make sure all of your bits are out of the way before turning on!

cool lcokersYou get saluted at the gate, your bag taken at the clubhouse and greeted with a warm smile throughout. I’ve only seen this kind of service once before, in Doonbeg. It adds immeasurably to the experience.

Any negatives? None that I can think of. Er, maybe get some lucozade and sparkling water to sell in the pro-shop!

Watch out for our review of the Dave Pelz short game at Killeen Castle school coming soon!

The Layout

image

Killeen Castle Website & Useful Contacts

http://www.killeencastle.com/about_killeen.html

General Enquiries
Please telephone +353 1 689 3000 or email info@killeencastle.com.
Thank you.

General Manager's Office
Please telephone +353 1 689 3040 or email info@killeencastle.com.
Thank you.

Membership Queries
Please telephone Olivia on +353 1 689 3009 or email membership@killeencastle.com.
Thank you.

Getting To Killeen Castle

Killeen Castle is located in the heart of ‘Royal Meath’, just minutes from the charming hamlet of Dunsany and from the bustling market town of Dunshaughlin.
Set in lush, green countryside, it is close to Tara, the ancient home of the High kings of Ireland, and the world-famous megalithic burial tombs of Newgrange.
As well as offering all the joys of true country living, Killeen Castle is just 35 minutes from Dublin City Centre and 30 minutes from Dublin Airport.

Directions from Dublin Airport

  • Leaving Dublin Airport, turn right onto the R132, signposted Santry
  • Turn right
  • Bear left onto the R108
  • At roundabout, take the 3rd exit to join the M50 motorway (signposted Southbound), entering Dublin
  • Leave the M50 at Junction 6 (signposted City Centre, Cavan), then at roundabout take the 3rd exit onto the N3, (signposted Cavan)
  • At Blanchardstown roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto the N3 (signposted Cavan, Navan)
  • Continue for approximately 18km on the N3, to Dunshaughlin
  • Go to the end of Dunshaughlin village. Turn left (signposted Dunsany & Killeen Castle) and pass the schools and GAA Grounds
  • Continue for 1.5km to the roundabout take the 2nd exit, signposted Dunsany
  • Take first left off the next roundabout, continue for 0.5km to the front gates of Killeen Castle on the right hand side of the road

If you are experiencing any difficulties please call 01-6893000.

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GolfCentralDaily | Golf Parody Fun Gossip Jokes Betting Tips: Killeen Castle Course Review. The SpinDoctor’s Fourball Experience at Killeen Castle Golf Course- Venue for the 2011 Solheim Cup
Killeen Castle Course Review. The SpinDoctor’s Fourball Experience at Killeen Castle Golf Course- Venue for the 2011 Solheim Cup
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