|The 8th hole - all carry over water to a heavily sloped green.
I remember it well. It was 1999. I was standing on the 8th hole at Druid's Glen and after a few holes of gentle flirting, I had the beautiful par three 8th laid out before me. That was the moment that I first fell in love with a golf course. And Druid's Glen only gets better with holes 12, 13, 17 and 18 all proving irresistible.
Druid's Glen recently invited me to a media day, as the resort is pumping €3 million into the hotel and facilities, and they wanted to get the word out. Given my fondness for the course, I shifted appointments so I could make the event. And my loyalty was repaid with one of the best days the country has had this year and playing partners who provided the kind of banter and relaxed conversation that makes the golf all the more enjoyable.
|Tee shot from 13. The hole sweeps right with a wide stream running
along the curve of the fairway. Just don't ask Eamon where
he hit his drive, as Paul and Julian look on.
After nine holes there was a drink and a snack waiting for us... smoked salmon and champagne is not what you expect as a half-time pick me up but it did the trick as the golf improved dramatically. Our score was enough to win the competition - and we received a smart Druid's Glen sweater for our efforts. The longest drive was won by Conor Deegan, a +5 handicapper, who practically ran out of fairway on 18. If you know the course, you'll know just how far that is.
|Approach to the brilliant par four 13th
Druid's Glen Resort UpgradeBut the day was for other purposes and not just golf. It would be easy for me to wax lyrical about Druid's Glen - and I have done it on this blog before - but the Druid's Glen Resort is a new entity of sorts, now that the Marriott chain is no longer associated with the hotel. The investment is being made in three phases, on the back of the resort's two most successful years trading (2012 and 2013). Phase two saw the complete refurbishment of 145 guest rooms and suites in the hotel, while other refurbishments included the ballroom, private dining suites and boardrooms. It is so positive to see such efforts being made to attract new customers - be they leisure or corporate - and the changes (and the resort in general) are very impressive.
|View from green to tee on the par three 17th. Water surrounds
the green on three sides.