Friday, October 28, 2016

Autumn Colour at Druid's Glen

The par three 12th... high tee, lots of water, sloping green...
what else do you need to know?
I’ve never had an issue admitting that I’m wrong about a golf course… some courses which I simply loved a few years ago have waned slightly as I have played them again or played their peers and – how shall I put this – rebalanced my opinion. Of course, the same is also true: a course I was distinctly tepid about has warmed my heart the more I have played it. 

Surely you feel the same way yourself!

And then there are the courses where your feelings never change. You love ‘em, or you hate ‘em and nothing’s going to alter your view.

Druid’s Glen is one such course (in the former category!) and I have played it many times over the years… only not this year… at least not until today! I dragged my dad (kicking and screaming, obviously) away from his regular Greystones Golf Club slot and lured him to Druid’s Glen instead. And his regular golfing buddies came too.
The par four 18th. A beast of a hole, especially from
up on the clubhouse roof. 
I know parkland courses tend to suffer at this time of year because the ground is wet, and the rain and cold are sweeping in, and the leaves are covering the ground and covering balls… but forget all that because none of it is true: Ireland is enjoying one of those perfect long Octobers where the weather has been so benign that it embarrasses the hell out of our so-called summer months. 

And Druid’s Glen may even be playing its best. The fairways are like carpet, the greens are smooth and slick and the trues are bursting with colour. And in 15 degree temperatures it really is optimum Irish golfing weather.

Oh, the golf wasn’t exactly spectacular: Dad and I were four down after six holes (and we even won one of those six); and three of the four found water on the 17th… and then again on the 18th. It wasn’t pretty but in such settings no one really cares. Why would you! 

Edward Stephenson, the CEO at Druid’s Glen Resort, sent me a Tweet mid-round, promising a pint in the bar if one of us made birdie on the signature par three 12th. Here’s Richard trying his level best to get that pint:

The par four 13th remains one of the best, most difficult and most terrifying holes in Irish golf. Even off the forward tees it’s a beast of about 800 yards… or at least that’s how it feels standing on the tee. I parred it and I can count the number of times I’ve parred that hole on the finger of… well, one finger.
The par four 13th. Hitting a fade will help... a lot!
If you want to see the rest of what this former Irish Open venue looks like and why it is my favourite Irish golfing parkland… take a look at some photos here.

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