Golf writer & photographer. Author of ‘Hooked’, the most comprehensive guide to Ireland's golf courses, and ‘Driving the Green’. Published by Collins Press. Editor for Destination Golf Ireland, feature writer for Irish Golfer Magazine freelancer for Irish Examiner. Golf is in the blood. http://www.kevinmarkhamphotography.com
Thursday, June 22, 2017
Take on the Druid
The very wet par three 17th at Druids Glen
Is there a more daunting tee shot in Irish
golf than the par four 13th at Druids Glen? There's something about the fairway
far below, whipping right and out of sight around a rock face, that makes it
utterly terrifying. Knowing that a long approach shot over water then awaits
will have you gripping your driver far too tightly. The hole measures 451
yards... from the forward tees. I have played it numerous times over the year…
and every time fills me with a thrill and not a little dread.
The par three 8th
From the back Blue tee it is 491 yards. I
have never played it from there but on Friday 30th June that is exactly what I
will be doing as Druids Glen hosts its first ever Open Singles back tees event.
The par 71 course will measure a full 7,046 yards. OK, so that's not of Killeen
Castle proportions (7,677 yards) but on the plus side it makes Druids Glen more
accessible. The 13th may be a monster but the longest of the three par fives is
just 538 yards (the 16th) and the par threes measure 190/166/174/203 yards...
making it all manageable, although woe betide you if you get to the par three
17th with any kind of score. At Index 5 it is not a hole where you can 'play
safe'. At least on the 13th you can play it as a par five.
The famous par three 12th
A couple of months ago, Aaron McAllorum
outlined Ireland's various clubs hosting 'back tee' events in the pages of
Irish Golfer Magazine’s Digital ezine. I mean, think about it: how many of the
big courses have back tees that are never used yet every day they are
diligently tended by the greenkeeping staff? Use it or lose it, I reckon.
Approach to the 15th
The cost of entry is €50 per visitor, a
€20-€50 discount on the normal green fee. Now bear in mind that this is
Ireland' most colourful and fun parkland (IMO), host to four Irish Opens, and
you're going to have plenty of golfers queuing up to play. And you’ll be
playing from the same tees as Sergio when he won the Irish Open in 1999 – his
first professional victory.