‘Dull would be he of soul who would allow a few stray golf shots spoil a day in such a blessed spot!’ — Pat Ruddy, Druids Heath
Described as “nature’s gift to golf,” Druids Heath is part of the Druids Glen Golf Resort, located 30 miles south of Dublin in County Wicklow. Originally the 17th century Woodstock Estate, part of the landholding of Sir Thomas Wentworth, the resort includes Wicklow House, built in 1779 and now the Druids Glen clubhouse. The Druids Heath course opened in 2003, about a year after Marriott purchased the resort.
Druids Heath, according to course designer Pat Ruddy, “affords the player the opportunity to stride out in a place which is invigorating to both the body and soul with the ever present sea breezes adding greatly to the sporting challenge.”
Situated on a unique parcel of land, allowing players views of the mountains, sea and countryside, the Druids Heath course is maintained to tour standards and features rolling fairways with many uneven lies, natural rock quarries, lakes, trees, streams, gorse and traditional pot bunkers to test your skill.
Druids Glen Golf Resort was voted 2005 European Golf Resort of the Year by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators. It offers 148 guestrooms, a swimming pool, spa and leisure activities, and restaurants. And its event and conference facilities make it a perfect place to mix business and pleasure.
The resort also boasts another golf course, Druids Glen, known as the “Augusta of Europe” and home to the Irish Open from 1996 to 1999. Designed by Pat Ruddy and Tom Craddock, this course offers an exciting golf game amid a magnificent landscape brimming with wildlife, streams and beautiful vegetation.
(464 yards, par 4)
The first hole greeted us with typical Irish weather, misty and cool. It plays toward the Irish Sea, so your drive should be to the right side of the fairway to avoid the bunker on the lefthand side, which is ready to catch your tee shot. A small pot bunker, which also catches a lot of drives, follows the trap on the left. A mid-iron for your second shot should make it to the contoured green.
(561 yards, par 5)
This is a magnificent hole: a downhill par-five to an island green. Your best bet is to drive your tee shot to the left side of the fairway for a clear approach shot. Balls hit to the right might be blocked out. Only the longest ball hitter would even consider trying to reach the green in two. I suggest you send your second shot right and short of the pond that guards the front left side of the green.
(233 yards, par 3)
I was so disappointed with my play on the previous hole that I simply walked up to the tee box before my partners, swung away and stuck the ball four feet from the pin. Maybe this is the best approach as this par-three is fronted the entire length by a pond that starts from the tee box to the left side of the green. It is a challenging hole and will eat up short balls.
(466 yards, par 4)
This dogleg left will be an opportunity/ challenge for long hitters off the tee. A great amount of yardage can be shaved by cutting the corner left, but beware: There are bunkers that might catch you if you try. A safer bet is to drive your ball down the right-hand bunker, but going too far right can put you in a position with a tree blocking your approach to the green. Your shot to the green should land on the right side as the green slopes left.
(492 yards, par 4)
This is the No. 1 ranked hole on the course and it’s a classic! Your drive must be centered between the left bunker and the tree that lies to the right, in other words … the dreaded straight drive is required. Long balls can aim left to be carried further on the slope of the hill. As for the second shot, golf writer James W. Finegan described it as “one of the most unforgettable and unsettling shots you will ever play.” If you were unable to carry the crest of the hill, you will need to lay up in fro nt of the pond or you’re likely to get wet. Favor the left side of the green to take advantage of the prevailing slope.
(420 yards, par 4)
Leave the driver in the bag, as this is a placement hole. You will need a hit of about 210 yards to the black-andwhite aiming pole on the fairway. Any ball right is likely to find water. On your second shot, beware of the large pond in front of the green.
(171 yards, par 3)
Known as the quarry hole, this beauty is surrounded by rock formations and gorse. A clean shot to this green should offer you no problem with racking up a par or birdie.
(415 yards, par 4)
The finishing hole for Druids Heath has a narrow fairway opening for your tee shot. Depending on the wind, your ball might be pushed into the tree line. The safe shot is to aim toward the second bunker on the right. If you are a long hitter or if the wind is with you, drive directly over the tree on the left. Make sure you use a little extra club for your second shot as the green is elevated and well bunkered.
DRUIDS HEATH GOLF COURSE
DRUIDS GLEN GOLF RESORT
Newtownmount kennedy, Co. Wicklow, Ireland
tel 353 1 281 2278
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