‘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
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Starting in November, guests at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru enjoy new all-pool water villas that offer twice as much outside space as indoor space. The villa expansions bring outdoor space to nearly 2,000 square feet across multiple “zones,” including sun decks, social spots, over-water hammocks, al fresco showers and dining areas. A 40-foot pool extends into the lagoon; nearby, a shaded, ocean-side living and dining pavilion offers unparalleled views.