Golfing in Killarney.

Now golf ain’t everyone’s cup of tea. I for one would rather be subjected to chinese waterboarding than sit through a tedious round of the small ball game. But golf does seem, for some absurd reason, to be rather popular so chances are one of you lot reading this is gagging for a game of matchplay. I will of course oblige.

There are three proper golf courses in Killarney. They are Killeen, Lackabane and Mahony’s Point. They’re all situated within walking distance of each other in a little place called Fossa (Pronounced Fuss-a. Learn it, it pisses the locals right off if you say Foss-a), about a mile from Killarney town centre.

The 18th hole of Killeen. It’s a doozy. Try not to break one of the clubhouse’s windows.

Now if you ain’t particularly enamoured by the small ball game but have been coerced into joining your partner for a round or two then don’t fret as the golf courses and their surrounding areas possess some absolutely wondrous view of the lake and a gargantuan amount of woodland (There’s also a shortcut (Well, shortish) into Killarney National Park from Killeen. Ask someone in the clubhouse for directions) to explore.

For the golfers amongst you, you shan’t be disappointed by Killarney’s challenging but playable courses. Lackabane is the smallest, most easily navigable course, O’Mahony’s Point is next on the chart and Killeen, which last Summer and the Summer before that played host to the Irish Open, is by far the most challenging, most scenic and most spacious.

I actually worked at both of the Irish Opens that were held so I have a fairly good knowledge of Killeen. Both of the Irish Opens were major successes and a steady flow of golf tourism has tumbled into the town since then.

It’s quite easy to decide which course to choose, really. If you’re a beginner, or if you’re with kids, Lackabane is the course for you. If  you’re a moderate player, “handy” as we’d say here in Ireland, O’Mahony’s Point should be your destination. While if you’re an accomplished player, or if you fancy yourself as one, and you have a few bob dangling around in your trouser-pocket, then I’d recommend Killeen.

Don’t believe me when I wax lyrical about golfing in Killarney? Grand, but maybe you’ll listen to Rory McIlroy who had this to say right before he participated in last year’s Irish Open;

“I think it’s (Killarney) a fantastic course and, as we all know, more importantly, it’s a fantastic venue. I’ve always been concerned that it’s venues we need as much as golfcourses, and this has got both.”

I think he knows what he’s talking about.

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