Another Opinion About The K Club

Yes, this is another opinion about the K Club but not a contradictory one.

I had the good fortune to spend a week touring Ireland last week with the intrepid Rob Thompson and Golf Course Architect superstar Ian Andrew (and, lest we forget, Ian`s dad). We had the opportunity to play some of the classics in the NorthEast that you`ve all read about .

Portmarnock was as wonderful a links as I`d played in the U.K. Portrush was a beast that almost compared to Carnoustie. Royal County Downs was beautiful through and through. The European Club is to Ireland what Kingsbairns is to Scotland “ a modern masterpiece. We hit the classic aged links of The Island, Baltray (the home of the sand shot that graces this blog) and Castle Rock. And we played newer courses such as Druids Glen, Carton (designed by Colin Montgomery) and, of course The K Club.

I have already proclaimed my love for links golf so it should not really be a surprise that a parklands course like the The K Club is a disappointment. As a parklands course it is a fine layout with some difficult approach shots and tricky greens. But in the grand scheme of things, it has absolutely nothing to do with Irish golf.

Your drive to the K Club is full of promise as you wind through narrow streets towards your quarry (I can only imagine how far they`ll have to bus the spectators in from though). The history of the country unwinds all around you. As you make the turn onto the grounds, you are overwhelmed by the grand spires of the manor house that dominates the area.

Once you enter the clubhouse though you travel through time away from the quaint countryside of Ireland to the typical country club atmosphere of North America. If there was any doubt as to what type of cliental was expected here, that is swiftly dispelled once you get a gander of the prices of souvenirs in the pro shop.

On that particular day that we played, we had to endure a rain that fell steadily throughout our round beginning on our second shot at the first hole. Perhaps that is what dampened my own enthusiasm for the course. More to the point, I am with many others who wish that when the Ryder Cup is contested in Europe it should be contested on the finest courses the continent has to offer. When it is played in the U.K., that would mean links.

I understand that golf is a business and that the Ryder Cup is big business. It`s a shame that an international match that was originally meant to be played as a quiet affair after which sandwiches and tea were shared in the club house has become a vehicle in which a tycoon can hand over millions of dollars to an organization (The European Tour) to have the match played on his own boring golf course in order to drum up the tourist trade.

Oh well. That`s golf, I guess.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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