Designer: Dr. Billy O’Sullivan, Eddie Hackett
Situated in area known as “Heaven’s Reflex”, due to its outstanding beauty, Killeen Course however that is perceived to be the jewel in the Killarney golfing crown. Nestled amidst the splendour of the Lakes of Killarney in the shadow of the majestic Macgillycuddy’s Reeks mountain range, the Killeen Course is consistently rated amongst the world’s top courses and has hosted many major championships including the 1991 & 1992 Irish Open Golf Championship, won on both occasions by Nick Faldo; and also the 1996 Curtis Cup.
While golf has been played in Killarney since 1891 (originally on a nine hole layout known as the Deer Park), the first 18 hole golf course at Killarney, which was designed by Sir Guy Campbell and Henry Longhurst, did not open for play until October 1939. Essentially this design comprises most of today’s Mahoney’s Point course, while the Killeen Course, designed by Billy O’Sullivan and renowned Irish course architect Eddie Hackett, opened in 1971.
The merits of the original design at Killarney were quickly recognised by the Golfing Union of Ireland and in 1949; the Irish Amateur Championship was played here for the first time. The first of two of two professional events played over the original course was won by Eric Browne and is also remembered as the first tournament appearance outside of South Africa by Gary Player, who despite his failure to make the cut, rated the 8th hole (now the 13th on the Killeen Course) as “potentially one of the world’s greatest inland golf holes”.
The challenge and setting of this golf courses have inspired many comments, including that by Henry Longhurst who indicated that “only a man devoid of a soul could apply his mind to playing golf at Killarney”, Among the finest holes on the Killeen Course are the par three’s at holes 3 and 6 and also the closing two holes, particularly the 18th, which requires a drive from a raised tee and an approach over water to the green
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“We had a wonderful time in Ireland. The itinerary was terrific, Richie got to play golf in Killarney, and shopping was always available. The driver Sheila was great—informative, cheerful, provided frequent stops, and was always on time. Thank you for planning our trip and I’m sure we would love to go back again soon.”
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