Travel Guide: Druids GlenJanuary, 2013
This famous resort is within an hour's drive of Dublin
Many of us associate golf in Ireland with being by the seaside and Pat Ruddy with The European. Yet Druids Glen is a sumptuous parkland good enough to host the Irish Open on multiple occasions and it was designed by Ruddy (in association with Tom Craddock).
It also happens to be one of the very best inland courses in Ireland, and a good enough reason alone to visit a resort that also includes a second course, Druids Heath, as well as the kind of facilities you would associate with an international hotel and spa.
Druids Glen opened in 1995 with the Heath course following eight years later. Good as the Heath is, it must be acknowledged that the Glen enjoys much the more advantageous site, with its famous 12th (pictured) a spectacular downhill par 3 to a green protected by water – and the eponymous druids.
The moniker of “the Augusta of Europe” is both inevitable and not without some justification. There are moments when Druids Glen really does hit the heights and the conditioning on our visit, last summer, was exceptional.
A personal favourite hole is the short 2nd, its green backed by a stone wall and seemingly played through a secret garden. For difficulty it is hard to see beyond the 18th, a long uphill par 4 where a stream flanks the right-hand side of the green and flows into a lake at the front.
The backdrop is the 18th century Woodstock House where you can and must enjoy a drink afterwards. As clubhouses go, it may be in a league of its own and getting lost wandering its ancient corridors is a pleasure in itself. Central to Druids Glen’s appeal is its Wicklow location.
this 440- acre resort sits between the Irish sea and the county’s famous mountains. Comfortably within an hour’s drive south of central Dublin, this 440- acre resort sits between the Irish sea and the county’s famous mountains.
While golfers will be attracted by the two top-class layouts, there is also much to enjoy off the course. The modern yet established hotel is on a grand scale – which is immediately apparent on entering the lobby.
The atmosphere in the hotel’s main bar, the Thirteenth, is lively and convivial while an evening meal in the main Druids Brasserie is another essential part of the experience here.
There are 134 deluxe bedrooms, and all of them are generously appointed and spacious – always welcome news to golfers who can only dream of travelling light.
The final word must go to the leisure facilities. The spa specialises in Elemis treatments, with six treatment rooms and a full menu of rituals, facials and body therapies, while the Fitness Club has an 18-metre lapping pool, Jacuzzi, steam rooms and sauna.
YOUR QUICK GUIDE
Druids Glen Resort,
Newtownmountkennedy, Co Wicklow
T: +353 1 287 0800
TWO GREAT PACKAGES
Get ready for the golf season
Includes overnight stay and one
lesson per person. From €200 pp
Two night stay with golf or spa
Includes breakfast, Table D’Hote
dinner and either a round on Druids
Heath or a selected spa treatment.
From €210 per person (weekends)