Killeen Castle

Killeen Castle

Killeen Castle

Killeen Castle | NCG Top 100s: Ireland

Killeen Castle is blessed to be one of just two Irish venues with a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course on its grounds. 
The castle was built in 1181 and has been around for almost 850 years, having been rebuilt after a fire in the 1980s. 
The golf course at Killeen Castle was designed by Jack Nicklaus and opened in 2008. In its short history, it has already hosted both the Ladies Irish Open and the Solheim Cup.  
Visit the Killeen Castle website here.  

A Brief History of Killeen Castle

Killeen Castle dates to the 12th Century, and the land spent more than 500 years in the hands of the Plunkett family, who owned the Castle through to the 1950s. A fire in the early 1980s saw Killeen Castle sit as a ruin for 15 years, before the current owners bought the venue in 1997 with the idea of turning it into a wonderful golf resort. 
A decade later, the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course was opened at Killeen Castle, with the 18-time major winner opening the course by playing a round himself.  
The course achieved championship status in no time, playing host to the Ladies Irish Open from 2010 to 2012. Sophie Gustafson, Suzann Pettersen and Catriona Matthew were all victorious at Killeen Castle.  
The venue was chosen as the host of the 2011 Solheim Cup, where Europe won 15-13 following a 7-5 session win in the singles on Sunday afternoon.  

Killeen Castle Review | NCG Top 100s: Ireland

The golf course at Killeen Castle, designed by the great Jack Nicklaus, is one of the longest in the country. It plays at more than 7,700 yards from the championship tees, and features trees, water hazards and plenty of bunkers to catch your eye, and your golf ball... Don’t worry, there are plenty of teeing options to make a round at Killeen Castle enjoyable, no matter what the level of ability. 
The opening hole is a tough par 4 of more than 480 yards from the tips. A grass shamrock sits as a little island in the large fairway bunker on the left as you get your round at Killeen Castle underway. The 2nd, at 615 yards, is one of the longest holes in the country. Water comes into play on the left for the drive, and there are plenty of sand traps by the green, eight in total. The 3rd is slightly more gentle at less than 400 yards, but 4 and 5 are both pushing 475 yards from the tips, and play as par 4s. Both are dog-legs to the right, with the 4th having trees down the left side of the fairway, while the 5th plays with water down its right side.  
The 6th is the first of four par 3s on the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course, and the shortest, despite being 180 yards. Five greenside bunkers surround the putting surface, so it still is not the easiest test. The 7th is a double dog-leg par 5, reminiscent of the 5th at Whistling Straits, where Bryson DeChambeau showed off his monstrous power during the 2021 Ryder Cup. The longer hitters may be tempted to take the corner on, but there is plenty of water and trees in the area to stop you from doing so. 
8 also plays over water, and as a 240-yard par 3 from the tips. The closing hole on the front nine is another long and testing par 4. Playing as a dog-leg left, there are seven bunkers to avoid as you make your way to the halfway point of the course. 10 and 11 are also long par 4s, both more than 440 yards, with the latter playing to a green guarded by both sand and water. The 12th is a par 5 with several bunkers down the right of the fairway. The green is situated just across a large stream, with a bunker long of the green. Those going for it in two will have plenty to think about.  
The 13th is a tricky dog-leg left with bunkers in the landing zone of the fairway and by the green. 14 is another long par 3, playing 210 yards, with four greenside bunkers. The 15th is another long par 5, with no fewer than 13 bunkers dotted down the hole. There are five in the landing zone for the drive, four left and one right, along with a further eight down by the green, including four surrounding the putting surface.  
The tough closing stretch on the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course at Killeen Castle begins with the par 3 16th hole, which plays around 200 yards from the tips. That is pretty much all carry over water to a kidney shaped green that sits diagonally from the tee. As well as water, there are two greenside bunkers. 17 is a dog-leg right that plays over and around a large water hazard, with the closing hole hitting to a wide fairway over a stream. Four bunkers around the green provide one final tricky approach shot as you conclude your round.  

FAQs about Killeen Castle

Where is Killeen Castle located?  
Killeen Castle is located in the east of Ireland, just 20 miles from the centre of Dublin. The course is just two miles from the M3, which runs northwest from the Irish capital city. The venue sits between the towns of Dunsany, Tara and Piercetown in County Meath. 
Dunboyne is the nearest train station to Killeen Castle, but it is over ten miles from the golf course. Visitors will most likely have to drive to get to the venue. For international travellers, Dublin Airport is just 25 miles to the southeast of Killeen Castle, and has a wide range of flights and destinations.  

What golf facilities does Killeen Castle offer?
Along with the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course, Killeen Castle is also home to a driving range, which opened in 2024 and features TopTracer Technology in every bay. There is also a stunning short game and approach area with several greens, bunkers and space to practice all kinds of shots. Another chipping green, along with a large putting green, sits by the 1st tee box.  

What are the green fees at Killeen Castle?
The price of a green fee at Killeen Castle changes throughout the year, depending on the season. It is also different depending on whether it is a weekday or weekend.  
For more information on current green fees at Killeen Castle, visit their website here
Visit the Killeen Castle website here