K Club

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  • Architect:
    • Palmer, Arnold

Golf Course Review

The K Club is where Ireland's fascination with American parkland golf at large stately homes appears to have begun. The hotel and resort was Ireland's first AA 5 Red Star Hotel which first opened in 1991. The Palmer North Course opened in 1991 and the Palmer South followed in 2003. The golf and leisure complex in located in Straffan, County Kildare, Ireland on the banks of the River Liffey. The Kildare Hotel and Golf Club is better known as K Club.

Palmer North

No matter what you call the K Club Palmer North Course, it is consistently ranked as one of the top parkland courses in Ireland. Formerly known as The Kildare Club, it gained prominence as the K Club. In 2020, the Ryder Cup Course was rebranded as the Palmer North at the K Club.

Designed by Arnold Palmer in 1991, the course has played host to the Irish Open, Walker Cup and Ryder Cup. The River Liffey and a series of manmade lakes wreak havoc on the par 72, 7337-yard layout. Like most recent resort Ryder Cup courses, it is dominated by water and is American in style, strategy and aesthetic.

Individual hole of merit on the North are 4, 7, 8, 16 & 17.

Palmer South

The second course was known as The Smurfit, named after a previous owner. In 2020, the course was rebranded as the Palmer South at the K Club. Local members belong to the Straffan Golf Club which plays the Palmer South as its home course.

The second course was built to be the tougher of the two courses. Cut from the same cloth, the course lies south of the River Liffey and follows a similar pattern of manmade lakes and American aesthetic.

Individual holes of merit on the South are 3, 7, 16 & 18.


The resort is world-class. Indulgent, impressive and luxurious, the hotel and resort are truly outstanding. The golf? It is Irish American parkland golf and if you want the very best of that, the K Club is the place to be.

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