Killarney Golf & Fishing Club

Killarney is in County Kerry on the northeastern shore of Lough Leane and is part of Killarney National Park. It is an ideal base for golfers visiting the South West. The town has always catered for tourists and has all of the necessary accommodation, restaurants and more.

It has three golf courses at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club.

Local attractions are:

  • St Mary's Cathedral
  • Muckross House and Abbey
  • The Lakes of Killarney
  • Ross Castle
  • MacGillycuddy's Reeks
  • Purple Mountain, Mangerton Mountain
  • Paps Mountain
  • The Gap of Dunloe
  • Torc Waterfall

With its location on the Ring of Kerry, it makes Killarney a very popular tourist destination.


Killarney Golf & Fishing Club: Killen Course

(7121yards, par 72)

The Killarney Golf and Fishing Club acquired extra land in 1968 and the Killeen course was designed by the renowned Eddie Hackett. It was constructed in 1969/70 and opened for play in 1972.

The location of the course is known as “Heaven’s Reflex,” due to its exceptional beauty and the Killeen Course is seen as the jewel in the Killarney golfing crown. This lakeside course is on the banks of Lough Leane a large freshwater lake.

It has the highest mountain in Ireland Carrauntoohil and the grandiose MacGillycuddy’s Reeks mountain range as a backdrop. It has been updated and redesigned several times.

With the purchase of extra land in 1990 the team of Tom Craddock and Pat Ruddy were brought in to completely redesign the layout. David Jones did an update before the 1991 Irish Open. Donald Steel then did a lengthy reconstruction and then Mackenzie and Ebert were involved.

These changes were finished in 2006 and the course had new tees, greens and bunkers. The length had grown to over 7000 yards from the back tees with 3 other tees to suit golfers handicaps.

Whereas international golfers generally come to Ireland for links golf Killarney can provide a good base and a welcome change, but Killarney Killeen is not an easy option.

With the lake, trees and wildlife areas, in particular deer making an appearance, it offers a beautiful setting and a rewarding challenge to all levels of golfers. Accuracy is important with water features on almost every hole.

Greens are true and fast with some elevated. The fairways are lined with trees and are firm but quite generous. The rough can be a problem and bunkers are strategically placed to punish poor shots. The challenging golf is compensated by a tranquil setting in spectacular surroundings.


Killarney Golf Course Highlights

Hole 1  

369 meters, Par 4, index 12 

From the tee, there is water on both sides, best down the left side.

It is a sharp dogleg right and a daunting second shot follows.

There is a beachfront right side of the green, rocks right side of the green and then water.

The green is close to the water’s edge.

Hole 2

351 meters, par 4, index 14 

The tee shot is through a narrow fairway with trees on each side, a dogleg right.

The green sits surrounded by trees with two bunkers on the right side of the green.

Hole 3 

183 meters, Par 3, index 8 

The green has a waterfront and right with trees on the left.

It needs an accurate tee shot to carry the water or rocks if the pin is on the right, where green is very small.

A bunker is on the right of the green which is somewhat humped.

Hole 4 

382 meters, Par 4, index 16 

The green is surrounded by water to the right and rear, literally on the water’s edge.

The tee is built into the lough and the tee shot needs to thread through trees on either side up to the green.

Strategic positioning and careful choice of club is required.

There is a bailout left of the hole. A splendid hole.

Hole 5 

415 meters, Par 4, index 10 

A dogleg right with a stream on the right from the tee but not in play.

Defence is three bunkers near the green and trees.

Hole 6 

193 meters, Par 3, index 6

A long par three from an exposed tee with trees lining both sides down to the green.

Water down the right side of the green.

The green is quite flat but with a run off to the right.

Hole 10 

156 meter, Par 3, index 9 

Water short and left of the green with a picture-postcard backdrop.

Quite a fun hole.

Hole 13 

458 meters, Par 4, index 1 

Clearly the toughest hole.

There is a brook and a wall that cannot generally be seen for the second shot, trouble for anything short.

A stream to be cleared short of the green.

Hole 14

356 meters, Par 4, index 13

A short par four with a dogleg right.

Elevated green with slope back to front.

Hole 17

356 meters, Par 4, index 7 

Water in play off the tee on the right.

Nice tiered green fronted by a bunker.

Hole 18 

402 meters, Par 4, index 3

From a high tee, you look down on the clubhouse.

There is water all down the left to the green, which adds pressure to the approach shot.


Irish Open Golf Championship

Killarney Golf and Fishing Club has hosted this championship four times, played on Killarney Killeen. Each time it has been won by an English Professional.

1991 Nick Faldo won by three shots with runner up Colin Montgomery from Scotland

1992 Nick Faldo won in a playoff with Wayne Westner from South Africa

2010 Ross Fisher won by two shots with runner up Padraig Harrington from Ireland

2011 Simon Dyson won by 1 shot with runner up Richard Green from Australia


Killarney Town History

Killarney featured prominently in early Irish history, with religious settlements on Innisfallen Island. The island is home to the ruins of Innisfallen Abbey which was founded in 640 by St. Finian, and was occupied until the monks were dispossessed in 1594, by Elizabeth I, Queen of England.

Following the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169, the Normans built Parkavonear Castle at Aghadoe. Ross Castle was built on the lakeshore in the late 15th century by the local ruling clan the O'Donoghues Mor (Ross).

Ownership of the castle changed hands during the Desmond Rebellions of the 1580s to the Mac Carty Mor. Muckross Abbey was founded in 1448 as a Franciscan friary by Donal McCarthy Mor.

The abbey was burned down by Cromwellian forces in 1654, and today remains a ruin. Killarney was heavily involved in the Irish War of Independence with strong republican ties. Skirmishes with the British forces happened on a regular basis.

The Great Southern Hotel was for a while taken over by the British, both as an office and barracks, and to protect the neighbouring railway station. One notable event during the war was the Headford Ambush when the IRA attacked a railway train a few miles from town.

However, divisions among former colleagues were quick to develop following the truce and treaty, and Killarney, like many other areas, suffered in the rash of increasing atrocities during the Civil War. A day after the Ballyseedy Massacre, five Republican prisoners were murdered in Killarney by Free State forces.

Killarney's tourism history goes back at least to the mid-18th century, when Thomas, fourth Viscount Kenmare (Lord Kenmare), began to attract visitors and new residents to the town. The date of 1747 was used in recent 250-year celebrations to honour the history of Killarney tourism.

A visit by Queen Victoria in 1861 gave the town some international exposure. Killarney benefited greatly from the coming of the railway in July 1853. Tours of the Ring of Kerry were an early industry and Killarney was considered the starting point of the hundred and ten-mile circuitous route.

The horse endurance on the two-day trip was notable. The mountain bred horses could get through thirty miles for several days together or even fifty miles in a single day. There were hotels in Glenbeigh and Waterville along with a "comfortable inn", which is now The Butler Arms Hotel.


Things to Do in Killarney

Tourism is the largest industry in Killarney, there are more hotel beds than any other Irish town or city except for Dublin. This is because it has always catered for tourists going back 150 years.

The out of season population is only about 14,500 but it can double in the summer months.

The visitors mainly come from the United States, Ireland, the UK and other European countries. The town's shops are very tourist-oriented. The town centre has a good range of hotels, pubs and restaurants.

A feature of Killarney is its horse-drawn carts known as jaunting cars, its drivers are known as jarvies. Nightlife in the town is legendary with many live music options and is a destination for party-goers.

Killarney National Park

South and west of the town of Killarney is a ruggedly mountainous country. McGillycuddy’s Reeks, the highest mountain range in Ireland rises to a height of over 1000 metres. Beneath the mountains are the lakes of Killarney.

Where the mountains sweep down to the lake shores is Killarney National Park. There are mountains, lakes, woods and waterfalls giving the area a special scenic beauty. Muckross House and Gardens is an important visitor attraction.

The former Kenmare Estate close to Killarney Town is also part of the National Park and features Killarney House and Gardens and Knockreer House which is the education centre of the park. The native red deer in the park are unique in Ireland with a presence in the country since the last Ice Age.

The Park was selected as a Biosphere Reserve in 1981 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), part of a world network of natural areas that have conservation, research, education and training as major objectives.


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