Golf Course Architecture - Green Pages 2024

Photos: Kevin Markham RAIN BIRD Druids Glen Hotel & Golf Resort is located 20 miles south of Dublin, Ireland, nestled between the Irish Sea and the Wicklow Mountains. The club’s championship course was designed by Pat Ruddy and Tom Craddock, and it opened in 1995. Since then, it has hosted both the Irish Open and the Seve Trophy and is a previous winner of the European Golf Course of the Year award. To maintain the status of the course, resort owners Neville Hotels made a multi-million-euro investment into a renovation project that concluded in June 2023. The project was led by architects Jeff Lynch of re(GOLF) and Peter McEvoy. The project team also consisted of John Clarkin of Turfgrass, Giles Wardle of Irriplan, DAR Golf Construction, Aquaturf Solutions, Irish TurfCare and Rain Bird. “Tackling and ripping up what the Irish consider a gem of a course, and one they have a romantic attachment to, certainly creates a certain amount of pressure,” said Lynch. “The course was overdue a makeover to bring it up to modern tournament standards for the elite golfer, potentially for the Open in the future, and yet still needed be an enjoyable golfing experience for everyday golfers. “With all our experience in course design and construction, Peter and I had a good idea about what would be needed to be done to enhance the existing canvas. Of course, you can design an engaging course on paper but everything we designed on plan was actually Maintaining an Irish gem Druids Glen has installed the Rain Bird IC System to have greater control of water on the course. 8