Written for MG by STAGS member David Logue
We were due to make this trip for our 20th anniversary back in May 2020 but due to the pandemic, it was put back a couple of times. Our trip consisted of playing three rounds of golf at three different venues in County Meath, the Royal Tara Golf Club, Killeen Castle Golf Club and Knightsbrook Golf Club. I have to say that each venue was a delight to play.
Day 1 Thurs – Royal Tara
We arrived in Dublin on the Queen’s Jubilee Bank Holiday Thursday and were whisked away to the fabulous Royal Tara. The course has 27 holes, and we played the Tara and Bellinter [although I have to admit to having accidentally sampled the 8th on the Cluide!] The course was in super condition and the tree lined fairways certainly posed a challenge for us but the rough was fairly forgiving. It was fairly overcast so there was no real surprise when the rain began to pour, fortunately at the back end of the round and it certainly didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits.
The results: Winner – Martyn (Coco) Power 34 pts. Nearest the Pins Andy Barcello, Dixie, Rob Killarney, Mike McGrath and Martyn (Coco) Power.
The Aftermath – After sampling plenty of the ‘Black Stuff’ at Royal Tara and heading back to base, it was time to head out for the evening and, as Knightsbrook was close to a lovely little town called Trim, we headed there. It was a little sleepy with it being a Thursday, but we found a cracking little pub and, according to the lady behind the bar, we made her night. Brendan Reilly went missing for a few moments and could hardly speak by the time he came back!
Day 2 Fri – Killeen Castle
The venue for the 2011 Solheim Cup and a Jack Nicklaus designed course. I can only really describe this course and setting as beautiful! How privileged were we to be able to play this course? The weather was slightly better today, and we only had a very brief shower. The greens were magnificent and the course was beautifully manicured. There are several spectacular holes with the castle as their backdrop, but the par five 12th was superb with a two tiered green and a meandering stream in front. A cracking challenge of a hole.
Winner – Mark Jones 30 pts Nearest the Pins – Dixie, Steve Morris and Dave Logue. Longest Drive – Rob Killarney
The Aftermath – We stayed and sampled the incredible facilities at Killeen Castle and of course, the Guinness kept flowing before we headed back to base for another night on the town in Trim. It was much livelier tonight and we went for a decent curry before heading to a couple of bars and ending the night at a cracking spot called the James Griffin. Again, our taxi service to pick us up was spot on and we headed for the residents bar.
Knightsbrook didn’t fail to continue the cracking course theme. There were some tough holes on this well presented and maintained layout, if you were lucky to stay out of the many bunkers, you’d also be doing well to avoid the many water hazards. Both a buggy and some very well-placed shots are a must around here.
Winner – Steve Morris 38 pts Nearest the Pins – Tony Killarney, Rob Killarney, Les Gwillym and Dave Logue.
Overall we had an absolutely amazing time and congratulations to Rob Killarney for winning the tournament overall with 96 points. One final point about our captain Martyn Power. What he was wearing on his feet during the weekend would look better on a clown….then again hence the name Coco!
Some of us headed home from Knightsbrook but the more raucous 14 weren’t leaving Dublin on a Saturday without a night in the centre. We booked one night in what was basically a hostel, but it served its purpose, and we headed for Temple Bar where there was plenty of shenanigans – and I think we’ll leave it there. We will be heading to La Manga for next year’s outing so, if there are any of you that want to join a fantastically fun society then just give us a bell.
Twitter – @ErdingtonSTAGS