Druids Glen Golf Resort has today been officially opened by John O‘Donoghue T.D, the Irish Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism. Mr O‘Donoghue said, “The growth of golf, especially in the past ten years, has been phenomenal, with new courses opening all over the country. Druids Heath is another jewel in the crown of our thriving, internationally acclaimed golfing product, which attracts in the region of 180,000 visitors annually and generates over €160 million in revenue earnings.
“Druids Glen proudly takes its place amongst the world’s premier golf resorts with the grand opening of its full range of facilities. A multi-million euro development programme was set in train in the early 1990s when a consortium of Irish businessmen purchased the Co. Wicklow property, including famous Woodstock House.
“Less than a decade later, Druids Glen Golf Resort boasts two world-class 18-hole championship golf courses, state-of-the-art tuition and practice facilities, luxurious clubhouse facilities, a five-star Marriott Hotel, and clusters of luxury properties carefully arranged adjacent to the golf courses.
“The fact that Druids Glen was chosen to host the prestigious Irish Open Championship in 1995, less than a year after the course was officially unveiled, is a wonderful tribute to the developers. The Irish Open returned for the following three years, and then Druids Glen was nominated as “European Golf Course of the Year” at the International Association of Golf Tour Operators‘ 2000 / 2001 awards, an annual event that recognises excellence in the golf tourism industry. Further international recognition followed in 2002 when Druids Glen hosted the Seve Trophy match involving the cream of European professional golf.”
Nestling between the Wicklow Mountains and the Irish Sea, this Pat Ruddy / Tom Craddock design masterpiece, which measures 7,046-yards from the championship tees, is said by many to be the finest parkland golf course in Europe.
Ryder Cup player and Druids Glen touring professional Eamonn D‘arcy says, “Druids Glen is a remarkable course, unlike any seen in Europe until now. It is both technically demanding and a pleasure to view. It is a great experience for champion and club golfer alike.”
Consistent with the tradition of the Druids Glen Resort, the magnificent new Druids Heath course provides a unique and thrilling golfing experience, which inspired the American golf writer James W. Finegan to remark, “Druids Heath has dramatic elevation changes with water, sand, spirited dog-legs and serious rough. It has surprises and stunningly sited greens that are large, complex and sometimes baffling.
“The front nine is routed over rolling hilly land that is subject to stiff breezes off the Irish Sea, which is little more than a mile away and gloriously in view. The second nine is, hole after hole, consistently superlative and in the 12th and 13th, a pair of thrilling and intimidating two-shotters, Pat Ruddy has given us two of the most unique golf holes I have ever seen.”
Maintained to Tour standards, and with teeing areas ranging from 5,528-yards to 7,434 yards, Druids Heath is carved from the natural landscape of Ireland’s ‘Garden County‘ with rolling fairways, natural rock quarries, lakes, trees, streams, gorse, pot-bunkers and a testing sea breeze amongst the characteristics and playing features. Course architect Pat Ruddy simply says, “Dull would he be of soul who would allow a few stray golf shots spoil a day in such a blessed spot!”
The 400-acre Druids Glen estate is steeped in Irish history. Woodstock House and estate dates back to 1600 and it has had a number of prominent owners including the Wentworth and Tottenham families. Woodstock House now serves as an elegant clubhouse overlooking the 18th green on the Druids Glen golf course, which offers members and guests outstanding facilities.
The Druids Glen Marriott Hotel & Country Club, opened prior to the Seve Trophy in 2002, is spacious and tastefully decorated with 148 guestrooms including eleven executive suites. The hotel, overlooking the 13th hole on the Druids Glen course, offers an impressive array of facilities including two popular restaurants, relaxing bars, a spa and health club, an 18-metre indoor pool, and dedicated meeting rooms and banqueting suites.
At a time when Druids Glen is enjoying massive international recognition and embellishing Ireland’s golfing image abroad, it is important also to appreciate the impact that this premier resort is having closer to home. Druids Glen Golf Resort creates a significant level of employment in County Wicklow, with over 300 members of staff engaged across all spectrums of the operation. This contrasts sharply with the pre-Druids Glen days when this 400-acre estate employed as few as three people.
Druids Glen Golf Resort www.druidsglen.ie