Kilkenny Golf Club was formally opened on April 2nd 1896 by Mr E Smithwick, J.P. at Barrett’s Hill, later known as Bishop’s Demesne. The club is one of the oldest in Ireland.
Set in 120 acres, the course is classic parkland in nature, even if it is, by the club’s own admission, laid out on mostly flat terrain – though there are some pleasant changes of elevation at holes 2, 4 and 5, in particular. Most fairways are bounded by a vast array of mature trees so careful golfers may choose to avoid arboreal trouble by using the driver sparingly off the tee.
Kilkenny Golf Club plays to a par of 71, measuring exactly 6,500 yards from the back tees. Many regard the 302-yard 5th as one of the best par fours on the course, with a fairway that dips from the tee then rises towards a green that’s partially obscured on the right. The 9th may only rank as stroke index 12 on the scorecard but, unless you know how sharply it doglegs left at the top of an incline, this par five will jump up and bite you hard.
And the par 4 hole 11th is perhaps the most difficult on the course.