At the Headfort Golf Club Captain's drive-in were lady vice-captain Martha Kennedy (left), lady captain Marie Therese Lacy, captain Paddy Horgan and vice-captain Aidan Foley.
There's something to be said that even after the worst round of golf ever played you can still walked off the 18th green at Headfort's magnificent new course with a euphoric sense of pleasure and an eagerness to return as soon as possible to right the wrongs that were left behind.
No sooner had our party returned to the superbly appointed clubhouse after a round of golf that saw one of us play significantly better than the rest, than enquires were immediately made as to when we could return to soak up the joys of what is one of the finest golf courses in Ireland.
Prior to accepting Alan Carry's invitation to play the new course at Headfort, a little bit of research was undertaken. Seasoned golfers and chancers were quizzed as to their knowledge of the course. The general consensus was it was tough, long, challenging and would eat me alive. "Bring plenty of spare golf balls" was the soundest advice offered.
The necessity for extra golf balls was more due to individual shortcomings than the severity of the course. True, there is plenty of water to challenge the straight hitters, but my biggest downfalls came on the breathtaking par threes, where I failed to find greens, time and again.
With so many scratched holes on my card the issue was never in doubt, but it was impressive to watch how my playing partner "burned up" the course with a slew of pars and a couple of birdies despite not having played the game for several months.
To post a score of 36 points off a 12 handicap without having played this year was very impressive, but not as impressive as the breathtaking course that should find itself flooded with visitors when the Solheim Cup competitions roll into Meath in September.
Any self-respecting golfer who visits the county for the pinnacle of the ladies golfing calender cannot let the opportunity to play this magnificent course pass them by.
The benefits of Headfort are several fold. Not only can the Kells club boast two outstanding parkland courses, but they also have some of the finest scenery in the country as well a superbly appointed clubhouse with a magnificent variety of top quality food on offer in the beautiful restaurtant.
Headfort Golf Club is an outstanding 36-hole parkland facility dominated by specimen trees and river scenery. Both the Old and the New courses take full advantage of the natural beauty of one of Ireland's oldest and finest estates, Headfort.
Headfort Old opened in 1928 and is one of the best examples of a traditional parkland course anywhere in Ireland with superb trees gracing its fairways and greens.
The Headfort New course was officially opened in 2001 and is a splendid modern course set among ancient woodland which features native and Asiatic specimens and criss-crosses the river Blackwater.
Ranked among the top 10 parkland courses in Ireland it was designed by Ryder Cup hero and Irish golfing legend Christy O'Connor Jnr and features the stunning Headfort House, built in 1780, as an amazing backdrop to both courses.
The courses have received rave reviews from some of the country's leading critics with Irish Examiner's Sports Editor Tom Leen declaring "Headfort is the most attractive parkland development of the last decade, it is that good."
Sunday Independent golf reporter Dermot Gilleece declared Headfort to have "two of the finest golf courses in Ireland." Course designer O'Connor agreed that the land on which the New course is built "is the finest piece of land I have worked with and could host the Irish Open without any trouble."
Headfort is the highest ranked members owned parkland complex in Ireland and was one of the first courses to be approved under the Failte Ireland quality standard frameworks.
Since the course was established in 1928 and expanded to 18 holes in 1956 it has continued to go from strength-to-strength. In 1987 the Old course was bought outright from the Headfort House estate and in 1994 the clubhouse was built and plans formalised for the New course.
The New course was completed in 2000 and officially opened a year later and in 2007 an extension to the clubhouse was completed as Headfort continues to buck the downward trend afflicting Irish golf by providing a top class modern facility that is the envy of many clubs throughout the island.
With over 1200 members and 500 student and juvenile members, Headfort Golf Club is also one of the largest employers in the Kells area with between 25 and 30 people employed at the facility. The course continues to grow and new membership is still available.
The reasonable entrance fee of €2500 is payable over three years and the annual subscription of €850 is payable monthly. As well as openings for new members Headfort continues to defy the nationwide downward trend with green fees continuing to grow with close to 2000 visitors a month playing the course during the summer months.
The golf club works in partnership with the Headfort Arms Hotel to provide stay and play packages and last year won the Meath Chronicle "Most dynamic marketing material" award for its new brochure.
The club can also boost some superb individual members with Damien McGrane continuing to enjoy a successful career on the European Tour. Brian Casey won both the Leinster and National Youths Close Championship in 2011, while Pauline Walsh was runner-up at Irish Senior Ladies Close Championship 2011.
Meath is lucky to be blessed with several of the country's finest golf clubs and when the county is showcased to the world during the Solheim Cup in September, rest assured that Headfort Golf Club will be to the fore of most visitors minds and will live long the memory for those who will have the pleasure of playing it.
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|Date:||Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 4:08:09 AM|