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K Club

Coordinates: 53°18′25″N 6°37′30″W / 53.307°N 6.625°W / 53.307; -6.625
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The K Club
Club information
K Club is located in Ireland
K Club
Location in Ireland
Coordinates53°18′25″N 6°37′30″W / 53.307°N 6.625°W / 53.307; -6.625
LocationStraffan, County Kildare, Ireland
Established1991, 33 years ago
Owned byROL Group Ltd
Total holes36
Events hostedRyder Cup – (2006)
European Open
Irish Open – (2016) and 2023.
Palmer North Course
Designed byArnold Palmer
Length7,350 yards (6,721 m)
Palmer South Course
Designed byArnold Palmer
Length7,277 yards (6,654 m)
Part of the clubhouse in 2012
The K Club
Restaurant information
Rating1 Michelin star Michelin Guide (1993-1994)

The Kildare Hotel and Golf Club (abbreviated The K Club) is a golf and leisure complex located in Straffan, County Kildare, Ireland. It is built on the original grounds of the Straffan estate, incorporating the 1830s Straffan House. It was previously owned by Michael Smurfit, before being sold to Michael Fetherston in 2020.[1]


In 1831, Hugh Barton of the wine firm Barton and Guestier bought land at Straffan and nearby Barberstown Castle from the Henry family and had Straffan House built whilst he and his wife stayed at Barberstown. Completed in 1832, the design was based on a French chateau, with the later addition of a bell-tower, and now forms the east wing of the present complex. From Hugh the property passed, via his eldest son Nathaniel, to his eldest son Hugh Lynedoch, after which it passed to Hugh Lynedoch's brother, Bertram Francis. All served in turn as High Sheriff of Kildare. The estate remained in the Barton family until 1949, when Derick Barton was forced to sell the property to manufacturer John Ellis.[2]

Following a succession of different owners, including film producer Kevin McClory, property developer Patrick Gallagher and property magnate Alan Ferguson, the house was purchased in 1988 by the Jefferson Smurfit Group and transformed into the K Club, which opened three years later. Gannon and Smurfit privately purchased the K Club in 2005, following the sale of Jefferson Smurfit to Madison Dearborn Partners and its subsequent merger with Kappa Packaging.[3] In 2012, Michael Smurfit bought the 49% stake Gerry Gannon had owned from NAMA for €40 million.[4]


The Barton Restaurant is a quality restaurant that was awarded one Michelin star both in 1993 and 1994.[5] The star was earned by head chef Michel Flamme.[6][7]


The hotel complex also contains two golf courses, both designed by Arnold Palmer. The Palmer North Course was the venue for the Ryder Cup in 2006, the first time the event had been staged in Ireland. The course also hosted the Smurfit European Open on the European Tour from 1995 to 2003 and again in 2005, with that tournament being played on the resort's "inland links" Palmer South Course in 2004, 2006, and 2007. The Palmer North Course hosted the Irish Open in 2016, won by Rory McIlroy.[8]



  1. ^ "'End of an era' as Michael Smurfit completes sale of K Club to new owner". The Irish Times. Retrieved 13 July 2023.
  2. ^ "History of Straffan House and the Barton Family". Archived from the original on 14 September 2011. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
  3. ^ "Ireland's K Club Spends Smurfit Millions to Grab Ryder Cup Fame". Bloomberg. 20 September 2006. Retrieved 21 October 2008.
  4. ^ O'Donovan, Donal (4 May 2012). "Smurfit buys out Gannon's 49pc stake in K Club for €40m". Irish Independent.
  5. ^ Michelin Online Archived 8 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Relaxed elegance". Sunday Life. 7 December 2008. Archived from the original on 23 June 2018. Retrieved 30 June 2012. (Partial story rendition from HighBeam.com archive.)
  7. ^ "5 Star Castle/Manor Examples". www.golf-irl.com. Archived from the original on 4 May 2009.
  8. ^ "A champion's finish - recalling Rory McIlroy's 2016 Irish Open win at the K Club - Articles - DP World Tour". www.europeantour.com. 6 September 2023. Retrieved 7 May 2024.

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