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South Meath a value for money gem

Affordable and quality golf the watchword for this family run club for almost 20 years
Irish golf boasts some of the most famous courses in the world but it’s not the plush resorts or world famous links that deserve all the kudos but the accessible clubs that give players affordable options.
One such club is lovely South Meath Golf Club, a picturesque 18-hole parkland located just two miles outside the heritage town of Trim in Co. Meath on the R160, Longwood Road. It’s just 40 minutes from Dublin and a pleasure to play for those looking for an enjoyable and affordable way to get started in the game or golfers who might be returning to the fold but unwilling to spend a fortune.
Designed by Eddie Hackett, the course was founded in 1993 by Mr. Joseph (Jody) Keegan and his wife Gabrielle on the site of the farm where Jody grew up. The men’s and women’s clubs became affiliated to GUI and ILGU in 1997 and the course is currently being run by Jody’s daughters with Jody keeping an active interest in all matters.
There are several memorable holes, including back to back par threes of around 160 yards at the seventh and eighth, both of them protected by water. Coupled with the challenging, par-five ninth, it’s South Meath’s Amen Corner, though those who find the water on the par-threes or out of bounds (and four water hazards) on the ninth are more inclined to call it “Devil’s Corner”, depending on how their round is going.
While the club is situated in a high density area for golf with Knightsbrook, County Meath, Rathcore, Kilcock, Killeen Castle, Royal Tara and Black Bush all nearby, membership is booming. “We have really picked up this year,” reported Competitions Secretary, Paul Harris. “Perhaps it’s the fact that it is €450 a year. With your Golf Ireland fee and insurance, it’s 12 months of golf for €500 so it’s hard to beat that and we are holding our own. “We have 160 men with handicaps and 40 women and a lot of lads that just want to play casual golf without playing in competitions. People just want to get out and hit a few balls, so it’s great for everyone.” The club prides itself in its camaraderie and welcoming ethos and both the men’s and ladies’ clubs are very active, running qualifying competitions every week.
The clubs is currently participating in the All-Ireland Fourball, Pierce Purcell, AIG Minor Cup, AIG Challenge Cup and the Carton Cup. They are proud too of their recent achievements which include victory for the men in the Newsam Cup in 2017, an annual inter-club competition, which is organised by Royal Tara for clubs in the North Leinster region. The club also won the North Leinster Mixed in 2018. Membership is diverse and notable members include 2004 Captain Bernard O’Byrne of FAI fame, Patrick Kavanagh who refereed an All-Ireland Final in 1985 and Michael Mellett who won and All-Ireland football medal in 1967 and represented Meath in 1968 in Australia. Eddie Maguire, the chairman of Irish Blind Golf is an enthusiastic member and on his way to Madrid next week for the Spanish Blind and Visually Impaired Open later this month. Eddie will also be defending his British Open title in June. Club Captain Don Costello remains committed to his game, insisting it’s all between the ears while Lady Captain Fiona Keegan, does not tire hearing her putts drop – “the sweetest sound ever is the clink, clink, clunk of the ball sinking into the hole.” The expansion of the course from nine to 18 holes was carried out to meet the demands of the fast-growing population in Trim and surrounding areas and South Meath continues to meet the demand, offering a strong product and great value for money.

Factfile

Green fees: Midweek €15; Weekend €20
Society rates: 12 or more players from €12 with availability on Saturdays and Sundays
Buggy hire: €20
Club hire: No
Electric trolleys: No
Range Balls: No
Signature holes: The Devil’s Corner (7th & 8th) two challenging par 3s surrounded by water.
Professional’s tip: Two well-executed shots are required to avoid disaster on these testing par-threes. Members have affectionately named them “Amen Corner” or “Devil’s Corner” depending on how their round is going. Other memorable holes include the water-strewn par-five 9th and the tree-lined 16th, where a fairway-splitting drive is a must.
Membership rates: Full €450; Family €650; 5-Day €290. Other packages available.
Nearby clubs: County Meath, Knightsbrook; Royal Tara; Killeen Castle; Black Bush; Kilcock; Summerhill; Rathcore; Moyvalley; Ballinlough Castle.